In the land of kilts and great whiskey. Scotland is one of the countries that you have to visit at least once in your life. It has everything. Do you want great food? Got it. Great drinks? There is a drink literally called scotch. Culture? Um, Kilts, bagpipes, hundreds of years of history. Nature lover? You have amazing landscapes. When you think about Scotland, you might be thinking about any of these, or you might even be thinking about Loch Ness monster. However, no one is really prepared to see everything Scotland has to offer before seeing it. There are several ways to explore this land. Either by boat, by train, you can even set a walking journey, or use your car. Whatever you decide to do, the things you’ll be seeing are unforgettable. Prepare yourself to get to know thousands of years of history, culture, music, food, and much, much more.
Here are the things you cannot miss when visiting Scotland
1. Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile
The towers of this very imposing castle have dominated the Scottish landscape ever since the 13th century. And the attraction takes you through the jewels of Scottish history. You can see the crown jewels, the stone of scone, the St Margaret’s Chapel (oldest in Edinburgh). Enter the place and see bronze statues of the heroes of Scotland. If you have ever seen Braveheart, you know who William Wallace is, and will be able to see his statue upright in the Esplanade.
2. Loch Lomond
Drive northwest from Glasgow and get to the hypnotizing Loch Lomond. It is the biggest lake in all Britain and considered by some the queen of Scottish lakes. Filled with wildlife including salmons, whitefish and trout, the loch is also perfect for watersports, or sports of any kind. The surroundings of the lake are perfect for those who enjoy hiking. You can sit there and enjoy the natural landscapes Scotland provides. A lot of people take boat trips in this lake. You can get the full romantic experience of the Scottish countryside at Cameron house, which is south from this location. Cameron House offers a bunch of outdoor activities that will make you have a lot of fun.
3. Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal
Loch Ness is a must, especially if you want to spot Nessie. But really, Loch Ness is part of a waterway that connects both ends of Scotland, and it is joined to three other lochs by the Caledonian Canal. You can know this site through an excursion, or you can even take a six-hour-long voyage that’ll take you from one end of the canal to the other. The landscape from doing this will have you in awe since it is surrounded by amazing highland scenery. The scene is exceptionally romantic around Loch Ness, where you’ll be able to spot the ruins of Urquhart Castle, that has some very ancient myths around its history. You can also learn about the geological facts the area has. And who knows, maybe you will even be able to spot that Loch Ness monster.
4. Isle of Skye and the Inner Hebrides
This is the largest inner island inside of Scotland and is especially popular. Not only among everyday tourists but also among birders, nature lovers, and wanderers. The romantic scenery is characterized by the green valleys, the beaches, the caves, and (the most exciting part for me) the waterfalls, pretty varied for such a small extension of land, huh? Not only does this island have miles of oak forests, but the wildlife is crazy; you can spot seals, otters, and a little more of 200 species of birds (hence the birders). There are other inner islands in Scotland among the Inner Hebrides; you can visit them too.
5. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
You could even visit this one before heading to Loch Lomond, but you would probably not have enough time to appreciate all the unique pieces of art this museum displays. We are not talking about the art collection, though. Considering a fire devastated most of the collection. Anyhow, if you are an admirer of the Glasgow style, this will be the cherry on of the cake of your trip. It is a display of the Art Nouveau movement of the 20th century, as well. Some notable pieces are the Van Gogh portrait, the Bronze Age tools, and a 1901 organ that is still used for daily free concerts. It also has an exhibit displaying Salvador Dali’s artwork.
6. Golf at St. Andrews
Even if you like golf a lot, you probably don’t know it is a Scottish invention. However, the Scottish take pride in it, and if you want golf yourself, this is an attraction you cannot miss. The British open is regularly held in here, and the beautiful Old Course runs alongside the rugged coast. If you want tee time reservations, though, you will have to book them about six months before visiting. You can also go to the British Golf Museum, that documents everything that happens with golf ever since the middle ages.