Scotland, a land of history and rich culture, big skies and dramatic landscapes, outdoor adventures and cozy pubs with roaring fires. A place to discover medieval castles and haunted streets and climb mountain peaks and sail to isolated Islands. Whatever type of holiday you are looking for Scotland is the place to go, for in Scotland you can do just about everything you want in a country that is relatively small in size and very easy to travel around.
Scotland is a major tourist destination all year round, from great skiing in the rugged highlands during the Winter months, to ferry trips across to the magical Islands during the late Spring and Summer months and then the huge draw of the Internationally acclaimed Edinburgh Festival in late Summer, in Scotland there is always something happening and something new to discover.The only problem is deciding what kind of adventures you are looking for, once that has been established you will be spoilt for choice with things to do and places to see.
Discover the Great Outdoors.
Scotland has some of the most dramatic scenery in the World. The might of the Glencoe Pass, Ben Nevis and some of the largest tracts of wilderness in Europe. Whether it’s amazing climbing or spotting rare birds such as the golden eagle, Scotland has it all.
Walking in Scotland is not just all about climbing rugged mountains – though there are plenty to scale, for those wanting to get out into the great outdoors in a more leisurely way, there are plenty of places to discover and routes for every ability.
Scotlands Great Trails.
Scotland has a number of great trails that are suitable for every level of walker, routes that you can do long distance or join for just a day.These walks which are among some of the best in the world will take you through some of the most stunning scenery. The trails are all well marked, usually traffic free and off road and have plenty of services on offer for visitors. Three of the best are;
West Highland Way.
If you are looking to discover some of the most iconic attractions that Scotland has to offer then this is the walk for you. The 96-mile route which starts from Milngavie and ends in Gordon Square in Fort William will take you past places such as Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond, Glencoe and the Devil’s Staircase to name a few. This all year round trail is classed as moderate and will take you through peaks to beach walks.
John Muir Way.
Starting at John Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar and traveling to Helensburgh, this 134-mile route is seen as one of the best walking routes in Scotland. This route is great for hiking and cycling and will take you past Castles and Roman Sites the famous Kelpies and along beaches. It is classed as moderate and can be undertaken all year round.
Fife Coastal Path.
Starting at the Firth of Forth in the South and ending at the Firth of Tay in the North, this scenic stretch of 117 miles will take you to St Andrews, small fishing villages over rugged cliffs and stunning beaches. This route also offers hikers the chance to see dolphins, puffins, and porpoises. This walk can be undertaken all year round and ranges from mild to demanding.
Discover amazing Historical Places of Interest.
For visitors wanting to discover the history and culture of Scotland one thing is certain, you will be spoilt for choice. Scotland has many stunning castles, monuments, historical sites and places of interest that the hardest part is narrowing it down. In a land steeped in so much history it is hardly surprising to have so much to explore so here is a selection of some of the must see places;
The focal point of Scotland’s Capital city, Edinburgh Castle stands high up looking down over the city below clinging to Castle Rock at the end of Princes Street. In its history, the Castle has served as a both a royal residence and as a military stronghold. Famous names in Scottish history have all had a connection with the castle, from Mary Queen of Scots, James 1 and Robert the Bruce. Up until 1920, the Castle was still being used as the main military base for the British Army in Scotland. The Castle is now open for the public to go in a glimpse the Stone of Destiny, a Chapel which is the oldest building in Scotland and the Royal Apartments where history has been made. Stand at the walls and gaze down over Princes Street Gardens or look down into the Royal Mile and the old town of Edinburgh, even if you don’t go into the Castle, there is no escaping its dominance over the City.
Over on the West Coast of the country, you will find another stunning castle and country park that can take you a day to explore. Culzean Castle is the flagship property of The National Trust for Scotland. Located in Ayrshire, this truly stunning stately home was designed by Robert Adam, the most influential architect of his day.
The one thing that strikes you when you visit Culzean is the sheer Romance and Drama of the place. Perched high up on a cliff top looking down over amazing views, the Castle seems to be like something out of a fairy tale. With beautiful gardens to walk around and hill top paths to explore, Culzean is a place to spend the entire day.
Located up in the Highlands in Golspie, 5 miles South of Brora, you will discover Dunrobin Castle, a magnificent stately home, the family seat of the Earl of Sutherland and the Clan of Sutherland. The castle dates back to medieval times but most of the present structure has been built between 1835 and 1850. On first sight, the visitor will be struck by how much the Castle resembles a French Chateau, with its towering turrets and spires dominating the skyline. As well as the amazing castle to wander around, a trip to Dunrobin also offers its visitors the chance to wander around the beautiful gardens, which are set on the Golspie beach and are vast and very impressive.
A trip to Scotland will always leave you wanting more. There is just something magical about this Northern Country that makes you feel that you want to go back in time and time again. Whether you stick to the Lowlands and just explore Edinburgh, the atmospheric Capital city or whether you venture into the Highlands and walk through some of the most beautiful scenery you will see anywhere, Scotland will enter your heart and stay there. This is a small Country with so much to offer. The hosts are warm and welcoming, with tales a plenty of their history. Ancient monuments abound to whisk you back to other times and everywhere you go there is a sense of grandeur.