Scottish Myths & Legends
Scotland, an ancient land in Britain's north, with landscapes so beautiful they verge on the mythical and with a tumultuous history to match the country has yielded many myths and legends. Some more fairy tale than fact, and tales of bravery and struggle that seem too incredible to be true. Why not visit this land steeped in storytelling and legend to decide for yourself?
Robert The Bruce King of Scots (1274-1329)
Widely regarded as Scotland's first successful monarch Robert The Bruce fought for decades to gain Scotland's independence from the English kings Edward I through to Edward III. Visit Inverness near the site of the 1314 Battle of Bannockburn, where Robert defeated the English army under Edward II. Take a trip to the Isle of Arran where he retreated before regaining faith in the independence campaign while hiding out in a cave, now called Bruce's Cave. Here he is said to have watched a spider try again and again to construct a web sturdy enough to withstand the Scottish weather. Or explore the charming town of Melrose with it's spectacular ruined abbey where Robert The Bruce's heart is interred in the Scottish Borders.
The Loch Ness Monster, also known as "Nessie", is perhaps Scotland's most well known myth. Many visit Loch Ness, not just for the beautiful scenery, but to try and spot the elusive creature for themselves. The first recorded sighting of a water beast in the loch was over 1500 years ago when St Columba is said to have stopped the "beast" from killing one of his followers. Many sightings followed in later years and the first supposedly credible photograph was taken in 1934, referred to as the surgeon's photograph, it was taken by a doctor who didn't wish to have his name associated with the image. Despite the image being proved a hoax you'll still find believers opposing naysayers. Why not walk the Great Glen Way, passing Loch Ness, between Fort William and Inverness and decide for yourself?
Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734)
A figure so steeped in folklore it is difficult to determine fact from fiction, but Rob Roy is said to be Scotland's take on Robin Hood. Branded an outlaw as a MacGregor cattleman, the MacGregor clan was the only one not pardoned after the Jacobite uprisings of 1715. Discover the truth and legends surrounding this iconic Scottish figure for yourself as you walk the Rob Roy Way through his homelands in the Trossachs National Park and beyond.
Creatures of ancient Scottish lore the Selkie gets its name from the old Scots words selkie/selch meaning "grey seal". However, the term was widely used to describe mermaid-like seals who could take the form of human women when they shed their seal dress (or seal skin). On the Orkney and Shetland isles it is said that some men stole the seal skins of selkies to make them their wives and have a family until the selkie, in its human form, found its skin and returned to the sea where it longed to be. Other similar stories can also be found in the Faroe Isles and Iceland.