Butterscotch beaches, close-knit communities and superlative scenery – there’s plenty to love about the Hebridean island of Barra. If you’re arriving by plane then expect to be blown away. Not only is the aerial view of the Outer Hebrides a true feast for the eye, you’ll also be treated to a sandy landing at one of the world’s most unusual airports. Flights have to arrive on a shallow bay at low tide – when the tide is high, the airstrip disappears underwater. With Glasgow Airport offering same-day package flights to visit Barra, you can experience the legendary beach landing easily. For those wanting to stay overnight on the island, Barra has plenty to tempt you. Hire a bike or a kayak to explore Caribbean-esque beaches and rugged hills, take the five-minute boat trip out to Kisimul Castle, or learn about the history of the island at Dualchas heritage centre.
Tiree: Scotland’s sunshine isle
If tales of midges and mizzly weather have put you off visiting Scotland, Tiree might just persuade you to reconsider. With some of the highest levels of sunshine recorded anywhere in the British Isles and a near-constant breeze to keep the midges at bay, it’s a far cry from the stunning but rain-drenched mountains of the West Highlands. White-sand beaches, wondrous wildlife and charming hamlets are just a few of the reasons to visit the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides, which is just an hour’s flight away from Glasgow Airport. Tiree is also an excellent spot for stargazing: a lack of light pollution ensures you have stunning views of the Milky Way galaxy. With regular twice-daily flights on offer, Tiree is both wonderfully remote and tantalisingly easy to reach.
The call of Campbeltown
About 60 miles from Glasgow as the crow flies, but separated from Scotland’s biggest city by a rugged landscape, Campbeltown feels fabulously secluded. Luckily, flights to this idyllic little town on the Kintyre Peninsula take just 45 minutes. Once home to an incredible 34 distilleries and lauded as the ‘whisky capital of the world’, the town now hosts just three active distilleries: Glen Scotia, Glengyle and Springbank. Treat yourself to a whisky tasting tour before venturing off to explore the Kintyre Peninsula’s scenic and cultural highlights. Just a mere five minutes’ walk south of Springbank Distillery is the Campbeltown Heritage Centre, which offers profound insights into the social and economic factors that have shaped this town over the ages.
So grab the camera, pull on your walking boots, and start your adventure by catching a flight from Glasgow Airport to some of Scotland’s best-kept secrets today.