Scotland, my mother land, is renowned for being home to some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural scenery, and my recent trip has simply served to confirm that in my mind. I explored the south western regions of Dumfries, Galloway and Ayrshire and was struck by their raw beauty. Then, upon return to my home city of Glasgow I was surprised and delighted by some of the discoveries I made there.
Visiting Laggan Outdoor in Castle Douglas, home of what used to be the longest zip wire in the UK, I was left mesmorised by the view. Although it was sadly too windy for us to safely tackle the 820 metre zip wire, the view from the top was enough to leave me utterly contented.
The gently rolling green hills in this area are a far cry from the rocky, barren scenes I fell in love with in The Scottish Highlands, but by no means less beautiful. Visiting in April meant that we enjoyed the first signs of spring, in an area that suffered badly with severe snow even at the end of March.
The fluffy, newborn lambs around us were bouncing around with the simple joy of being alive, making the scene even more idyllic. The fact that we were scooting amongst them on futuristic off-road Segways didn’t seem to bother them in the slightest!
Heading north and further west, into the region of Ayrshire the landscape continued to delight me. The browns and greens of the fields whizzed past as we journeyed towards Culzean Castle, a grand and imposing clifftop castle which dates back to the late 18th century and enjoys breathtaking views over the Firth of Clyde, and the mysterious, volcanic, uninhabited island of Ailsa Craig.
The end of our trip found us exploring the more natural side of Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. Perhaps you might be wondering what’s so natural about a city that was once a major industrial capital, and despite the fact I’ve lived only twenty minutes from the city for my whole life I was thinking the exact same thing.
The name Glasgow derives from the Gaelic ‘Ghlaschu’, which translates to mean dear green place. Glasgow is a city with over 90 parks and formal gardens, and I already knew there was plenty of green places to explore within the city limits. However, I was utterly surprised upon visiting west end restaurant Cail Bruich to find out that they forage for many of their ingredients from The Botanic Gardens across the road!
Who would have ever guessed foraging for food in the heart of Glasgow was even possible, let alone delicious and so colourful?! It just goes to show the places you think you know the best might just be the ones which surprise you the most.
I was a guest of Visit Scotland throughout the course of this trip however, all opinions and realisations about Scotland are entirely my own.