Our gems reveal their gems across Scotland

© iStockLoch Lomond (iStock)
Loch Lomond has been found to contain levels of microplastics.

TO celebrate the launch of our fantastic five-part magazine series, Scotland’s Gems, our columnists were eager to share their Scottish must-sees, must-dos and favourite holiday hideaways.

Our 48-page guides, each packed with recommendations from readers, will uncover region by region the array of fantastic experiences each area has to offer – and where you’ll find the warm welcomes along the way!

Don’t miss Part 2 only in next week’s Sunday Post.

View of the lighthouse and harbour lined with colourful houses at Portpatrick in southwest Scotland on a summers day (iStock)
View of the lighthouse and harbour lined with colourful houses at Portpatrick in southwest Scotland on a summers day (iStock)

Margaret Clayton

One of my favourite places in Scotland is the fishing village of Portpatrick in Galloway. We have been visiting it for more than 20 years and it still retains its quirky old-fashioned charm. There are only a handful of shops. Gillespie’s the grocers where all the local news is shared. The Lighthouse Pottery on the harbour is owned by a couple who travel abroad in the winter to search out interesting jewellery, china, bits and bobs you won’t find anywhere else.

Kenny Dalglish

For me, the most beautiful places are not hidden. They have been found. I know and love plenty of places in Scotland that I admire.

From Loch Lomond to Gleneagles to the Western Isles, I truly believe we are spoiled for choice for scenery. We also have outstanding places to eat. When we are back home, we make sure we keep it nice and simple at some stage during our visit and that means a fish supper and a bottle of American Cream Soda. You simply can’t beat that combination. Wherever we are, we always find a nice chippy.

But if we want to get a wee bit posher, then we head to Mr Singh’s in Glasgow for a curry. Again, I think our country has the best Indian restaurants.

The Seamill Hydro (Andrew Cawley)
The Seamill Hydro (Andrew Cawley)

Gordon Smith

Seamill Hydro is a lovely hotel with great views across to Arran. We like going down for afternoon tea. It’s a special place as our wedding reception was there.

We had a lovely visit last year to Thurso. We stayed in a lovely small hotel called Pennyland House. Family-run, amazing breakfast and great view of Orkney. It was only when chatting to the owner that we found out it was the birthplace of William Smith, who started the Boys Brigade.

David Campbell

A couple of years ago we spent a week on the double-barrelled island of Lewis and Harris, a wildly beautiful place with more stunning scenery than you can shake a cromach at.

Of all the places that took our breath away, none left us gasping quite so much as Hushinish on the west coast of Harris. It’s a silver-sanded crescent of beach with a cluster of small houses at one end and views of hills sloping down to the white-capped Atlantic.

Donald Macleod

As someone who loves to take at least two to three Scottish breaks a year, picking a favourite is not easy, but I’ve narrowed it down to two.

I love the area around Dunkeld, but if I had to choose – Skye would be my ultimate favourite.

It has to be the most beautiful island in Scotland if not Europe. It’s full of jaw-dropping scenery, especially in and around Trotternish and the Quiraing. Skye is the limit!


Lorraine Kelly

Orkney is one of my favourite places in the world with so many hidden gems. Yomp across Hoy to the famous Old Man, shop in Kirkwall, visit the Neolithic tomb of the eagles and marvel at how an old WW2 Nissan Hut was transformed into a tiny chapel by Italian POWS.

Hop on the less than one- minute flight from the Island of Westray to Papa Westray – the shortest scheduled flight in the world – and eat the best and freshest seafood in the Foveran.