WITH lockdown measures slowly beginning to ease and the coronavirus continuing to be suppressed, it’s hard to blame some members of the public to begin planning a holiday.

After exactly three months of lockdown things are starting to look up – and just last week it was revealed Scotland’s tourism sector – including hotels, pubs and restaurants – could reopen from July 15. 

And with our beautiful scenery, immersing history and friendly locals, there’s no wonder why some research shows more than half of Brits are eyeing up a ‘staycation’ this year rather than opting to go abroad.

With that in mind, we’ve detailed out five of the most photogenic ‘staycation’ locations to visit in Scotland once lockdown measures are eased.

Harris, Outer Hebrides

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

When thinking about a ‘staycation’ in Scotland, it’s understandable that a beach holiday isn’t the first thing on your mind.

But the Outer Hebrides beaches are some of the most beautiful in Europe – and it would be hard to blame you if you thought it was somewhere in the Caribbean… perhaps only the temperature would give it away.

In March, Luskentyre Bay on Harris was named as one of the top 25 beaches in the world by Tripadvisor. 

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

The far-flung, sandy outpost - which is reached by a single track road - was rated higher than sun-soaked destinations in Spain, the Caribbean, and the golden shores of Florida to take 13th spot in the prestigious 2020's Travellers' Choice Awards.

Described by the site's visitors "as close to heaven as you could get", the expanse of Luskentyre Bay sits on the South of Harris, close to the isolated island of Taransay, where the seminal BBC reality series Castaway 2000 was filmed.

Tobermory, Mull

It doesn’t take a tourism expert to identify the colourful harbour-front buildings of Tobermory from the popular children’s TV show Balamory. 

The capital of Mull, Tobermory is arguably one of the prettiest ports in Scotland thanks to the before-mentioned colourful houses and sheltered bay. 

Legend has it that Tobermory was the location of the sinking of Spanish Armada ship in 1588, carrying gold bullion. 

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

You can find out all about the history of the area in the Mull museum – or if golf is more of your fancy then there’s a nine-hole course sitting in the cliffs above the bay.

The “tough challenge” offers panoramic views across to the Ardnamurchan Peninsula and, on a clear day, the Isle of Skye. 

The bay is also a departure point for whale watching and wildlife cruises. 

Eilean Donan, Highlands

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

It’s the most photographed castle in Scotland and has been featured in blockbuster films including James Bond. 

Recognised around the world as one of the most iconic images of Scotland, it’s little wonder the castle is now one of the most visited attractions in the Scottish Highlands.

Strategically located on its own little island overlooking the isle of Skye, the castle sits where three lochs – Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh meet. 

Surrounded by the mountains of Kintail, visitors have the chance to wander around the internal rooms of the castle while also taking in the wonderful wildlife that surrounds the island too – with porpoise, dolphins, otters and birdlife sightings an often occurrence.

Arran, North Ayrshire

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

The Isle of Arran is often described as “Scotland in Miniature”, so if you’re looking for a quick staycation but with a lot to experience then look no further. 

The ever-changing coastline, dramatic mountain peaks, sheltered beaches and tasty local produce makes a holiday in Arran unforgettable. 

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

Don’t forget to pack your camera – with the stunning views of and from the island’s largest mountain, Goatfell, worth capturing.

Not only that but the island boasts a wealth of nature, including red squirrels, deer, golden eagles, otters, seals and basking sharks just waiting to be snapped up. 

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Highlands

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

Made ever more popular by the Harry Potter films, the Glenfinnan Viaduct attracts thousands of visitors from across the world every year.

The special atmosphere and the stunning scenery overlooking the famous railway track makes for some magical images – no wonder why they chose it for the wizarding films. 

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

The famous viaduct carries the railway to Glenfinnan station across a 1000ft span, 100ft above the ground – and the Jacobite steam train runs from here to Fort William and Mallaig in the summer months.

Visitors are reminded, however, that trespassing on the railway line is extremely dangerous and they should stay clear of the tracks at all times. 

Full details of all the locations and more are available on Visit Scotland's website here.

And remember: Do not travel for leisure until the Scottish Government guidance says it is acceptable to do so.