Scotland is too often overlooked as a travel destination in favour of other European destinations, but we think it needs to be on everyone must-see list. From this land of mystery, stunning landscapes and fascinating history we have gathered our 7 compelling reasons why we think Scotland is worth a visit.
Scotland is one stunningly beautiful, wild and rugged country, so, it is not surprising that is has been the backdrop of so many famous films. If you are looking for some fantastic places to visit and extremely photo-worthy sights we suggest Stirling Castle and the surrounds. Located just outside Stirling in the battlefields of William Wallace’s famous battle for Scottish independence from the English King Edward I, the castle and hills were also the locations for the filming of Braveheart starring Mel Gibson as the brave Wallace. The 12th century Stirling Castle has been lovingly restored to its former glory with staff on hand to tell you all the tales of the original William Wallace or Hollywood gossip about the filming of the movie. Just across on the next hill is the Wallace Memorial a splendid 246-step tower, which offers incredible views over the entire area of the battle, and some more very photo-worthy scenes.
The Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William was made even more famous when it was used in the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts Express. It travels daily from Fort William to Mallaig, crossing the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct on a six-hour return journey through stunning mountain scenery and wide-open landscapes. We suggest sitting on the left-hand side of the train for the best views and photo opportunities.
No trip to Scotland would be complete without visiting the site of one of the world’s most famous unsolved mysteries, the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster. According to legend, this monster has made a home of this beautiful loch for countless centuries. If you aren’t lucky enough to see a monster, you can still see the much-photographed Urquhart Castle that stands alone on a thin slice of land jutting out into the Loch. Now a spectacular ruin set against the stunning lake, it is one of Scotland’s most photographed buildings.
For a more intellectual mystery, visit The Rosslyn Chapel famously featured in the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
‘When I decided to write The Da Vinci Code, I knew that its finale would have to take place at the most mysterious and magical chapel on earth — Rosslyn.’
This beautiful Chapel holds a mystery beneath the floor in a stone crypt that according to legend is where the treasure of the Knights Templar is hidden. Visit and experience the aura of mystery that has caused this intricately carved chapel from the 15th century to become the subject of conspiracy theories that date centuries.
The “right to roam”
Scotland has a rule that applies to all land called the ‘right to roam’. Meaning you can walk almost anywhere in this beautiful country without fear of trespassing. So, if you spot a fantastic sight and you want to get in closer for a better look, you can! Enjoy one of the few places in this world where you can take a walk in the countryside without limits and let your curiosity take over.
When in this romantic part of the world, it only seems right that one should indulge in a night in a Castle. Browse through some of the many Castle accommodations on Scott’s Castle Holidays and find yourself a medieval castle to call your own for a night or two.
Our favourite is Kilbryde Castle where Sir James Campbell and his wife Carola will welcome you to stay in the castle that has been the home of their family since 1659. Stay in the former kitchen and lower residence with access out into the majestic gardens that attract visitors from far and wide on the few days they are open to the public. This accommodation option is guaranteed to make you feel a little bit royal.
The vibrant capital of Scotland needs to be on every list of places to visit. This historical, yet modern, city is a striking mix of old cobbled streets, medieval buildings and traditional stores together with modern shops, edgy festivals and a lively nightlife scene overlooked by Edinburgh Castle sitting atop of an extinct volcano in the heart of the city. Add to this the sounds of bagpipes, Gaelic singing, the smell of the great food scene, and the taste of an aged whiskey and you will never want to leave this city again.
For our final reason to visit Scotland, we had to mention the traditional Scottish Kilt that is still a common sight, worn proudly by many men in town and country across Scotland. Perhaps we have seen Braveheart a few too many times, but we just love seeing a man in a kilt. Luckily Heritage of Scotland still stocks a full range of Kilts for all the clans, along with a wide range of stunning accessories, clothing and even tartan dresses that would make a perfect memento of your visit to this incredible country of mystery, history and more.
And as the Scottish farewell goes ‘Haste Ye Back’ or ‘come back soon’.