The North of Scotland is beautiful at any time of year, but Spring has to be one of the loveliest seasons in which to visit (and I freely admit, I’ll tell you that in Summer, Autumn and Wintertime aswell). I recently saw a sign in a local shop window saying ‘Spring is Nature’s Way of Saying ‘Let’s Party’, and I can’t think of a better way to describe the outpouring of beauty and wonder that surrounds us at this magical time of year. As a local of the far north, May in particular is one month when I prefer not to be too far from my home county; there’s just so much happening and I don’t want to miss a thing! But for those of you less familiar with the area – here’s a quick round up of some of the reasons you might want to come and join in with Spring’s annual party soon.
1. SPRING IS THE SEASON FOR COLOUR
As you travel north from Inverness at this time of year, the roadsides are awash with yellow fields of rapeseed. There’s something about this sunny sight that just makes you feel, well, sunny. Added to the already beautiful views from the A9 travelling north (part of Scotland’s famous ‘North Coast 500’ route), what more reason do you need to make a visit soon?
2. AND THE WOODS ARE ALIVE WITH BLUE
There are some beautiful bluebell woods on your route to the far north of Scotland, so why not stop in to the Big Burn Walk near Golspie, or the bluebell woods just down the road at Dunrobin Castle on your way? Bluebells have that transient beauty that remind you just to breathe in and enjoy life’s little moments. New life, mindfulness and joy – all wrapped up in a forest filled with blue.
3. YOU CAN MEET THE CLOWN OF ALL SEABIRDS
If you travel to Duncansby Head, near John O’Groats, at this time of year, it’s very likely you’ll get a chance to spot some puffins, those clowns amongst seabirds who’ve rooted themselves firmly in the hearts of nature lovers everywhere. With their colourful beaks, bright orange legs and comical demeanour it’s not hard to see the attraction. A sight not to be missed if you’re travelling to the far north of Scotland anytime soon.
4. AND THE MASTERS OF THE SEA
Spring is a fantastic time for cetacean spotting in the far north of Scotland, so good in fact that the SeaWatch Foundation are holding their annual Orca Watch event here (also at Duncansby Head) as I write! Even if you don’t see any killer whales you might be lucky enough to spot dolphins or other cetaceans, and there’s usually plenty of other marine life on display as you travel along the coast. This week alone I’ve seen seals sunbathing daily on my morning outings with my Vizsla. What better way to put a spring in your step as you prepare for the busy day ahead?
5. YOU CAN WITNESS RARITIES OF NATURE
If you visit the far north in Spring and early Summer, you might be lucky enough to spot something you won’t find anywhere but here and Orkney – the delightful Scottish primrose. Endemic to the north, it is found in just a few areas around the coastline (such as Holborn Head near Scrabster), and draws visitors from far flung destinations eager to witness it’s blueish purple flowers. You’ll need to visit in late May to early June, or during the second flowering period in late June to early July if you want a chance to spot them. You’ll have to be eagle eyed though – with flowers of only about 8mm in diameter, they are very easy to overlook!
6. AND MAKE AN ADVENTURE OF YOUR OWN
There are so many things to see and do in the north of Scotland in Spring that you will never be far away from a new adventure. Why not look out for the most northerly of Europe’s smallest butterflies, the small blue, take a boat trip to Orkney, enjoy some of the best beaches in the UK, surf world renowned waves, or just relax and sample some of our amazing local produce and hospitality. If you need any more persuading about how lovely the north of Scotland is in Spring – or in fact at any time of year, please have a look at my little video below. This is just a tiny selection of what the far north of Scotland has to offer, and there is so much more here to find, explore and discover for yourself. I hope this has given you a taster of what you can enjoy here. And whatever you’d like to do on your visit to the far north, we hope to see you soon.
(Photo of Scottish Primrose courtesy Paul Castle)
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