New Year's Resolutions

06 February 2017

cycling skye

Photo: Hands on Events

A happy new year to all our customers from everyone here at LHH. 2016 was a fantastic year but we are going to try and make 2017 even better. As you ponder your New Year resolutions here are a few suggestions to help you make it a bit easier. It’s a great time of year to start making some positive changes in your life and a great time to start thinking about that summer holiday.

Learning a new language is always a worthy goal, even if it is only a few words to help you find your way around or order from a menu when on holiday then time spent this way is never wasted. For many years the Gaelic language was overlooked, schools prioritised teaching French and German and there was a real concern that the native language of the north west of Scotland would die out completely. Recently however there has been a resurgence in its use and the number of speakers is growing, partly due to a concerted effort to ensure this rich part of our heritage is preserved for future generations. There has never been a better time to learn, whether your goal is to be able to read signposts and pronounce place names correctly or to read some classic Gaelic literature in its original language. The Gaelic heartlands of the outer Hebrides are by far the best place to immerse yourself in the language, for formal tuition Lews Castle College in Stornoway runs courses to suit all abilities and you have the added bonus of being able to practice just about anywhere you go on the island. Peninsula Cottage is located on a quiet beach just outside Stornoway, a short drive from the college. It makes the perfect base for enjoying this vibrant town as well as for exploring the rural attractions of the islands.

Getting fit is another popular new year’s resolution. It’s not something you can do overnight but setting a goal for the summer months can be a fantastic way to motivate yourself to train in the cold of the winter. There are dozens of sporting events throughout the summer that you could target, from cycling the road over the infamous Bealach na Ba as part of the annual sportive to running the Loch Ness Marathon. Or how about aiming for something smaller and friendlier, like the Barrathon, while you stay at Eriskay Views Cottage. Everyone wants to look good on their summer holidays and by booking somewhere now you can give yourself the best chance of achieving that. Getting fit is its own reward but booking a holiday in the most scenic part of the country can be just the extra incentive you need.

After Christmas over indulgence, the vow to take up healthy eating is a common one. Fortunately there are few places better than Scotland to make it easy on you. With the growth in popularity of farmers markets, home grown organic produce and top quality dining focussed on freshly sourced local ingredients then it’s never been easier to be healthy on holiday. Whether its freshly caught fish in the culinary hotspot of Lochinver, the finest venison from the best highland estates, machair potatoes or seaweed foraged from the shoreline then the Highlands should be your destination. The superb kitchen facilities at Meall mo Chridhe makes preparation a breeze.

For those of us that have made a commitment to be more environmentally conscious in 2017 then a holiday in Scotland is a brilliant way of doing your bit. As well as the creeping costs of air fares the realisation of the huge part that plane emissions play in global warming means that more and more people are choosing to holiday in their own country. Scotland is more than well equipped to meet all this increased demand with self-catering houses and cottages available all over the country to meet the needs and budget of most couples, families and large groups. Holidays at home have the added bonus of avoiding a lot of the stress of international flying. Driving to your destination can be part of the actual holiday, the pleasure of motoring down quiet scenic roads quite a contrast to the chaos and frustration of holiday airports. The installation of a network of electric car charging points all around the renowned North Coast 500 route, which passes right by the luxury of Seahorses is one more reason why sustainable tourism in Scotland is the future. And once there you can find beaches to rival the Caribbean, mountains the envy of Europe, and a unique culture and history waiting to be discovered. With all this to look forward to it comes as no surprise to see Scotland appear in second place in Rough Guide’s best places to visit in 2017 list. Holidaying here is not going to save the world but it’s a step in the right direction. Be good to yourself and at the same time do your bit for the planet.