WT adventurer Charles Ardary’s second Wilderness Travel trip visited the Highlands and Islands of Scotland with our charming native Scottish Trip Leader Skye McDonald, who really knows her way around her green home country. Hiking along trails past mythic Loch Ness, through Scotland’s most beautiful Glen Affric, and across the white sand beaches of the Outer Hebrides is just part of the fun. Many days end in little pubs lush with local culture and the friendly spirit and history of Scotland (castles, legends, the Callinish Stone circle) is woven in all along the way.  Follow down for Charles’ photo-journey through Scotland’s Highlands and Islands:

Loch Ness with Nessie sneaking up on the tour group (third from left).Charles-Ardary-Pax-OK-2014-0201b-Loch-Ness-and-Nessie-saadj

Stream crossing in Glen Affric hike under the watchful eye of the guide.  No one got wet!

Harris Island near Hushinish, Scottish beef wondering who we were.

Learning how to harvest peat from our knowledgeable guide.

Time for the beach: Luskentyre beach on Harris Island.

Demonstrating how to fix a thread by a Harris Tweed weaver who was most delightful and informative.

You can really tell who the native Scot is, enjoying the sun in short sleeves.

It is amazing the signs one finds around the world. We looked for an otter, but didn’t see one.

Callanish standing stones: We were there shortly before sunset and it was magical.

It wasn’t all about hiking.

Eilean Donan castle: Where is Duncan McLeod or Patrick Dempsy?

Glencoe House: Roughing it. Imagine hikers in boots sipping champagne after a long day.

Glencoe House: The Ciallis suite. The second tub was good for doing laundry.

Climbers Pub in Glencoe, home of a famous sign in the entry (which can be seen in the final photo below).

Fortunately our guide was a McDonald.

I had a great time and am thinking about a trip for next year.

-Photos and text by 2-time WT adventurer Charles Ardary, Highlands and Islands of Scotland

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