THIS week marked the reopening of Scotland’s tourism industry.
After months of uncertainty during the coronavirus lockdown, our country’s hotels, pubs, restaurants and other sectors reopen – with the virus suppressed to low levels acoss Scotland.
To mark the news, we’ve pulled together ‘five of the best’ on a range of topics.
Here are five of the best views in Scotland:
Scott’s View, The Borders
Take the B6404 road from St Boswells to Kelso, following the signs for Dryburgh Abbey, and then turn onto the B6356 to reach what is said to be Sir Walter Scott’s favourite view.
A panorama of the River Tweed and the Eildon Hills, the latter a volcanic remnant that was once both home to ancient Romans and Iron Age people, it’s a vision that offers an impressive welcome to Scotland.
However, Pete Irvine, of Scotland the Best fame, maintains that there is a better view across the road and up the hill, one that takes in the “full panorama from the Cheviots to the Lammermuirs.”
You could always take in both, of course.
Queen’s View, Perthshire
Head along the B8019 westwards from Pitlochry to get to the Queen’s View, which offers an impressive vista of Loch Tummel and beyond to Schiehallion.
Queen Victoria was a fan, although, despite what she believed, informed sources suggest the viewpoint is, in fact, named not after her, but for Isabella, the first wife of Robert the Bruce.
In any case, you don’t have to be a royal to enjoy the panorama, and, as it is located on the eastern edge of the Tay Forest park, there are plenty of woodland walks to enjoy once you’ve had enough of the visual splendour.
Dunnet Head, Caithness
John O’Groats might get all the attention, but Dunnet Head, at the end of the B855, is the most northernmost point of mainland Scotland.
As an added bonus, it has its own lighthouse and plenty of opportunities for birdwatchers as its part of a RSPB reserve.
Weather permitting, you can look out to Stroma, Hoy and the Orkney mainland on a good day.
And the sea cliffs aren’t bad either. The nearby Castle of Mey is closed until the end of July as it stands. Worth checking when it opens before you make the journey perhaps.
Glen Docherty, Wester Ross
From Inverness, head towards Kinlochewe on the A832. About a mile and a half before you reach the latter, on the right-hand side, you can look out over the road ahead as it winds towards the freshwater Loch Maree glittering in the distance.
Named after the Irish saint Mael Ruba, who travelled to Scotland in the seventh century, the loch is framed by the Torridon Hills and Slioch, and contains more than 40 islands.
Cairnpapple Hill, Bathgate Hills
Yes, yes, yes, these are our mountains, and these are our glens, etc, etc. All very nice. But the marks we humans make on the landscape are worth our attention too.
And so, as well as the Forth Valley, the Ochils and the Pentlands, the view east from Cairnpapple Hill takes in the Forth Bridges and the Grangemouth refinery.
Not all pretty, then. But the hill was the site of a Neolithic henge, which means that from here you can effectively view the story of Scotland from ancient times to its post-industrial present.
And afterwards you can pop back down into Linlithgow and enjoy its great cafes and its fantastic book shop, Far From the Madding Crowd.
NB, Cairnpapple Hill is run by Historic Scotland so check it has been reopened before travelling.