Living in Cornwall, I’ve always been intrigued to explore other parts of the UK that are renowned for their outstanding natural beauty. So, not ever doing things by half, I took my partner and baby bump on a journey from the tip of England’s toe right up to the Western Highlands of Scotland, to a place which felt like the gateway to the edge of the world.

Whether you travel there by plane, train or automobile (or all three!) I would definitely recommend organising a hire car at least for travelling in and around Poolewe - one of the most remote parts of the UK. En route, we launched into our Scottish adventure with a visit to Urquhart Castle, taking a cruise along the infamous Loch Ness, earnestly scanning the waters for the legendary green monster on the thirty minute boat ride to this Scottish landmark. Not too disheartened by Nessie’s no-show, we drove from Inverness to Applecross via the Bealach Nam Bo; the only true Alpine pass in Britain and the ultimate afternoon drive. The long road to Stardust was simply spectacular.

We arrived to witness a picture-perfect sunset, with chalky clouds and ribbons of peach cutting through the daytime sky, swathing it to sleep before darkness fell upon the two dwellings that would play home for the week. We climbed into the luxurious hand-crafted bed in the boathouse with some enchanting literature on ancient folklore, teaching us about the local island burial grounds and Viking settlers.

Over breakfast in the delightful Shepard’s hut, inspired by our bedtime reading, we coined plans to explore more of the history which makes Stardust so magical. We started with a trip to Inverewe Estate and Gardens which has an intriguing tale; created by Osgood Mackenzie, who dedicated his life to developing it after being gifted the barren land by his Mother in 1862. Later in the week we visited Eilean Donan Castle; its picture decorating shortbread tins across the country, this is one of the more iconic monuments in the area. We roamed around the rooms inside, admiring the period furniture and Jacobean artefacts, transporting us to bygone times. The castle sits within the forested mountains of Kintail with majestic views across to the Isle of Sky, which intrigued us to pay that a visit too!

The local history is just fascinating. Whilst we enjoyed various drives around the area, we stumbled across several pull-in points where you can park up and read more about the past. My favourite discovery came in learning that Loch Ewe was used as an assembly point for the Arctic Convoys during World War II.

On our last evening, when we arrived back to Stardust the owner had organised a delicious seafood platter for us, which was hand-delivered to the Shepard’s Hut door complete with all the trimmings! Looking out over the river and across to the beautiful gardens of Inverewe, we carefully peeled the langoustines, lobster, crab and whelks from their shells and savoured the taste of the fresh Scottish Highland treasures.

Embarking on the long journey home, we decided to travel back via Inverness with a quick pit stop at Glen Ord Distillery to pick up some gifts; you can’t buy their delicious malt whisky anywhere else in Europe. Passing awe-inspiring vistas of dramatic mountainous scenery, we were not surprised to learn this route had been classed as one of the top ten drives in the whole world. We mused over our last holiday before parenthood and concluded what a remarkable one it had been, we really couldn’t have picked a more special place to explore.