Scotland is one of the most picturesque places in the world. Every year, millions of people travel to bask in the beauty of its architecture and nature, as well as soak it its rich history. Scotland’s got a rich variety of coastlines and cities, rivers and historical sites that mark the roots of Western civilization. People love walking where so many important figures once walked. In addition to Scotland’s historical significance, it has several thriving cultural centers today. Festivals and concerts take place year round, bringing people from all walks of life together to celebrate. There’s great traditional food, men walking around in kilts and bagpipes blowing through the air on breezy summer days. Make the right choice and commit to visiting beautiful Scotland. While you’re there, here are four places that will blow you away.
Glasgow is Scotland’s second largest city and the largest port city in Britain. There’s a rich culture of trade and shipbuilding there, so there’s a mesh of different kinds of people and influences from around the region. Americans particularly love Glasgow because the city was vital to cross-Atlantic trade between the two countries. Ties run deep. The Glasgow Cathedral is a hallmark of the city, as well as the numerous other medieval structures that still dot the city’s horizon. Visitors can take in the entire city by going outside of the city and climbing the hills that surround it. The views are breathtaking, pre Lyhpa.com.
Glasgow loves its music scene. Every year, the city hosts over 130 music festivals. That means almost one every three days! Visitors can get a real taste of local arts and fun by attending one while on vacation. If music and crowds aren’t your thing, Glasgow’s got great shopping options. The city is a retail center in the area, and is known for its welcoming stores and quality goods.
Edinburgh is the most popular tourist destination in the United Kingdom after London. It is the capital of Scotland, and has been the seat of parliament since the 15th century, so it’s full of history and stunning buildings. It’s got universities, wonderful restaurants, clubs and parks perfect for solo travelers and families. Edinburgh is home to the largest international arts festival in the world, called The Fringe. If you’re lucky enough to plan your trip around the festival, you’re in for a treat. Edinburgh Castle, and the Royal Mile walk through the city are must-do activities. Royal Mile is one of Edinburgh’s main thoroughfares, and has everything from Scottish whiskey experiences to fun family events. There are also some great art museums to choose from with prized works. At the National Gallery of Scotland, Bartolini’s picturesque carrara marble statue ‘The Campbell’ Sisters is on display and is a major draw. You can find out more about carrara marble, like what was used in that statue, at this website. Spend an afternoon strolling through the Botanical Gardens with the lily pads and manicured landscaping.
- Loch Ness
While you’re in Scotland, it’s ok to have a bit of fun. Take yourself a bit less seriously and spend some time in Loch Ness and stay on the lookout for Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Take a boat cruise on the lake and listen to the tour guide tell riveting stories about the search for Nessie and what it means to the local people. Spoiler alert, you’re probably not going to find the Loch Ness Monster, but it’s a fun box to check. Believe it or not, the lake’s actually large and deep enough to hide a real monster. Fun fact, Loch Ness holds more water than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined. Around the lake are some lovely local villages where you can get a taste of local life. Be on the lookout, though, for the obligatory tourist traps that profit off Nessie’s legend.
For people who want to get away, Glencoe is one of Scotland’s prized valleys that offers stunning views and peaceful nature. In the valley, you’ll find monuments to battles in the 17th century, and bask in front of mountains and beautiful green fields. Glencoe draws in the outdoor crowd around the country. It’s a prime rock climbing and adventure spot. In the winter, it’s the choice ski spot for all the Glasgow city folk. Glencoe’s a great place to rent a cabin for a few days in between bouncing around Scotland’s cities. You’ll get a real feel for the area dropping into local restaurants where long-time Scottish people are bound to be.
There’s so much more to Scotland than just these four places! Scotland is home to incredible beaches, world class golf resorts, castles, wildlife and great people. No matter how much time you spend in Scotland, it’s easy to fill up your calendar with great activities that will leave you with a greater appreciation for Scottish people and history.