Scotland has an abundance of stunning landscapes to visit . This is my own selection of my favourite 5 places to visit .
1 . Glencoe
Glencoe is a beautiful rocky landscape featuring the 3 Paps of Glencoe – giant mountains of solid rock. In the summer you might hear the piper in the car park playing a lament . When it goes quiet the silence is quite eery . Listen carefully and you might hear the wailing of ghosts from the Massacre of Glencoe.
2 Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle looks like a fairytale castle set on a little island in the middle of 3 lochs. The history of it is unique among Scottish castles and it actually goes back nearly 800 years . It has long been a favourite of photographers for calendar and postcard images
3. Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond is the largest stretch of fresh water in the UK . The scenery along the banks of the loch is legendary . In the summer it is a tourist honeypot . Ben Lomond dominates the eastern shore of the Loch
4 Black Mount
The Black Mount is a range of mountains stretching from Glen Orchy to Glen Coe, beside Rannoch Moor. The range features two Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000ft)
5 Buachaille Etive Mor
Buachaille Etive Mor is probably the queen of Scottish mountains. From the A84 the mountain looks like a giant rocky pyramid . It can look quite awe inspiring in the middle of the winter or on a sunny summer’s day .
Eilean Donan Castle is one of my favourite castles in Scotland , mainly because of the stunning location and ample photo opportunities . My picture of the castle at night is an HDR photo which is now available as a screensaver. The castle can be photographed from 3 sides . Eilean Donan means Island of Donan ( a religious figure from the 12 th century ). Eilean Donan was Clan MacKenzie’s most important stronghold from the 13th Century until it was destroyed in 1719 by 3 English frigates attacking the Spanish garrison .
Robert the Bruce was given refuge in Eilean Donan Castle by John MacKenzie, Second of Kintail when he was being hunted by the English at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Above the entrance to the castle there is a Gaelic inscription which translates as : As long as there is a MacRae inside, there will never be a Fraser outside. Inside the courtyard is the famous Murchison Stone with an inscription about John Murchison of Auchtertyre who was killed in the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715. In the upper floor inside the castle there are six bedrooms named Loch Alsh,Loch Long, Eilean Donan, Ballimore, Loch Duich and Conchra. There is also a panel with the names of the constables ( guardians ) of the castle carved on it.
Eilean Donan Castle was originally built in 1220 and owned by the MacKenzies of Kintail. The MacRae Clan who settled in the area came from the Beauly Firth where they had protected the Clan Fraser.They acted as bodyguards to the MacKenzie chiefs. Although there was a number of disputes, the MacKenzies held Eilean Donan right up until until the 16th century. The MacRaes first became Constables of the Castle in 1511 with a lot of control over the surrounding area. A feud between the MacKenzies and the McLeods of Dunvegan, over the disputed claims of Donald Gorm MacDonald to the title of Lord of the Isles, came to a head when he attacked the Castle with 50 galleys. He was shot and killed by Duncan MacRae with a single arrow. The Castle was garrisoned by Government troops but later retaken by the Jacobites before the Battle of Sheriffmuir.