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Travel

Explore Benbecula in Scotland's Outer Hebrides

Located between the islands of South Uist and North Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the island of Benbecula is an interesting option for travelers who enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-track destinations. It has been suggested that the name of the island means "little mountain of the ford", and although the highest elevation on the island is measured at only 124 meters, making the "mountain" part of the name a bit of a mystery, the reason for the "ford" reference is immediately apparent. While in days gone by crossing the fords between Benbecula and either of its neighbours was a somewhat risky endeavor, today there are sturdy causeways linking the islands.

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Travel

Walking the Speyside Way

As one of Scotland's four official Long Distance Routes, The Speyside Way was opened in 1981 offering walkers a scenic route from Spey Bay to Ballindalloch. The route proved popular, and in 1990 was extended from Ballindalloch to Tomintoul. In 1999 a route was added from Fochabers along the coast to Buckie, and in April 2000 the Speyside Way was extended from Ballindaloch to Aviemore, with plans in the pipeline to continue the route through to Newtonmore. Today, walkers can enjoy a route connecting the Moray coast with the foothills of the Grampian Mountains, primarily following the River Spey.

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Travel

Visit Oban: The Gateway to the Isles

Known as the Gateway to the Isles, the resort town of Oban, in the Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland, huddles around the horseshoe-shaped Oban Bay, with the Isle of Kerrera providing some protection from harsh weather off the Firth of Lorn. While the permanent resident population is a little over eight thousand people, the town is a popular leisure destination that regularly hosts thousands of visitors during tourist season. The town is considered to be the home of the Royal National Mod – a festival of Scottish Gaelic song, culture and arts – as the first event took place in Oban in 1892. Held in October each year, Oban hosted the event in 2003, being the celebration of the 100th Royal National Mod, as well as in 2009, and will be hosting it again in 2015.

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Travel

Breathtaking Scenery on the West Highland Line

Widely considered to be the best rail journey in Britain, and voted Best Rail Journey in the world by the travel-savvy readers of Wanderlust magazine in 2009, the West Highland Line offers a leisurely way to explore the spectacular countryside between Mallaig on the west coast of Scotland and Glasgow in Scotland's west central lowlands. The West Highland Line is one of two operating railway lines offering travelers access to the rugged remote west coast of Scotland, the other being the line connecting the Kyle of Lochalsh with Inverness.

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Travel

Sightseeing on the Isle of Rùm

Home to one of the world's largest Manx Shearwater colonies, the Isle of Rùm in Scotland's Inner Hebrides is a haven any wildlife and birding enthusiast is sure to enjoy. Visitors are likely to see otters frolicking in the waters of the ferry terminal, while white-tailed and golden eagles are a regular sight in the skies over Loch Scresort. Eider ducks will be seen along the shoreline in spring and large numbers of seabirds breed on the island's cliffs, including kittiwakes, guillemots and shags, while the woodlands and moorlands of Rùm are home to cuckoos, stonechats, warblers, wrens, plovers, pipits and crows.

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Travel

Explore Dunstaffnage Castle at Loch Etive

Situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking Loch Etive in Argyll and Bute, Dunstaffnage Castle is one of Scotland's oldest stone castles, dating back to the 13th century. The castle was built for Duncan MacDougall of the renowned Clan MacDougall, with Clan Campbell holding ownership since the 15th century. The hereditary Captain of Dunstaffnage no longer lives at the castle, which is mostly in ruins, but retains ownership of the gatehouse, with the remainder of the property being maintained by Historic Scotland and open to the public. Surrounded on three sides by the sea, the setting for Dunstaffnage Castle is very picturesque and makes for a pleasant outing when visiting this scenic part of Scotland.

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Travel

Admire the View from the Summit of Schiehallion

Rising up as a lone peak to a height of 1,083 meters, Schiehallion is located between Loch Tummel and Loch Tay in Perthshire, Scotland. Viewed from the west across Loch Rannoch, Schiehallion has a distinctive conical shape, but when viewed from the north and south, the hill's long main ridge is evident. With its name taken from the Gaelic Sidh Chailleann, meaning 'Fairy Hill of the Caledonians', Schiehallion's slopes are covered in a variety of indigenous flora, including mosses and heathers, of which white heather is regarded as being lucky. Other plants found on the slopes of the Munro include braeberry, lily of the valley, wood anemone and dog's mercury.

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Travel

Visit Bressay and Noss in the Shetland Islands

Separated from Lerwick by the Bressay Sound, Bressay is the fifth largest of the Shetland Islands, with a population of around 400 people, many of whom travel daily by ferry to work in Lerwick. Visitors to the island will find a number of interesting attractions to explore, and in the summer months can travel to the nature reserve island of Noss by passenger ferry from the east coast of Bressay, making the island an ideal destination for a day's outing when visiting Shetland. Among the attractions on the island are Bressay Lighthouse, the Bressay Heritage Centre, and the 18th-century Gardie House and grounds.

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