10 of Scotland’s best hidden gems

SCOTLAND is famed for its beautiful landscapes and tourist draws - but what about some of our country’s less well-known attractions?

Travel 3
Boardwise surf shop in Edinburgh

Roger Cox: When a surf shop is more than a surf shop

Broadly speaking, shops can be divided into two categories: the ones that just sell stuff, and the ones that do more than just sell stuff. Into the former category we might put supermarkets, high street fashion retailers and the 24-hour shops attached to petrol stations. Nothing wrong with these temples to retail efficiency per se – indeed, western civilisation would probably grind to a sudden and unpleasant halt without them – but in spite of the fact that they are collectively helping to keep the apocalypse at bay, it’s difficult to feel much attachment to them. They are what they are, and they do what they do.

Ben Lomond is a great Munro for beginners. Picture: Wikimedia

Everything you need to know before you climb your first Munro

BAGGING your first Munro can be a challenging but ultimately exhilarating experience - before taking on one of Scotland’s famous mountains, here is everything you need to know.

Outdoors 8
The route passes some truly breath-taking scenery such as the stunning Glen Coe. Picture: Wikimedia

Everything you need to know about Scotland’s West Highland Way

IT is described as the most popular long distance walking route in Scotland, running from the outskirts of Glasgow to the foot of Ben Nevis, here is everything you need to know about the West Highland Way.

Travel 5
Skye's magical Fairy Pools. Picture: Flickr

15 of the most picturesque landmarks you should visit in Scotland

SCOTLAND can often surprise visitors with the sheer variety of its scenery and the richness of its history and culture. It’s this, alongside the nation’s wonderful landmarks and its people, that make this small country so amazing to visit.

Picture: karenbrodiephotography.co.uk

Festival on Millport aims to put spotlight on historic buildings

THE seaside town of Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae, will dazzle visitors this weekend as it plays host to its first Festival of Light.

Inverness, Highlands & Islands
Chris pictured with his wife

American tourist’s 25 observations of Scotland

From hotel waste buckets that are too small to being caught short because there aren’t enough public toilets, an American tourist has revealed Scotland’s good, bad and infuriating bits.

News 36
The small but beautiful timber building complements the surrounding landscape. Picture: 15fiscavaig.co.uk

Stunning Scottish holiday escapes: Hen House, Skye

LOOKING for somewhere special to escape to for a romantic holiday or a family getaway? Then look no further than the west coast of the Isle of Skye and the delightfully named - and designed - Hen House.

Inverness, Highlands & Islands 1
Golden eagles have a huge 2m wing span. Picture: Wikipedia

10 interesting facts about Scotland’s golden eagles

THERE are few more thrilling sights in Scotland than spotting a golden eagle in flight, here are ten interesting facts about the most regal of Scotland’s birds.

News 3
Crossing Goat Fell on Arran. Picture: eosm.co.uk

Make learning to fly affordable and fun with microlight lessons

EVER dreamed of learning to fly? Well now you can with flying lessons from East of Scotland Microlights.

Outdoors 1
The area which the new resort could be built on

Flamingo Land holiday resort plan for Loch Lomond

A site on the shores of Loch Lomond could be turned into a holiday resort by a theme park operator.

News 11
Scotrail say the new cycle spaces will complement the Bike & Go scheme. Picture: Scotrail

Scotrail continues to expand cycling parking at its stations

TO mark Cycle To Work Day 2016 (14th September), ScotRail has announced further progress in its continuing programme to expand cycle parking at stations across Scotland.

Outdoors 2
Surfers at Newport Beach, California PIC: Lisa Young

Roger Cox: Time to wave goodbye to surfer stereotype

Up until fairly recently, the world thought it knew what a surfer looked like: young, male, dishevelled, besandalled and laid-back almost to the point of being catatonic – Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, in other words, give or take a couple of IQ points either way. As surfing has grown, however (and it really has grown – the International Surfing Association now estimates there are 23 million surfers worldwide) the old cliché of the nice-but-dim Southern California surf dude has come to seem hopelessly out of date. For proof, look no further than the line-up for this year’s Ocean Film Festival tour, which stops off in Edinburgh and Inverness later this month, with a further Scottish date in Glasgow towards the end of October. This carefully-curated selection of shorts profiles divers, kayakers and sailors as well as surfers, but two of the featured wave-riders in particular are a perfect illustration of how diverse the “sport of kings” has now become.

The road to Applecross. Picture: submitted

Landlady of remote Applecross pub crowned Britain’s best

REGULARS at one of the most remote pubs in Britain were raising their glasses yesterday after its proprietor was named landlady of the year in a prestigious guide designed to find the country’s best boltholes.

News 5
Picture credit - Chandra Isenberg

What’s old, what’s new and what’s on in Stockbridge

In the second of our Stockbridge Local columns, Susannah Morgan looks at the history of the area, new businesses opening and what events are on.

First of its kind loch-side sauna to open on Loch Tay

First of its kind loch-side sauna to open on Loch Tay

As lifestyle choices go, you could do worse than follow the Scandinavians and subscribe to their love of relaxing and self-care.

Outdoors 1
Boat builder Alwyn Enoe in a still from Vanishing Sail

Roger Cox: Traditional boatbuilding skills a wonder to behold

Unlikely as it sounds, there is a place in the Caribbean where many of the locals claim Scottish descent; a place where the boat builders’ remarkable skills are said to have originated with Scottish settlers, their identities now long-forgotten; a place where, whenever a new boat is launched, there is a “traditional” launching ceremony at which an animal is sacrificed and My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean is sung.

The Enchanted Forest sound and light show attracted 62,000 people last year. Picture: Jane Barlow

What to expect from the Enchanted Forest light show 2016

Taking place every autumn in the ancient woodlands of Perthshire, the Enchanted Forest is a spectacle like no other in Scotland.

Flyboarding is a fun watersport for thrill seekers. Picture: Flickr

A guide to the best new Scottish watersports and where to try them

FROM relaxing yoga on a paddleboard to thrill seeking on a flyboard, we take a look at five of the best new watersports that you can now enjoy in Scotland.

News 5
Creagan Loisgte affords good views over the trees in Strathbraan. Picture: Nick Drainey

Walk of the week: The Hermitage and Creagan Loisgte, Dunkeld

The Hermitage near Dunkeld is a stunningly beautiful spot with the falls of the River Braan forcing their way past follies including the 18th century Ossian’s Hall, built to honour the legendary bard.

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