the highlands and islands
The romance of the Highlands and Islands is world famous but the origins of them are brutal and bloody. They have existed through many vicious political battles and that is why there are so many fortified castles – mostly ruins today. The romance came about when Sir Walter Scott wrote his Waverley novels and encouraged visits by King George IV and then Queen Victoria to Scotland. Victoria and her consort Albert fell head over heels for what they saw as a simplicity of life – not found in the courts of London !! Truly the scenery is awe inspiring and wild !! It could be worth a couple of days venturing north from Edinburgh. Go to Pitlochry for a summer theatrical adventure or Aviemore for a winter skiing event thence to Inverness and Braemar as well as Aberdeen and Stonehaven.
The Islands are an even longer bit of travelling but all are wonderful to see. Iona, Skye, Arran, Islay, Mull and the Outer Hebrides with Lewis and Harris where the street signs are mainly in Gaelic, or sail to the Orkney and Shetland islands to note our Scandinavian roots.