Camping With the Fairies This Halloween

Faeries, fae, sidhe (shee), kelpies, brownies... Scotland is steeped in myth and fairytales. Both the Highlands and the Lowlands have their own distinctive lore and superstitions. The fair folk here are not always the winged, flowery sprites found further south but often something somewhat darker and more scary. So, since it is Halloween, let us look at some of the enchanting and spooky fairy locations that you could visit on your next camping trip.

The Fairy Pools & Other Locations, Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye has long been associated with the sidhe, and there are many faerie sites to visit across the island. The fairy pools are perhaps the most famous – a series of breathtaking natural pools and waterfalls. Dunvegan Castle is home to the fairy flag, and nearby is the fairy bridge, where the chief's fairy wife is said to have given him the flag before leaving for fairyland. Listen carefully for fairy music on the Fairy Knoll, and step carefully through the eerie Fairy Glen.

Glen Shee, Perthshire

This glen takes its name from the Gaelic word 'sith', which means fairy. The glen of fairies was known to be a place where the fair folk had been seen. The standing stone behind the present day church is called Dun Shith (Hill of the Fairies). Fairies were once commonplace here, but, it is said, the shriek of the steam whistle frightened them underground.

Doon Hill & Fairy Knowe, Aberfoyle

The minister of Aberfoyle, Robert Kirk, was said to have been 'taken' by the fairies in 1692. He, it was said, was a seventh son, and so was able to see them. Kirk, it was said, got a message to his relative. His cousin, he said, was to throw a dagger over his head when he appeared at his son's baptism and he would be set free. But the cousin was so astonished to see Kirk that he did not do so, and Kirk became a perpetual prisoner of the 'good people'. Take a stroll on the hills nearby, where Kirk was said to have been 'taken' and be careful not to offend those who dwell there.

These are just three of the many, many sites associated with fairies across Scotland. You could also visit Dunino Den, Fife, Tamlane's (or Tam Lin's) Well, Carterhaugh, or the many fairy knolls, glens and circles across the country. Just take care not to offend, and do not wear green, or fall sleep in a fairy ring! You never know what might happen, especially around Halloween.