Dark colours, crumbling castles and unkempt creatures are all part of the supposed “charm” of The Highlands. After a three day whirlwind of a tour, I can safely attest that it’s not worth your time. If you insist on going, don’t say I didn’t warn you…
There are way too many castles
No matter what road you’re on or what direction you look, you’re going to find one of these drafty old homes. It’s a bit much, really.
Outlander fan? You will find this familiar. This place is featured prominently in the series. It’s also been featured in Game of Thrones and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Outside, this 14th century castle has a bit of a foxglove problem, inside it has one of the best-preserved medieval Great Halls in Scotland.
Eilean Donan Castle – The romantic castle
Och, get a comb, coos! How do they even handle having all that hair in their eyes. I pretty much go bonkers if I have stray strands impeding my eyesight. Do we even know if they have eyes? Alien coos, perhaps?
Hairy Coos! (Highland cattle)
And prickly AF
You gonna tussle with the thistle? Good luck with that. Just like a prickly Scottish temper, these national flowers don’t pussy-foot around. I mean, they’re gorgeous as all get out, just don’t touch them, they bite.
Seriously, it’s way too dark and brooding
The first thing that strikes you when you enter The Highlands is the colour. There’s never been a place with more robust hunter greens. Those dark tones mixed with the rough terrain give off all the brooding feels.
The water is black. Disturbingly so. Definitely holds a sea monster, ew.
There’s just too many faerie tales
“This water has magical powers.” Yep, supposedly Sligachan River is just a good ol’ Fountain of Youth. All you have to do is plunk your face in the freezing waters for at least seven seconds. Then voila! Your face will never age again. I did a few splashes instead; shit is cold. Guess the best I can hope for is an aging slow-down.
Old Man of Storr
“And late one night, as disfigured Sheena was sleeping, a little hand touched her shoulder.” HUH? Who touched who in the what now?! On Isle of Skye, our tour guide shared some crazy folklore tales with us. One story in particular was about a beautiful woman who had an accident and her jerk fiancé dumped her because of her ruined face. Our guide was doing a great job keeping us completely engrossed in the story, when all of the sudden the story broke into an odd tale of faerie hands doing inappropriate touching. K, not really, but that little hand thing came out of nowhere.
Because of crazy weather, we couldn’t get closer to Old Man of Storr, but legend has it that this is where a giant was buried with his finger left sticking out. Sure, sure.
Traffic is a serious problem
Surrounded by the pastel pastures of Isle of Skye, these chubby bundles of wool are total road hogs. But you can’t help but forgive them and their little stick legs.
Isle of Skye
It’s freakishly otherworldly
The Quiraing, Isle of Skye
Trotternish Waterfalls, Isle of Skye
The rain makes everything look dull
So dull. Even the cows are bored.
Isle of Skye
Portree, Isle of Skye
Dunkeld, along the River Tay
It’s damn old, like seriously old
The cairns are approximately 3,000 to 4,000 years old and were built to house the dead. This Bronze Age cemetery holds ring cairns, kerb cairns and standing stones. Cool beans.
And it’s damn sad
Sadder than one would think. The 1746 battle of Culloden was the last battle to be fought on British soil. It is considered one of the most significant clashes in British history. Also, the end of an era for Scotland and Highland clan culture. The clan stone memorials are tragic to look upon.
It’s super boozy
Scotchy, scotch, scotch.
And it’s way too folksy
The cutest little village I ever did walk through. Oh, and it’s free. To get to those 18th Century Highland blackhouses, you have to walk through a forest. And watch where you step, you don’t want to squish a snoozing hedgehog.
Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore