Sparsely populated, with several rugged mountain ranges that are speckled with forests of Scots pines, the Highlands of Scotland are the only areas in the British Isles that lie within the taiga biome.
The Highlands are often portrayed as the romantic part of Scotland. Here, red deer roam the mountains and moorlands, and eagles soar across the skies. The ever and fast-changing weather gives the Highlands an added mystical touch. One moment you are able to see the hills and the next they are completely erased from sight. Sunny spells and dark shadows roll over the landscape in alternate waves; and in the winter, white, snowcapped mountains sparkle.
In other words, this verdant place is visually stunning. If you need more convincing, just watch the time-lapse video below.
But there is another richness that the Highlands possess, beyond that of physical beauty. The place is also full of cultural history. Not long after the clan battles of the 18th century, landowners discovered they could make more money with sheep grazing on the hills than by allowing poor crofters to farm small patches of land. The “Highland Clearances” then began, where people were evicted en masse; sometimes with great force. Others emigrated voluntarily, mostly to Australia, Canada and the United States. Today, there are more descendants from the long-ago Highlanders living outside Scotland than there are inside.
A few years ago, Mattia Bicchi, producer of the film below, spent two weeks exploring and camping around the northwest Scottish Highlands, as he endeavored to capture this special spot’s essence. After watching the results of his travels, I hope you’ll get a feel for the Scottish Highlands’ romance, mysticism and richness, too.
Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,