The best bits of Love From Scotland 2016

The best bits of Love From Scotland 2016

One year ago, Love From Scotland was born. Happy birthday, Love From Scotland! Before 2017 arrives and the madness of Christmas and Hogmanay takes over, I wanted to take a wee look back at the first year of this blog. From discovering one of my new favourite regions, to staying in an incredible croft cottage, here are my best bits of Love From Scotland 2016.

Scotland 2016

10 – A room with a view at Loch Earn

Loch Earn may not have the drama of Loch Ness or Loch Lomond, but it makes up for that with my favourite sculpture in Scotland, the Mirror Man. We stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel in a room with an incredible view over the loch and a dinner to die for. Since then fantasy house hunting on the banks of Loch Earn is a regular pastime of mine.

Scotland 2016

9 – Going behind the scenes in Glencoe

Driving through Glen Coe is spectacular, but stopping your car and exploring is even more so. We discovered the hidden lost valley with its grim history, marveled at the amount of selfie sticks in front of the Three Sisters and took a walk around the beautiful Glencoe Lochan. A visit to Glen Coe might top every list of things to do in Scotland, but it is well worth the hype, and the crowds.

Scotland 2016

8 – Camping at Comrie Croft and Gimme Shelter

Planning each year’s camping trips is one of my favourite things. This year, for the sixth year in a row we visited Comrie Croft in Perthshire and we also discovered the amazing Gimme Shelter in Fife. I don’t think I will never tire of the feeling of being outdoors with just a fire pit for company.

Scotland 2016

7 – Exploring Outlander

Outlander has been everywhere in 2016 – and I must admit I am a big fan. What I love the most about it (apart from Jamie, ahem) is the way the TV  show really shows off Scotland – and that it has helped me discover a few hidden gems along the way. Highlights have included the village of Culross (pronounced coo-ris), Blackness Castle and the unusual Preston Mill, which is where Jamie…well I won’t give you any spoilers. Just watch it for yourself.

Scotland 2016

6 – watching the Harry Potter Train go over the Glenfinnan Viaduct

Glenfinnan might have been the busiest place we visited this year – but watching the Jacobite Express go over the Glenfinnan Viaduct joins this list as the viaduct is a marvel and watching the steam train puff its way across is a must-do if you are visiting Scotland, even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan.

5 – Celebrating 20 years in Scotland

My favourite post this year (of the 65 posts I published in 2016) celebrated a milestone for me – I’ve now spent 20 years living in Scotland.  It was also your favourite post too! I am hugely proud of this little country, it has a very big heart, and I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store for us as we continue to get out and explore.

Isle of Arran

4 – Exploring Arran in Winter

Living in Scotland you have to have something of the ‘I don’t care what the weatherman says’ about you. Even in February the Isle of Arran totally stole our hearts, not least because we had a wonderful room at the Glen Isle Hotel in Lamlash and amazing food at the Drift Inn. A brilliant way to spend our 3rd wedding anniversary.

Cuil Moss Cottage

3 – Staying on a highland estate at Ardgour

The best place we stayed in 2016 was in a luxury renovated highland croft on the Ardgour Estate.  We were gifted our stay at Cuil Moss Cottage, however, I can’t sing Annie and Ewen’s praises enough. I’m constantly dreaming of going back.  The range and quality of the accommodation we’ve stayed in this year in Scotland has been fantastic, and owners have consistently gone beyond my expectations.

ardnamurchan

2 – Discovering Ardnamurchan

I love exploring and discovering new areas of Scotland, and this year it was the turn of Ardnamurchan. One of Scotland’s remotest regions, the sheer beauty of Ardnamurchan blew me away. From Caribbean blue seas and white beaches at Sanna to Castle Tioram sitting proudly on its sea loch, I left feeling that we’d only touched the surface of what there was to explore but thoroughly in love.

munros-2016

…and at 1 is… becoming a Munro Bagger

When I started this blog a year ago I was declining gracefully into a lazy, wine drinking, middle age. 12 months later I’ve walked over 1000 miles and climbed 6 of Scotland’s highest mountains along the way.  So thank you Ben Vorlich, Ben Lomond, Ben Lawers and Beinn Glass and the two Munros of Buachaille Etive Beag – Munro bagging, you’ve totally turned my life around!

So that was Scotland 2016. Thanks to all of you who have popped by, commented, said hello, or followed me on my travels.

Scotland, 2017, here we come.

Love, from Scotland xx

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31 Comments

  1. melchaddphotos
    16/12/2016 / 10:28 am

    Happy Blog Birthday. What a year!
    I definitely need to get out and do more walking next year.

    Here’s to a great 2017 full of blog adventures, brilliant vistas and meeting up x

    • Love from, Smidge
      16/12/2016 / 1:20 pm

      Thanks Mel, here’s to a great 2017 for both of us 🙂

  2. 24/12/2016 / 10:59 am

    What an epic year! i want to do even more hiking as well. Preferably in the amazing Scottish scenery as much as possible – stunning 🙂

  3. 25/12/2016 / 12:44 pm

    Happy blog birthday! My new year’s resolution is to hike/walk 1,000 miles this year so thank you for the inspiration! Happy holidays!

  4. 27/12/2016 / 6:04 pm

    Oh wow! What a year you’ve had Kate! Happy Blogday!

    You’ve visited beautiful places, some I have visited, some I really want to explore as well. Six Munros as well, a fantastic achievement!

    I wish you good health, happiness and lots more adventures for 2017.

