As well as my passion for childcare, I also love going on holiday an reviewing holiday destinations, last year, we went to highlands of Scotland:
Today’s world can be a busy and crowded place. Sometimes, it seems that there is nowhere in England where you can experience true solitude any more. Perhaps this is why so many of England’s city-dwellers are drawn to the mystical wildernesses to be found north of the border. While Scotland covers a large percentage of the land area of the UK, it only has a population of fewer than 5.5 million. Compare that to Greater London, which has a population of around 8.6 million and England, which has a population of over 53 million, and you begin to see why Scotland feels so much less congested than areas further south. According to statisticians, only 0.4% of Scottish land is ‘built on’. Only 2.3% of England is technically counted as ‘built on’ land – but at times and in some places that number can certainly feel a lot higher. And when it comes down to it, there are just far, far more people living living in England – making it harder to get some time to yourself. No wonder holing up in lodges with hot tubs in Scotland, somewhere out in the wilds, is so appealing.
Scotland’s dramatic landscape does not only offer an escape from the crowds of urban living. The landscape itself is also a huge draw. From the high, rugged mountain peaks, through the rolling glens, rushing rivers, deep lochs, fecund farmland and ancient forests and down to a crinkled, varied coastline with rocky cliffs and crags interspersed with gorgeous sandy beaches, Scotland’s beauty cannot be surpassed. Photographers, artists and those who appreciate natural wonders are drawn to gaze at Scotland’s fantastic vistas.
The landscape is also a natural playground, attracting many from further south to enjoy active pursuits in the mountains and on the waters. ‘Munro bagging’ is a popular pastime – climbing as many as possible of Scotland’s mountain peaks as possible can become an addiction and each year draws many hikers up from south of the border again and again. While England’s green and pleasant land does allow for some lovely rambles and hill walks, only Scotland can deliver truly rugged and dramatic mountains that can be a challenge to even the fittest mountaineers. It is not just the mountains though that offer a hiking paradise. In Scotland, it is possible to walk for miles and miles and miles without seeing a single soul in some regions. The weather can turn on a dime and there is scope for real adventure. Add in the options of cycle-touring, mountain biking, kayaking, gorge walking, rafting and a whole host of other outdoors activities and you are onto a winning formula.
Scotland’s unique and bloody history is also a strong draw for those sassanachs. A plethora of castles and keeps, churches and fortifications dot the landscape alongside a high concentration of other important historic sites. Venerable towns and cities are filled with cultural highlights. And then of course, there is the whisky. Distilleries indoctrinate visitors into the mysterious world of the single malt, just one of many cultural treasure-troves.
The best way to see why so many English people come to Scotland is to do so yourself. Come and see what this strong, proud country is really like and you may find you never want to return to the south.