In 2014 I started my Scottish travel blog which really inspired me to get out and visit parts of Scotland for the first time. It also encouraged me to go back to places I had visited previously and explore them in a different way. I've found that having a travel blog which is designed to inspire others has also inspired me and I have really enjoyed rediscovering and discovering arguably the most beautiful country in the world, which luckily enough happens to be on my doorstep.
It has been hard for me to decide on my 5 top places as I honestly didn't have any bad holidays, however as with my top 5 travel experiences there are a few places that just seem to stand out and as soon as I arrived I just felt at home. So here are my top 5 places I visited in 2014.
MY TOP 5 PLACES I VISITED IN 2014
1. Dumfries and Galloway
Although I had to cut my camping trip along the coast of Dumfries and Galloway short due to car trouble, the time I did spend there was pretty special. I explored the Mull of Galloway for the first time and the scenery was breathtaking, especially as I enjoyed a cream tea overlooking the dramatic cliff tops. The only disappointment was not being able to climb the lighthouse which is a good reason to return.
The Castle Bay holiday park campsite with views of Dunskey Castle and across to Ireland was a very pleasant surprise as I had no plans to stay there and literally stumbled across it on my way to Portpatrick, it was so good I ended up staying two nights! Read more...
This is the second year that Dumfries and Galloway has provided me with fantastic memories as the previous year I had a great camper van trip around the region which included time enjoying the dark sky status of Galloway Forest Park where I was mesmerized by a million stars. This is a very underrated area of Scotland and I can't wait to go back and explore more this year.
2. Glen Lednock
In the autumn I had been suffering from some neck pain and was in much need of a relaxing break. My mum had kindly bought me a voucher for a couple of nights away in Lochearnhead and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to book a stay in this quiet part of Scotland. I did no research and made no plans, deciding that I would just drive around and stop anywhere that took my fancy. Sometimes it turns out that you find the best places where you least expect them and on the second day of my trip I followed a sign from Comrie to Glen Lednock. I had never heard of this area before and was unexpectedly greeted with stunning autumnal colours, wildlife galore, rolling hills, rushing waterfalls, an impressive dam and a picturesque loch. With paths leading off in all directions I was spoiled for choice as to which scenic route to follow and I was also amazed that this once populated area felt so remote and quiet. Apart from the car park I didn't meet another person during my walk and I am already planning a return trip to one of my new favourite Scottish escapes. Read more...
3. Mull of Kintyre
Another new area for me in 2014 was a trip around the Mull of Kintyre. As I made my way around the coast the scenery seemed to be ever changing from the pretty fishing village of Tarbert to the wild rolling surf at Machrihanish but the one thing it all had in common was it's natural beauty. I especially enjoyed discovering the intriguing history and archaeology of the area, with the views from the top of Skipness Castle being particularly impressive. The west coast is famed for it's spectacular sunsets and I took some time out to sit on the rugged rocks as the end of the day approached and the sky turned a fiery orange. This is another underrated area of Scotland and one that not many tourists make it to which means you often have much of it to yourself! Read more ...
I must admit to being a bit of an Outlander fan (okay a big bit!) and I really wanted to explore some of the filming locations of the television series and thanks to a contact at Visit Fife I was able to get a list of the main backdrops in the region used for filming the show. I decided to base myself in the pretty and historic town of Culross and really knocked it off with the accommodation which I had booked through Trip Advisor. The little self catering studio flat was absolutely perfect with fantastic views and handily situated right in the centre of one of the main towns used in the series. I visited several other sites connected to Outlander and even found some local standing stones! One of the highlights was my visit to Balgonie Castle where I was kindly shown around by the Laird and his son. I plan to explore more Outlander locations this year and it is no surprise this proved to be one of my most popular blog posts. Read more ...
For my birthday this year I decided to go on a road trip to Ayrshire and explore some of Robert Burns country. I have already visited many of the usual attractions in the area however I had never visited the town of Mauchline where Burns had lived at a nearby farm. It was a particularly wet and dreary day and I was glad to shelter from the rain in the museum and the nearby Poosie Nansie's inn. One of the reasons this trip really sticks in my mind was the quirky visit to the Inn and after chatting with the locals discovered it had a secret preserved 18th century room which the barman kindly gave me the key to. This really was one of the hidden gems that I came across in 2014 and sums up perfectly the new places that I have discovered only because I started this travel blog. Read more ...
Where was your favourite Scottish place to visit in 2014? I would love to know where you recommend I visit in 2015!
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