Friday, April 6, 2012

A Map of the Scottish Highlands

I have developed a serious case of wanderlust because of this map.  What is it about the Scottish Highlands that makes my heart sing?  Maybe it's because Scottish poet Robert  Burns once wrote, "In heaven itself, I'll ask no more than just a Highland welcome."  And of course many writers have written about the Scottish Highlands and those writings are in my mind.  I have always been aware of the legendary beauty of this part of the world.  There are the craggy, heather-clad mountains with their rushing streams that beckon.  And I know there are many appealing things to do in the Highlands -- walking and hiking, visiting castles, historic sites, beautiful gardens, and staying in country hotels.  It is well known that the Highlands is a place of wild and poetic beauty.  And yet I have never been there.  Not really.  About ten years ago I visited Edinburgh and Perthshire, and enjoyed the gorgeous natural scenery.  That trip included a visit to Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the late Queen Mother and the setting for Shakespeare's "Macbeth."   But I've never taken a trip like my friend Connie took and has written about on her blog --  Hiking the West Highland Way for seven days.   As she writes, it was "seven days, 95 miles, mist, heather, sheep, Highland cattle, 18th century inns, salmon, scotch, scones and sticky toffee pudding."  Okay, sign me up!
When I saw this small map of her trip to Scotland made by Connie Brown of Redstone Studios, I had an epiphany.   There is life that just passes us by and then there is life that we record in order to enjoy it for years to come.  I have gone on many trips and taken photos of course.  Going back and looking at the images is always a joy.  But to have an art work such as this little map to look at forever, that records your own personal journey, is something beyond photography.  It is one of the little detailed treasures that add to the many layers of a well-lived life.  If, as St. Augustine wrote, "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page," here is a lovely page to add to the "book" of the world.  

She provided me with the following photos

I am in awe of all this beauty!  The Scottish Highlands has just moved to the top of my Travel Wish List.

Read more about Connie Brown's maps here

Photos by Meg Moulton


  1. . . . and it's now on mine. Beautiful. That first photo could make such an evocative water color.

  2. Looks so beautiful and the hiking trip sounds fantastic. I have been yearning to see the English and Scottish countryside, as we've always tended to travel to cities in Europe. And the memory map is wonderful.

  3. Hello Sunday,

    Happy weekend and happy Easter! I LOVE Scotland and it is my dream to live there one day, in a little cottage on a loch. I have visited there several times and love the Borders, Edinburg, Fife, St. Andrews and so much more. It is such a beautiful place, I have never felt as at home anywhere else.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful map.

    If you would like to read more about the highlands and part of the whiskey trail, Dii from Yonks went there in December and her photos are incredible.

    Have a blessed Easter! I hope you will see your children,


  4. My favourite place on the planet by far. There is no beauty to compare with that of the Highlands. Nothing I read or saw prepared me for it and I wake every morning longing to return. You simply must go.

  5. My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Fort William. The Highlands are such a special place. Since our son was born we've holidayed more often in Dumfries and Galloway, but I'd love to go further north again.

  6. I'm so glad I've inspired you to visit the Highlands! This wasn't my first visit, but walking all those miles gave us a more intimate view. I can't take credit for the lovely photos: Meg Moulton, my sister-in-law and fellow traveler, took them.

  7. Oh to take a trip like this? Like you I've been to Edinburgh and visited all the tourist spots but a trip like Connie, this is the way to see the country. I have been on trips that have taken me off the beaten path. Some of the best trips I've experienced. To feel another country and live as the locals, experience everyday life in a foreign country, this is how I love to travel. I am very interested in this map. I'm going to visit Connie and entertain the idea of a map like this. Thanks Taylor.
    Wishing you a Blessed Easter.

    The French Hutch

  8. A beautifully written piece on Scotland and Connie's map artistry. These maps are the perfect keepsake to an unforgettable personal journey. Part art, part journal, and part treasure map. Very nice Sunday. Happy Easter weekend!

  9. Sigh... so beautiful. I hiked the Kerry Way in Ireland- same sort of terrain, but white sheep instead of the shaggy highland cattle. But so far, Scotland is my favorite place to be in the world. Every corner is filled with quiet simple beauty, wonderful quick-witted, friendly people, and fresh delicious food. Go in the summer, and buy a Highlands wool sweater when you get there! And bring a great book to read as you sit gazing out at the resplendent beauty all around you! Next on my travel wish list is a trip to the Shetland and Orkney Islands. Love your blog Sunday!

  10. Sunday, A beautiful post to whet my appetite. Being of Welsh ancestry I have always dreamed of an extended visit to Wales and on into Scotland and it is becoming stronger. I almost feel as if I am called to go, and maybe live there. Hopefully someday. The map is such a lovely piece to add to one's travel journal, I think. And the pictures, such a wonderful tease. Bonnie

    1. Never been to Scotland but your post has made me want to go! Also reminds me that I need to read Pamela Dean's classic novel Tam Lin based on the Scottish ballad.

  11. Scotland has a special place in my heart. I think, in another life, I lived a long, romantic life there! xo

  12. Looks like such a wonderful place!