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Love is in the fresh air – embracing the outdoors is most attractive quality for singletons in the Highlands and Islands

By John Davidson

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The dramatic Corrieshalloch Gorge and its historic bridge. Picture: Peter Devlin
The dramatic Corrieshalloch Gorge and its historic bridge. Picture: Peter Devlin

A love of the outdoors is one of the most attractive qualities in a potential partner for people in the Highlands and Islands, according to new research.

The National Trust for Scotland revealed that its survey – launched ahead of Valentine’s Day – shows that almost two-thirds of people in the region believe a love of spending time outdoors is important in a potential friend or partner.

Findings from the research also show that, with existing relationships, 65 per cent of people in the Highlands and Islands believe making memories together outdoors strengthens their relationships – making a woodland walk, beach trip or garden stroll the ideal way to spend Valentine’s Day.

In addition, 73 per cent of those surveyed in the Highlands & Islands said some of their best memories with family and friends took place outdoors.

The NTS says the results of its survey highlight the importance of its conservation work to care for and share Scotland’s nature, beauty and heritage so that people of all ages can enjoy their benefits.

Brodie Castle grows a vast array of daffodils in the spring. Picture: NTS
Brodie Castle grows a vast array of daffodils in the spring. Picture: NTS

A spokesperson said: “Whether it’s a stroll through the gardens at Brodie Castle to see hundreds of varieties of daffodils blossom at the start of spring, a trip across the famous suspension bridge at spectacular Corrieshalloch Gorge, or a hike on one of the low-level paths at Torridon with its awe-inspiring mountain scenery, there’s no shortage of romantic places to explore with the National Trust for Scotland this Valentine’s Day.”

Another finding from the research is that not only does spending time outdoors make potential partners or friends more attractive, it also improves mental health and wellbeing.

One hundred per cent of those surveyed in Inverness stated that spending time outdoors is effective at reducing stress levels, with 96 per cent confirming that access to the outdoors is important for mental health.

Clea Warner, the National Trust for Scotland’s regional director for the Highlands and Islands, said: “At the trust we know how important Scotland’s outdoor places are, so I’m not surprised to learn that people across the country see a love of outdoor experiences as an attractive quality in a friend or partner.

“Our charity has been giving the public access to and shared ownership of some of Scotland’s most magnificent landscapes, alongside historic buildings, gardens and collections for over 90 years, and we see every day the impact these places have on our members and visitors who are discovering them for the first time.

“We’re very lucky in Scotland to be surrounded by such wonderful natural and cultural heritage and, thanks to the support of our members and supporters, we’re able to care for and share some of our country’s most special places, helping create connections and shared memories that last a lifetime.”

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