    Love Dawn-Marie x

  5. 30/12/2016 / 8:12 am

    What an awesome year!!Now Scotland is definitely on our list of places to visit!It looks like a country that has so much to offer, from gorgeous landscapes to beautiful hikes in nature.You seem to have walked quite a distance around Scotland, that’s something I would love to do.Did you ever take the Harry Potter train yourself?Your pictures are amazing! Wishing you all the best for 2017!

  6. 30/12/2016 / 8:26 pm

    Congratulations on 20 years. Scotland looks beautiful. I’m so close to it but I don’t ever get to visit. One day!

  7. 01/01/2017 / 9:05 am

    Wow, awesome! Scotland is one of the countries I’d really like to explore this year! And reading your blogs entices me even more and more each time! Love your photography too, especially that of the Mirror Man! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  8. 01/01/2017 / 10:10 am

    You keep blowing me away as I continue to scroll down through the page. Every photo is seriously more breathtaking than the last. I would love to visit Scotland someday – such beautiful spots!

  9. 02/01/2017 / 4:43 pm

    I have always wanted to see Scotland. Especially after seeing it shot so well in a Bollywood (Indian) film. A friend of mine lives nearby in Shetland Island. She has been calling me to visit her since eons now. Hopefully I will go there soon. Nice write up. You have a way with words.

  10. 02/01/2017 / 7:24 pm

    I have not visited Scotland but it is definitely on my list. And I now have this great collection of things to see and do there. Thanks for the lovely photos and narrative. You sure had an amazing year.

  11. stylishtravlr
    02/01/2017 / 7:52 pm

    Happy blog birthday ! 🙂 Those are wonderful photos ! One of the best I have ever seen of Scotland ! Cant wait to visit!

  12. 02/01/2017 / 8:42 pm

    So many beautiful places you got to visit and discover in your very own *adopted* country! Just wondering if you knew the significance of the Mirror Man?

  13. 02/01/2017 / 9:36 pm

    Congrats on your year of blogging and 20 years in Scotland, Your photos of the scenery is quite breathtaking and would love to make it up that way, I’ve been in England for a year now and loving it.

  14. 04/01/2017 / 11:36 am

    I’m living in Hull now and planning to visit Scotland this summer. Do you think it’s difficult to visit the remote places in Scotland if I don’t drive? Also I’d really love to experience the Scottish culture. Can you think of any activity that could help me do that (like homestay, etc.)?

    • Love from, Smidge
      12/01/2017 / 3:45 pm

      There are plenty of scenic train rides which you can do – the Harry Potter train for example (from Fort William to Malliag) is pretty remote. Otherwise you can join a day tour from the cities.

  15. 04/01/2017 / 11:59 am

    Wow, what a year of adventures. I have loved reading all about it and putting more Scottish destinations on my travel list, especially the Harry Potter and Outlander destinations! I cannot wait to return to beautiful Scotland this summer, though out of curiosity what is your favourite season there?

    • Love from, Smidge
      12/01/2017 / 2:31 pm

      Spring and Autumn are especially beautiful!

  16. 04/01/2017 / 12:33 pm

    Wow those sunset pictures are absolutely incredible! I feel Scotland is such an underrated place to visit, so many travellers disregard it and travel to Ireland or England instead. But after seeing what Scotland has to offer, it could quite possibly be the most beautiful nation in the United Kingdom! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Kathy - Walkabout Wanderer
    04/01/2017 / 1:39 pm

    Happy 1 year birthday 🙂
    Thanks for the top list. I personally love Glencoe! I will def check out some of the other places when I am next in Scotland. Have a great 2nd year.

  18. 04/01/2017 / 3:09 pm

    Happy Blog Birthday! These memories are absolutely amazing. Your pictures are making me want to visit Scotland so badly now! Especially that camping spot

  19. 04/01/2017 / 9:45 pm

    Happy blog Birthday! What an amazing year you had, I can’t believe that you bagged six Munros too. Good luck for 2017 😉

  20. 05/01/2017 / 1:35 am

    Wow! You have been to some awesome places in 2016! I can’t believe I never visited when I used to live in London. I would love to go now to see the beauty and do lots of hiking too! And who would want to see the HP train go by! Amazing photography guys!

  21. Oh wow, all of these places are gorgeous! I’ve lived in the UK for 3+ years now, but I’ve never made it to Scotland – not yet, anyway! Edinburg is definitely on my list for this year, so fingers crossed it *does* happen. And now, thanks to you, all of these are on my list too! (Glen Coe and the Glenfinnan Viaduct are just beautiful!)

  22. 06/01/2017 / 3:38 am

    I love the reflections on the water … so serene! I have never been to Scotland. Which is the best month to visit?

    • Love from, Smidge
      12/01/2017 / 2:30 pm

      I always suggest May-June and September-October. You miss most of the visitors, the midgies (a bitey fly) and get great weather (most of the time, it is Scotland after all!)

  23. 07/01/2017 / 5:44 pm

    Best of luck for the New Year! This amazing sum up is just the Wanderlust we needed today 🙂

  24. erikastravels
    07/01/2017 / 8:21 pm

    Such beautiful, rugged wilderness! I haven’t been to Scotland since I was 11 and I remember very little about the country. I’d love to camp in the highlands and see the Harry Potter train go by. Congrats on 20 years living in Scotland and congrats on your blogaversary!

  25. 09/01/2017 / 8:31 am

    I had always wanted to go to Scotland while i was based in Manchester for my studies. Although , I had been to Glasgow I have missed out on many of these beautiful places. Loch Lomond is my fav out of these places. It seems that you have been able to capture its beauty through the photos and you did have a great time yourself.

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