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On July 15th, Scotland took it's biggest step out of lockdown and many businesses in the tourism sector were able to reopen. Although such a step can be met with anxiety, I was reassured to hear so many businesses in the country have undertaken the "We're Good To Go
" scheme - a new UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to provide confidence for visitors, as well as communities and tourism businesses alike. Look out for the logo below:
Desperate to explore again and experience Scotland, me and my daughter booked our trip to the Isle of May with Anstruther Pleasure Cruises
. Upon arrival at the boat (The May Princess) docked in Anstruther harbour, we could see the measures that operators had gone to to ensure Government guidelines were being adhered to. As well as obtaining the Good To Go certificate, these included wearing of masks for passengers and crew, track and trace procedures, perspex screens, reduced passenger numbers to enable distancing on board the boat and hand sanitisers amongst many other measures and information in place. I am smiling in the photo below, I promise..
For those unfamiliar with the Isle of May, it sits on the edge of the Firth of Forth and is a magical mix of seabirds, seals and other wildlife. Many will know the island for its most delightful inhabitants....puffins! You can see these colourful beaked delights from April to August (the earlier the better though).
After the exciting 45 minutes crossing from Fife to the Isle, you will dock at the small harbour where there is a visitor centre with available toilets. A socially distanced queuing system is in place for the toilets with plenty hand sanatisers available. The centre also homes lots of interpretation about the island.
You are of course free to explore the island as you were anytime before, but much of the path now operates a one way system around the island which further ensures social distancing. This is quite handy though, as stick to the path and you will safely see the whole island.
As well as the wildlife, the island also is home to some cool buildings and lighthouses. You will be pointed to the remains of one beacon which was Scotland's oldest lighthouse. Robert Stevenson built the island's main lighthouse in 1816 and the low light lighthouse is no longer used as a lighthouse, but now as a bird observatory.
The history is incredible and goes even deeper still from priories to shipwrecks and vikings to battles, this place will blow you away.
The experience was not only one where I felt completely comfortable and safe the entire trip, it was also a lovely unforgettable memory for both myself and my daughter. I cannot wait to return to this island again, it lies not far off the coast of where I live. An absolute gem literally on my doorstep and makes me very proud to be a #HameTownTourist.
Check out more images and stories about my trip at Instagram.com/johnmurrayjnr. Discover more #HameTownTourist experiences by following and using the hashtag.