Scotland, a region steeped in history and adorned with breathtaking and picturesque landscapes. From the rugged beauty of the Highlands to the vibrant city life in Edinburgh, Scotland offers a rich tapestry of experiences. In this guide, we will explore some must-visit places and activities that Scotland has to offer. So, pack your kilt in your suitcase and fly to the Highlands! Take a look at the map of the route here for a perfect overview!.
With an array of things to do from strolling down the streets admiring the stunning architecture to visiting an inactive volcano. You will not be bored in this stunning city! It is also home to a prestigious boarding school Merchiston, it makes it a perfect place to stop off while on your visit around Scotland.
A must see is the Edinburgh castle which is one of the oldest fortified places in Europe. It has been the site of human activity for at least 3,000 years. The famous Castle is situated on Castle Rock overlooking the beautiful city. It is home to the oldest crown jewels in the UK. The Stone of Destiny is exhibited in the castle which is a block of sandstone which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned. A top tip is to book in advance to avoid any disappointment. Guided tours are on offer in 8 different languages, so everyone can enjoy. You shouldn’t miss the firing of the One O’Clock Gun from the castle grounds, which happens every day except Sunday,
The National Museum of Scotland
In case you find yourself caught in some common Scottish weather, to keep dry visit the national museum of Scotland. Visitors can explore a wide array of displays, including Scottish archaeological treasures, world cultures, innovations in science and technology and the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. There is a bit of history for everyone. With free entry, you can come and go as much as you like!
To add some adventure to your trip, pack some strong shoes and climb up to the top of Holyrood Park. This city park is based on the top of the remains of a volcano. The stone and tools date back to 5000 BC. Once you reach the top, admire the 360-degree views of Edinburgh. A top tip is to pack yourself a small picnic to reward yourself for all your hard work!
Scotch whisky tour
No visit to Scotland is complete without indulging in its national drink – Scotch whisky. If you happen to lose the children one day, embark on a whisky tour. Book a tour and listen to the story and the journey of Scotch whisky. You will learn about the intricate distilling process and discover the art of whisky blending.
Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, is a culturally rich destination with plenty to offer tourists. The city boasts a thriving arts scene, including the Glasgow School of Art, hosting exhibitions, festivals and cultural events throughout the year. Here are some of our top recommendations for an excursion to Glasgow:
Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis
Glasgow Cathedral, also known as the High Kirk of Glasgow, is one of the most significant historical landmarks in Glasgow. First constructed in 1197, its gothic architecture, stained glass windows and rich history makes it’s a must-visit during your visit.
Situated next to the cathedral is the spooky Glasgow Necropolis, a Victorian cemetery located on a hill overlooking the cathedral. It is a fascinating place to visit for its elaborate and ornate tombs. If there are any Batman fans visiting, you may spot a familiar bridge. This bridge used to enter the cathedral made an appearance in the latest Batman film. The site offers guided tours to enhance you understanding of its historical and architectural significant within the city.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
If you are looking to connect with nature, Glasgow Botanic Gardens offers a serene and beautiful escape from the bustling city life. Started in 1841, and finally opened to the public in 1981, it is a place for tourists and locals to relax, explore and appreciated nature. There are several glasshouses with exotic plants from all around the world from tropical climates to arid. There are themed gardens show-casting different types of plants, providing an educational experience for visitors interested in botany horticulture.
Pollok Country Park
Following on from the nature theme, just a short 10 minute train ride away from Glasgow centre is Pollok Country Park. Spanning 360 acres, it is well known for its stunning landscapes, woodlands and riverside walks. It provides a picturesque setting for picnics, leisurely walks and outdoor activities. It is also home to some of the finest collection of Spanish paintings in Britain! It is important to note that the Burrell collection is temporarily closed for refurbishment so check it is open before your visit.
If you have the opportunity it is essential to travel further afield to explore more hidden gems in Scotland. Aberdeen, located in the northeast of Scotland, is one of less well-known regions but nonetheless is still enriched with history and culture.
St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen
St Machar’s Cathedral, located in Aberdeen, is an ancient and historically significant site that attracts tourists interested in history, architecture and religious heritage. The cathedral dates back to the 12th century. While the cathedral still serves as a place of worship, it also welcomes tourists and visits interested in exploring its religious significance and learning about its history. The cathedral displays a mix of architectural styles, including Norman, Gothic and Victorian elements. While walking around, admire the impressive stonework, the unique heraldic ceiling and the stained glass windows.
This is a key stop for any golf fanatics. Aberdeen and its surrounding areas offer several excellent golf courses. If you have the opportunity, tee off in one of these beautiful grounds. They provide excellent opportunities for both seasoned golfers and those seeking a memorable golfing experiences amid Scotland’s natural beauty.
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Aberdeen art gallery, offers a diverse and impressive collection of art spanning various periods and genres. It has something to offer for everyone including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and contemporary pieces. It is also home to many internationally renowned artists from Barbara Hepworth to Francis Bacon and Claude Monet. After its refurbishment, the building also serves as an attraction in itself. It is now a stunning example of Victorian architecture, and visitors can appreciate its architectural beauty while exploring the art within.
Inverness, often referred to as the ‘capital of the Highlands’, is situated in the north of Scotland. Known for its picturesque views, it is a great stop to explore Scotland’s history and natural beauty.
Take a day trip to the famous Loch Ness to see if you can spot the Loch Ness monster! Just a 30 minute car or bus journey away, take in the stunning scenery on the lake and perhaps catch a glimpse of Nessie herself. Once finished with your boat trip, visit the nearby ancient ruins of Urquhart Castle.
St Andrews is now famously know for its prestigious University but there is so much more to the city than that.
St Andrews Cathedral
The St Andrews Cathedral was established in 12th century and was once the largest cathedral in Scotland. It’s museum has an array of medieval sculptures and artefacts.
Make sure to climb St Rule’s Tower to discover incredible views of the city.
The Old Course
St Andrews has one of the most famous golf course in the world. The Old course has been played on since 1400. It is a must see as the famous Swilcan Burn bridge is situated in the middle of this course. Despite being a small bridge, it is known as a cultural icon.
Go on a guided walk and experience the golf course through many golfing legends eyes!
Known as the outdoor capital of the UK, Glencoe is a must see if you love exploring nature. Many famous films were captured here such as James Bond and Harry Potter for its breath-taking landscapes.
If you are looking for a rush of adrenaline then this is for you. Extreme white water rafting is full of vertical descents and is available for people with previous experience. If that is not for you, hike along Scotland’s Via Ferrata. You will see spectacular views of the waterfalls as you climb up ladders and hike along this 500-meter route. It is full of difficult terrain making it perfect for skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. It is also perfect for water sports.
Overall, Scotland beckons tourists with its rich history, stunning landscape and vibrant cultural experiences. Whether you are exploring the historic streets of Edinburgh, or sipping Scotch whisky by a cozy fireplace, Scotland promises an unforgettable adventure. So pack your bags, don your tartan, and get ready to discover the magic of this country.