Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

10 of my ‘happy’ places to visit in Scotland

Written by Fiona

August 30 2017

After reading a recent survey that lists Scottish holidaymaker’s happy places I had a think about my own top 10. These are places that bring a smile to my face when I visit them. To be honest, there are so many places in Scotland that have happy memories but these are the 10 that immediately come to mind.

Sandwood Bay. Pic credit: Patrick Vincent

Sandwood Bay

This remote and stunningly beautiful beach requites a walk of around eight miles as it can’t be reached by vehicles. I have enjoyed wilding camp on the beach with the G Force and friends.

Skye landscape.

Island of Skye

Whether you choose to simply drive across the island or climb into the mighty Cuillin, such as the feisty In Pinn, or all the many things to do in between, such as walk to the Quiraing, see the Fairy Pools or visit Portree, Skye is a magical destination. (You will need to book your accommodation ahead if you want to holiday on the island after a very busy summer left people without places to stay.)

Knoydart from the Brocket memorial. Pic: Bob Jones


A superb wilderness area, Knoydart in the far north-west is reach either on foot or by boat. It’s a great place to chill out or spend days walking in the wilds of this stunning landscape. See wild camping and Munro bagging in Knoydart.

The Cobbler. Pic credit: David Medcalf

Arrochar Alps

So close to my home and Glasgow yet so wildly fantastic, the Arrochar Alps, in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, offer many favourite Munro hikes, including Beinn Narnain and Ime, as well as The Cobbler (Ben Arthur). I love a walk on the wild side.

Selfie on Dumyat summit.

Dumyat hill

A new favourite since my daughter headed to university in Stirling, Dumyat (pronounced Dum-eye-at) is a short but rugged hill path route from Sherrifmuir, behind Bridge of Allan, located in the Ochils. It’s a great place for a run or a walk with the dog.

Vatersay beach, Outer Hebrides.

Outer Hebrides

It’s difficult to choose a favourite place in this chain of gorgeous islands off the west coast of Scotland. I also love the beaches – there are so many glorious stretches of sand – that it is hard to choose a favourite. I have enjoyed a bike ride along the length of the islands as well as many walks and The Heb race.

Fabulous Cairngorms. Pic: David Dixon.


Where to start with this fabulous national park filled to brimming with hills, glens, mountains and lochs? It has been my destination so many times as I tick off the list of 282 Munros. Search this website for ideas of where to go.

View of the Kyles of Bute.

Cowal Peninsula

I love the short ferry ride from Greenock to Dunoon and then the wonderfully quiet and mostly smooth roads that criss-cross the peninsula. The routes are hilly but so scenic. Dunoon: Hills, sunshine and fab views.

Walking on Arran.

Isle of Arran

This is another great place for an island adventure and easy to reach from Glasgow, via a ferry from Ardrossan on the west coast. Goatfell, the tallest peak on the island, is a superb goal for a walk or run. I have also cycled around the island many times.

Liathach ridge in Torridon.


The stunning high-rise mountains of this coastal glen makes it one of my happy, happy places. I recently walked the Liathach ridge and I have “enjoyed” cycling the bonkers Bealach na Ba road pass.

Also see 35 great things to do in Scotland.

More Like This


Historical landmarks of the Golden Triangle – A journey through time, taste and tranquillity


Six new sports you might like to try


Cycling on the Black Isle


Cycle Aviemore to Inverness


Strategies for making a meaningful impact in life


Review: Energy Bytes, gummies with caffeine