Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wanders with Winkie #6: The Scottish Highlands

Hurray for Hairy Coo!!  When we were planning our trip to Scotland, we realized that it wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Highlands.  In fact, for me, much of the appeal of visiting this country was in seeing the geography that always looks so magnificent in pictures and film.  We considered renting a car and driving ourselves around but I am SO glad we didn't do that!  Driving anywhere in the UK looked very intimidating to me, starting with the fact that you are driving on the left in a right hand drive car; the cars drive very close to each other and many of the turns are accomplished in traffic circles of sorts (going in the opposite direction, of course).

We stumbled upon these Hairy Coo tours.  They are the #1 rated tour in TripAdvisor and for good reason.  The groups are small, the tour guide is knowledgeable and entertaining and you can't beat the price.  There is no charge for the tour.  It is a "tip only" policy.  At the conclusion of this all day excursion, you pay only the value of the tour to you.  The exact itinerary of the tour is dependent on the group and the weather.  We saw a variety of sites including:  the bridge at the Firth of Fourth:

several infamous lochs:
the castle where Monty Python was filmed:

and the name sake of the tours - the hairy coo.  This is Fiona:

In addition, we saw Stirling Castle, the William Wallace monument, and a small town called Aberfoyle.  We learned the real braveheart story, listened to Scottish music, and basically fell in love with Scotland's country and culture.

I hope I have the chance to visit again and I hope that Russell and the guys who run the Hairy Coo tour are still giving tours.  Thanks, Russell!

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