The ‘Scotland the Best’ author has been touring the country for 25 years in search of its finest places. Here’s his pick of beaches and seaside villages
Making a feature of Scotland’s less-travelled coast is a responsibility and a challenge. Even its quieter corners are seeing a tourist boom. Much of the rural north-west, deserted in the romantic imagination, is to all intents “full”. Skye, where accommodation is booked months ahead and camper vans form tailbacks on single-track roads, may be reaching crisis point. Some say we should think of the isle as we do Venice – under threat from the rising tide of tourism. Parts of Edinburgh are becoming an ordeal to visit, and that’s before the festival crowds arrive.
But no one wants to turn off the tap. Scotland has what tourists want in buckets: diverse and magnificent landscape, history, first-class culture, friendly people and, now, much improved food and drink. Scotland gets tourism and turns out to be really good at it. All we have to do is work out how to manage all these lovely visitors so we don’t kill the capercaillie that laid the golden egg.