A Serene Break in Northern Scotland

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The northern coast of Scotland: a place which feels surreal to drive around – weaving in between sheep and highland cows on roads which seem too small, bendy, and close to cliffs to be safe.

The ten days I spent driving around the NC500, with my childhood best friend in her pick-up truck contain some of the most peaceful moments I can remember. After a stressful exam season, it was time to get out of Durham and I decided to spend my 21st birthday seeing a falconry display at an old castle, getting lost in the middle of nowhere and watching highland cow calves play in a stream. Oh, and did I mention that deep-fried crème eggs were up for grabs! What more could you want?

The ten days which I spent driving around the NC500, with my childhood best friend in her pick-up truck contain some of the most peaceful moments I can remember

Of course, there were ups and downs along the way, with the downs normally consisting of problems caused by bad weather. With the first half of the trip consisting of clear blue skies and me trying not to get sunburnt, gale force winds and torrential rain were a surprise when they came. The first night of bad weather, we were camping as close to the sea as possible without actually being underwater, and I spent the night worrying our tent was going to get blown away with us in it. The next morning, after only half an hour of driving, we realised two things. One, we were lost, which is almost impressive when there is pretty much only one road. Two, there isn’t much to do in the middle of nowhere when it is raining so hard you can barely see what’s in front of you.

We stopped the car somewhere with signal so we could try to sort ourselves out, and almost immediately the car’s battery went flat. We weren’t quite stranded as we did have a spare, however it was in the back of the truck under literally everything and we knew we were going to get soaked trying to sort it all out. Luckily what must have been the most prepared man on the planet drove past and stopped to help us which somehow resulted in him dropping a box of muffins in a puddle – turns out karma doesn’t always come through! Then there was a situation which included two caravans going in opposite directions, fog so thick we couldn’t see our own bonnet, and one of the most dangerous roads in the country which is better described as a track with hairpin bends and ridiculous gradients. Need I explain further?

I do feel like these slight mishaps only added to the charm of what was an incredible journey. We were lucky enough to spend two hours on a boat with a pod of orcas swimming around us, and witnessed incredible views throughout the whole journey, even if sometimes they were accompanied by ridiculously thick mist. Majestic deer were a common feature, and the Scottish beaches look like they belong in the Caribbean with long stretches of white sand and clear turquoise water, the only way to tell them apart is the sheep which can be found leaving hoofprints in the sand! And one of my personal highlights, the invention of an incredible game: sheep or rock? After driving through highlands for hours, your eyes start to blur, and a non-moving white lump could really be either.

The Scottish beaches look like they belong in the Caribbean

After ten days I was sad to be coming home, but the adventure was not over yet. On the way home, we stopped off at a place on the Scottish border where my friend helps with lambing in the spring. Quicker than my brain could compute, we were out of the car and helping shepherd a big flock of sheep down a road. The whole situation provided a perfect, if slightly surreal ending, to what was an amazing ten days.

All in all, a trip through the Scottish Highlands is definitely something I would recommend to anyone, especially those wanting to find some inner peace whilst looking at views which could be a screensaver, and getting slightly scared by massive highland cows who insist on coming a bit too close for comfort.

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2 thoughts on “A Serene Break in Northern Scotland

  • This is a truly hillarious site. I love Scotland and everything that linked to it, i even remember that while being in Scotland i have visited a lot of cool places and saw many cool attractives for myself, not only in nightlife and city-life overall but also in nature. There are also a lot of good houses and places. Like you royal bank of scotland looks absolutely hillarious. I have recently found a photo of this place on some stock portal and you know while looking at it, i definitely relieve the memories of myself spending cool time in this beautiful country

    Reply
  • Yeah this country is a peatl for real. I guess that i would love to live there for my whole life

    Reply

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