Keeping Your Holidays Local in the West of Scotland

The last year will have come with some sense of nostalgia for those who remember the days before taking a holiday to continental Europe. Back when we were young, the top holiday destinations were the likes of Blackpool, Rhyl, or going “doon the watter” to Rothesay Bay from Glasgow. The current circumstances of restricted travel and who can go where dependent on their vaccine has led a lot of people working within the travel sector to predict a staycation boom this coming summer.

I’m lucky enough to live in the wonderful city of Glasgow in the West of Scotland. The UK as a whole has everything you could possibly want from a holiday, and I don’t think I’ll be travelling far to experience some of my favourite sites for a holiday this year. Internationally, Scotland is internationally renowned as being a beautiful place to visit, so here are a few places not too far from my home that I’ll be considering for a staycation this year.

Islay

Scotland has so much to offer in its island communities. Each has its distinct character and personality, but the one I love most is Islay. The island can be accessed by a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Kennacraig and a two-hour journey to either Port Ellen or Port Askaig. Or you can take the 25-minute plane journey, but you would be best to rent a car. Islay is famous for whisky and is home to no less than eight different distilleries, known the world over for its peaty taste compared to other Scottish single malts.

There are a number of very pretty beaches around the island, such as The Strand, Kilnaughton Bay and Sanigmore. While Scotland can’t guarantee good weather, this feels like a little slice of paradise when the sun does come out. There is also lots of wildlife to see on the island, and the “Sea-fari” boat expeditions can show you some of the sea life that can be found in the waters around the island.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

There is no place in Scotland that holds the romanticism of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Forever immortalised in the famous lament, Loch Lomond has been delighting tourists and walkers alike for many years. Part of the appeal of Scotland’s largest loch (by surface) and the National Park comes with its accessibility. You don’t have to travel for too long from Glasgow to be in the centre of the serene landscape that makes a big part of the West Highland Way.

While Loch Lomond is a perfect place for a day trip to truly experience this wonderful part of Western Scotland, I’d recommend spending a few days in the luxury Cameron House Hotel. It’s the perfect place to use as your base to explore the area, and the hotel itself has everything you could want from a luxury holiday, including a golf course, spa and high-quality restaurants.

Glencoe

Further to the North, you’ll find the gateway to the Highlands; Glencoe. The drive from the top end of Loch Lomond, up to Rannoch Moor, onto Glencoe is arguable one of the prettiest drives in the world. Glencoe is home to eight Munros, making it a hillwalkers paradise. If you’re keen to tick some of these peaks off of your bucket list, be sure to check out the Walk Highlands online resource to discover some of the best routes and walks in the area.

The town of Fort William is the endpoint of the aforementioned West Highland Way and sits amongst the incredible landscape on the banks of Loch Linnhe. It makes for a good point to explore this part of the country from, and there is plenty to see and do in the town itself.

I hope this has come as a useful article in showing you that the West of Scotland is a great place to take a staycation type holiday. I’ve had many happy memories in this part of the world, and I hope that you will enjoy it as well!

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  1. A big thank you for introducing me to the very descriptive word ‘staycation’, it epitomises the current situation world wide perfectly. Your beautiful photos of west Scotland highlight it as a fantastic place to visit, my wife and I always regretted that time constraints only allowed a quick day trip as far as Jedburgh and Lockerbie before hastily returning to Yorkshire. Please don’t hesitate to continue posting in the same vein.

  2. As a wee ‘un, I stayed with ma Granny in Perth most summers, I learnt to row on an inch, and as ma Granda and later ma uncle were both heid shunters at Perth Station me and ma cousins had the run o’ the sheds, also taking sheep up Craigie, playing golf in the Tay (on an island), and some less salubrious golf-related memories. Oh, and as an eight -year-old, firing Union of South Africa from Perth Shed down to Perth Station (well, the let me shovel a few lumps of coal on).


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