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16th August 2016

Scottish Legends

If you are looking for lots of coastal walks Scotland is the place to go! A country filled with myths and legends, tales which have been handed down from generation to generation. The Scottish Highlands are home of many of these mythical creatures, walking around allows you to see some of Scotland’s most magical landscapes.

Selkies

Are you exploring? You may encounter this mythical seal-like creature on the coast. The mythical Selkies are said to look like seals which can transform themselves into humans. The legend of the Selkies originates from Orkney and the areas surrounding, with many seals calling the area their home, you may encounter your very own Selkie. One tale states that a man fell in love with a beautiful Selkie he found lying on a beach one day. Supposedly, they married and had children before she transformed back to seal form, never to be seen again. It is because of stories like these that the coastal walks Scotland offers are so well recommended!

Nuckelavee

The Nuckelavee is one of the most gruesome and feared creature in Northern Scotland. The creature is said to have no skin, so you can see its horrid, yellow veins and muscles under a red, slime-like film. Legend says that the Nuckelavee’s head is ten times larger than that of a human, with a pig-like mouth sticking out from its face. The creature is said to dwell in the sea along the north of Scotland  and only venture on to land to feast upon humans. Fortunately, the Nuckelavee has a weakness: fresh water. Many people claim to have escaped the beast by crossing streams, preventing the creature from capturing them. Offering lots of coastal walks Scotland has many different places to explore along the various coastal routes!

Smoo Cave

Located near the North Coast, Smoo Cave is said to be an entrance to another world and is home to two Scottish legends. The first legend of Smoo Cave relates to a piper who is said to have entered the cave and never returned. Many people believe that the piper entered the fairy world as he walked through the caves playing his pipes. This legend is common across Scotland with many people said to enter the fairy world and never return.

Coastal walks Scotland lets you learn about Scottish culture

The second legend of Smoo Cave is of a wizard who supposedly had his shadow stolen by the devil. The wizard entered the cave in the hopes of meeting the devil to regain his shadow. Unfortunately, when he entered the cave, his dog went on ahead, only to return hairless. According to legend, the wizard accepted his fate and expected the devil to come out of the depths of the cave to claim the wizard’s soul. However, the sun came out, sending the devil back to the depths of the underworld, allowing the wizard to escape with his life.

Loch Ma Naire

Located south of the coast is Loch Ma Naire, a loch said to possess healing powers. According to legend, Loch Ma Naire gained its powers from a magical healing stone which once belonged to a wise woman. A local lord learned of the powers of the stones, so chased the wise woman to try and gain the stone from her. When the wise woman reached Loch Ma Naire she refused to leave the water to give up her precious and powerful stone so the Lord had her stoned to death where she stood in the lake. It is said that when the woman died, the lake absorbed the power of the healing stone. With such magical history, a place with lots of coastal walks Scotland is a great place to visit.

Supposedly, the power of the lake is strongest on the first Monday of August between 12am and 1am, this is a significant time in the Celtic festival of Lammas.

Sandwood Bay

Although Sandwood Bay is said to be one of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches, it is also an area filled with mystery. Sandwood Bay is home to a variety of myths and legends, with many stories to go along with it. The beautiful bay has long been associated with mermaids. However, the most recent sighting took place in 1900, when a man claimed to see a beautiful mermaid, seven feet long lying in the sun on a ledge.

However, the area is more commonly associated with hauntings, on in particular is that of an old sailor. It is said that the sailor appears to visitors to the beach telling them that, “All on this beach is mine, begone!”, however, many locals believe that it is likely that the visitors encountered the local hermit who lived near the beach, and that the encounter was certainly not supernatural.

Other ghostly reports relate to shipwreck victims who have been seen by walkers, even though there are no shipwrecks in the area. Before the lighthouse was built in the area, shipwrecks were very common in the area, and the area is said to be haunted by many of these victims. With great stories like these, is there any wonder the coastal walks Scotland offers are so popular?

Coastal Walks Scotland

Scotland is a country filled with legend and superstition, with many people visiting norther areas of Scotland in the hopes of encountering one of the legends. The areas surrounding the north coast are rich in mythical legends and tales, as well as stunning and unique scenery. This area allows you to see some truly magical landscapes, and experience areas of Scotland which have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Walking holidays in Scotland are always so much fun!

Interested in learning more about Scottish history and heritage? Look at our last post about the History of Scottish Vikings!

If you are interested in visiting the North Highland Way and visiting the home of some Scottish legends, then get in touch today.