Where to stay in Scotland
Have you ever dreamed of staying in a lighthouse? Contrary to belief, staying in a unique and magical place doesn't have to break the bank. Rua Reidh is a working lighthouse located in a secluded location near Gairloch, on the North-West coast of Scotland. On a clear day you can view the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides islands from the lighthouse.
Photographer and adventurer Fariba Stoddart (@Berriestagram) tells us that “the wildlife spotted in this location is phenomenal, and there is a room equipped with binoculars and a board with the latest sightings of wildlife such as sea eagles, dolphins, whales and otters.”
“The lighthouse keepers, Tracy and Roger, are lovely people who take great pride in upkeep of the lighthouse and can give you great personalised recommendations and directions for walks and secluded beaches around the area. With prices from £35-£55 per night, per person, it gets booked up very quickly. So book well in advance!"
Fariba's recommendation for a good place to eat in Scotland is Mhor 84 (voted the second best budget hotel in the Sunday Times) in Stirling. She said “If you are on a budget travelling through the Trossachs National park area, then the Mhor 84 café is an essential stop along the a cycle route."
"This is the best place to fuel up before or after an adventure around the national park. Mhor 84 is a prime example of eating well for less, with freshly-prepared food using locally-sourced ingredients that don’t cost the earth!”
One thing not to miss
A boat trip away from Fife or North Berwick, The Isle of May has been recommended by Fariba as an experience not to be missed when visiting Scotland. The Isle of May is a sanctuary to wildlife of all kinds, but it is most famous for its puffins during the months of April to August. This is no blink-and-you’ll miss it bird-spotting trip, these striking cliff-dwelling birds are plentiful on the island (tens of thousands even).
Fariba said: “You can catch a boat ride to see these colourful birds from the Scottish Sea Bird Centre in North Berwick or from the fishing village of Ansthruther in Fife. The island is owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage as a National Nature Reserve. If you are in Scotland during the summer then a trip to this island is a must, especially when the puffin eggs hatch, and you can watch them feed their young ones!”
Free thing to do
If you are in Edinburgh old town, then a visit to the recently renovated National Museum is Fariba's recommended visit. The museum is one of the world’s most visited museums and galleries, coming top of Scotland’s attractions alone. Berries said of the museum: “I absolutely love the architecture of the main hall, and it's probably one of my guilty pleasures (or sometimes shelter from rain) on a visit to the capital city. You can easily spend hours as the collection in the museum is diverse. It will lead you on an inspiring journey through the history of Scotland and the wonders of nature, all under one roof.”
“If the weather is good during your visit, a trip up to the roof of the building is recommended. There are amazing panoramic views of the city and the castle from up there. Sometimes the best things in the world are free!”