Take a breather and explore Scotland through UNESCO’s first ever digital trail
These past few years have been a challenge for all of us. Everyone needs an escape from everyday life and the constant flow of information. As travel begins to open up again, we here at Venture North believe it's good to have a 'breathing space' from these challenges and stresses. Helping our mental wellbeing and health for the future.
Depression rates have doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began. So, what's the best way to feel better? Changing up your environment. VisitScotland has teamed up with UNESCO to create a world-first digital UNESCO trail that allows you to take a breather while enjoying some of Scotland's treasures, including right here in Sutherland.
Get some fresh air while exploring coastal waters, mountain vistas, dark skies, historical sites and beautiful cities – the trail offers something for everyone. It includes six World Heritage Sites, two Global Geoparks, two Biosphere Reserves and three Creative Cities: Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.
If you want to be at one with nature, you should explore the Global Geoparks and the Biosphere Reserves.
What is a Geopark?
A Geopark is a unified area that develops the protection and use of geological heritage sustainably while promoting the people's economic well-being.
The Northwest Highlands Global Geopark in Sutherland stretches over 2,000 square kilometres and is a home to the earliest evidence of life ever found in Europe. It's a great way to learn more about science while exploring the breathtaking beaches, rocky mountain ridges and atmospheric rock caves.
There is plenty of information on the region available at Knockan Crag information centre and online through the Geopark website. Don’t miss out on other amazing sites to visit while you are in the area such as Clachtoll Broch, Ardvreck Castle, Cape Wrath headland and Durness.
At Shetland Global Geopark, you can stroll across shifting sands, walk on an ancient ocean floor and even visit an extinct volcano plus; it has some of the best-preserved archaeology in Europe.
What is a biosphere?
Biospheres are learning areas for sustainable development under diverse ecological, social and economic contexts. They promote solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.
In the North Highlands you will find Wester Ross Biosphere, which has one of the most spellbinding landscapes in the world. Formed by some of the oldest geology in the world, it's the place where you can truly slow down and connect with the environment around you.
If you head further south, at Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, you can discover untouched coastlines, deep woodlands, and forests home to an incredibly diverse ecosystem.
Whether you want to explore idyllic beaches, gleaming lochs, evergreen woods or rocky mountains – the most important thing is to remember to appreciate the delicate connection you can make with nature. After all, this is the best medicine.
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