If myths and legends are your thing, you’ll appreciate Scotland’s heritage because it is steeped in fable and folklore. And it’s not difficult to see why. With its Gothic architecture, rugged scenery, and atmospheric weather, Scotland provides a suitable backdrop to tales of the unexpected.
The glens and lochs of rural Scotland abound in myths and legends. For fantasy enthused holidaymakers, the location of many of these myths and legends can still be visited today. Whether tramping over highlands or sailing past misty isles, these ancient tales somehow enrich the natural landscape.
So get your hiking boots on, you’re going on a myth hunt!
When a geological formation is given a human title, you know there’s an intriguing tale to be told. According to legend, resting among this majestic phalanx of rocks is the thumb of a buried giant.
Rearing above the stunningly picturesque backdrop of the Trotternish Peninsula on the Isle of Skye, the location is a popular spot for hikers. The location is so visually spectacular it was used in the opening scenes of the Ridley Scott film Prometheus. You can visit the Isle of Skye by car or public transport, and it is a must-visit for anyone fond of natural beauty.
No myth hunting expedition would be complete without paying a visit to Nessie at Loch Ness – a huge freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands, extending around 23 miles. Nessie was brought to public attention in 1933, and this aquatic mystery has since captivated those with a penchant for unsolved tales of intrigue.
With little more than manufactured images and personal accounts keeping the legend alive, you’re not exactly guaranteed a personal encounter with the monster. But that’s the fun of it! Whether or not there is a large eel-like creature lurking in this freshwater loch, you’re guaranteed a great day out with picturesque villages, castles, and a thriving tourism industry nestled along the banks of Loch Ness.
One for the Harry Potter fans. Beside a quaint parish church in Central Edinburgh is a graveyard which has become an unlikely pilgrimage site for thousands of devoted Potterheads. Interred in this sombre burial site is one Tom Riddle, known filmically as the actual name of evil wizard Lord Voldermort.
The real Thomas Riddle was from Berwick, and died in Edinburgh on 24 November 1806, aged 72. His gravestone lies beside that of poet William McGonagall, who gave his name to another of JK Rowling’s creations. Indeed, Rowling wrote most of the Harry Potter series from The Elephant House cafe, which overlooks the graveyard. The graveyard and surrounding areas are definitely worth checking out, for their cultural heritage as well as their contemplative beauty.
If you’re a myth and legend hunter planning some big adventures, add Scotland to your list of destinations. It offers a combination of natural beauty, ancient tradition and some downright spine-tingling locations claimed to be steeped in mysteries from times of old!