Things to see and do in Scotland
Attractions in Scotland
Scotland's compact capital, Edinburgh attracts visitors thanks to its striking architecture, tasteful culture, and world-class attractions. The Old Town, with the unmissable Edinburgh Castle perched high on an extinct volcano, is undoubtedly the biggest attraction. For three weeks in August, Edinburgh plays host to the Fringe, the world's largest arts festival.
Lively and continually reinventing itself, Glasgow is Scotland's largest city by population and a fantastic city break destination. Visitors come to sample architectural delights on the Rennie Mackintosh Trail, check out the city's transport collection at the Riverside Museum, learn about the past at the People's Palace, visit a live music venue, and of course, be among night owls for an unforgettable pub crawl experience.
Scotland has two national parks that aim to preserve wildlife and habitats: the Cairngorms National Park and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The former is home to many threatened species, including red squirrels and rutting deer. The latter comprises four distinctive areas (Loch Lomond, Cowal, The Trossachs and Breadalbane), with each area supporting a variety of wildlife.
This geologically diverse group of about 100 islands are located between mainland Scotland and Norway. Shetland's miles of pristine coastline, gentle heathery hills, quiet wild swimming spots, and spectacular wildlife make it a worthy holiday destination.
St Andrews, a seaside town northeast of Edinburgh, is the 'Home of Golf'. The Old Course, the world's oldest golf course, is still a public golf course but golfers must meet the minimum handicap requirements.
Historic Stirling is a small city with a big history, best known for the Battle of Stirling Bridge (one of the many battles of the First War of Scottish Independence) in 1297 and the National Wallace Monument commemorating the life of Sir William Wallace, Guardian of Scotland. Wallace was the leading literary subject in the Academy Award-winning film Braveheart.
A vast natural playground studded with misty mountains, windswept valleys (known as glens), tranquil lochs, and stretches of coastline, the Scottish Highlands are the perfect escape from busy city life. Among the many famous attractions is Loch Ness, Scotland's largest and probably most renowned loch, where the elusive monster Nessie lives, allegedly.
The Outer Hebrides
On the fringes of Scotland lies a chain of unspoiled, inter-connected islands known as the Outer Hebrides. Their powder-white beaches, epic moorlands, amazing wildlife and fascinating Gaelic culture offer endless adventures.
The whisky regions
Malt whisky is Scotland's national drink and the biggest export. Accordingly, visitors who enjoy a dram or two can visit over 130 active distilleries spread across Scotland's five whisky regions, namely Campbeltown, Highlands, Islay, Lowland and Speyside, with each region offering a unique perspective on Scotch whisky.