|The A to Z of Scottish Places: Gazetteer N|
The A to Z of Scottish Places: N
N is for...
Nairn is a pleasant coastal town on the Moray Firth with beautiful sands especially on a good day in early June when the hills of the Black Isle and Brora are still capped with snow. A Royal Burgh the town has an ancient Celtic cross in the High Street. It was part of the old highland boundary and it's said that Gaelic was once spoken there. The town's older name is Invernairn built as it was on the mouth of the river Nairn.
... Loch Ness
Loch Ness is perhaps the most well-known scottish loch, but not for its scenery but for a creature that may not even exist - Nessie. The first sighting of the monster was in the 6th century but it wasn't until the 20th century that the legend resurfaced. Since the 1930s many scientific and amateur expeditions have attempted to prove (or disprove) the monster's existence but the depth of the loch, which at its maximum is deeper than the North Sea and most of the Atlantic Ocean, has so far prevented the mystery being explained. Long and narrow, Loch Ness is beautiful on a sunny day but can be more than a little bleak on a dull one. Urquhart Castle near the home of the loch's "nessie" exhibitions, Drumnadrochit, is a popular spot for visitors and one of the most picturesque points to stop.
... Newton Mearns
South of Glasgow lies Newton Mearns with something of a reputation as a dormitory for Glasgow professionals. It was recently by-passed with the new M77 taking traffic to Prestwick Airport and Ayrshire away from the main street and leaving it a quieter place. The new motorway was the cause of many battles between locals, nature lovers and the Scottish Office as a large portion of the woodland of Pollok Park was destroyed for its construction. However recent building in Newton Mearns suggests the town is growing even faster with the opening of the fast connection to Glasgow city centre.