jueves, 6 de mayo de 2010

The Highlands

The entire eastern seaboard of the Highlands, between Nairn and John O'Groats, deserves to be discovered. The town of Nairn, near the Moray Firth, noted for its mild and dry climate and gorgeous beaches. In lsle Black (not an island but a peninsula green and wooded), the former courtroom of Cromarty tells the fascinating story of this historic Scottish town.

The history of the small town of Tain, which was the destination of pilgrimage in medieval times, is told in the resort Tain Through Time (Tain over time). Glenmorangie Distillery and tourist center are also nearby. And a little further Dornoch, famous for the golf course of Royal Dornoch a picturesque old town with colorful gardens in the streets near the cathedral. In Helmsdale, the Timespan Heritage Centre presents a complete portrait of days gone by sound effects, models and historical artifacts.

The main road north, with its beautiful sea views and a chance to stop and explore a spectacular coastline, Wick will lead you where you can discover the history of the golden age of the northern fishing port in the Wick Heritage Centre. From there, many travelers continue to John O'Groats but the northernmost point Dunnet Head is actually a little further west, while to the east, three spectacular filiform stones stand in the sea in Ducansby Head. Thurso is the most northerly population of Scotland excepting the islands, an ideal base for excursions in Caithness: green meadows and heaths dotted with countless lakes down to a rugged coastline. If you continue west to the coast (facing north) presents some special features: a bright light and fresh, rugged headlands and beaches of dazzling white sand. Cape Wrath lighthouse is the northernmost point of the northwest coast of Scotland, and the area has some of the highest cliffs on the British mainland.

On the west coast, lovers of nature in the wild will find a variety of places to explore, from the spectacular bird cliffs of Handa Island to Eas Coul Aulin, the highest waterfall in Britain. Among the fishing port of Lochinver and Ullapool village, you can choose which route to take: the coast road offers splendid views of the sea through a maze of rocky islets, while main road, faster, reaching Ullapool through the stunning mountain landscape of the National Nature Reserve lnverpolly. Ullapool, located along the banks of Loch Broom, is a port for ferries to the Hebrides as an ideal base for exploring the northwest, the city has a wide range of services and local museums. If you continue south, the main road passes near Corrieshalloch Gorge, a deep, wooded gorge. Lnverewe Gardens in Poolewe in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. Here, the formerly barren promontory has been transformed with exotic plants and trees that provide a continuous display of color throughout most of the year, thanks to the mild climate and frost-free area, the product of thermal effect of the Gulf Stream. Not far away is Gairloch, with a variety of places to eat and stay, as well as a historical museum. From there, the road continues to the beautiful Loch Maree, where old sections survive natural pine under the protection of national park Beinn Eighe.

Also spectacular is the mountainous landscape around Glen Torridon, partly under the care of the National Trust for Scotland, as Kintail, to the south. In the nearby shores of Loch Duich find the picturesque Eileen Donan Castle. Strathspey and the Great Glen. Along the River Spey from Grantown-on-Spey to the west, offers a wide range of attractions. EI Carrbridge Landmark Visitor Centre combines presentations on the history of the Highlands within the center, with outdoor enjoyment of forests through routes to follow and a center for nature and an excellent adventure playground for children. Nearby, the Strathspey Railway offers the opportunity to return to the days of steam. And also near Boat of Garten, is the Loch Garten Nature Reserve, where you can see osprey nests hidden from an observatory and the Speyside Heather Centre, a center dedicated to Heath and practices that used to make This typical plant in the Highlands, including the manufacture of ropes, roofing and even brewing. Aviemore offers ample opportunities for shopping, eating and lodging for the night. To appreciate life on a farm in the Highlands can start with the nearby Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre, or if not, make a trip to see the reindeer that live in the foothills of the Cairngorm mountains. If you back the river Spey, come to Newton-more, people hosting the Clan MacPherson Museum. Further west lies the Great Glen, a valley from coast to coast formed in remote geological ages. Today the valley is home to the main road from Fort William lnverness and chained a series of lakes that form the Caledonian Canal.

Visitors who take the main road north of Loch Ness, you can visit two exhibitions in Drumnadrochit who researched the Loch Ness monster. The other alternative is to follow the road south side of Loch Ness, a journey that offers the chance for excursions in the woods near Inverfarigaig, see the spectacular waterfall at Foyers and excellent views of Loch Ness itself. Both routes converge at Fort Augustus. Fort William, in the south of Great Glen has, with a wide range of places to shop, eat and stay. The port is one of the many seafood restaurants in Scotland with its own fishing boat unloading its catch directly in the restaurant. The West Highland City Museum has a collection of objects related to Prince Charles Edward Stuart. Overlooking Fort William is Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain (1144 m). You can enjoy a splendid view of the surrounding hills from the cable car (open all year) on the slopes of the Nevis Range, on the slopes of Aonach Mor, a short drive northeast of the city. You can enjoy a trip to Scotland's cultural past in Mysteryworld in BalIachulish Highland, Glen Coe close.

Fort William is also an ideal starting center for touring. The Corran ferry south of town is only a gateway to the incomparable landscapes Ardnamurchat. Worth exploring the peninsula to its tip (the most westerly point of Great Britain) to see the dramatic landscapes and sea, including several excellent sandy beaches with views to the Isle of Skye. Another option is to join the scenic route known as "The Road to the Isles" (the route to the islands), which runs from Fort William west to Mallaig, passing through Glenfinnan, where a monument stands in the place where Prince Charles Edward Stuart was attended by the Highland clans in the failed uprising of 1745. The impressive viaduct railway GIenfinnan supports Fort William to Mallaig, one of the great railway journeys of the world. Skye and the Small Isles. Skye now has a bridge that joins the mainland, although there is still a ferry service from Mallaig to Armadale in the south of the island. Skye offers some of the most spectacular landforms in Britain, the best known of which are the Cuillin Hills Hills. After the large population of Portree with its wide range of accommodation, entertainment geological rock continues with the Old Man of Storr. The Quiraing, an extraordinary mixture of pinnacles and monoliths hidden corners is another example of the stunning scenery of Skye.

Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the Clan Macleod, is one of the most visited places on the island, while the Skye Museum of Island Life evokes the ancient customs of the peasants and local farmers. In Armadale, the Clan Donald Centre explores the theme of the powerful clan whose leaders were the "Lords of the lsles" (the lords of the islands). The Aros Heritage Centre in Portree is also important to understand the history of Skye, as it recounts the life of the island from 1700 from the point of view of its inhabitants. Also find a wide variety of handmade products of the island, among which are the objects of Skye marble. With a geography very similar to Skye, but on a smaller scale, is Rum, the most spectacular of the Small Isles, including Eigg, Muck and Canna, a group of green islands with small communities that can be reached by boat from Mallaig or Arisaig, ideal for a holiday away from the madding crowd.

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