In the town of Golspie, a coastal community in Scotland’s extreme north, there is no castle. Instead the outline of Ben Bhraggie looms over the rooftops. This mountain is more than it seems: A history lesson disguised as a pleasantly strenuous uphill hike.
On day 3 of a minimally planned road trip through the Scottish Highlands, our Lonely Planet guidebook suggested Handa, a tiny island nature reserve off the extreme north-western coast. It is known for its dramatic sea cliffs that serve as breeding grounds for a lot of strange birds, the most famous of which are probably the puffins.