A View with a Room
What is the best view in Scotland? It’s a contentious question for sure. Is it mountains, beach or moorland, or some historical site or deserted island? It’s a question that we could spend years debating without agreement. With so many to choose from, we have narrowed it down to just four, one that sums up for us each of the seasons, every one of which comes with a fantastic place to stay.
The perfect view that encapsulates spring must surely be of fields of bluebells. It’s a welcome signal that winter is over and the days are starting to lengthen. In Gaelic the bluebell is known as brog na chuthaig - the cuckoo's shoe, as it blooms when cuckoos are calling. What could be more evocative than that? It’s time to be excited about the good weather and good times ahead. Skylarks on the Black Isle has amazing views across the Cromarty Firth, but is also just a stone’s throw from Ferintosh Burn where you can see one of the area’s most majestic bluebell meadows. This was also the preaching dell where hundreds of worshipers would, in the past, gather to listen to Gaelic sermons outdoors. Skylarks doesn’t just have great views from the outside decking though, you can also take in the best of the Highlands from the comfort of the massive outdoor barrel sauna. When the sun goes down then the fun doesn’t stop as you can also, if you are lucky spot the Northern Lights from here.
One of the most fabulous signs of summer in the Hebrides is the sight of waterlilies. For a short time every year when they flower they manage to create a special, unique atmosphere. It can be spirit-lifting and almost otherworldly but also homely and comforting. The ephemeral nature of this magnificent display only serves to emphasise its beauty. Loch Cottage looks out over Loch Dalbeg and when the lilies flower it is truly an amazing sight. The photogenic vista from the house manages to capture the essence of the islands without resorting to the more typical beach scenery. Of course for fans of beaches then Dalbeg, made famous by the Katie Morag TV series, is only a short stroll but it is the loch and its lilies that is the real star attraction here.
The autumn leaves in Perthshire are a sight to behold. Photographers dream of the vibrant riot of colour when bursts of bronze, red, crimson, yellow and brilliant orange combine throughout October. Queen’s View is a classic vantage point where Queen Victoria picnicked in 1866. It also has a visitor centre, a tearoom and waymarked walks for you to take in the views and get the perfect shot. The real autumn highlight though is when the sun goes down, The Enchanted Forest was last year named as the UK’s best cultural event and it’s easy to see why. More than 70,000 people each year are drawn to Faskally Wood near Pitlochry for a unique sound and light experience. With dazzling visuals and innovative design set against an original music score. It’s a stunning contrast to the charm of the traditional forest walk. Strathlyon Cottage is a luxury cottage for 4 just outside Aberfeldy in the heart of Perthshire and perfectly located to access the best of the autumn scenery.
Snow on the mountain tops of the Cairngorms must surely rank as one of the most magical and inspiring views. If you are a winter sports enthusiast, or merely excited by the prospect of building a snowman, then it’s an invitation to rush outside and take it all in. The Cairngorms are by far the best choice for those seeking a white Christmas. There are no guarantees of course but with a number of ski resorts within easy driving distance you can maximise your chances of some festive turns. The winter walking opportunities are also not to be missed. Clashindeugle Farmhouse sits right in the heart of the park with incredible views in every direction, it’s a paradise for outdoorsy people as well as being a great choice for a big group celebrating New Year. A hot toddy by the big open fire after a day out in the snow is truly one of life’s great pleasures.