The Allure of Scotland

On the Road to Glencoe, Southern Highlands

On the Road to Glencoe, Southern Highlands

Stirling, Scotland

I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland, and I know many others feel the same way. What is it about this country that draws so many people here? Scotland seems to have a romantic allure, especially and understandably for those who have Scottish ancestors.

From friends, fellow travelers, and guidebooks, I know people travel to Scotland for many reasons that don’t apply to me: golf; whisky; the kilt,clan, tartan, and bagpipe culture; national history, and family history. I enjoy learning about a country’s history as part of our travel experience, but am not a “history buff” or expert in any way. And as far as I know, my family doesn’t have any Scottish heritage on either side. Clive’s does, though; his maternal grandparents came from Stirling, where I’m writing this post.

 

Scotland’s Geography

My longstanding interest in Scotland was probably due in part to its proximity to England, where many of my ancestors lived. And from an early age, I had an awareness that Scotland had beautiful mountains and lochs (lakes), and was a country where English was spoken with a wonderfully unique accent. I like cities, too, and definitely wanted to see Edinburgh.

It continues to amaze and delight me that in Europe, you can drive (and/or take trains or car ferries) easily and in a relatively short time from one country to another. This is so different from Australia and the U.S., notwithstanding those countries’ distinct regional differences. In Europe there is such a rich variety of culture, history, scenery, and language within easy reach. When we decided to plan a short break for just the two of us during this trip, which is mainly focused on seeing our families in the U.S. and England, it seemed a perfect opportunity to visit Scotland together for the first time.

 

Scotland’s People

Beyond the stereotype of man in kilt playing bagpipes, I worked with many Scottish colleagues during my business career. In addition to their charming accent, I enjoyed what I found as a compelling combination of practicality and humour, and ability to get a job done with determination and independence while also working as part of a global team.

For me, the allure of Scotland is the mix of geography and people, the opportunity to travel with Clive and explore new places of great beauty and learn more about the natural and human character of Scotland.

When Clive and I were getting to know each other and sharing information about our families, he told me his grandparents came from Stirling. He’d been to Scotland before on brief visits with his children, but wanted to spend a little more time “walking in his grandfather’s footsteps.” I’m looking forward to learning more about Stirling’s history and Clive’s family history during our short stay here.

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5 Responses

  1. I have a Scottish family history, my maiden name is Munro, but in the 1800’s a Hugh Munro went to Malta, and my Scottish history also became Maltese. It is quite strange really as I have no pull towards Scotland only Malta. We have managed to find out history back to great great great grandfather, through Google search.

    Hope you both have a great time in Scotland, it is a beautiful place, I love Edinburgh.

  2. I adore Scotland!!! I’ve been four times most recently this past in July. I have been all over the Western Highlands, Skye and the Outer Hebrides. If you can you should try to see Iona or the Standing Stones of Callanish on Lewis. Pure magic! My ancestors are part of the Mackenzie Clan. We have extensive genealogy records on my mother’s side and can trace back to the area.

    I fell in love with the area long before I knew we had Scottish ties. I had planned to retire there before I met John. I am content and happy with Cornwall where we are now. Of course, I can scoot up to Scotland now and then so it’s great.

    I have some pictures of Scotland on the Daily View section of my blog.

    You’re going to love your time in Scotland.

  3. I remember those rolling hills of Scotland. I was there many years ago and had a need to see Loch Ness which turned out to be a very long drive. Never did see the Loch Ness monster though it had been spoted a week earlier. My main memory of my time there was ordering steak mince which turned out to look like dog food. I was so surprised when they put the plate in front of me. It tasted pretty good though.

  4. Thanks for the wonderful comments, Anne, Elizabeth, and Linda – loved reading them and hearing about the different ways everyone loves Scotland.

    Elizabeth, beautiful photos on y our blog.

    Cheers.

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