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Congratulations to Jude Isabella and Gord More on winning a silver award for Best Online Video: Feature from the Digital Publishing Awards for this video.
On a cloudless, hot week in Scotland—something of a rarity—a small band of paddleboarders met at the airport in Glasgow, piled their gear into a van, and hit the road. One couple had flown for 11 hours across the globe from Canada; the other couple had driven for almost three days from the Netherlands. They were there to test what sounded like utopia to them—the right to roam the coastline, to paddle where they wished, to camp where they wished, and to eschew a schedule, other than the one the tides dictated. This was no deserted coastline—there were people, houses, and plenty of sheep. Would Scotland live up to their expectations?
Outdoor adventure has a special place in the Scottish psyche, and the country legislated the public’s right to access privately owned land in 2003. Anyone can travel across most land and inland water, provided they do so responsibly.
If utopia is straightforward, easy, fun, and friendly, this place delivered. Scotland, the paddleboarders proclaimed at the end of the trip, had won over their hearts—and it wasn’t just the scotch talking.