Is it the Highlands, the Islands, the history, the mystery, the bagpipes, the poetry, or the braw lads in kilts? Aye, it could be that last item, but in truth, it’s all of the above and much more that draws our hearts toward the misty isles.

Some enjoy a round of golf on a windswept course looking over the North Sea. Others are content nursing a dram in a dimly lit pub, listening to locals grouse about politics or the Edinburgh Tram.

My taste runs to simpler pleasures. Most are free or very near it.

Bench Overloking Selkirkshire

Benches, for one thing. You’ll find them on a hilltop, around a bend in the road, by a quiet loch. Whoever placed them there saw no need to etch their names on brass plates, announcing their generosity. A wooden bench simply appears at the precise moment you’re thinking you’d like to sit for a moment and enjoy the view, like this scene overlooking Selkirkshire.  Ahhh.

Scottish Shortbread

Scottish shortbread is another treat. Not the kind that comes in tins, but the sort pulled out of an oven in Ayrshire, the edges barely golden, the crisp, buttery taste beyond description. Home-baked shortbread doesn’t crumble on your plate; it melts in your mouth, especially when chased by a steaming cup of tea.

Storm Clouds Over Luss

Even the clouds in Scotland are unique. Rather than a faint smear of white, high above the earth, huge billowing piles roll low across the landscape, or an ominous gray mass looms over the rooftops. In any weather Scotland’s skies are dynamic, dramatic, and never boring.

Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde

Maybe your love affair with Scotland began with a wall calendar featuring all the classic scenes: photogenic Eilean Donan Castle, moody Ben Nevis, Melrose Abbey at sunset, the aptly named Loch Awe, or Ailsa Craig rising out of the Firth of Clyde, as we see here. Could be the many Scottish novelists crowding your bookshelf have thoroughly captured your imagination: John Buchan, Nigel Tranter, George MacDonald, Robert Louis Stevenson, or Dorothy Sayers. Perhaps your family’s roots are in Scotland, and you proudly wear a clan tartan at every opportunity.

Whatever the reason, whatever the season, Scotland and its stories will be celebrated weekly on Is there something particular you’d like to see? Some aspect of Scottish life you’d enjoy learning more about? Perhaps a question about my books set in Scotland? Kindly post your comment here on my blog, and I’ll gladly reply—on the spot or by way of a future post.

8 Scottish Books by Liz Curtis Higgs

Might a wee contest be of interest? I’ll choose at random one terrific question or suggestion from those posted below, then send that happy winner autographed copies of all 8 of my Scottish books. Och, so many stories! To be eligible to win, please post your comment before Tuesday, September 25 at 12 noon EDT. I look forward to hearing from you!