Updated: Jan 31
When I tell people I am from Scotland, their first reaction is always the same with about three slight variations. A Glaswegian accent will be attempted and the mention of haggis, kilts and whiskey is almost inevitable (it always makes me laugh that people think everyone from Scotland has a weegie accent). Other than that, nobody really seems to know much about my beautiful home country and do not have much interest in learning. Scotland is grossly underrated, and I would like to think that this post may encourage those who haven't been to go. You will not regret it, although will almost definitely be subject to all four seasons in 24 hours. Other than the questionable weather, Scotland really does have so much to offer and in my humble opinion, there is no other country quite like it. From breathtaking scenery, to beautiful wildlife, awesome food and music and some of the friendliest people around our culture is bustling with travel opportunities. Even I have not seen all the gems that Scotland has to offer, but of what I have seen I struggle to believe they are right on my doorstep. So sit back and grab yourself a notepad, I am going to show you just some of the amazing things you can do and see in Scotland
1. Our Lochs (Or for all you non scottish folk, Lakes.)
If there is one thing Scotland does well, it is its endlessly beautiful lochs. From the famous Loch Ness, where our native friendly underwater monster Nessie 'lives', to the likes of Loch Lomond. Just like us, they come in all shapes and sizes. Dotted all over our wonderful country every single one of them is a tranquil paradise.
My top 3 to visit: Loch Muick Loch Lee Loch Nagar
2. Our Castles
Again, Scotland really hit the nail on the head when it comes to castles. We have hundreds of amazing castles, all with a vast and fascinating history, as well as a few ghost stories here and there. I mean, who doesn't love a good ghost story? You will never have to travel too far to find a pretty castle to visit up in Scotland, there is practically one round every corner. My top 3 to visit: Dunnottar Castle Craigievar Castle
Eilean Donan Castle
3. Our Scenery We might not have the best weather in the world, but that certainly does not take anything away from the jaw-dropping scenery. Whether it be huge mountains on a stormy day, or a quaint fishing harbour in the sun, you will find it hard to put your camera down.
My top 3 areas visit: Glen Coe Glen Clova Cairn O'Mount
4. Our Highlands If you're getting sick of the city life and fancy a bit of an adventure then the Highlands are the place to be. You are guaranteed to get some awesome photos and you might even see some of our totally amazing wildlife. There is nothing quite like seeing a red deer stag hiking through the heather beaten hills, or a vibrant red squirrel bouncing through the tree's. From hikes, to nature safaris, and even a spot of skiing during the winter, you will never get bored with this beautiful part of the world. My top 3 areas to visit: Aviemore Torridon Tomin Toul
5. Our Islands The Islands of Scotland are without a doubt my favourite place to be. You cannot go to Scotland without visiting at least some of the Islands, you won't believe that you are still in Scotland. If you are lucky enough to get good weather, it will feel like you are in the Carribean (just a bit chilly). White sandy beaches, clear blue water and blue skies. Not only is the landscape stunning, but the lifestyle on the Islands is completely different from the mainland. You are guaranteed to meet some amazing and talented people. Don't forget to visit a local artists gallery and maybe a Whiskey Distillery or two. My top 3 Islands to visit: Isle of Skye Isle of Harris Isle of Mull
6. Our Festivals Now I shouldn't have to do much explaining or convincing here. Scottish festivals are pretty well known on an global level, particularly Edinburgh's Tattoo and Fringe festival. If you want a real taste of Scottish talent and culture, then there isn't a better experience than attending a festival. My top 3 Festivals to attend: Edinburgh Tattoo Edinburgh Fringe The Fire Balls, Hogmanay in Stonehaven
7. Our Food It isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for me, nothing quite beats a big old plate of haggis, neeps and tatties. I would explain exactly what haggis consists of but I firmly believe it would put you off tasting it forever…let's just say its bloody delicious! Scotland does food well, and not just our local delicacies. In the Islands you will taste some of the freshest seafood around, and in the mainland you might want to treat yourself to some venison - delish! My top 3 places to eat:
Aunty Bettys Icecream Parlour (Homemade Scottish Tablet, Shortbread and Whisky & Irn Bru icecream), Stonehaven
Drovers Inn, Memus India on the Green, Ballater
8. Our Endless Variety
If I was to list everything about Scotland I would be here all day. The truth is Scotland has a complete endless variety of awesome. We have mountains, we have wildlife, we have beautiful beaches and photo perfect seasons. Friendly faces and an unforgettable accent and most importantly the experience of a lifetime! Now if that isn't enough to sway you, I don't know what is!
All photos by yours truly.
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