Want the best of Scotland? A new book can point you in the right direction
IT’S no surprise Scotland was voted the second-best country to visit in 2017 by Rough Guides because there is always something new for even those who know the country best. Peter Irvine, the man behind the Scotland the Best series of travel guides, has overseen a new paperback edition which features 100 extraordinary places accompanied by images from Scotland’s finest photographers.
Irvine’s selection veers away from the obvious landmarks and attractions and instead offers glimpses of lesser-known treasures such as Plodda Falls and Stonehaven Pool. “This book is about place, our sense of it and how it informs our awareness and perception of Scotland,” he says. “Although a photography book, it is also a manual, helping readers find the places in the pictures they might otherwise walk by. Whether sitting in Charlotte Square Garden in August, or on the shore in Iona, or arriving by boat to Knoydart or Stromness, you know you’re in a very good place, that it’s great to be in Scotland.” Here, he shares three of his favourite places. Loch Awe The longest freshwater loch in Scotland, it slices through the heart of Argyll with forests and ruined castles on its islands and shores. Arbuthnott Church and the Howe of the Mearns Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s trilogy, A Scots Quair, and especially its first part, Sunset Song, is one of the great works of Scottish literature. The Howe of the Mearns, the area of rolling agricultural countryside between the Grampian Mountains and the coast is the place he so effectively evokes in the time of innocence before the wars. It seems hardly changed. Rothiemurchus Rothiemurchus, a remnant of the ancient Caledonian Forest, lies between the River Spey and the Cairngorms. With more than 40 miles of trails, anyone who loves the outdoors loves Rothiemurchus.