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The Quest for the Elusive Heilan’ Coo

If the Scottish postcards are to be believed, Highland cattle are everywhere. Well, that’s not quite true. In fact, in all the times I have visited—and through the months that I lived in Edinburgh—I only ever saw one Heilan’ coo from a distance. This trip, I was going to change that.

Highland Cattle, ScotlandWe had been in the country for five days with nary a coo sighting. I made the mistake of telling my sister all about the furry beasts prior to our trip, and spotting one became her sole focus throughout our road trip around Scotland. It’s safe to say we had Coo Fever.

Highland Cattle, ScotlandEven though we hadn’t seen them on the mainland, we figured they would be everywhere on Skye. Yet, after arriving on the island, we spent the day driving around Broadford and Portree and the coast just beyond … and still no coos. Resigned to the fact that this trip wasn’t going to hand us any coos, we headed to our bed and breakfast. As we bumped along the one-lane country road, I saw a scattering of tan heads just over the hill. Could it be?

Highland Cattle, ScotlandIt was them. All this time, we went out of our way trying to track down coos, and there were a whole herd of them just outside our B&B window!

Highland Cattle, ScotlandAnd they were every bit as cute as we expected.

Highland Cattle, Scotland

Highland Cattle, ScotlandParticularly the babies.

Highland Cattle, ScotlandI won’t say we spent the rest of our days in Skye chasing Heilan coos…

Highland Cattle, Scotland

Highland Cattle, Scotland

Highland Cattle, Scotland(…but we kind of did.)

Highland Cattle, Scotland

Highland Cattle, Scotland

Highland Cattle, ScotlandOn the last night, I had a little heart-to-heart with Scotland: “Look, you’ve given me double rainbows. And you’ve given me bagpipers. And you’ve given me amazing sunsets. And you’ve given me coos. So is it too much to ask for some coos on the horizon set against a gorgeous sunset as we’re pulling in for the night?”

Highland Cattle, ScotlandScotland must have thought, no, no, it is not, because that is exactly what happened, no lie.

Highland Cattle, Scotland(And no, we didn’t have beef a single meal while in Scotland. I mean, just look at them—could you?)

Highland Cattle, Scotland

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Comments ( 45 )

  1. Um. Kristin. You know how I feel about these coos! I’ve got the exact same version of this post on my own blog as you may recall :) Love the pictures of you and your sister running along the road with the cows! Amazing!
    Alex recently posted..Fear at Fourteen Thousand Feet: Skydiving in HawaiiMy Profile

  2. Gorgeous! I loved seeing sheep with black feet whilst I was in England, but the coos just take the cake :) I have a serious hankering to visit Scotland right now!
    Lindsey recently posted..Two MonthsMy Profile

  3. I could. These look tasty.

  4. wow!! the perfect photography I must say … It look like you’re feeding that cattle.. perfect clicked…
    Susan @ Travel Blogger Freak recently posted..Visit Most Famous Romantic Beach Resorts In BahamasMy Profile

  5. what a nice place. I would like to visit that place soon.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  6. I love your photos, those cows are truly adorable. I went to Scotland for an entire week and didn’t see one coo, not even in the Highlands!
    Ashley of Ashley Abroad recently posted..Dingle II: Irish Heritage and Craggy CliffsMy Profile

    • Yeah, not surprising. I think when I lived there in 2003, the only one I saw (from a distance) was at a castle in Perth. We didn’t see any in the Western Highlands at all during this trip; it wasn’t until we crossed over into Skye and then headed out into the country that we finally found some.

  7. THEY’RE SO FLUFFY!!
    I never thought I’d think of a cow as cute…
    Maki | Moon River Travels recently posted..COPPER MOUNTAIN | PHOTO DIARYMy Profile

  8. I love how fuzzy and shaggy they look! Like a big cuddly bear. A REALLY big one.
    Ris recently posted..Cause for CelebrationMy Profile

  9. They are absolutely beautiful. The pictures with the sunset should be postcards!!!! I was thinking about your Gangnam style video bc of all the videos w a fake/puppet Obama dancing bc he won the election. I couldn’t find the one that I saw to send you the link. If I do, I’ll send it to you.

  10. Cuties! I think Kari’s obvious excitement while running down the road after a cow may make for my favorite picture though :)
    Emily in Chile recently posted..Heading to Bogota with RoomoramaMy Profile

  11. I love cows – these are gorgeous!

    • You and Ella have that in common–her favorite thing ever is hanging her head out the window as we drive through the Southern country roads and whining at all the cows we pass! Not the donkeys, not the goats, not the sheep, just the cows! It’s hysterical.

  12. I love that first photo, it is so cute!
    Ayngelina recently posted..Yellowstone Park is dangerousMy Profile

  13. These cows are adorable! I love how every single one has a different “hairstyle” :)
    Julika recently posted..Rediscovering ParisMy Profile

  14. you were quite brave with that furry beast behind you on the road! :) But they are lucky, they don’t get their horns cut! Because around here, in Germany, they use to cut’em …
    coolnewz recently posted..Photo Friday: Little Havana – facesMy Profile

  15. love that first picture! I just did a post myself about the elusive heilan’ coo… although we stayed in a B&B where the owner had his own coo so that made it easier. then later we stumbled upon a few more when driving off the beaten path to go on a hike.

    on a side note, we loved edinburgh. it poured rain and we only had one full day there, but it is beautiful and i can see why you love it so much.

  16. That lighting was gorgeous!! As are you two girls. I can’t get over the name “coo.”
    Abby recently posted..First glimpse: Las Vegas Neon BoneyardMy Profile

  17. I love the contrast of you fashionable ladies standing in a field of cattle :-)
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Italian Flavors and Ohio Ingredients in a German VillageMy Profile

  18. Some great coo hunting, a quintessentially Scottish past time.
    Nico recently posted..The Secrets of Living in Buenos AiresMy Profile

  19. awwwww. LOVE them!

  20. Ok, wasn’t there a third member of your party? Didn’t SHE rate a picture with these lovely coos?

  21. Those things are so freakin cute. May be bumping up Scotland on the list.
    Caroline Eubanks recently posted..Cologne’s Kolsch ExperienceMy Profile

  22. SHAGGY LONGHORNS!!!!!
    Erica recently posted..Paris, France: I Have the PLAGUEMy Profile

  23. I just love them so much. I would have named them all and sang them songs. We had a similar breed of moos when I was growing up and I just love how shaggy and sweet they look.
    terra recently posted..Honesty, Love & Change.My Profile

  24. Damnit, even the cows are more awesome in Scotland! Is there anything that isn’t more romantic and awesome in Scotland?
    MonsteRawr recently posted..Marriage is…My Profile

  25. Growing up, my dad was obsessed with unusual or rare found animals. And so, when I was around 12 or so, we began to “collect” Highland Cattle. Over the past 17 years, we’ve had as many as 20. They’re gentle animals and so beautiful with their ginger coats and long horns. We even had the chance to bottle-feed a baby. We named him Huey. When I went to Scotland two years ago, I thought seeing them would feel so “eh, I’ve been around that.” But actually seeing them in the environment they came from was a great experience. I never was able to catch more than a moment to see them, and definitely didn’t get to take a picture, since we were so busy. But lovely, they were!

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