When many of us think of Scottish scenery, the images of rolling green countryside and mist covered lochs instantly spring to mind.
However, our country also plays host to sights that appear to be from much further-flung destinations.
From beaches that look like they belong to the Caribbean, or tropical waterfalls that would be perfectly at home in South East Asia, Scotland’s natural scenery can be as varied as it gets.
So, to celebrate St Andrew’s Day (30 November), Premier Inn, have compiled a selection of the very best natural sights you need to visit in this magical country.
The Fairy Pools of Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye
While this one is no secret, as the pools entice visitors from all across the world, the Fairy Pools at the foot of Black Cullins near Glenbrittle really do live up to the hype. If you time it right and visit on a dry sunny day, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views and even the opportunity for some wild swimming. A truly enchanting place, there’s no surprise its been called the ‘Fairy Pools’.
Eoligarry Beach, Isle of Barra
Another spot where you’ll be left feeling like you’re in a place better known for paradise-like locations, this white shell sand beach can be found near the most northerly point on the Isle Of Barra. Backed by dunes, the sands of this beautiful beach connect the rocky northern part of Barra, in the southern Outer Hebrides, to the rocks of Ben Eoligarry Mór.
Queen’s Way Waterfall, Galloway Forest Park
A place that wouldn’t look out of place in a new Jurassic World film, the Queen’s Way Waterfall in Galloway Forest Park is one of many sights worth seeing along the Queen’s Way. The waterfall offers a tranquil spot to appreciate the natural beauty of Scotland, and of course, a great picture or two!
Mangersta Sands, Uig, Isle of Lewis
Located in the Outer Hebrides you’ll find Uig on the Isle of Lewis, home to Mangersta Sands. A popular setting not only for its Caribbean-like white sands, but there are spectacular scenes when the waves crash against its many craggy rocks.
Devil’s Pulpit, Finnich Glen near Killearn
A place that looks like it’s not from this world, let alone Scotland. Green moss adorns the walls of this natural gorge that towers up from the ‘blood red’ riverbed which gains its colour from red sandstone. Alongside its other-worldly beauty, there are also tales that the gorge was used for Druid rituals and secret meetings making it a place steeped in intriguing history.
Mealt Falls, Isle of Skye
At first glance you may think you’re looking at a dramatic cliff-side waterfall on a Hawaiian island, but in actual fact this natural wonder is on the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland. Cascading from Kilt Rock, the falls can be seen from a nearby viewpoint and the scenery will no doubt take your breath away.
Falls of Falloch, Trossachs National Park
The type of oasis you might expect to find on a long-haul holiday, the Falls of Falloch is a popular spot situated to the north of Loch Lomand & the Trossachs National Park. The waterfall itself is formed from the River Falloch falling in single stream over 10 metres.
An Lochan Uaine (The Green Lochan), Glenmore Forest Park
The entirety of Glenmore Forest Park is worth the trip but An Lochan Uaine (also known as the Green Lochan) is a jewel in its crown. It’s a bit of a walk to get there, but you’ll be greeted with picturesque views aplenty and clear waters with a rich green hue.
North Coast of Iona
While it might not look like it, the small island of Iona lies off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides. At just 1.5 miles wide and 3 miles long, it won’t take you long to experience all the beautiful beaches on offer. It has a population of just 120 permanent residents, and in addition to the scattering of stunning beaches, there’s also an array of incredible wildlife to spot when you visit, like such as seals, puffins, dolphins, whales and basking sharks.
Langamull Beach, Isle of Mull
Dubbed the Mull Caribbean, this beach is one of Mull’s best kept secrets. Treating visitors to an expanse of glistening white shell sand, it also boasts some hidden coves to explore. A stunning secluded beach that requires a good 20-minute walk to get there, the spectacular views out to Rum on a clear day make a trip well worth it, and is much cheaper than visiting the real Caribbean!