Scotland, land of Celtic myth, history, and breath-taking beauty, has countless treasures – from big skies to ancient architecture, from spectacular wildlife to superb seafood and to top it all incredibly friendly, hospitable, and down-to-earth people. Outside the ancient and beautiful UNESCO World heritage capital city, Edinburgh, and other urban centres like Glasgow, the visitor is entranced by mountains glistening with the silver threads of icy rivers and waterfalls tumbling from highlands to lowlands.
Outside the ancient and beautiful UNESCO World heritage capital city, Edinburgh, and other urban centres like Glasgow, once home to the largest shipping industry in the world but now a lively city of art, culture, great dining and bars, the visitor is entranced by mountains glistening with the silver threads of icy rivers and waterfalls tumbling from highlands to lowlands. Here you’ll find villages with stations where you need to put your hand out to request that a train stops and then suddenly, around the next mountain corner, a landscape peppered with gleaming lochs and expansive vistas.
The nation is remembered and brought to life at sites such as Bannockburn and Culloden.
Visitors discover that Scotland’s restaurants can now compete with the best in Europe. Top-quality local produce means that you can feast on fresh seafood mere hours after been caught, beef and venison that was raised just a few miles away from your table, and vegetables that were grown in your hotel’s organic garden. Then there’s the uisge-beatha, the water of life or Whisky (no ‘e’) to top it all off. Savour a ‘wee dram’ of single-malt whisky and appreciate the rich, complex and evocative taste of Scotland.
Culturally too Scotland punches above its weight, from the poetry of Robert Burns to the modern crime fiction of Ian Rankin or even the songs of Emeli Sandé, Scotland’s cultural exports to the world are many and appreciated as much as the famous whisky, tweed and tartan. You certainly can’t beat reading Burns’ poems in the village where he was born or enjoying an Inspector Rebus novel in Rankin’s own Edinburgh pubs, or catching the latest Scottish bands at a music festival.
Museums like Dundee’s Discovery Point and V&A, Glasgow’s Kelvingrove and Aberdeen’s Maritime Museum celebrate the enormous influence of Scottish engineers, inventors, artists, explorers and writers and in shaping the modern world. Discover why, as one historian put it, this is the country that invented the modern world.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs – The beautiful shores of Loch Lomond have become legend in Scotland. Britain’s largest lake, just a short drive northwest of Glasgow, enchants with myths, dreamlike landscape, and fabulous hiking trails. One will find here the Loch Lomond Shores, home to a shopping mall with local crafts, restaurants, bike and boat rentals, as well as a farmers market. It is also home to the Loch Lomond SEA LIFE Aquarium.
Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal – Famous for its mythical monster “Nessie”, Loch Ness is part of a waterway connecting the east and west coasts of Scotland. The area with the canal and three other lochs is surrounded by the beautiful Highlands scenery, but there is nothing more scenic than Loch Ness itself, with the ancient ruins of Urquhart Castle on its hillside. One can easily drive here from Inverness.
Glasgow – Scotland’s largest city impresses with many historical sites, green parks and spaces, a large number of Charles Rennie Mackintosh buildings, amazing street art, and a thriving live music scene. Next to the famous George Square and the city chambers, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is particularly worth seeing. Opened in 1901 already, it is the UK’s most visited museum outside of London. The slogan, “People Make Glasgow”, really does fit the place, as Glasgow was rates as the friendliest city in 2014.