Upon stepping off the plane and into the crisp, cool, air of Scotland, you might glance around and feel as if the country has much to offer. You would not be wrong in this reading. But the truth is, this magnificent country keeps even the long-standing locals fully occupied. From Loch Ness to the nooks and crannies of the ancient city of Edinburgh, you really will be overwhelmed if you attempt to discover these alone and without the requisite information. This type of effort could lead to a spoiled trip, to borrow the local lingo. To help you avoid this undesirable outcome, we have put together a visitor’s guide to Scotland. So, place your belongings in the Edinburgh luggage storage and let’s get started.
If the country of Scotland were to have a singular tourist destination, it would likely be this lake – or loch as it is known in the local Scottish Gaelic. Of course, the natural beauty of this spot is quite the draw in and of itself. But you and I both know that is not what brings the average person to this spot. To be truthful, the mystery of the Loch Ness monster, a beast which supposedly lives in the depths of this lake, is what brings people from all over the world to this location. Who knows, maybe you will be the next person to document a brief sighting of the creature. But even if you don’t, the natural foliage and landscape make the trip here worth it.
Given the widespread popularity of period dramas based in the “Old World”, a visit to a real and true castle may be just what you are seeking in your trip to Scotland. You are not alone in this as most visitors here find their way to Edinburgh Castle at some point. Once you see it in person, you will see why – despite closing in on over 1,000 years in age, the structure itself is breathtaking. When you consider it was built by hand, it is enough to take your breath away. But wait, would you like a tour? Of course! Who would skip touring a castle of such grandeur? If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Scottish military patrolling the grounds.
One of the many isles
Scotland is popular globally for many reasons but the strongest of these may be the simple knowledge that, geographically speaking, the country is made up of many islands. More than 900 of them if you want to get a little specific. The beauty of this fact is each one of these inhabited isles has something of its own to offer. Take the Isle of Iona as an example. Here, you can visit the graves of many historical figures including Macbeth and several kings of Scotland. Alternatively, you could choose to spend a day or more on the Isle of Skye where the natural beauty of Scotland really is on full display. Though, the local culture and unique housing may catch your eye as well.
It is not very often you will have the opportunity to visit the birthplace of a global sport so why not take an afternoon and wander around the grounds of St. Andrews Links? There is more than enough to explore between the tours of the golf courses themselves, a wonderful restaurant, and even shopping opportunities. The tangible weight of athletic greatness might be just enough to prompt you to pick up the sport of golf for the first time. Should you find yourself in these shoes, lessons are available on sight. But, if you are a seasoned golfer, you will want to plan a trip here months in advance if you are hoping to play any of the courses.
Life in Scotland involves water travel much more than the average person due to the simple fact that the country is made up of it. Remember those 900 some isles we briefly discussed earlier? These posed interesting problems to past generations of Scots. But, through ingenuity of their own, these people made it possible for all these individual land masses to become united. The timeline and items involving this process are on display and celebrated at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow. But water transportation is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg here. To find out what else is contained within this spectacular building, you must visit it for yourself.
As with any trip to a location you are unfamiliar with, the responsibility to make the most of it falls on your shoulders. No one will hold your hands through the streets of Edinburgh showing you all the city has to offer. There likely is not a welcome party awaiting your arrival in Scotland. So take some of the advice above, strike out on your own, and enjoy Scotland to its fullest.
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