My favourite country to visit? That’s easy – it has to be Scotland.
But ask me which of Scotland’s islands is my favourite and that’s much trickier to answer. I’ve visited and written about around 40 of the islands off the west and north coasts of Scotland but there are two that tend to stand out, not least because they’re easy to get to.
Arran and Skye both offer wild scenery, copious wildlife and superb hyperlocal seafood. More people (at least in England) know about Skye , and the island is attached to the mainland by a handy bridge, but Arran is quick and simple to reach from Glasgow and has both Highland and Lowland scenery.
I wouldn’t like to side with either of these Hebrides, but I did pit them against each other in a recent article for Fabulous magazine. Check it out here.
My favourite country in the world is Scotland. I love it so much that I have made it the subject of my first book, which I am currently writing.
As part of my research I have travelled the length and breadth of the country and along the way have discovered dozens of new favourite weekend break destinations.
So I was delighted to write about one of them, the fabulous East Neuk of Fife for the Times. My article was in the newspaper today and can be read online here: Weekend in the East Neuk of Fife.
My favourite country to visit in the whole world is Scotland and am currently writing a book about my 2017 journey around the country.
On my travels I stayed in some truly exceptional places, from cosy inns to full-on luxurious five-stars, and I was delighted to share some of these with Times readers today, in my 20 best places to stay in Scotland feature.
Look out for my book soon!
The UK has never had a rival to America’s Route 66 or to Australia’s Great Ocean Road – until now, that is.
The North Coast 500 loops around the far north coast of Scotland, starting and ending in Inverness. It runs for around 500 miles, through epic Highland scenery and past fantastic seafood restaurants, pubs and distilleries. It’s even home to the world’s best hot chocolate.
I’ve driven the North Coast 500 a few times now and it is one of my favourite road trips anywhere in the world. I was delighted to write about it for the Sun’s Fabulous magazine recently. You can read my piece here.
I called in to Skye briefly earlier this year on the Hebridean Princess. Despite the rain and the leaden skies I fell instantly in love.
I returned in September, this time to explore properly. I discovered that this breathtaking Scottish island has so much to offer, from challenging hiking to bountiful foraging, boat trips to remote lochs and seaplane flights above an otherworldly landscape.
Find out more about the isle of Skye in my piece for the Times, published in October 2015.
I’ve been around the globe many times, but the islands of Britain and Ireland remain my favourite place – bar none.
Epic castles, sweeping beaches, eccentric villages and pubs packed with character (and characters) – what more could you ask for?
Check out my guides to the best of the UK and Ireland for Skyscanner to get the best out of your next trip around these endlessly fascinating isles:
Top 10 UK villages
Top 10 UK castles
Top 10 Irish beaches
Top 10 UK walking routes
London’s best restaurants with a view
More to follow…
I love the UK. Despite travelling to dozens of countries every year I always enjoy travelling around our islands the most. There is no place like home, after all – especially when that home is full of beautiful, unspoiled secrets.
Yes, much of the UK has been well and truly discovered, but there are still plenty of hidden corners and unsung isles. I unveiled some of my favourites for Rough Guides recently. Read my feature on the best 8 unknown UK islands to discover a few more of the British Isles’ secrets.