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Undiscovered Scotland

VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
If you're like me, when you travel you love looking for the off the beaten track gems where you won't be fighting other tourists armed with their cameras to get a good view and so you can immerse yourself in the experience. The more I explore Scotland, the more I am grateful for wide open spaces, beautiful scenery and the calmness of a sea breeze, without having to battle crowds along the way.

So I'm putting the call out to all locals or people who know Scotland well - what are your favourite hidden gems around the country? Where is best for a scenic view, a quiet pint or a picnic with an amazing backdrop? Here are some Instagram posts I've saved recently as inspiration for my next trip! 








Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
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  • eilidh__cameroneilidh__cameron VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    Some lovely spots there, Amanda I'll need to add them to my list as I'm currently looking for new places to explore.

    For me Mid Argyll is one of Scotland's most beautiful and captivating areas that so far has remained fairly hidden. One of the highlights of Mid Argyll is Kilmartin Glen, the glen was carved out at the end of the last ice age by flood water which created the beautiful geologically landscape however it's the glens human history that makes it really special. 

    This 6 mile long glen is a history enthusiast dream, the glen is literally littered with hundreds of ancient monument dating back 6000 years, that's older than the great pyramids of Egypt! The monuments include standing stones, burial cairns, ancient forts, stones circles and incredible examples of rock art. 

      This is the Ballymeanoch stones.


    This is temple wood which has stones circles, I think it looks particular pretty in early summer as a sea of blue bells carpet the ground.

    Dunadd hill is one of the most interesting parts of the glen, this rather unassuming mound that rises up from Moine Mhor was once the centre of power for the Gaelic Kingdom of Dal Riata. Legend tells that the very first kings of Scotland were crowned here, whether they were infact the first Kings of Scotland or not is some times questioned but Kings were certainly crowned here! The most special past is the footprint of inauguration which is still present, you can literally place your foot in the footsteps of Kings.

        
    The footprint of the Kings at the top of Dunadd Fort.

    Moine Mhor - 'The Great Moss' - which Dunadd fort rises up from is another highlight of this area. This nature reserve is basically a giant bog but is one of Europe's rarest and most threatened landscapes. It's really beautiful and is home to an incredible variety of wildlife including rare butterflies, dragonflies, otters, deer and a variety of birds including hen harriers, you might be lucky in the summer months and even spot an osprey. 


    A summer evening on Moine Mhor 

    If you are more interested in walking and spectacular views the hills around Kilmartin Glen have this in abundance. Follow one of the forest tracks or just venture up a random hill (remember in Scotland you have the right to roam as long as your are respectful and follow the country code) and you'll be greeted with stunning vistas across the glen and out to the Hebrides. Here are some examples. 


    This was taken from the hills North West of the Glen looking over to Jura.


    This is the view from the Dunardry woodland walk at the south of the Glen. 

    These are just some of the wonders Mid Argyll holds but you should definitely come and check it out for yourself. Some useful website might be the Kilmartin Museum website and the Forestry Commission website might give you some ideas on local walks.

    Looking forward to reading about all your hidden gems. 
  • ellisoconnorellisoconnor VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭
    Thanks so much for sharing Amanda. Some really lovely hidden gems there!

    I'm biased but I'm going to have to say the Island of North Uist has many hidden gems. You have also included it in your original post too which is wonderful to see! As I live on the Outer Hebridean Island of North Uist, I am forever finding places that are unknown to most people, little side roads that take you to unspoilt beaches, old abandoned crofts laden with atmosphere and history whilst having some of the most well preserved ancient sites. 



    Here are a few of my images from North Uist, I'll leave it to you all to do the exploring of the Island yourself and find some of your own hidden gems. After all, that's the beauty of visiting an Island; slowing down, getting to know the place and finding the spots that overwhelm in their charm and beauty. 




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