I’ll admit that I’m not going as far north as I want to in this northwest part of Scotland due to time and not wanting to be in the car the entire time. But I am getting a good taste of it. And here’s my verdict:
And it’s truly breathtaking.
The landscape is varied with little fishing villages and rugged mountains.
There are stark moors and green pastures with sheep and cows grazing in them.
You’ll find lochs and rivers and islands out in the sea.
There are no big towns or cities here — just villages.
But you’ll find some incredibly friendly folks who love where they live and are fiercely proud of being Scottish.
These are the hardcore Scots. And I love them!
And I naturally love the landscape.
On my drive yesterday, only about 75 miles in one direction but on narrow roads, I would come around a curve in the road and the landscape would change. I’d come to the top of a hill and again on the other side, it was different from where I’d been.
And every time this is what I’d say to myself, “This is just stupid! How can one wee country have so much natural beauty in it?”
Now ya’ll know I love Ireland. And it’s definitely a wee country with loads of natural beauty — and also quite varied.
But somehow I think Scotland might beat Ireland in a natural beauty contest. I’m just astounded.
And this northwest portion is definitely at the top.
Granted I haven’t seen the islands yet (Skye, Mull, Lewis and Harris, Islay, the Orkneys, the Shetlands, etc — there are lots of islands) nor have I seen the area between Inverness and Edinburgh or the southern part of the country which I think is a more gentle landscape. So perhaps I’m not being entirely informed in my opinion.
But most of the Scots will even tell you that the northwest is the icing on the cake. That this is the most beautiful part of Scotland.
I’m not going to lie — I wish I were spending about 2 weeks up here. I’m just in the southern part of this northwest area and just on the west coast. I’d love to go further north to the Assynt area (which I may still drive up to) and all the way up to Cape Wrath. Then I’d love to see the east coast of this northwest region. I’m thinking that will be next trip. There’s just a lot to see and do here.
Yes it takes more effort to get here. The roads are small rural roads and there are single lane roads here (with lots of passing places — which they signpost!). So getting from point A to point B can take longer.
But why would you want to hurry through this gorgeous landscape? Really. There’s no reason to rush.
I realize that for some of us, we simply don’t have the time. I get that.
However even a few days up here would be well worth it. Just a few days in a place like Gairloch (where I am) would be so worthwhile.
So make that extra effort and come up here to the northwest of Scotland.
I think you, like me, will be amazed by the beauty — and so thankful you took that extra time.