Shaggy Highland Cows are an instantly recognisable emblem of Scotland, and, with their strong horns, long eyelashes and oh-so long and hairy coats, these gentle giants are really something special. When you think of the Scottish countryside, lush green grass, rocky crags and clear cold lochs come to mind - add a noble Highland coo to the scene and it becomes even more magical!
‘Lola’ Highland Cow Stretched Canvas Print. Shop here.
Where exactly can you find them?
These big, beautiful beasts are intelligent too, and they tend to stick together in folds (herds). If you’re looking out for them, remember that they’re not always that classic red or dun colour. There are also black, brindle and various other colours of Highland cows, although red is the most well known. They can be found grazing all around the Scottish Highlands, normally in fields beside the roads. There are a lot of them in the Cairngorms National Park and at Blair Atholl if you fancy a wee day trip!
The cows actually originate from the West of Scotland, so they’re a longstanding part of our Scottish history. In gaelic they’re known as Bò Ghàidhealach and in Scots they are called Heilan coos which is where we get our modern 'Highland coo'. As a breed, they are very strong and resilient. They adapt well to difficult climates and can withstand freezing cold, heavy rain and strong winds. Living outside in Scotland all year round - pretty impressive! You’ll find Highland cows in other parts of the world, too. They have been exported to lots of places, with some of them now living in Australia and North America.
‘Lola’ Scottish Highland Coo Suitcase. Shop now.
My own Highland coo…
In my ‘Butterflies and Beasts’ range, you’ll find my very own Highland cow, Lola. A Coo with a big personality, Lola wears butterflies in her hair and has a halo of buzzing bees. You’ll find her on wall prints, fudge tins, coasters and placemats. Have you met any Highland coos recently? Send us in your photos @gilliankyle