NOW Traveller Diaries

UK - Ardgay
Alladale Wilderness Reserve

I first visited Alladale Wilderness Reserve in the Highlands of Scotland when I was only 18 months old. I mainly remember hugging the big toy bear that sits on the landing in the main lodge. This time I went straight to find it and was so happy to see it’s still there. I returned with my family to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday there again - so it was early September and we had such great weather. This time I was nearly 9 and have many vivid memories. Alladale is a place that has made a real impression on me. If I could describe Alladale in one word it would be breathtaking. The massive scenery made me feel excited as soon as I arrived… It’s an easy and beautiful drive from the airport. I loved to see the red deer walking quietly around the lodge. I had the chance to feed one called Frank who is almost tame and comes right up to you. Everyone can get so close to nature and the wildlife here. It’s what it’s all about, as well as eating lots of delicious food.

I saw the Scottish wildcats in their breeding enclosure which was very exciting. We also went to see the Highland cattle (one of my favourites) and there were lots of calves with their mothers. They were very gentle and allowed us to get out of the car and walk amongst them.

Trees are being planted in lots of places and some are getting quite tall. We were there in late summer so we got to enjoy the flowers and forage for mushrooms. I love chanterelles and we found quite a few. The chef cooked them up for supper.

I enjoyed exploring the reserve in their 4x4 and hearing about all the projects from the guide. Some of my family went off hiking and mountain biking. I did try fly-fishing, but I was mostly keen to be outdoors and enjoy the space and peace and quiet. There is so much you can do here.

The rooms are really comfortable and this time I got to choose where I slept!

We always talk about returning again - we love it here as a family and it has given us many happy memories and lots of brilliant photos. Sometimes I just close my eyes to imagine being there again.

Alladale Wilderness Reserve, IV24 3BS Ardgay, United Kingdom

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About the Traveller

Sofia Skjott

Sofia Skjott Traveller

I am now 11 years old. I have lived in London all my life, but have been very lucky to live on a houseboat since I was 4. I love being surrounded by water and seeing all the ducklings and goslings in the Spring, but I don’t like our resident heron anymore as he is always hovering around the young chicks. I want to be a wildlife photographer / journalist when I’m older as I’d love to travel the world taking pictures and writing stories on nature… and also food. Animals are important to me and I love my two dogs. But I have set my heart on getting a wired-haired dachshund puppy in the next year. Wish me luck with my parents :)

Living Positively

Laugh

I love doing things that some people find a bit risky… they make me happy and laugh - like jumping off the harbour wall into the cold estuary. I call that fun...

Learn

I love being in the water and so the latest thing I am learning is SUP(stand up paddle boarding).

Look

I like to look at art and photographs to get inspired. I’ve recently discovered DrawFor.org which raises money for good causes.

Love

I love hanging out with my dogs; I’m an only child so I consider them my friends (brothers :)

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