Beasties Big and Small

When visiting Scotland you’ll come to know, and hopefully love, the wildlife (and I’m not talking about Glasgow City Centre on a Saturday night).

The most famous of our “beasties” is, of course, Nessie, the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Many locals along the banks will tell you that they have spotted her, but the truth is that nobody knows for sure. The only certainty is that this creature, real or unreal, has proved a real boon the Highlands economy as busloads of tourists press their noses to the windows hoping for a glimpse.

Whatever the reality, though, the Loch Ness area is still worth a visit even if only to visit the ruins of the 16th century Urquhart Castle. At dusk the scene is transformed into a romantic vista and you’ll probably find yourself really wanting there to be a creature lurking in the depths of the loch.

This YouTube video from the History Channel is worth a watch if you want to know more about the legend of Nessie

Another big creature you’ll come across is the famous Highland Coo. These cuddly looking beasts are something that we Scots are quietly proud of – hairy and fierce, they perhaps remind us of our own wilder days as a nation.

The calves in particular look very cute, and the breed is famed for it’s mild temperament and curiousity.

highland cattle

And so to the smallest, yet deadliest of Scottish creature. Yes, the midge. These little flying menaces have ruined many a holiday and eaten visitors, often sending them homeward.

Your best friend when midges are about is a breeze as they detest flying in those conditions. For those brave, or foolish, enough to venture to the areas where they are (often by water) then a head net can help.

Numerous insect repellants are useless in the face of the Scottish midge, but a number of years ago there was a rush on Avon products when it was discovered that their “Skin So Soft” range worked a treat. I tried this on a holiday to the Ullapool area and have to report that it didn’t work for me, although I did smell beautiful.