Get Up Close With Highland Cattle Near Loch Ness

Get Up Close With Highland Cattle Near Loch Ness

Hairy, Horned, and Highly Captivating: A Highland Cattle Adventure

As I pull up to the rolling green hills surrounding Loch Ness Shores, the first thing that catches my eye is a herd of majestic, shaggy creatures grazing peacefully in the distance. Their long, wavy hair and impressive horns can only belong to one animal – the iconic Scottish Highland cattle, affectionately known as the “Heilan’ coos.”

Encountering the Legendary Highland Cows

I can barely contain my excitement as I hop out of the car and make my way towards the fence separating me from these gentle giants. Their curious gaze immediately locks with mine, and I feel like I’ve been transported to a bygone era, surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands. As I slowly approach, one of the cows ambles over, its huge brown eyes studying me intently.

According to VisitScotland, these hardy bovines have roamed the Highlands for centuries, adapting to the harsh climate and terrain. Their distinctive features, from the thick, shaggy coats to the impressive horns, have made them a beloved symbol of Scotland. And now, here I am, mere feet away from these majestic creatures, mesmerized by their presence.

A Feast for the Senses

As I stand there, taking in the moment, I can’t help but notice the unique scents wafting through the air – a blend of freshly grazed grass, earthy peat, and a hint of something distinctly… bovine. It’s an intoxicating sensory experience that transports me to a simpler time, when these cows were an integral part of the rural Highlands lifestyle.

I’m suddenly drawn to a small structure nearby, which turns out to be a charming Highland cow-themed cafe. The owner, Morag, greets me with a warm smile and a steaming cup of tea, and I can’t resist inquiring about the cows. She eagerly shares tales of these beloved animals, including how they got their endearing nickname and the important role they played in the region’s history.

Exploring the Picturesque Landscape

As I sip my tea and savor the homemade scones, I can’t help but gaze out at the stunning scenery surrounding me. The serene Loch Ness stretches out in the distance, its dark waters reflecting the majestic Munros that tower above. It’s a landscape that seems to have been plucked straight from a fairy tale, and I find myself utterly captivated by its rugged beauty.

According to the Kingsmills Hotel blog, the historic Culloden Battlefield, just a short drive from here, is another prime spot to spot Highland cows. As I make a mental note to visit, I can’t help but wonder what other hidden gems the Scottish Highlands have in store.

Immersing Myself in Highland Cow Culture

After reluctantly tearing myself away from the cafe, I decide to explore the surrounding area further, eager to learn more about these captivating creatures. I stumble upon a sign advertising “Hairy Coo Safaris,” and without hesitation, I book a spot on the next tour.

As I join the group and climb aboard the safari vehicle, I can barely contain my excitement. Our guide, a local with a deep love for the Highlands, regales us with stories about the history and ecology of the region, all while keeping an eye out for the elusive “Heilan’ coos.”

A Close Encounter with the Herd

It doesn’t take long before we spot a herd grazing in the distance, and our guide expertly maneuvers the vehicle to get us as close as possible without disturbing them. I lean forward, my eyes wide with wonder, as we approach the majestic animals. They seem utterly unbothered by our presence, going about their business as if we’re not even there.

As the Secret Scotland blog notes, Highland cows can be found throughout the Highlands, from the rugged coastlines to the rolling inland pastures. But there’s something truly special about seeing them in their natural habitat, surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes that have nurtured them for generations.

Capturing the Moment

As we move closer, I can’t resist the urge to snap photo after photo, desperate to capture the essence of these magnificent creatures. Their shaggy coats seem to glow in the soft, golden light, and their gentle demeanor puts me completely at ease. I feel like I’m in a dream, surrounded by a living, breathing piece of Scottish heritage.

Feeding Time

Our guide then surprises us by producing a bag of special treats for the cows, and before long, we’re all eagerly offering handfuls of the fragrant feed to the curious animals. They approach us with a surprising lack of hesitation, their large tongues licking the palms of our hands as they devour the offering. It’s a moment of pure, unadulterated joy, and I find myself laughing and giggling like a giddy schoolchild.

Leaving with a Newfound Appreciation

As the safari tour comes to an end, I find myself reluctant to depart. I’ve been completely enchanted by the Highland cows, their majestic presence and the rich cultural heritage they represent. But as I climb back into my car, I can’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude for this incredible experience.

The Scottish Highlands have revealed yet another one of their hidden gems, and I can’t wait to share my Highland cow adventure with friends and family. Who knows, maybe I’ll even plan a return trip to this enchanting corner of the world, where I can once again bask in the presence of these truly remarkable creatures. After all, as the saying goes, “you can take the girl out of the Highlands, but you can’t take the Highlands out of the girl.”

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