12 FEBRUARY 1972, Page 33


(2) Scotland


The thing about the Hebrides is that the fishing is as good as that in Ireland. The tranquility of islands like Barra, Uist and Benbecula is an experience that dedicated city dwellers may find difficulty in adjust ing to, the whole philosophy of life being completely different. Personally I believe that everyone survives by contrast: and most people will find the experience of a stay on the islands a refreshing alternative to the daily routine.

The Scottish Tourist Board and the Highlands and Islands Development Board tell would-be holiday makers of the magic of the Aurora Borealis, of the setting sun striking the sparkling sea, while anglers may choose to forget these fulsome descriptions and merely recall the time they landed a fine sea trout in broad daylight after a thrilling contest.

Travelling to the islands is comparatively easy, with a good choice of ships, and regular services. For summer mountaineering and winter sporting the Aviemore centre in Inverness-shire is one of the best bases with a wide choice of accom modation in every price bracket. From here one can climb some of the most challeng ing, if not the highest, mountains in Europe. If a more restful, recuperative holiday is required the area possesses some of the most spectacular walking country, or one can cover the same ground on a pony if physical exertion is something to be shied from. A wide variety of car and coach tours are available to cover the countryside of Aberdeenshire and Banffshire in somewhat more leisurely comfort.

Aberdeen itself is a town which has managed to avoid the kind of architectural obliteration suffered by a great many cities which have emerged into the twentieth century in the past twenty or so years.

The discovery of oil •in the North Sea is threatening the survival of the picturesque fishing village which was in the past the centre of the town. The new oil industry is benefiting Aberdeen in many ways but may mean, in time, the end of the traditional industry which the city has grown up on.

Deep sea fishermen, who have enabled Aberdeen to grow to its present size and supplied this industry have not so far been consulted about the future growth and development of their home city.

Be that as it may, the oil industry has so far made little impact on the overall ap pearance of the city, certain streets being very beautifully designed and many buildings date from the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. In the surrounding countryside many of Scotland's stateliest of stately homes are situated just a brief car ride away from the town centre. Castles which stood in feudal times are now discernable merely by grass covered mounds or mottes, but many castles of later periods are still relatively intact.