Scotland might just be my favorite place on Planet Earth.
Going to Scotland was a lot of “firsts” for me: The first solo trip I ever took, the first international trip I ever took, the first time I traveled somewhere with photography specifically in mind. I gotta tell ya, it was a really damn good decision. I spent 9 days road tripping from Edinburgh to Skye, all the way across to Aberdeenshire on the Northeast Coast, through the Cairngorms and back to Edinburgh. To say it was a literal fairytale would not even come close to doing it justice.
Edinburgh, Skye, Aberdeenshire, and Cairngorm National Park all deserve their own post or two. Hell, you could probably create an entire blog just focusing on one of those places and never run out of things to talk about. But today I wanted to write about a tiny little city – a village would probably be a better term – about an hour north of Inverness (Scotland’s last large city after Glasgow and Edinburgh), a tiny little town called Golspie.
You actually may already be familiar with Golspie. Just outside the boundaries of the town is a phenomenal castle overlooking the eastern shore called Dunrobin. It is one of the most famous Castles in all of Scotland, and it’s probably safe to say that it’s one of the most well known in all of Europe. The grounds are beautiful and meticulous, and the castle’s architecture is quite literally breathtaking. The grounds when I was there closed at 6:00pm, and I rolled up in my little rented Toyota Yaris at 5:45pm. I didn’t have a ton of time so this is the only shot I was able to snap before I had to run, but you could spend hours just walking around, enjoying the view of the Castle, meditating on the upper benches overlooking the sea, or a host of other things.
So, you might already be familiar with Golspie without actually knowing it! But that’s not what this post is specifically about. A 5 minute drive up the road will take you to one of the coolest places I went during my time in Scotland.
That place is called the Carn Liath, just beyond Golspie and Dunrobin.
I am no historian, but I do love history, and I’m not going to pretend to know much about this wonderful place, but I’ll try to explain what I do know. The Carn Liath is an Iron Age structure built 2500 years ago. Built by the ancient settlers of the Scottish Highlands, it falls into the category of a “complex roundhouse”. Whatever that means. From what I understand, no one really knows why they were built, or what they were for. I’ve read maybe grain storage? Maybe not. Honestly, I don’t know.
But just look at it! It is really freaking cool. And you know what? That’s really all I need.
These photos I took are some of my favorite I took while I was in Scotland. This was before I was a professional, I was just getting really into photography and I remember being so proud of these shots. I can tell you though, you have to actually try to get a bad shot here.
Besides being really cool, there isn’t a “point” to this article. It’s just one of my favorite places in Scotland I wanted to share with you. If you ever find yourself close to Inverness, I hope you take some time to go to Golspie and experience the majesty that is Dunrobin, but also the history and the details that are the Carn Liath. Because the best things in this world are often the things we miss in the details. Let me know if you make it out there, or if you’ve been there before! I love hearing travel stories – especially if they are about Scotland.
And as always, thanks for reading.