England is pretty but Scotland is awesome

and I’m English so i’m allowed to say that without being accused of being unfairly biased.

But why? What is the magic of this chunk of the British isles?

As I’ve probably mentioned once or twice (!) I have a wee soft spot for Scotland. Ever since my first adventure out in the hills I have been captivated by the magestic and imposing brilliance of this place.

Driving from Fort William up and over to Applecross captures the very essence of that brilliance in a nutshell. Having just done that very road trip – and without wanting to sound like a hopeless romantic – here’s my (probably miserably failed) attempt to put it into words…

Along the entire journey the winding road first hides and then declares the glorious delights of the Scottish scenery on every bend and turn.


Cruising through a glen or a wee village, you turn a corner and BANG! the expanse of a breathtakingly beautiful loch opens out in front of you. There is inevitably a weather beaten fishing boat bobbing about in the water and the roof of a splendid antiquated house peeping out over the tops of the trees hugging the loch side.

When the sun is shining the water sparkles (the beauty of ‘sun on water’ hey Josey!) but it seems that even on the most overcast of cloudy days the bright scottish light succeeds in penetrating the clouds enough to cast a mirror image of an overshadowing mountain onto the water.

Inexplicably the Scottish hills skyline somehow manages to always look uniquely ‘Scottish’! I am still unable to work out exactly why these hills could only ever be hills is Scotland! But its true. They are unique.

However…the corner of all corners to round has to be the one as you crest the top of the bealach mountain pass and drop down towards Applecross..magical Applecross. Ahhhhhh…what a place!


The entirety of the Applecross bay opens up before your eyes – on a clear day with the added reward of the dramatic Cuillin hills of Skye as a backdrop.

Trust me – it’s truly unbelievable!!

So there you go. Although as they say….”seeing is believing” so maybe its time you took a road trip!



  1. Jo said,

    January 16, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Sun on water (and snow on trees) – best thing ever!!! xx

  2. Bailey Boots said,

    January 20, 2009 at 2:54 am

    Ahhhh, that sounds so beautiful! I miss Scotland deep into my Bailey Boots. But I’m coming back for a wee visit in March. Will you be around at all???

  3. Mum said,

    January 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    The Scottish bloodline of the Caven clan obviously runs in your veins & imagination.Your Pop Caven would have taken gteat delight in your love of his homeland.Although I am glad I only get to hear of your exploits after the event!! xx

  4. Nigel Keeling said,

    January 15, 2010 at 2:21 am

    The road to Applecross is magical.(was there in June) The views across to Skye lift your soul. It always makes me want to cry. There’s no view like it. A close 2nd the road to Mallaig, turn off near Arisaig and take the road to the Traigh Golf Course. Wonderful beaches and views across to Rum Egg and Muck. Nice place for a swim.

    • misshelen said,

      January 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm

      ‘Lifts your soul’…what a perfect way to describe the views! Must take that turn off the Mallaig road next time I am up that way! Thanks for the message.

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