“There are few places in my life that I’ve found more ruggedly beautiful than the Highlands of Scotland. The place is magical – it’s so far north, so remote, that sometimes it feels like you’ve left this world and gone to another.” — Julia London.
Stories and tales about beautiful, yet remote Caledonia—another name for Scotland—have been passed on through generations. Dark times and history have not ruined the real magic of Scotland.
Iona is the place where St. Columba settled in the sixth century and converted the British Isles to Christianity. Iona is located in the Inner Hebrides and is one of 500 islands of NW Scotland. From Christianity to Druids, Pagans, and New Agers, people have come from far away to this pilgrimage destination.
It’s a place of spiritual importance. Fairy tales, Viking crusades, and not even human sacrifices managed to harm the beauty and sacred spot of this Island.
The Fairy Pools
Located in Skye, this Island gives the Scottish Highlands its real beauty; waterfalls with crystal clear water, and an abundance of myths speaking of creatures from other realms. Fairies of Skye will break the constraints of your imagination, lighting up your desire to explore this jewel of Caledonia.
Legend says that Fairy Pools attracted Selkies—ancient creatures who would shed their skin and change their form to humans at night.
Peter Pan’s origins can be traced to Eilean Shona. If you wonder where JM Barrie found inspiration for the screenplay of Peter Pan, look no more and explore an Island of pure wilderness and beauty. The name Eilean Shona comes from Old Norse and means “sea island.”
In 1851, thirty-seven families were forced into evacuation and emigrations due to potato blight.
This nature gorge or beauty, depending on how you prefer, is a place of ancient druid rituals.
It features steep staircases known as Devils Steps and stone circles located at the center, known as Devils Pulpit.
Legends say Devils Pulpit is a rock where the Devil stood to address his followers, while other legends speak of tales of sorcerers who used this rock as an execution spot.
Be careful while you explore this place, as descent can be slippery and dangerous while you walk.
This place is mostly known for the Massacre of Glencoe; an organized Massacre of the famous MacDonald Clan by the Campbells after failing to pledge allegiance to new monarchs, William III of Scotland and Marry II.
It is said that the victims’ spirits are heard while hiking through this mountain range, where climbers, hikers, and walkers can catch a glimpse of phantom pipes echoing through the mountain range.
Another name for this mysterious place is the Stonehenge of Scotland. Legends say it was built by Giants who refused to convert to Christianity.
It’s known that stones have astrological alignments and were used for rituals connected to the stars in ancient times. They were erected during the Neolithic era. The chambered tomb is located between the central and eastern monolith.
The Callanish Stones have erected sometime between 2900 and 2600 BC, which makes them one of the oldest megalithic monuments in Scotland.
One of the biggest whirlpools in the world, it said that the sound it produces can be heard 10 miles away. Scottish mythology maintains that the Queen of Winter, Beira, stirred the pool to maintain winter during the year’s opening and closing months.
Made by strong Atlantic currents and unusual underwater topography, this whirlpool can speed up to 16km/h and create waves high as 9 meters in some areas.
Also known as the Chapel of St Matthew, the chapel has historians divided. It has inspired novelists and moviemakers. Symbols, mystical energy, and sights tattoo on the Chapel’s interior show the presence of Knights Templar, Christianity, Masons, and Pagans.
This Chapel was founded by the Sinclair family in the 15th century.
Local poet Thomas the Rhymer was taken away by Queen Elfland into hollow hills. While returning, he could see into Scotland’s future and predict many events that would occur later on.
Another legend says he felt asleep under a Hawthorn tree, where he was kissed by the Queen of all Fairies. He was eventually granted passage to Elf lands for seven years by the Queen.
Located in Royal Mine of Edinburgh, legend said that this is the original site of Camelot where King Arthur and his Knight found their home. Another legend reveals that Arthurs’s seat is a dragon who eats so much he couldn’t move anymore and found this spot to lay down and sleep, never to wake up again.
Famous Robert Fergusson wrote the poem about this beautiful place;
“On May-day, in a fairy ring,
We’ve seen them round St Anthon’s spring,
Frae grass the caller dew draps wring
To weet their een,
And water clear as crystal spring
To synd them clean”
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