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For the love of Scotland [not the ‘gram]

For the love of Scotland [not the ‘gram]

I wanted to take add my tuppence to a growing discussion on our relationship with social media, tourism and Scotland. Let’s start with the reality. I am a blogger, an Instagrammer (I have two pages, @lovefrmscotland and @_smidge) I have a Facebook page. I travel to somewhere new in Scotland every week.

It could be said that I am partly the cause of the problem – after all, I post about my travels on social media every day. At times I get so wrapped up in content creation, likes, followers and writing for SEO that I completely forgot why I do it.

We are not alone in this. We spent one New Year in New Zealand – and top of my list was climbing Mount Roy with its stunning views across Wanaka. Now Mount Roy has recently become something of a New Zealand tourism attraction, thanks to a certain Instagram shot you can take from a promontory known as Roy’s Peak.

In fact, taking the shot is now so popular that there is often a queue. For most people, the shot is the sole reason for climbing halfway up a mountain. They don’t even reach the summit. What’s the point in that? Instead, I climbed to the top of that 5000ft hill. I didn’t even take the photo from Roy’s Peak.

I didn’t take a photo of New Zealand’s famous Moeraki Boulders (I couldn’t see them for people posing on them) nor the over-hyped Wanaka Tree, nor did I stand in a field of lupins staring off to the mountains either – every location across New Zealand had crowds of people with selfie sticks or Instagram husbands doing exactly the same pose.

Sadly, you will see this right across Scotland too, from the Fairy Glen to the Fairy Pools – and its not just a Skye problem either. Against the backdrop of stunning beauty is an obsession for people to Instagram themselves into it, or to create highly edited or fake images of our quite frankly, beautiful even without a filter, landscapes – it’s all incredibly depressing. What has happened to us?

Instead, I want you to know how it feels to climb your first Munro. I want to show you how have the time of your life getting drunk on whisky with the locals in a bar on Islay. I want to show you that anyone (even a squishy, unfit, scaredy-cat, 40 something like me) can try paddleboarding for the first time – and you can do it too.

I wanted to show you that you can go snorkelling with seals in the Outer Hebrides. That you can go coasteering in Fife. Kayak around a castle on Barra. That you can be awed watching ospreys fly past your tiny remote cabin sitting on the edge a loch and see red squirrels appear at your window…

So instead why not join me in getting out there and experiencing Scotland for yourself? Not for a photo of you doing it, but to actually do it. Yes, you will have to deal with the hoards of Instagrammers, they aren’t going anywhere soon sadly.

Yes, it will rain, yes you will probably have a meltdown halfway up your first hill, yes you will fall in a bog, yes the food will occasionally be deep-fried frozen crap. But it is all part of Scotland, and there is more to experience than you will ever realise. Just remember to do it for the love of getting outside and experiencing Scotland. Surely that is the point of life, after all?


Love, from Scotland x 


Saturday 3rd of August 2019

Excellent post Kate - we should all be out there just doing it!! Jenny x

Shauna Reid

Wednesday 31st of July 2019

Really loved this post, Kate :)

Ami Schwabenland

Saturday 20th of July 2019

I love Scotland - it's the only place my husband and I vacation. We go to the same place every time which is special to our family and where there are few tourists - to the point that if one of us fell and broke a leg on a walk, we'd have a hard time summoning help (our German mobile phones don't get great reception where we go). We hike for hours and grumble about "traffic" if we come across 3 other people. It's still rugged there and more beautiful that I can describe. I blog, but I don't have many readers and don't care. I have never used Instagram or any social media other than Facebook, which I don't even like, but as an expat it keeps me connected to the few people I want to stay connected to.

Your wishes for us (what you want to show your readers) sound wonderful. I haven't bagged a munro, but I enjoy reading about you doing it. Horseback riding on beaches, drinking with locals, kayaking, watching ospreys... I enjoy reading about the normal things - what it's like to live in Scotland! I appreciate your posts!

Mike Peddie

Friday 19th of July 2019

Totally with you on this. We've been doing travel guides and tour planning for Scotland since 2005 and started long before Instagram was a thing. We started our tour planning business because we love Scotland and wanted to show people that the best way to discover the country was by slowing down and listening to the quiet, rather than rushing from one tick on a bucket list to another.


Friday 19th of July 2019

oh yes. So with you there. To the point where a boiling rage starts up whenever I, what is the collective noun for a group of self-obsessed wannabees.....? Love your posts, thank you.