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From tradition to nature: 5 methods to find the magic of the Scottish Highlands and islands this autumn | Uncover the spirit of the Highlands and islands this autumn



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Arts and design

The tradition of the Highlands and islands dates again millennia, and what higher time to embrace it than autumn. Kick off your journey by taking a deep dive into the inventive tradition of Arran. Its Arts Heritage Path encompasses 20 hand-carved sandstones that mark vital inventive areas on the island, culminating in a cease on the Viewpoint, the place you’ll be rewarded with the breathtaking vistas which have impressed many main artists.

For one thing to recollect, comply with the Shetland Craft Path and take a look at the collectable Burra Bears, or decide up a Truthful Isle toorie (hat) or Shetland wool gansey (jumper). Close by in Orkney, take the Inventive Orkney Path round workshops and studios and see jewelry makers, artists, potters and painters at work. Don’t miss Celina Rupp Jewelry or the Sheila Fleet workshop, with their great cafes, a perfect lunch cease on a wild autumn day.


Additional west, don’t miss the Outer Hebrides and their distinctive Gaelic cultural heritage – the islands are in fact house to Harris tweed, which is exported all around the world.


If you wish to get into the swing of native life, then music is your gateway. Most of the pubs and group halls of the Highlands and islands will maintain casual ceilidhs all through autumn, the place you’re welcome to expertise conventional folks music and dancing.

If that appeals, you gained’t need to miss the thirty fourth Shetland accordion and fiddle competition, which runs from 5-8 October and options native and worldwide musicians and a bunch of Scottish dance bands. The Jura music competition takes place from 23-25 September and guarantees proficient native musicians together with bands from throughout Scotland.


Head to the Previous Forge in Knoydart, essentially the most distant pub in Britain, which has simply reopened after being lovingly renovated by the group, or take pleasure in a fiery conventional music session on the historic Glenuig Inn in Moidart. Within the Cairngorms nationwide park, don’t miss some excellent group spirit with native tales and tunes on the Badenoch Storylands Session.

Folklore and tales

Comply with in Macbeth’s footsteps with a go to to Brodie Fort. {Photograph}: Paul Tomkins/VisitScotland

Wherever you go within the Scottish Highlands and islands, you gained’t have bother discovering intrigue and leisure among the many native folktales, however the true enjoyment lies in untangling truth from fiction. Take Macbeth, he was really an actual Eleventh-century king who protected his individuals from Viking marauders. You’ll be able to nonetheless hint his footsteps at native websites together with Brodie Fort and Sueno’s Stone, a 6.5-metre Pictish carved standing stone on the prime of Cluny Hill in Forres.

If it’s darkish tales you need to revisit, the Witches Stone at Forres marks the spot the place a “witch” met a grotesque loss of life – one among greater than 4,000 killed in Moray Speyside within the sixteenth century. A plaque above the supposedly cursed boulder describes the horrors that befell the poor sufferer.

Collect round a peat hearth over a protracted autumn night time on the Orkney Storytelling competition from 26-29 October. Hear fascinating tales of ghosts and skeletons on the haunted Skaill Home, or discover out about tragic tales of selkies and the ocean, handed down by way of generations.


Gaelic language

Listening to Gaelic language is without doubt one of the highlights of a visit to the Highlands and Islands. Meet native Gaelic audio system at Ness on the Isle of Lewis, one of many strongholds of Gaelic tradition, or take a brief course at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Gaelic school on the Isle of Skye.

Language lovers have lengthy been fascinated by the Highlands and islands. In 1929, US photographer Margaret Fay Shaw Campbell was drawn to Uist in quest of “pristine” Gaelic folks tune. One night that fired her creativeness was Halloween, or Oidhche nan cleas (Night time of methods), in South Uist, the place “guisers’’ costume up in sheepskin garb, haystack wigs and twine scarves to idiot the spirits of the useless. Go to the Isle of Uist this Halloween and you must catch sight of this custom. Or, head to the Isle of Canna, the place the pier ready room hosts an exhibition of Shaw Campbell’s work, Fuaim na mara/Sound of the ocean.

Galleries and museums

Highland Folk Museum Credit Highland Folk Museum - Highlife Highland
Return in time and expertise Highland life on the Highland Folks Museum

All through historical past, the Highlands and Islands and the individuals who have lived there have formed the world we dwell in. Step again in time at Britain’s first open-air museum, the Highland Folks Museum within the Cairngorms nationwide park. With dwell actors in interval costume and greater than 35 historic buildings, immerse your self in Highland life from the 1700s to the Nineteen Fifties, attempt your hand at wool-spinning and peat-fire baking, or spot a crimson squirrel consuming nuts within the pinewoods.

Journey again additional by way of time with a visit to the just lately reopened Kilmartin Museum, Argyll & The Isles, which tells the story of the traditional individuals of Kilmartin Glen. The world is one among Scotland’s richest and most necessary prehistoric landscapes, with greater than 350 historical monuments, together with rock carvings, stone circles and burial chambers, inside six miles of Kilmartin village. The museum has in its possession some exceptional prehistoric artefacts, recognised as internationally vital.


Additional north, the world-famous village of Skara Brae, in Orkney, is western Europe’s best-preserved neolithic settlement, inhabited earlier than the Egyptian pyramids have been constructed. Recognising more moderen historical past, the Scapa Move Museum, on the island of Hoy, is house to necessary wartime artefacts from each world wars. It’s had a significant redevelopment, and provides you the prospect to view gadgets from the HMS Hampshire and HMS Vanguard battleships, which sank greater than 100 years in the past.

Autumn is the right season to find the distinctive Spirit of Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. Begin planning your journey at

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