Posted by Kirstie
Scotland is renowned for its rough and rugged landscape that creates an air of mystery, as well as its long history steeped in myth and legend. With the dramatic scenery of the Scottish Isle of Skye taking centre stage in the summer sci-fi hit movie Prometheus, the northern nation is stepping into the spotlight as a destination for those seeking the sublime, the spooky and the strange… We’ve picked out five must-visit spots on a Scottish break with an usual twist.
Fladda-Chùain Island, Skye
With its eerie ethereal air, misty skies and dramatic otherworldly landscape, the islands in the Skye region of Scotland have always been an inspiration for writers and filmmakers, with Prometheus being the latest film to feature the rugged terrain as a breathtaking backdrop. As well as being a sublime setting, the Isles of Skye are subject to many local legends. The Isle of Fladda-Chùain in the north of the region is supposedly one of the possible locations of Tír na nÓg, or the ‘Land of the Young’, which according to ancient Celtic mythology was a mystical island of eternal youth.
Cheer Up! It’s Not The End Of The World, Edinburgh
The superstitious amongst you should pay a visit to the new exhibition opening at the Edinburgh Printmakers gallery from 2nd August on your next short break in Scotland. As part of the Edinburgh Art Festival 2012, Cheer Up! It’s Not The End Of The World will ‘terrify, amuse, and excite your imagination’ as it explores the notion of the world ending in 2012 through visual art with an apocalyptic theme. The eschatological exhibition featuring works by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Jake & Dinos Chapman is free to visit and runs until 2 September.
Stirling Castle, Stirling
With a bloody and turbulent history dating back to the 12th Century, the magnificent Stirling Castle is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Scotland. Each year thousands of visitors discover the rich history of the castle that was famously captured by the legendary William Wallace after the Battle of Stirling Bridge. It is one of the later residents of the castle, however, that gives the site its strange and spooky air. Over the years there have been a number of sightings of the ghost of a green lady, said to be one of Mary Queen of Scots’ handmaidens, while the ghost of the historic Queen herself is also said to appear as a ghoulish apparition with an eerie pink glow…
The Haunted Vaults, Edinburgh
Another famous haunted Scottish spot lies at the Blair Street Underground Vaults in Edinburgh. The historic vaults have a gruesome history that dates back to the late 18th Century and are reportedly one of the most haunted places in the UK, having featured in multiple TV shows that explore the supernatural. A great thing about the vaults is that Superbreak guests on a short break to Scotland can explore their dark depths for free as part of an Edinburgh for Less package – if you’re feeling brave enough!
Loch Ness, Inverness
No round up of strange and mysterious places to visit in Scotland would be complete without a mention of Loch Ness, home of the mystical and ever-elusive Loch Ness Monster. Sightings of the mythical creature date back as far as the 6th Century, with the most famous sighting being captured in the ‘Surgeon’s Photograph’ of 1934 which was later revealed to be a fake. If you plan on visiting the beautiful Loch Ness, don’t be too disappointed if you don’t spot Nessie while taking in the breathtaking views of the largest Loch in the Highlands – you might spot a Boobrie or a Kelpie instead!
Have you visited any of these strange and unusual places in Scotland? Where would you recommend for a Scottish break with an eerie twist?