8 mins

Lorraine Kelly's Scotland

Scotland's favourite daughter, Lorraine Kelly, reveals the places you must visit in her homeland.

Lorrain Kelly in Scotland (LK Heaval)

Every since she was the Scottish correspondent for TV AM, back in the 80s. Lorraine Kelly has travelled all over Scotland. In her latest book, Lorraine Kelly's Scotland, she talks about the places she loves in her homeland and the one's she wants other people to experience. 

Here she reveals her five favourites:

1. Barra, Outer Hebrides

I would start off with Barra, in the Outer Hebrides. Of course, you could go to Oban by the ferry – a drive-on, drive-off ferry – but it takes five hours and it can get a bit bumpy if the weather gets a bit bad. The way I go, and the best way to go, is to fly. 

You fly from Glasgow. It takes just under an hour. And you land on the beach. It’s the only place in the UK where the airport timetable is subject to the tide. It’s this beautiful flat white white sand beach. And the water is incredibly clear. If you get a good day for that flight from Glasgow, you pass over some amazing islands and the views are just extraordinary. 

Barra is a magical wee island. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s at the bottom of the Outer Hebrides. Very small, very quite. But a very friendly place. They’ve got a couple of great hotels, but fabulous B&Bs as well. It’s a great place if you like sailing, if you like birdwatching, if like just walking, if you like sitting by a fire with a glass in your hand. If you’re thinking ‘I’m stressed! I’m hassled!’ it’s the perfect place for you.

2. Orkney Islands

Again, you can get the ferry. Drive up to the north of Scotland, to Scrabster, and you can get the ferry across. The joy of the ferry is that you pass the Old Man of Hoy, so you get that fantastic view of that amazing rock formation. 

The light in Orkney is extraordinary. If you like taking photographs, or you’re in any way artistic, it’s an amazing place to go. 

The history is extraordinary, starting at Skara Brae. People were there before the pyramids were built. There’s an amazingly preserved neolithic village you can go and see. 

Orkney is a really quirky place too. There’s lots of wee islands, each of them with their own strange ways. Like the flight from the island of Westray to the island of Papa Westray. It’s the shortest flight in the Uk. It’s under a minute. You can see the flight socks of the runway on the other island. And the pilot does his landing checks before he takes off. 

Then there's the island of North Ronaldsay, in the far north of the Orkneys. The sheep are kept off the land and fed seaweed. So there are pies that they make from the mutton that has quite a briny taste.

If you're into history, you'll want to see the Churchill Barriers that link all the south islands. They were built during the Second World War to stop the German fleet from coming up to Scapa Flow.

3. Dundee

I'm from Glasgow original, but Dundee is my adopted city. It's  going through a a renaissance at the moment. We’re getting a V&A Museum by the waterfront and the whole waterfront is getting completely transformed.

It’s a brilliant place, with an amazing history. You know when you live somewhere you kind of take it for granted a little bit? I was a bit like that with Dundee. But when I was researching this book, it was great to rediscover it and find out a bit more about the history of Dundee. 

I support the local football team, Dundee United. The really interesting thing is that Dundee United and Dundee, the city's other football team, are actually on the same street. They’re the closest clubs anywhere. When Dundee was in the same league as us, if you were going to an away game, it was almost like a home game. You literally walked across the road.

4. Glasgow

Glasgow was my home town. It’s friendly and a bit cheeky. If you’re standing at the bus stop, waiting for a bus, somebody from Glasgow will talk to you. You’ll get their whole life story.

Glasgow is really thriving culturally. It has amazing museums. Fantastic restaurants and clubs. Also, Glasgow is gaelic for 'great green place', so there are lots of parks. Go for the parks, the museums, go for the Burrill Collection, the Kelvin Grove Museum. And for the pubs. Glasgow has great pubs.

5. Inverness

Inverness is a great city and a great base. There are so many place you can go to from Inverness. We hired a boat and went on Loch Ness when my daughter was really young, looking for the monster. That was really good fun. 

ICulloden battlefield is very near Inverness too. It's very eerie and atmospheric. And there is a brilliant visitors centre there that really explains the background and the history. They’ve tried very hard to restore it so it’s like it was when the battle took place.

Lorraine Kelly's ScotlandBeautifully illustrated with stunning original photographs, Lorraine Kelly's Scotland, can be ordered on Amazon now.

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