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Many Brits have never visited Scotland even though its right on their doorstep. With its own distinctive culture and a range of fascinating natural and manmade attractions, Scotland deserves to be on everyone’s bucket list. Here are just seven reasons to head north and explore this amazing country.
Scotland’s rugged landscape has a lot of natural wonders to offer from the windswept coasts of Skye to the rolling moors of The Borders. If you’re up for a physical challenge, you can climb the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis and take in epic views from the top or you can go kayaking in Loch Lomond. If you’d prefer a more leisurely adventure, you can take a long drive across the moorlands or take a boat tour around the isles. You can even catch the Northern Lights in Scotland on a clear night in the most northern parts.
There’s also a lot of amazing wildlife to be found in Scotland, some of which you’re unlikely to stumble across in the rest of the UK. Head to Mull and you may be able to catch wild otters playing in the water. Meanwhile, head to the Cairngorns and you could spot birds of prey such as eagles and ospreys circling overhead. Scotland also has one of the biggest breeding colonies of grey seals in the world. It also contains over 75% of the UK’s red squirrel population. All in all, it’s great for wildlife lovers.
The history of Scotland is long and eventful and there are many reminders of it’s rich past. You’ll find many well-preserved castles across Scotland including the lavish Balmoral Castle, the towering Edinburgh Castle and the ancient Eilean Donan Castle. Meanwhile there are other historic sights such as Melrose Abbey, built in the 12th Century, and Skara Brae, a village dating back to the stone age. You can walk the bloody battleground of Bannockburn or you can visit Robert Burns’ home and the accompanying museum of the poet’s life.
Scotland is also not short of culinary experiences. There are a number of seafood restaurants for trying fresh fish and gastropubs for trying traditional Scottish dishes such as haggis, cullen skink and cranachan. It’s also a major producer of whiskey and there are a number of distilleries that you can take tours of. Scotland also has a number of world-renowned Michelin star restaurants such as The Three Chimneys for those wanting to take fine dining to the next level – such a meal could be the perfect treat for a birthday or anniversary.
The myths and legends of Scotland also offer plenty of attractions. The most famous legend is the Loch Ness Monster – visit the Loch Ness and go hunting for this creature (you can also visit the interactive exhibition Nessieland whilst you’re there). Scotland is also home to many ghost stories – you can take a Haunted History Bus in Edinburgh or explore the Hebridean moors for mystical kelpies. Almost every town has its own paranormal tales to tell.
There are also plenty of festivals to attend in Scotland. It’s home to the largest arts festival in the world – Edinburgh Fringe Festival – where you’ll find everything from street entertainment to professional comedians. There’s also the music festival T in the Park. On top of this, there are several more traditional events for soaking up the culture of Scotland. The Highland Games is a unique sporting event featuring competitive activities such as tossing the caber and tug of war. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo meanwhile is a patriotic display of kilts, bagpipes and drums that’s ideal for those wanting to experience Scotland’s proud heritage.
Whilst other countries may require a flight and a passport, Scotland is in driving distance – you only have to head up the motorway for a few hours and you’re there. It could be the perfect opportunity for a road trip, allowing you to explore its various cities and rural sights at your own leisure. Alternatively, you could try taking up a train or a coach. Few of us take advantage of Scotland’s convenient location – it’s the ultimate staycation destination for those that want to save money and explore new sights.