Long Summer Days

30 May 2018

sunset callanish

Calanais Sunset by ShinyPhotoScotland via CC

The long evenings of midsummer are one of the highlights of this time of year in Scotland and when the sun comes out it feels like the days will last forever. With all this extra time on your hands how would you spend it? Here are a few suggestions to help you make the most of all these added hours.

A trip to the beach is always a highlight of a Highland holiday but around this time of year you could easily spend 12 hours playing in the sun on the golden sands of Achmelvich. Instead of a picnic bring a barbecue and have breakfast, lunch and dinner on the beach. Freshly caught seafood just tastes better cooked outside, especially when you have earned it after so much fresh air. An Nead sits just round the coast from here and has a fabulous balcony with mountain views. Ideal for that sundowner after a day outside (you just might have to wait a little longer than you anticipate).

It’s also a great time to be out on the bike, long days give you so much more opportunity to explore and you don’t have to rush home at the thought of cycling in the dark. The evenings tend to be cooler and quieter, ideal for ambling along without having to worry about the threat of midges. If ever there was a time for a moonlight swim it would be around midsummer. It never gets truly dark in the north at this time, unlike the long winter nights there is just a couple of hours of extended twilight instead. It is an incredibly atmospheric time to be outside, even more so in the water but it goes without saying that you should take some safety precautions. Shore House sits right by the sea so easy to slip into the water, leave the lights on to guide you back to land and dry off by the open fire.

Away from the beach the extended daylight offers extra time for long days on the hill. Certain hikes like the classic round of the Fisherfield Munros are best done in one long day as opposed to a number of shorter ones. It’s comforting to think you don’t have to rush and run the risk of getting benighted, especially as this route will take you to some very remote parts of the country. Far from frowning upon hillwalking at night, Mountaineering Scotland actually have a helpful page of advice to ensure you stay safe if you do decide to venture into the hills after dark. It can make for a truly unique and memorable experience. Taigh Glas is ideally placed to help you make the most of your time in the north being close to some of the best Munros in the area as well as some of the best beaches.

Fancy teeing off at 10pm or even midnight? The north can have up to 19 hours of daylight at this time of year so why not play a round of golf with a difference and tee off in the still of twilight? Whilst clubhouses and facilities might be closed for the day, courses aren’t and if there’s no-one to take your green fees, honesty boxes are a charming and easy way to pay for your round. Brora Links is one such course that offers golf from dawn to dusk with discounts for those teeing off after 4pm. If you were staying at Strath Brora View which is a fantastic family home you could easily sneak out for a quick round after you have put the wee ones to bed or before they get up in the morning.

Sometimes history is best appreciated late at night. The standing stones at Calanais are impressive at any time but take on a completely different almost spiritual dimension when experienced as the sun sets. This unique atmosphere has drawn visitors for centuries but in particular on the longest day when crowds gather to celebrate this important date in the pagan calendar. On a long, quiet, smouldering Hebridean evening you can have the place to yourself and there is nowhere else in the world that seems so peaceful. Tigh Bhisa Blackhouse is just a 10 minute drive away and also has the benefit of a traditional atmosphere while still possessing a host of modern comforts.