Five great reasons to explore Scotland
A paradise for walkers
If you’re a keen walker, then you’ll love Scotland. The rugged coastline, lochs and stunning natural beauty is perfect for exploring on foot. There are plenty of paths and beaches to enjoy for all abilities. A popular walk is on the island of Hoy in the Orkneys. Walk along some of Britain’s highest cliffs to gaze at The Old Man of Hoy, a red sandstone sea stack that rises out of the sea to 137 metres. For more of a challenge climb Ben Nevis. At 1344 metres it’s the highest mountain in Britain but it is possible to trek to the summit and back in a day.
Visit all year round
Every season has something to offer in Scotland. Spring and summer is the ideal time for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, cycling and fishing. In August Edinburgh hosts its vast festival and during the day the streets are filled with free street entertainment and events for all the family. By autumn the countryside is at its best, with fresh crisp air and wonderful colours to enjoy. In winter you can ski and enjoy the sights and first-class shopping in Scotland’s biggest cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Or go for Scotland’s New Year Hogmanay celebration, when the whole country takes to the street to party.
Enjoy the great outdoors
Scotland has spectacular landscape, from lochs to beaches to mountains, with some of the largest areas of wilderness in Western Europe. You’ll also find a variety of wildlife from deer, eagles and osprey to mountain goats. Along the coastline you may see puffins, seals, dolphins, porpoises and even whales. Fans of Harry Potter will remember the Hogwart Express steaming through stunning countryside and crossing a dramatic viaduct. This train is part of the West Highland Railway that runs from Fort William to Mallaig.
Haggis and whisky
Scotland is famous for its gastronomic delights like wild salmon, venison, beef, fish and chips, leek and tattie soup, and black pudding. For a sweet tooth try buttery shortbread, tablet (like fudge) and the infamous deep-fried Mars Bar. Scotland’s national dish, haggis, is a kind of savoury pudding made from the lungs, heart and liver of a sheep, traditionally served with ‘neaps and tatties’ (swede and potatoes). And no meal is complete without a dram of single malt whisky, the true taste of Scotland.Visit one of the many distilleries for a tour and a tasting!
Islands, lochs and beaches
Scotland has nearly 800 islands to explore, divided into four main groups: Orkney, Shetland, Inner Hebrides, and Outer Hebrides. This enormous coastline combined with the many lochs means you are never far from water. You’re spoilt for choice with dozens of stunning beaches to visit, like Luskentyre Beach on Harris, Lunan Bay in Angus with rolling sand dunes, West Sands in St Andrews where Chariots of Fire was filme, and Calgary Bay on the west coast of Mull, with enticing (though very cold) pale-blue water.