Country Spotlight - Scotland
Located north of England, Scotland is one of the most scenic destinations in Europe with its rolling hills, dramatic coastline, and rushing waterfalls. Each part of Scotland holds its own unique characteristics. Discover the charm within the fisherman’s villages, adventure through the cliffs of the coastline, or encounter the serene nature of the highlands. Every experience is sure to leave you in awe of this spectacular country.
Covering the northern third of Great Britain, Scotland is composed of 790 different islands in addition to the mainland within the Atlantic Ocean. Ruled under the Queen, Scotland maintains close ties with Wales and England. Most picture Scotland as an epiphany of several different TV shows such as Outlander and Poldark, or even the famous Braveheart film and Harry Potter series.
Traveling to Scotland can take a variety of different forms. Itineraries are endless depending on which approach you and your travel companions may prefer. It’s possible to begin your trip in the capital of Edinburgh and make your way north to the highlands, or begin in the highlands and travel along the coastline, ending in Edinburgh. Either route will bring breathtaking views as you travel by train or car through the winding landscape of the mountains.
Traveling in June or July is optimal for sun and warm weather, while May, August, and September are also pleasant. Other months may be cloudy and misty as their climate is more overcast in the winter.
Scotland is a prime destination for a variety of travelers because of the ease of arrival and departure. Families, mature adults, and active travelers will enjoy the diversity of experiences this country provides. Edinburgh and Glasgow offer luxury accommodations with many amenities, including multiple golf courses for any those aspiring to play in the European Open. The highlands and western part of the country offer boutique accommodations as well as bed and breakfast type stays in the rural areas.
It’s recommended to dedicate at least nine days to this country in order to take in all it has to offer. Scenic and historic tours are endless as well as distilleries scattered throughout the country. Boat tours on Loch Ness to see Nessie the monster are of interest to many, thanks to the Scottish folkage dating back to 565 AD. The Eilean Donan castle from the 13th century is also a popular destination, located where three picturesque lochs (lakes) meet. You can also take a tour aboard the Jacobite Train in Fort William to discover to pristine views of mountains, lochs, and rivers.
Thinking of pairing Scotland with an additional country? England and Ireland are both great options considering their proximity. A train to or from London is the perfect way to add a second country into your itinerary. Ferry transport to Ireland is also a simple and beautiful route to incorporate into a journey to Scotland.
Here are a few of our favorite experiences offered around the country of Scotland:
Climb the 246 steps to the top of the Wallace Monument to take in the sites of Scotland’s most historic and bloody battles for independence, and discover the legacy of the national hero, Sir William Wallace. This journey goes across the lands of Scotland’s tumultuous history, including the ruins of Linlithgow Palace - birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots - and magnificent Stirling Castle, a center of Scottish power for more than a millennium.
ATV Off Road Adventure Explore the Scottish countryside from the cockpit of a rugged ATV (in full or half-scale size) appropriate for the entire family! Take on the hills with off-road driving,
which children as young as four can master with the specially built Land Rover replica. Tackle the off-road, purpose-built obstacle course to take on log piles, sleeping policemen and the even a water splash. Enjoy courses for older children, plus two off-road courses on the estate for adult drivers. Designed by some of Britain's leading specialists, these courses include natural and purpose-built obstacles including water splashes, ditches and gullies.
Falconry of Kings Explore falconry, the most ancient and aristocratic sport of kings. Instructors from the internationally renowned British School of Falconry will teach the basic skills and techniques of this fascinating sport. After donning the supplied jacket, boots and falconer’s glove, get up close and personal with one of the magnificent Harris
hawks, learning the essential techniques of working these stunning birds of prey. During the hunting season there’s a chance to develop skills further, flying the birds for prey on one of the nearby estates – a breath-taking way to celebrate the traditions of the Scottish countryside.
Whisky Tasting Under the Stars Slainte (meaning cheers)! Enjoy a special whisky tasting experience in the Blue Bar, the opulent showcase for the velvety-smooth Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky. Take in the views of the 18th hole of the world-class King’s and Queen’s golf courses
while sinking into heated leather sofas with luxurious throws around an oversized fire pit. Stay cozy and watch the stars come out in an al fresco setting and learn how to ‘nose’ and taste Scottish whisky under expert guidance. Create your own blend, then round off the evening with a choice of first class Cuban cigars.
Bagpipe Making Workshop Scotland’s national instrument is as mysterious as it is recognizable. Whether you consider the sound to be beautiful music, or something to be endured, this
fascinating tour is hosted by the owner of a historic and noted bagpipe piper in Edinburgh’s Old Town and will showcase how the pipes are made – and perhaps more crucially how they are played! Learn about the history of the bagpipes and their place in contemporary Scottish culture – one that is only growing in popularity! You might even want to have a go at playing the ‘chanter’ (fingerwork pipe) yourself.
Want to learn more about travel to Scotland? Email KrisN@PiqueTravel.com.