When you think of the U.K, it is almost certain that the first place you think of is London. London! The Big Smoke! England’s capital! The only place worth visiting in the United Kingdom. This may be the thought process of many tourists, but it is actually wrong! The U.K is full of beautiful and interesting places to visit outside of London, and this one is a whole country! Scotland is at the very north of the United Kingdom (so yes, winters are cold!) and measures to around 77,910 km², similar to the size of South Carolina. Scotland is full of grassland and beautiful scenery, and has a long history that will surprise many. From outstanding universities to talented soccer teams, Scotland has a lot to offer, and is just waiting to be discovered! Look below and find out just some of the interesting things that will entice you to visit this enchanting land.
Scotland has many stunning castles in numerous cities that are just stunning to visit. Scotland’s rich history is kept here with well-preserved structures all the way to understated ruins. At one point it is believed that there were over 3000 castles in the country! The city of Glasgow has so many castles that you can spend a day castle hopping! You can start with Bothwell Castle, a 13th century that is easily accessible on the River Clyde, to then easily move on to Crookston Castle where you can stand and take in some stunning views from the roof. If you were to continue on to just outside the city, you will arrive at Stirling Castle, a structure believed to date back to the 8th century. In the 1500s, Mary Queen of Scots was crowned here. Continue on to Inverness and you can see Inverness Castle, situated right on the edge of River Ness. Urquhart Castle is also only 30 mins south of Inverness too.
If you love a good hike, some excellent views and some truly breathtaking adventures, you must visit the Scottish Highlands. To visit the landscape you can take a road trip, cycle or hike; whichever method you decide you will certainly enjoy. Visit national parks such as Loch Lomond & the Trossachs or Cairngorms National Park; it will surely be a good time. Scotland is home to the highest peak in the UK, Ben Nevis, and is a challenge worth attempting. If you continue on just a little bit further, you will reach the Isle of Skye- the area where you can attempt the renowned ‘Old Man of Storr hike’! If you’re into wildlife, you should take a trip to the Highland Wildlife Park; you may get to see the Scottish wildcat! To continue from the previous paragraph, there are also some nice castles in the Highlands, such as Eilean Donan Castle. The view of this castle looks like you are standing right in front of a postcard!
The Loch Ness Monster Legend
We are sure that if you think of Scotland, you will almost certainly think ‘Loch Ness Monster’! It is a famous legend that has somehow made its way around the world. The legend says that the Loch Ness Monster, ‘Nessie’, resides in the waters of Loch Ness. Many claim to have spotted Nessie in the distance, many try and take photos, it is something the kids will certainly enjoy. You can even travel on the Loch Ness by boat and explore the waters that Nessie owns! The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition is the perfect place to fully discover the history of this legend; you can find a detailed showcase of the timeline of it.
Annoying bag of noise or beautiful Scottish sound? You can be the judge! We are sure you can envision a Scottish man, dressed in a kilt playing his bagpipes- it is a symbol of Scotland. You can find people playing the bagpipes in the streets, in a pub or even at festivals. The bagpipes are famous and extremely relevant to Scottish culture, coming from a Military history.
Haggis may sound disgusting, and if you look at how it is made, maybe this opinion won’t change. We recommend you try it though! Sometimes things really taste nicer than they sound, and haggis is one of those things. It is not just sheep heart, liver and lungs, you also have regular components, such as onion, oatmeal, stock and spices. Served with a side of mashed potatoes, you can find it in many restaurants and pubs. If you’re feeling daring, buy it from a butchers and cook it yourself!
Scotland is famous for having a rich variety of whisky at its disposal. There are 109 distilleries in Scotland that you can visit and is the country’s national beverage. Whisky production in Scotland dates back to 11th century. The word whisky actually comes from the traditional Gaelic moniker, “uisge beatha” meaning “water of life.”