Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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When it comes to finding unspoiled, rural landscapes, Scotland has them in abundance. From the Highlands’ sweeping, mystical land to the Borders’ vibrant beauty, there’s no wonder why many people flock to this location to embrace rural nature in all its glory.

Here’s our top pick of some of the must-see sights you’ll find in rural Scotland:

Grey Mare's Tail

Grey Mare’s Tail – Creative Commons – James Hearton

  1. Grey Mare’s Tail

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into one of its scenes when you visit Grey Mare’s Tail in Moffat. Boasting a rich history, this is the fifth largest waterfall in the UK. It reaches over 200 feet (60 metres). The waterfall cascades over the rocks before plunging into the dark depths below. Loch Skeen is the source of the falls.

Around here you’ll also find plenty of vistas. This is particularly true if you follow the favored route towards the bottom of this waterfall. Once there you’ll discover where the Tail Burn (an ancient settlement) is rumored to have been.

Fingal's Cave

Fingal’s Cave – Wikimedia Creative Commons Public Domain

  1. Fingal’s Cave

Located on the Isle of Staffa (which is incredibly intriguing in itself), the interior of Fingal’s Cave is a sight to behold. This cave has often been referred to as “other worldly.” It was created by the flow of lava and dates back over 60 million years. As you enter through the gigantic arch you’ll see the hexagonal pillars that tower above you and give the entire cave a celestial feel, rather like a cathedral. This eerie, awe-inspiring atmosphere is only added to by the waves that lap up against the pillars.

What’s more, even though this goes back millions of years, it was only uncovered in the 18th century. Its name is said to have come from Finn MacCool, the Irish mythologist.

Luskentyre Sands

The sands of Luskentyre This image was taken on Taransay, and shows the sound of Taransay, the sand dunes of Luskentyre and Beinn Dhubh Losgaintir in the background – Wikimedia Creative Commons – Roddy MacDonald

  1. Luskentyre Sands

When you visit Luskentyre Beach on Harris in the Outer Hebrides, you may feel as though you’ve ended up on a tropical island. It is hard to believe you are actually in Scotland. The area features a white sandy beach with crystal-clear water. The only thing that may bring you back to reality is the bracing temperature you’re faced with.

Aside from the cooler temperatures, Luskentyre Beach has been ranked one of the world’s best beaches. It appears alongside beaches in South Africa, Florida and Brazil in Time magazine’s recent rankings. Luskentyre also ranks amongst birdwatchers thanks to its unspoiled sands. A variety of bird species call theses sands home.

Whatever you’re looking for from your adventure in Scotland, you’re sure to find it plus a whole lot more.