Will it or won’t it? All eyes are on Scotland as the nation that may soon be a country prepares to vote on Sept. 18 for an all-important referendum that could grant it independence from the United Kingdom. Polls have dramatically narrowed in the weeks leading up to the vote. And in the spirit of all things wild and free, we’ve put together a Secessionist’s Road Trip through one of Europe’s feistiest lands.
“I’m voting ‘yes’ for the chance of an improved future for my children, grandchildren, and all who live here,” says Irene MacKenzie, who owns the Village Green Fair Trade Shop in Assynt parish in Scotland’s remote northwest Highlands where, in 1993, a community trust succeeded in taking possession of land lost during the early 19th century Highland Clearances, when farmers were forced from their land in the interest of raising sheep.
“Land reform in Assynt gave locals a voice in how their land was managed, restored confidence in their abilities and generally gave our community a feeling of hope for the future,” says MacKenzie, “And that is what I think independence will do for the whole of Scotland.”
Whether the vote goes yes or no, follow our lead on a road trip through a few key Scottish locales that helped write the nation’s history.