The modern idea of making forest walks more interesting by placing sculptures at intervals along trails is welcome. Take a holiday in Scotland and you’ll discover sculptors and artists of old, ancient Celts who left behind stone engraved circles or solitary standing stones covered in Pictish symbols that cause us to stand and stare and think about their origins. Visit Aberdeenshire in north east Scotland and White Cow Wood or Bennachie for good walking trails and ancient remains. There are various sites with similar mysterious stones in Orkney and dotted all over Scotland.
Any bird watchers would be dumbfounded by the numbers of sea birds that live on the rocks on the Aberdeenshire coast. The air can be a swirl of gulls and guillemots. Rocks offshore have been eroded by centuries of high winds and lashing rain into interesting natural sculptures. Walk the cliff tops to spot puffins with brightly coloured beaks and orange feet peering out of burrows and waddling across the grass with that rolling gait. Nature paints some of the most charming pictures of all.
Scottish seascapes are brilliant. Take the ferry to Skye or one of the islands of the Outer Hebrides. A fine mist creates an eerie world of gloom of some days, on others the sky is blue and the beaches lie pristine and unwalked. Leave a solitary trail of footprints across the sands as you walk by the gently lapping waves. Depending on the time of year, beached jellyfish may litter the sand in transparent lumps with pink or reddish centres. Lazy seals lift their heads to check you out and return to dozing in the sun.
Fishing used to play a huge part in the Scottish economy before the days of quotas. Old smoking houses may still be operational on the coast. Peer in to see batches of salmon acquiring colour as they cure in rows of pink.
Each small village has a lengthy history and a story to tell. Stop in the local pubs and chat to the locals who would dearly love to regale you with talk about witches, pirates, fishing and infamous inhabitants.
There are lots of remote and secluded holiday cottages in rural Scotland that would be a small patch of heaven in a busy world. Go stay and discover another world, seamless with the past, full of colour, characters and mystery, art and history – both old and new.