Pack your bags, gas up the car, don’t forget the camera because we’re going to Scotland. Why Scotland, you ask. Short answer, Scotland is simply brimming with history, culture, architecture, and natural wonders you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Its coastline far exceeds those of Ireland, England, Italy, and Spain making it ideal for sea lovers. Architecture enthusiasts will be kept occupied by all the historic castles and manors that dot Scotland. For urban dwellers, the nightlife in big cities like Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen are something to behold. Pubs, clubs, and restaurants are found in almost every corner all offering unique dishes, drinks, and experience. But the best part of Scotland is the scenery. The beautiful rolling hills and mountain wilderness seemingly untouched by man could only be appreciated in person. So get in the car, we’re going to see Scotland.
Where to Start
Scotland’s two biggest cities are Edinburgh and Glasgow, all major hubs for planes. These cities can also be reached by train from the rest of mainland UK. From both these cities, the rest of Scotland is quite accessible by car. Unlike Europe or America, the longest you will be stuck inside the car is no more than 5 hours, not including nature stops along the way.
Best Time to Go
It’s also important to determine when to visit Scotland. The busiest months, obviously, are between the summer months of July and August. Many castles and monuments are not open the whole year round so it helps to do a bit of research to know the best time to go. But many recommend that the best time to go is around the end of summer and beginning of autumn when the seasonal colors enhance the mountains and landscapes.
Everywhere you go in Scotland; there is beautiful scenery to explore. You pass through farmland, mysterious woodland, scenic rolling hills in the south and east, and towering mountains in the west and south. The best way to see all these is by going on a road trip. Many consider driving around the country to be easy and relaxed even from those used to driving on the right.
For accommodations, Scotland has a wonderful selection of hotels, guesthouses, rentals, and BnBs. The latter is the most popular form of accommodation when visiting Scotland. It’s a great way to experience a typical Scottish breakfast and also meet locals. These family-run businesses are preferred because guests are afforded the world-renowned Scottish hospitality.
The Highlands are a Wonder
A trip to Scotland is not complete without immersing yourself with the Highlands. It is simply breathtaking. It fulfills every imagination one has when Scotland comes to their mind. The food is superb; the people, hospitable; the landscape, awe-inspiring. The mountains the stretch up to the sky are a sight to behold. And the seemingly unfathomable lochs evoke an air of mystery like no other. Its history has left behind some of the most beautiful castles in the UK.
Don’t Forget about Loch Ness
Whether you believe in the existence of its monster inhabitant or you simply want to appreciate its natural beauty, Loch Ness is always a worthy stopover. The loch covers more than 1800 square kilometer and includes rivers. The lake is a favorite spot to do water activities like boating, rafting, sailing and more. For the believers of the infamous Loch Ness monster, they have a dedicated museum offering information about the lake’s geological formation and its legendary monster.
Experience the Enchanted Forest
The Enchanted Forest is a popular annual event that takes place in the forestries of Perthshire. It boasts award-winning shows from creative artists, musicians, and the likes all aiming to create an experience like no other. Participants are encouraged to explore the forest at their own pace to fully enjoy the light shows, water exhibit, fire shows, sound and even storytelling of Scottish folklores that take place in yurts.
The Beauty of Balmoral
Time permitting; a quick trip to Her Majesty, the Queen’s favorite holiday destination, Balmoral Castle is also a sight to behold. If you plan to visit, purchase tickets in advance. Unlike Windsor Castle or Sandringham House, Balmoral is privately owned by the royal family and is closed to the public from August to October.
Castles all Around
Scotland is famous for its many castles. They are beautiful and historic and are stunning to behold. Include in your itinerary a quick stop at Edinburgh Castle. Inverness Castle sits atop a cliff overlooking the River Ness and is worthy of a quick trip as well. The Eilean Donan Castle, a 13th Century castle in the Highlands is worth exploring too.
And through all these driving around, you get to experience the dishes that Scotland is known for. Everyone knows the famous haggis, made of sheep’s liver, lungs, and heart. This is typically served together with neeps and tatties, as in turnips and potatoes. Scottish salmon are known to be the very best salmons in the world and highly sought-after.
Author Bio: Maria Brooks is a passionate travel & outdoor blogger who loves to travel and write about her experience. She spends her free time hiking, swimming, camping and spending time with her family. She also blogs at GearJunior which is a site filled with outdoor tips and guides.