2020 sees the next in the series of themed years where the aim is to showcase Scotland’s people, products and places to both domestic and international markets. This time it is the Year of Coasts and Waters.

Water is the life-blood that flows through and around Scotland. It’s what makes the landscape so special. Shaped by volcanoes, glaciers and the weather, some of the landscape is over 3 billion years old – you really have to see it to believe it. Glaciers, in particular, have carved out beautiful lochs in Scotland, some deeper than our inshore seas.

Scenic Lochs in Scotland

Scotland’s lochs and smaller lochans, often known as ‘lakes’ in other countries, are a sparkling feature of the landscape and you’ll find over 30,000 across the country. Some, like lochs Ness and Lomond, are large. Some, like lochs Drunkie and Gamhna, are small and some, including Loch Morar, are mysterious.

Loch Lomond – Loch Lomond and The Trossachs
National Parks
Loch Gamhna – Cairngorms

World-Class Beaches: Is it Scotland or the Caribbean?

Along Scotland’s 11,600 mile coastline, you’ll find some of the world’s best beaches. That might seem a bold claim, but the beautiful sight of sweeping pristine white sands against clear azure blue waters is a vision you’ll never forget. Embrace the beauty of the Outer Hebrides, the Shetland Islands and the north Highlands.

Sound of Eriksay – Outer Hebrides
Clashnessie Bay – Sutherland

These quiet strands may not offer Caribbean heat, but they more than makeup for this with stunning views from coastal walks, beaches and adventures. 

Explore Scotland’s Enchanting Islands

There are over 800 islands dotted around the coast of Scotland, 117 of which are inhabited. Steeped in history and culture, a visit to these magical places is very special indeed.

Step aboard a ferry and explore the lovely Isle of Arran or some of the Inner Hebrides. Stretching from Gigha and Islay in the south to Skye in the north, these islands are as enchanting and welcoming as they are diverse. 

Killinallan Point – Isle of Islay
The Cuillin Ridge – Isle of Skye

Venture further west to uncover the mysteries of the Outer Hebrides – an amazing and equally welcoming archipelago stretching over 130 miles on the very edge of Europe. You can even land on Traigh Mhòr (big beach) on the Isle of Barra, the only beach runway in the world to handle scheduled airline services.

Traigh Mhor – Isle of Barra

Or take a ferry or flight to Orkney or Shetland, where ancient history and island innovation are always popular. Shetland was recently featured at number 6 in the top 10 of Lonely Planet’s 2019 Best in Europe destinations to visit. Unfortunately, I have not yet visited Orkney and Shetland but in this Year of Coasts and Waters, I am hoping that I might make it to at least one of them if not both !!

If my short article has not enticed you to visit Scotland this year my Scotland Landscapes gallery hopefully will provide further inspiration that will convince you to do so.

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