....says the sign at the Highland Wildlife Park, overlooking the same entirely familiar and fairly mundane vista of the Cairngorms that everyone sees everyday driving past Kingussie. No it's not even in the top 20, nor probably the top 100 depending how detailed you want to go with your best views. It's not even the Best View Of The Cairngoms From The A9 - that accolade goes to driving back down from Inverness and seeing the Cairngorms covered in snow above the intervening countryside. Admittedly within the park itself, the view of a pair of enormous polar bears flopped out on their haunches, chilling out nibbling on meat and carrots just a few yards away is a contender for the best view. But taking the Scottish landscape alone, here are a few of my favourites:
1. Kinlochewe - the view down the valley to the end of Loch Maree:
2. Neist - the panorama of the Outer Hebrides with the pinnacle of An Teallach in the foreground.
3. Ardmair - the view of the bay, islands, and massive ridgeline framing it:
5. Ben Ledi, Eastern Trossachs, and Ochils - the view as you pop over the hill south of Stirling on the M80 and see the start of the Highlands open up, not the most amazing but the sheer amount of hills and mountains just after leaving the Central Belt.
6. Erraid - the view of the utterly perfect beach beneath the main climbing areas:
7. Sulliven - the view either from the Leaning Block cliffs or from Ledmore Junction. Either will do!
8. Loch Torridon - the view back from the viewpoint en route to Diabeg:
9. The view back up Gruinard River from Goat Crags: