If you’re planning a trip to somewhere in Europe, Scotland might not be the top of your destination list. However, the most northern country in the UK is a must-visit destination for any traveller who is looking to get a taste of the wild and dramatic scenery found in the UK. Before you travel anywhere in Europe, you need to make sure that you’ve got your EHIC card with you, just in case you need any medical treatment while you’re away. Other essentials to pack for Scotland include a raincoat and warm clothes! Here are some of the best things to do in the country.
Swim in the Fairy Pools
The Isle of Skye is home to some of the most impressive landscapes in all of Scotland. Here you’ll find a series of stunning pools and waterfalls among the rugged mountainous terrain. They are known as the Fairy Pools because of their enchanting emerald green colour. If you’re feeling brave, dive in for a swim. There’s even an underwater arch which connects the two most northern pools. It’s always important to be careful and know your limits when participating in wild swimming but your EHIC card will provide some reassurance if you do get into any trouble whilst out and about.
The historic city of Edinburgh is unlike anywhere else in the world. Don’t miss the chance to walk up Arthur’s Seat, which is actually an extinct volcano, to take in the panoramic views across the whole city from the top. Edinburgh has something for everyone, whether you’re interested in shopping or catching the latest cult film. If you’re visiting in the summer, The Edinburgh Fringe festival is a great event to attend. Throughout August each year, some of the world’s best cultural and artistic talent, including comedians, actors and musicians, are showcased in venues across the city.
There’s plenty of adventure to be had in Scotland. You can join the Glasgow to Edinburgh Canoe Trail, which will take you along 54 miles of coastline into the heart of the capital city. If you’re interested in seeing the mountains and moors of Scotland, don’t miss the Great Moor of Rannoch which is one of the last remaining wildness landscapes in the whole of Europe. The stretch of land is made up of grassland, bogs, rivers and rocky terrain which can make it a challenging area to navigate but it is well worth it for the sights you will see. The region is also home to some unique wildlife, including red deer, so if you’re lucky you might get to witness it for yourself. Remember, your EHIC card will ensure that you are covered in the unlikely event you are injured while participating in an activity.
Travel To Hogwarts
Well, almost. The Jacobite Stream Train will take you across the incredible 21 arches of the Glenfinnan viaduct, which is easily recognisable from the Harry Potter films. Travelling on such a traditional train through such a magical landscape will make you feel as though you are on your way to the School of Wizarding and Witchcraft yourself! The train travels from Fort William to Malliag, a return journey takes six hours and will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery Scotland has to offer.
Visit the Castles
Scotland has numerous castles, each one with a different historic story to tell. One of the most impressive castles of them all is Glengorn Castle, on the Isle of Mull. You’ll find this structure surrounded by ruined stoned circles and steely blue sea. The white sandy beaches are offset by the striking black rock which forms Mull’s north coast. If you’re looking for a luxurious location to stay while you are visiting the area, you can actually book a room in the castle. For a further taste of royalty, visit Balmoral Castle which is a holiday home for the royal family. The grounds and gardens are open to the public throughout the year, with the exception of August-October when the royal family are visiting.
These are just some of the things you can do while you are visiting Scotland. There really is something for everyone, whether you’re interested in a cultural city break or want to explore the wild moorland or mountains scattered across the country. There’s no doubt that you’ll have the trip of the lifetime when you visit Scotland, but don’t forget to bring your EHIC card with you just in case.