On the very little island of Raasay off the coast of Skye there is a gravel road spiralling involving sea and sky that defies creativity.

It was designed by Calum MacLeod, a postman and assistant lighthouse keeper, just after area councils overlooked years of appeals to link his crofting local community with the closest paved road a few kilometres away. So he constructed it himself with a home made wheelbarrow, a choose, an axe, and a Do-it-yourself handbook on street building. It took him much more than 10 many years of backbreaking labour, but at minimum he liked stunning sights. At each individual transform there are panoramas of coronary heart-stopping magnificence, of the craggy mountains of Skye and the stark, lonely hills of Wester Ross on the mainland.

For me Calum’s Highway epitomises what tends to make Scotland specific, an unbiased spirit fostered by rugged landscapes that cry flexibility. In the spectacular chiaroscuro of rain and sunshine the brooding hills seem to be to appear alive.

But if you know where to look, the land of the Celts has extra to supply. Scenic railways, cruising sea lochs and hiking wilderness trails with qualified guides, lively towns reinventing by themselves as hubs of tradition and delicacies, and festivals celebrating artwork, literature and tossing cabers.

And there are the people. Years back I took a French girlfriend on a driving tour of Skye, and right after a 7 days of mist and rain brightened by pleasant islanders she reported: “You know Gavin the sunshine of your persons is its men and women.”

Sums up the position truly. Below are 10 methods to sample the very best of Scotland.


For enthusiasts of great whiskies and tranquil islands of big skies and sweeping landscapes, Islay is utopia. It has no fewer than seven distilleries producing tens of millions of bottles of spicy, smoky one malts each and every calendar year with machinery and strategies that have hardly altered since the Napoleonic period. All of them offer tours and tasting of what every single claims to be the greatest drams in the world.

The sparsely populated island is a haven of peace and independence, with trackless hills rising earlier mentioned peat bogs that give its whiskies their unique pungent flavours, and a shell-sand seaside six miles long. It serves as a chicken sanctuary with about 180 recorded species.


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