+44 (0)1369 860272

Back to blog overview

Favourite places of our guides, part 2

We asked our guides who are also stuck at home due to Covid-19 to send us a photo of their favourite place in Scotland. Here is the second series.

Vicki Mayes, guide About Argyll Walking HolidaysVicki Mayes

There are many places in Scotland that are special to me but if I had to choose one, it would have to be Glencoe. Growing up in Glasgow with my Dad, who was a motivated climber and mountaineer, we were always driving up to Glencoe for climbing and walking trips when I was young. The Glencoe Mountains hold a lot of nostalgia for me, and one in particular is Buchaille Etive Mhor. Some people call this mountain the 'Brad Pitt of the Highlands!' It towers above the valley so majestically. He is indeed a very handsome mountain! I have ascended it over 30 times (and my dad over 100 times!), via various climbing and scrambling routes. I have climbed 'the Buchaille' in both Summer and Winter conditions, in the pouring rain and in clear blue skies, often looking out to rainbows stretching across the valley below. I climbed my first ever multi pitch rock climb on 'the buchaille" with my Dad when I was just 11 years old. Here is a photo of my Dad and brother waking up on summit of the Buchaille on the Summer Solstice last year.

Buichaille Etive Mhor
Buchaille Etive Mhor

Malcolm Wade, guide About Argyll Walking HolidaysMalcolm Wade

My favourite spot is Hermaness overlooking Muckle Flugga lighthouse - the most northerly point in the UK. The lighthouse is built on a rocky outcrop off the northern tip of Unst. The area is a nature reserve and a very popular place for Tern, Skua, and my favourite bird the comical looking Puffin. Depending on weather, May is an excellent month to catch the puffins emerging from their underground burrows in search of sand eels. Located about an hour's walk from the car park, the cliffs are home to numerous nesting seabirds including fulmars, gulls, shags, gannets, puffins and kittiwakes. The route to the cliffs is along gravel path and boardwalk, traversing sensitive peatland habitat consisting of heather, crowberry, cotton grass, mosses and other vegetation. In the summer months, this is the home of the great skua, locally known as 'bonxie', which nests on the moorland. The coastal edge is a riot of colour in spring, with blue carpets of spring squill giving way to deep pink as thrift comes into flower.
On the way back, I always like to build in time to visit the Rural Museum at Haroldswick which has some fascinating artefacts and history of Unst lifestyle. It is a worthwhile diversion and gives visitors a real feel of times past in Unst and Shetland and some local flavour of life as a lighthouse keeper on Muckle Flugga.
I can't wait until my next visit in May 2021 - maybe you'll be with us!

Puffins, Sumburgh Head, Shetland
Puffins and Muckle Flagga lighthouse, Hermaness, Shetland

Robina Barton, guide About Argyll Walking HolidaysRobina Barton

My favourite place is the Eshaness Coast in Shetland. Cliffs formed from the remains of a 400 million year old volcano are subject to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean, which has carved out a dramatic array of stacks and inlets. It makes a beautiful clifftop walk on a summers day, and an exciting place to brave in bad weather (safety permitting!). It has been used to gripping effect as a location for the popular detective series 'Shetland'.

Eshaness, Shetland
Eshaness peninsula, Shetland

Tim Hamlet, guide About Argyll Walking HolidaysTim Hamlet

The tiny Island of Iona on the rugged west coast of Scotland is a fabulous place to pause and reset. Busy during the day with tourists, the island empties in the evening and the silence remains. With a population of 177 this small 877 hectares of land is the birthplace of Christianity after Columba landed there in 563 after fleeing from Ireland.
Although the Island is probably most famous for the Abbey, the Geology is equally fascinating with many rock types in a very small geographical footprint. If you are coming to Scotland this small Island just off the larger Island of Mull is definitely worth a visit.

  • Isle of Iona

    Isle of Iona

  • Sunset Iona Abbey

    Sunset on Iona Abbey

  • Iona beach

    Beach on Iona

Rachel Ashwell, guide About Argyll Walking HolidaysRachel Ashwell

My favourite area in Scotland has to be Assynt – in the far north-west, just north of Ullapool. It boasts some incredible scenery, with steep-sided mountains surrounded by a myriad of beautiful lochs and lochans. Many of the mountains are particularly distinctive in character, for example Stac Pollaidh and Quinag – with incredible rock towers and airy ridges. These are some of the most impressive examples of Highland geology with some of the oldest rock types including Torridonian sandstone and Lewisian gneiss. From these mountains you have stunning views out to sea on the west coast, which itself harbours a number of beautiful and quiet sandy beaches.
Assynt might be regarded as one of Scotland's "best kept secrets". Being that bit further afield, it remains a very quiet area of Scotland and you can really get away from the crowds and immerse yourself in the area's natural beauty. Whenever friends come to visit me in Scotland, Assynt is top of my list as a place to "show off" the wonder and wilderness of the Scottish Highlands!

Assynt, Highlands
Assynt mountains