Behind the Beauty – A Walk Through Scotlands Hidden History

Behind the Beauty – A Walk Through Scotlands Hidden History

Stumbling Upon a Fairy Realm

Scotland’s west highlands present some of the best hiking opportunities in the country. Trails snake amongst the deep glens, sea lochs, and forested hills, and who knows what you’ll find on any given day out exploring. There’s boundless serendipity to be had in the highlands, and indeed Scotland possesses a trove of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.

I’ve spent much of my time in Appin seeking these treasures, and I’ve found more than a few, like the mystical Fairy Bridge of Glen Creran. But for every treasure I uncovered, I’m sure I’ve missed countless others – the endless nature of this quest is what keeps me in thrall to Scotland.

There was one place, however, that I found and wished not to leave. I wanted time to stop when I looked upon the Fairy Bridge, for it possessed a raw, untamed beauty that spoke to a distant, relict part of me. As with any fae place, it was not easy to find, but I hope this article will help guide you – so long as you do not despoil it! Tread carefully, gentle reader, for you may not be the same person after crossing Glen Creran’s Fairy Bridge.

A Treacherous Path to the Otherworldly

The journey to the Fairy Bridge began with a pleasant hike along the Pine Marten Trail, which crosses a bridge by a small waterfall and climbs the emerald slopes of Glen Creran. Everywhere around me, the lush vegetation seemed to pulse with a vibrant energy – mossy rocks, brilliant ferns, bracken, and cold water spilling from the hilltops.

But to reach the Fairy Bridge, I had to leave the marked trail and descend into a dense, muddy woodland. The path was treacherous, and more than once I slid on the mud and nearly capsized (I swear I hadn’t enjoyed a single dram that day!). Eventually, the muddy tract petered out as I entered what I can only describe as a fae realm – a place that should not exist in our world, though we wish it might.

Enchantment in the Moss-Covered Glen

Old trees, draped in yellowed moss, rose from the forest floor in the purest shade of green. Wild garlic bloomed everywhere, the little white flowers vying with newly bloomed indigo bluebells. A small stream cut through the vision with the elegance only nature can provide.

Moss covered everything, swallowing lone stones and fallen trees, carrying them back into the earth. I studied each footfall, careful not to crush the flowers beneath me. The quiet, lush atmosphere was a pocket of otherworldliness, of magic. I took my time, savoring the landscape, drinking in every detail.

And then, I saw it – the Fairy Bridge.

The Fairy Bridge Revealed

I still get chills when I think back on that moment. There was no imagination required; the bridge bore an alien quality, slightly off-center of humanity. It was a small thing, the stones forming a quick arch over a narrow but eager river. Along the bridge’s edges stood a series of upthrust stones like tines in the crown of some nature spirit.

None of us spoke for a long time; we just listened to the water run beneath the arch. I felt like I had stumbled upon something I was not supposed to see, that I had found something meant to remain hidden. What dwelt in these woods?

Reluctantly, and against a magnetic pull, I said goodbye to the Fairy Bridge of Glen Creran. The wild garlic escorted me from that place of fantasy and old truth as I flicked off ticks from my legs. The forest opened up, and the hills of Glen Creran ran up to the brooding clouds.

As I walked back to the car, I chatted with my companions in awed tones. Never, in all my travels, have I found a place that spoke so loudly to that distant, relict part of me. It was a true hidden treasure, a glimpse into a realm beyond our own.

Exploring More of Scotland’s Wonders

The Fairy Bridge of Glen Creran is just one of the many hidden gems waiting to be discovered in the Scottish Highlands. Whether you’re seeking out ancient castles, historic distilleries, or simply immersing yourself in the breathtaking natural scenery, there’s always more to uncover.

If you’re planning a visit to the Loch Ness Shores campsite, I highly recommend carving out some time to explore the Appin area and the Fairy Bridge. Who knows what other enchantments you might stumble upon in this magical corner of Scotland?

So pack your hiking boots, your sense of adventure, and prepare to be spellbound by the hidden history and natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands. You never know what treasures might be waiting just off the beaten path.

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