When it came to choosing a hiking destination in Scotland, we were spoilt for choice. With its rugged mountain scenery and beautiful coastline, it was difficult to choose. All we knew was that it needed beautiful scenery, culture and whisky. Lots of whisky.
So when we came across the Speyside Way, we knew we were on to a winner.
The long-distance hiking trail extends 65 miles across the northern coast of Scotland, through historic towns that have barely changed over the years, to its pine forests and whisky country. Ending in Cairngorm National Park, the Speyside Way highlights Scotland’s history, heritage and countryside in pockets that are not always visited by tourists.
After watching Far from the Madding Crowd recently, I’ve become slightly obsessed with all things quaint and English. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go frolicking in the Dorset countryside in pretty Victorian get-up? So when it came time to choose the next #take12trips challenge, it may have influenced my choice of the Malvern Hills. Pretty scenery? The Malverns is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Quaint housing? More like, can you get any quainter (or English?) than a shepherd’s hut. Victorian clothing? Well, you can’t get everything you want….
After arriving late in the night, I began to question choosing such a remote choice for our accommodation, but waking up the next morning to ducklings playing in the private pond by our hut at the Malvern Holiday Park quickly confirmed that this was an excellent decision.
I am sure everyone reaches a travel rut at some stage. Whether it is visiting the same country every year, taking the same beach holiday or even booking at the same time each year, we’ve all been there. For me, I found myself spending all year saving towards a spectacular (but expensive) couple of weeks away to some far-flung destination, with barely any time off to explore other destinations in-between. Not only that, but the guilt of the environmental cost of such extravagant trips had me questioning whether I could find similar excitement in my backyard.
Upon seeing Lake Bohinj (pronounced baw-heen), Agatha Christie once famously said that it was far too beautiful for a murder. This might not sound like high praise, but admittedly Agatha Christie was making a fair point.