Sophie's Column: It's well worth exploring this country we take for granted

Sometimes I think we take our little country for granted. Scotland is an absolute cracker and we've been blessed with a home country which is not only extremely photogenic but pretty enviable too.

I’ve been quite lucky in the sense that my parents have taken my brother and I some scenic routes around Scotland since a young age.

That being said, we’ve spent a lot more time in towns and cities.

The other day, the boyfriend and I upped stocks and decided to spend a night away at the foot of Loch Earn – absolutely stunning and only an hour away from the busy place we call home.

I bought Nick the night away as a Christmas present and we decided to leave it until spring, in the hope of grabbing some good weather while we were away.

Now, as lovely as Scotland is, we’re not exactly blessed with decent weather – it was pretty murky during our time away.

However, that didn’t compromise the utter beauty of the views – we spent our evening enjoying our dinner in front of the loch which the hills tower over ... even though it was bucketing it down.

The next day we took a drive around the whole loch itself and then, about ten minutes into our adventure, we passed a sign which said we were entering the city of Stirling.

“Surely not,” I thought. Stirling, the closest city to Falkirk, is home to such smashing scenery and I couldn’t believe I was just finding that out.

I love my country and I think it’s great that we have such vibrant and bustling cities to our name.

But it’s the landscapes and fantastic views which out do themselves time after time.

So if you find yourself with a spare weekend, hop in the car and go explore.