Hikes

The Pass of Killiecrankie, Perthshire, Scotland

Some of Scotland’s most beautiful places are integrally linked with strife and bloodshed. Glencoe, arguably the most beautiful glen in Scotland, immediately comes to mind where a deplorable massacre occurred after the Jacobite uprising of 1689. That same uprising began at the Battle of Killiecrankie, where John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee and leader of the uprising, aka “Bluidy Clavers,” aka “Bonnie Dundee,” was shot and killed. Though the Jacobites won the day they were later defeated at the Battle of Dunkeld, another gorgeous place and one of my favorite small towns in Scotland. Perthshire has borne witness to much history, and the region has long been renown for its great natural beauty… Read more...

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The view from above Applecross, Wester Ross, Scotland

The Applecross Peninsula in northwest Scotland is a terrestrial dream. It’s the perfect place to go on a long drive and stop to admire the breath-taking scenery. As it happens, it’s also a wonderful place to go for a hike, and the one I’m writing about today is an easy one (for Scotland) that encompasses varied landscapes at the seaward edge of the peninsula. A lot of effort is required to find your way to Applecross town, and this hike is a good reason to stretch out your time here, get a feel for the area, and have an excuse to visit the Applecross Inn for a pint.

As with many hikes, the handy Pocketwalks guides provided me the inspiration for this jaunt. Read more...

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Corrieshalloch Gorge, Wester Ross, Scotland

Scotland’s northwest highlands are basically one huge natural wonder, but there are certain sites within this gorgeous expanse that even the Scots refer to as natural wonders. Case in point: Scotland’s “Grand Canyon,” Corrieshalloch Gorge, which can be found in the highlands of Wester Ross a dozen miles southeast of Ullapool. Comparing anything to the Grand Canyon is a dubious exercise, but Corrieshalloch Gorge is as close as anything in Scotland to a viable comparison.

Corrieshalloch is a slot gorge or box-canyon created by glacial meltwater possibly from as far back as 2.6 million years ago… Read more...

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Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, Wester Ross, Scotland

Driving through Scotland’s northern highlands, you’d be forgiven if you thought the entire region was a protected nature reserve. It’s really just that beautiful. But such is not the case, and over time and subsequent visits you’d find that forests you once hiked through have been clearcut for timber. The reality is that the beautiful forest prominent in your memory was a plantation designed for that ending, but not all of Scotland’s forests and wild areas have such a fate. There are close to 50 National Nature Reserves spanning more than 370 square miles around Scotland where wildlife, natural habitats, and indigenous plant species are protected and managed to ensure their continued thriving.

These are places where nature comes first. I had the opportunity to visit Beinn Eighe… Read more...

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Rogie Falls, Strathpeffer, Scotland

As my North Coast 500 journey began, I found myself speeding north and west out of Inverness along beautiful roads toward Achnasheen and Wester Ross. This is a windswept, austere stretch of driving with many beautiful lochs and hills ramping to the sky, and there are few legitimate “sights” to see beyond the spectacle of the highland countryside. I’m ok with that — in fact I prefer it — but I never pass up an opportunity to crack open my trusty and weather-beaten Collins Britain road atlas. This massive book-bound map lists all kinds of interesting diversions: Castles, ancient monuments, natural wonders, nature reserves, etc. And what did I see along this stretch of road? The subject of today’s post: The Rogie Falls. Read more...

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