St Andrew’s Day: 6 wonderful sights of Scotland
From the impenetrable pine forests and rugged highland peaks to the fields of gorse mixing yellow, green and brown – Scotland inspires modern tourists just as it did the romantic poets.
But we’d wager there are few who, on seeing a picture of an azure river, a dramatic waterfall or a pristine beach, would immediately think of Scotland. Such things are more tropical, or at least Mediterranean – aren’t they?
Don’t be so sure. We teamed up with Premier Inn to find six Scottish landscapes that look very much like other exotic locations from around the world. See if you can guess which is Scottish – before reading the caption…
1. The Queen’s Way Waterfall, Galloway Forest Park
The Rio Celeste Waterfall is described in Lonely Planet as ‘one of the hidden mysteries of Costa Rica’. The Queen’s Way Waterfall is about an hour and a half drive from Dumfries.
Ensconced in an under-visited corner of Galloway Forest Park, this ‘hidden mystery of Scotland’ boasts atmospheric, moss-covered rock faces, and a picturesque forest glen with plenty of serviceable picnic spots.
The Scottish countryside may lack the tree frogs, sloths and Capuchin monkeys that frequent the Costa Rican forests, but you don’t have to check your boots for spiders and snakes.
2. The beaches of Iona, the Inner Hebrides
Google ‘the world’s best beaches’ and, regardless of what you click, the same places will crop up time and again. Australia, Florida, Barbados… and the Inner Hebrides.
Beaches rank just below volcanoes on the list of things Scotland isn’t known for, but the island of Iona boasts perhaps the most unexpectedly beautiful coastline in the whole of the British Isles.
The water may be cooler, the air a little brisker, but wrap up warm and this western corner of Scotland looks picture perfect: Miles of undisturbed seawater, genuinely pristine sands, and not a sun umbrella in sight.
3. The Falls of Falloch, Trossachs National Park
Two waterfalls surrounded by birdsong and foliage, separated only by 4,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean. The Falls of Falloch are not as rugged and wild as they sound – they have their own car park off the A82 – but are no less dramatic for it. A 10m cascade gives way to a rippling plunge pool, which is quickly contorted into a set of writhing rapids.
The Caribbean summer may be scorching but the Scottish Falls of Falloch are accessible by minicab and have much smaller spiders.
4. An Lochan Uaine, Glenmore Forest Park
A jewel of the Cairngorms, legend has it that An Lochan Uaine gets its famous green colouring from pixies washing their clothes in its waters (aka: odd mineral content). Set in the basin of a large valley covered with gorse and heather, and for any hardy souls the water is eminently swimmable.
On sunny days it bears a passing resemblance to the low-hanging foliage and greeny-blue waters of the Casa Cenote in Mexico. You can guess which one gets more visitors.
5. Mealt Falls, the Isle of Skye
It’s strange, really, that waterfalls are associated with exotic climates and far off lands, because Scotland is overflowing with them. Mealt Falls gushes 55m down the face of Kilt Rock straight into the Sound of Raasay.
It’s the sheerness of the rock face that sets this water feature apart – the cliff drops away almost at a right angle, leaving the water in free-fall the whole way down. The Duden Waterfall in Turkey is 15m its junior, but has more than twice as many TripAdvisor reviews.
The Press Association
Latest posts by The Press Association (see all)
- 7 facts about Karl Lagerfeld’s fashion legacy - February 19, 2019
- Bristol has been named the UK’s ‘kindest’ city – here are 5 other reasons to visit - February 19, 2019
- How to choose the right compost for the right spot - February 18, 2019
- Can fad diets put you at risk of osteoporosis? Here’s what you need to know - February 15, 2019
- 10 of the best romantic reads for Valentine’s Day - February 14, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!