Agnes Anderson

Scotland remains the major region in the UK fishing industry and accounts for over 70% of all UK fleet landings. The most import species landed into Scotland in 2009 are shown in Table 1 below, they are ranked by highest value at point of first sale.

In 2009, hake became the 9th most valued species to the Scottish industry. This is a very recent trend change which reflects the increased catches of this species particularly in the North Sea. Over the last 3 years the industry has seen landings of this species double due to a rapid increase in abundance of this fish.



Total Value


(£ million)

Total Volume




£ per Kg






































Edible Crab















Table 1: Calculated from: Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics, 2009. Scottish Government.

                                Based on UK vessel landings into Scotland.

These ten species accounted for just over 85% of the total value of UK fleet landings into Scotland. In 2009 the most valuable species to the Scottish industry was mackerel with a value of over £79 million, mackerel makes up approximately 23% of the total value of fish landed into Scotland by UKvessels.

These ten species alone accounted for 78.8 % of the volume (tonnes) landed into Scotland by UK vessels.

The proportionate value of all species landed into Scotland by the UK fleet is illustrated in Fig. 1. Nephrops and mackerel alone, account for 45% of the value to the whole industry.  The four main shellfish species; scallops, crab, lobster and langoustine, account for 33%.

Self tours of the Scottish Highlands!

Plan it yourself….with a wee bit of help!

World travellers tend to fall into three categories; those who insist everything from securing airline tickets, to arranging car rental (or coach travel) and accommodation be planned for them, those who insist on doing everything on their own with no help at all and the ‘happy medium’ category. These, in my view, are the cleverest of all.

They have a definite interest in a particular part of the world, but have not yet visited it or, if they have, have only scratched the surface sufficiently to realize their next trip would be far more enjoyable with a bit of expert advice from someone who has travelled the area for many years.

If you fall in the last group and are considering a trip to Scotland, particularly the Highlands and Islands, why not take advantage of my twenty-five years experience wandering about this remote, spectacular and beautiful part of the world?

Odds are, you can use the internet as well as I can to research airfare and car rental (not that I won`t have some  suggestions in those areas) but my advice can be invaluable when it comes to route-planning, driving time, recommendations of areas of outstanding beauty, remote Highland castles and gardens, some of the most spectacular and eerie neolithic sites in the world, lovely and little known Highland villages, as well as specific ideas for accommodation, be it a ‘self-catering’ cottage near a remote beach, a picturesque former Victorian hunting lodge, a country hotel or an economical and friendly Bed & Breakfast.

Thinking of ‘tying the knot’?  What better place for a wedding than the romantic Highlands of Scotland?  You don`t have to have Madonna`s budget!

Route Planning and Estimates of Driving Time.

Maps, even good ones, can be deceiving.  A fifty mile trip over a ‘single-track’ ‘B’ road, with stops every few miles to photograph, or just wonder at, the spectacular scenery, is altogether different from the same distance on a U.S. highway.

The proper maps are vital and should be secured well before your trip begins.

Recommendations; Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Scottish Highlands and Islands have been called “The Last Great Wilderness of Europe” and the scenery, from craggy mountains to beautiful white sand beaches, to remote villages with the ‘High Street” lined with palm trees (!) defies description.

Having said that, though, if time is limited, and it always is, why waste it going out of your way to visit an area that might be a bit of a let-down?  I`ll steer you in the right directions!.

Which Highland Castles Are “Must See”?

There are literally hundreds of castles throughout the Highlands, some picturesque ruins, some still lived in many hundreds of years later by the descendants of the original owners.

Many are open to the public and well worth an extended visit. I`ll suggest the best of the bunch.  You won`t be disappointed.

Where To Stay?

There are any number of options. A ‘Self-Catering’ holiday house, as often as not a nineteenth century stone ‘crofter`s cottage’ with an open fire and period furnishings, can make a terrific ‘base of operations’ to allow serious exploration, either by car or on foot, of a particular area.

There are thousands from which to choose, some better than others, and at surprisingly reasonable rates.  There are restored (and a few un-restored) Victorian hunting lodges operated as well-appointed small hotels, as well as any number of Bed & Breakfasts, most quite attractive and reasonable.

Eating Out

Fine cuisine in the remote Scottish Highlands?  You bet!

There are quite a few wonderful restaurants in the most unlikely areas and if you enjoy fresh seafood, salmon that was thrashing about on a line a few hours before landing on your plate, excellent local produce beautifully prepared and presented, accompanied by surprising choices from well-stocked wine cellars, you won`t be disappointed.

There is one particular restaurant on a remote stretch of road beside a beautiful loch in an almost unpopulated area of the Isle of Skye that has, year in and year out, been rated among the top thirty restaurants in the world!

The Scots and French formed the ‘Auld Alliance’ to bedevil the English and quite a bit of Scottish cooking shows the Gallic influence.  You`ll be amazed, and a ‘night out’ halfway through a ‘self-catering’ week is a welcome respite.

All rooms are double glazed with central heating, colour TV and tea or coffee making facilities. We are non-smoking establishment. There is private off-street parking for cars at the bottom of the garden and for cyclists and Bikers we have secure garaging for overnight storage of machines. We are a pet-friendly establishment and children are also welcome.

For direct bookings our rates are £25 to £28 per person per night and £30 to £35 for single occupancy. These rates includes a full breakfast.


A large double ensuite bedroom. On the ground floor it is suitable for people with mobility difficulties giving level access to the Dining room with only a single small step at the house entrance.


This first floor double ensuite bedroom has views of the garden and the valley of the Gala Water.


This twin bedded room on the first floor has private bathroom facilities immediately next door reserved exclusively for Room 3’s occupants.

From Newcastle and South.

Newcastle Airport lies on the A696 on which you head North, so follow signs for the Airport then A696/A68 over the Border and beyond St Boswells to A6091 then follow it to Galashiels. Go through the town (signs for Edinburgh A7) and just before you leave Galashiels Sunnybrae is on your left. For route map click here.

From Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh take any route to the Sherrifhall roundabout on the Edinburgh City Bypass(A720). From Sherrifhall take the exit for A7 Galashiels and follow for approximately 26 miles. As you reach the outskirts of Galashiels Sunnybrae is on your right. For route map click here.

From Lake District and South.

Follow Motorway M6 to its end at Junction 44 then take A7 through Langholm, Hawick and Selkirk to Galashiels. Go through the town following signs for Edinburgh A7 and just before you leave Galashiels you will see Sunnybrae to your left. For route map click here.

From Peebles.

For route map click here.

From Berwick/Kelso.
For route map click here.

Over the centuries the Scottish Borders have seen many visitors on their way to battles or in search of a place to stay. They enjoyed the fruits of the land and when times were hard they raided their neighbours across the Border. Fortunately the only Border Raider we have now is the Reiver statue in the town centre – a reminder of bygone days.

Besides the beautiful Border landscape unspoilt by modern development, we have much to offer. Stately Homes, Abbeys, Castles, Gardens, places of interest reflecting Borders past and present, Sports, Walking, Cycling in beautiful countryside with winding roads to enjoy at leisure in the clear, fresh air. Basing yourself in Galashiels puts Edinburgh and much of central Scotland within your reach too. It’s a perfect place to make a relaxing start to your Scottish holiday or to pause and say farewell to our lovely country. At Sunnybrae you will be assured of a warm Scottish Welcome, cosy rooms and a hearty breakfast.