Having just moved back from Scotland after living there for four and a half years, I’m suitably homesick enough to write pages and pages about the country in all its beauty and splendour! I will do my best to stick to helpful hints and insider knowledge, however if I stray off course to wax lyrical about a sunset or mountain please forgive me! I believe it simply is one of the most beautiful places on earth. And I can guarantee if you visit the home of lush green hills, bagpipes and stunning castles you will fall in love!
In 2011, we moved straight to a little town in Perthshire, right at the base of The Cairngorms which form an enormous National Park, known for wildlife and Winter sports. It was the perfect place to start many adventures, and I simply wish we had made time for more.
One of our favourite adventures was to the Isle of Lewis and Harris on the West Coast. If you ever wander as far as Scotland, use your well saved pennies to get yourself to any of the West Coast Islands as they are pure magic. If you’re considering a honeymoon to the best place on earth, it’s likely you’ll need to consider hiring a car or doing a tour.
It’s a small area of land but quite remote, and the most spectacular places are reserved for those who literally go the extra mile. We drove to Ullapool (on the mainland) and took our car across on a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry which took approximately three hours. We arrived in the dark and drove off to find our accommodation – Seven Leurbost – which turned out to be a lovely little cottage with an open fire and stunning views from the kitchen. If we were going for our honeymoon, we may have splashed out and stayed at Amhuinnsuide Castle (hello, castle!) or Eagle Bay Cottages, but the accommodation we had still rates as one of the best places I’ve ever stayed.
View from our kitchen window!
Images via Amhuinnsuide Castle
Image via Eagle Bay Cottages
A word to the wise about a holiday to the West Coast of Scotland – the beauty lies in the rugged, wild, spectacular landscape and weather. If you’re looking on the map for a place to stay and it seems remote, it’s because it is! We went in early November without realising tourist season had closed (slight tourist fail!). This worked entirely in our favour however, as we had every beach and viewpoint to ourselves. It is one of the most romantic places I have ever been.
We ate in most nights, favouring the fire place and a gourmet home made meal. The sun set at around 4pm, so we were happy to rug up and cosy in for the night. We took packed lunches most days, as we weren’t sure where we were going to end up and wanted the freedom of adventures that lay waiting! However we had a delicious pub lunch in Stornoway at HS-1 Cafe, a lovely drink with a view at the An Lanntair Arts Centre, sheltered from the wind and rain at the Callanish Stones Centre with a scone and tea, and managed to snaffle some treats on our drive around the point of Lewis from 40 North Foods.
As we were there in November, the only tourist site that was open to us was the Callanish Stones and the Carloway Broch which were both full of history and stunning sites to see. Having our car we simply rambled about the place, stopping a lot along the way. We saw seals answering to a man whistling on the beach, had a wander about the Blackhouses and stopped at some lovely little galleries and gift shops. I fell head over heels in love with Harris tweed as we stopped in at every mill to see how it was made, chatted to the friendly locals and stocked up on some beautiful fabrics.
However it is without a doubt the views that I would go back for time and time again. Drive up to Ness and see the lighthouse and breathtaking views across the Atlantic that were shrouded in cloud when we were there, or take a spin out to Great Bernera where Bostadh Beach will take your breath away.
Search for the giant chess men and scour the cliffs for the views across Ardroil in Uig or simply head out for a drive and see what you discover along the way.
There are so many more stunning spots on the Island just waiting to be discovered! Magnificent views, beautiful wildlife, gorgeous galleries and wee coffee shops plus loads of space to set your own adventure and see where the road takes you. If you’re looking for a romantic, quiet holiday that will exhilarate you with it’s awe inspiring beauty and adventures that lie waiting, Lewis, Harris,or any West Coast Scottish Islands are the place to be!
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such a beautifully romantic place to visit – one of my favourites. Its rugged beauty is spectacular and unforgettable…
About Nicola: I love travelling, West Coast of Scotland, Scottish Isles, Paris, Amsterdam being some of my favourite places. I’m very much enjoying having the space for a veggie garden in our new house here – was shielding my tomato and spinach plants from the rain the other night – I’m a little too emotionally invested! I love to bake, love to sew and am already planning my next visit overseas to see family and friends!