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Barra's Beach Runway Voted The World's Most Scenic

The tiny island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides is the only place in the world where scheduled flights land on the beach, and a recent survey among an elite group of travelers -- those who use the private jet booking network -- have voted it the most scenic in the world, beating out such glamour spots as St. Barts, the Maldives and Gibraltar. "There is no door between the pilot and the passengers, so you are watching the runway surge up towards you as you land," explained John Milne from Lanarkshire, who flew to Barra with his wife, Irene, last September. "I couldn't stop looking, it was too fascinating." Traigh Mhor, a 2-mile stretch of cockle shell shoreline that serves as the island's runway, is submerged at high tide twice a day, so flight schedules vary week to week to accommodate mother nature. For details and costs, visit

Gordon Highlanders Statue Unveiled In Aberdeen

The Gordon Highlanders, who took their name from the Clan Gordon, had a proud history that spanned from 1794 until they were amalgamated in 1994 with the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) to become simply The Highlanders. Men from Aberdeen and northeast Scotland bravely fought without question for the regiment and were proud to say they were a Gordon. And to help preserve the memory of the proud regiment, a bronze statue was commissioned by the Aberdeen City Council and unveiled by Prince Charles, the unit's last Colonel-in-Chief, last October. "The Gordon Highlanders have been incredibly important to this neck of the woods, but the memory is going to fade," said Lt. Col. Tobin Duke, a retired Gordon who now works closely with the Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen. "So this is a remembrance for them and the 200 years worth of regimental history."

Scotland's Finest Pub

You will definitely work up a thirst getting to Scotland's Pub Of The Year for 2012. But the judges at the Good Pub Guide believe a "no-nonsense, welcoming bar" in a "splendidly remote" location is a winning combination, so they named the Applecross Inn, at the end of a two-hour drive from Inverness along a sometimes twisting single track road, their top pick. "Scotland's Pub Of The Year has to be a good all-rounder and must appeal to a wide mix of customers," said editor Fiona Stapley. Other winners, in more centrally located places, were the Bow Bar, Edinburgh, Whisky Pub Of the Year, and the Cafe Royal, Edinburgh, and Bon Accord, Glasgow, both top-ten town pubs. To find recommended pubs in cities and towns throughout Scotland, visit For more information on the Applecross Inn, visit

The full text of this section is available in the Spring 2012 issue of Scottish Life.

Click here to preview our feature article on Kirkcudbright, "The Artists' Town" by Jim Gilchrist.

Click here to preview our feature article on North Uist, Isle At The Edge Of The Sea by Bruce MacGregor Sandison.

Click here to preview our column on the Highland Bagpipe by Gary West.

Click here to preview our reviews of Scottish Books.