Destination Guides


Scotland

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Glencoe Lochan ©Jonathan Combe

Scotland is a wild and untamed country, stretching from rolling farmlands in the south and east to dramatic highlands and islands in the west, where the craggy coastline is honeycombed with beautiful beaches and rises up to rugged, empty mountains divided only by shimmering lochs and deep rivers. This ancient land has a brutal, interesting history and is studded with ancient castles and strongholds.


Although still part of the United Kingdom, Scotland is a fiercely independent and proud nation. They are still agitating to gain political independence from the UK. Scotland has its own legal system and its own parliament, and is developing into an economic force in its own right - Aberdeen is the hub of the North Sea oil industry, and Edinburgh is now home to Europe's largest bank.


Scotland is the home of golf and whiskey, and has a cultural heritage stretching from the festivities of the clans, to the poetry of Robert Burns. Scotland's rich traditions can be best experienced over the summer months at the cutting-edge Edinburgh Arts Festival or at one of the many, more low-key Highland Games events.


A land of unparalleled raw natural beauty, outdoor and wilderness enthusiasts will delight in Scotland's open spaces and its excellently-managed national parks.


Climate Info

Scotland has a temperate climate, like the rest of the United Kingdom, with extremely changeable weather, and generally the coolest, wettest and cloudiest weather in the UK. Despite this, Scotland is warmer than other places on similar northern latitudes because it is warmed by the Gulf Stream of the Atlantic. January, which is mid-winter, is the coldest month, with temperatures averaging between 31°F (-0.2°C) and 41°F (5°C). July, which is mid-summer, is the warmest month, with temperatures averaging between 49°F (9°C) and 62°F (17°C). Rainfall is plentiful in general but actually varies widely across Scotland, with the western highlands one of the wettest places in Europe, whereas the east of the country is comparatively dry. The wettest months are October through January, but rain is possible at any time of year. Snowfall is also common, especially on higher ground, with parts of the highlands getting up to a hundred snow days per year. The north and west of Scotland tend to be the windiest regions.


The best time to visit Scotland is in the summer months, between June and August, when the country is at its warmest and driest. May is also a pleasant month to visit, as it is the sunniest month.


Getting Around

A good network of bus routes covers the city and this is the main form of public transport. Buses are given exclusive use of certain lanes within the city, and as a result the services are fairly free-flowing. Exact change is required as one enters the bus, so buying a One-Ticket pass is a convenient option: this allows unlimited travel in and around the city by bus. Night buses come into operation after midnight, offering an economical way to get home after a night out. Black taxis are easily hailed in the street and there are numerous taxi ranks, but rates are a bit expensive. Rental cars can be useful for touring the country, but driving around Edinburgh's one-way, narrow streets can be confusing, and parking is difficult to find. The city is definitely best explored on foot for those who can handle the steep roads; in fact, any other mode of transport will deprive visitors of some glorious sights.


Aberdeen International Airport (ABZ)

LocationThe airport is situated seven miles (11km) northwest of Aberdeen.
Time DifferenceGMT (GMT +1 between last Sunday in March and Saturday before last Sunday in October).
Contacts

Tel: +44 (0)870 040 0006.

Getting to city

Aberdeen and Inverness train services run from the local station at Dyce, which is just a short taxi ride from the airport. The main station is in Aberdeen city centre and services all parts of Scotland and England. Regular bus services operate from the airport to Aberdeen city centre, and the journey takes roughly 30 minutes. Services are less frequent at weekends than on weekdays.

Car Rental

Car hire companies represented at the airport include Avis, Europcar, Hertz and National.

Airpor Taxis

Comcab taxis are available outside the terminal, where a taxi marshal will assist you in finding a cab. Taxis can be pre-booked via the Comcab website and arranged at the Comcab booking office to the right upon entry to the terminal. The journey to the city centre takes approximately 25 minutes in light traffic, and costs roughly £15.

Airport Facilities

Facilities include left luggage, a bureau de change, bars, a duty-free shop, business facilities, a children's play area, and several restaurants. The Servisair Executive Lounge is located on the first floor past security and can be prebooked online. Other airport lounges include the British Airways Terraces Lounge and the Eastern Airways Lounge, which is located near Gate 10. There are several internet cafes around the airport.

Car Parking

There is short-term parking at Aberdeen Airport within walking distance of the terminal. Long-term parking at Aberdeen Airport can be accessed by a free shuttle from the terminal.

Websitewww.aberdeenairport.com


Edinburgh International Airport (EDI)

LocationThe airport is eight miles (13km) west of Edinburgh.
Time DifferenceGMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).
Contacts

Tel: +44 0)844 481 8989.

Getting to city

Airlink 100 buses connect the airport and the city centre every 10 minutes, from early morning until after midnight, and cost around £4.50 one way; the journey takes approximately 30 minutes. There are many alternative buses, including Night Bus N22 and Service 35, that run to the city centre via a couple of stops en route. Stops for public buses are situated on the terminal forecourt road outside the main entrance.

Car Rental

There is a car rental centre located next to the parking area, connected to the terminal by a covered walkway. Car rental companies include Alamo, Avis, Europcar, Budget, Thrifty, Hertz and National.

Airpor Taxis

The taxi ranks for airport taxis and city black cabs are outside the east end of the airport terminal. The drive to the city centre takes approximately 25 minutes.

Airport Facilities

Facilities at the airport include ATMs, a bureau de change, shops, a pharmacy, wifi, a children's play area, baby change rooms, restaurants and bars. The Aspire Lounge is available to departing passengers on the first floor past security; bookings can be made online via the airport's website. The airport also has an art gallery displaying Scottish works.

Car Parking

A multilevel car park is located just across from the terminal building. The long-term car park is a few minutes away; a courtesy bus ferries passengers to the terminal.

Websitewww.edinburghairport.com


Glasgow Airport (GLA)

LocationThe airport is located eight miles (13km) west of Glasgow.
Time DifferenceGMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).
Contacts

Tel: +44 (0)870 040 0008.

Transfer terminals

A covered walkway connects the terminals.

Getting to city

Buses leave regularly for Glasgow, stopping off at the main railway and bus stations. The journey to the city centre takes 15 to 20 minutes. There are also eight trains per hour from Paisley Gilmour Street Station to Glasgow Central Station, which is one mile (2km) from the airport and can be reached by taxi or by regular bus services.

Car Rental

Car hire options at the airport include Avis, Europcar, National, Alamo, Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, and Dollar/Thrifty.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available 24 hours a day at the taxi rank opposite the main terminal. They are obligated to meter the journey.

Airport Facilities

Facilities at Glasgow Airport include ATMs, a bureau de change, a post office, and many shops, bars and restaurants. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs are advised to inform their airline or travel agent in advance. There is also a multi-faith prayer room.

Car Parking

Short-term parking is located near the terminal, charging roughly £2 for ten minutes or £3 for twenty minutes. Long-term parking is also available. Parking can be booked in advance via the airport website.

Websitewww.glasgowairport.com


Stornoway Airport (SYY)

LocationJust over two miles (3.7 km) east of Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis
Time DifferenceGMT (GMT +1 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).
Contacts

Tel: +44 (0)1851 702256.

Getting to city

The airport bus service leaves for Stornoway town at regular intervals throughout the day, from Monday to Saturday.

Car Rental

Car and van rental is available at the airport from Stornoway Car Hire and advance booking is advised.

Airpor Taxis

There are taxis available at the airport and visitors should call the help desk to make an advance booking.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include a shop, café and bar, as well as pay phones, TVs, broadband Internet and postal facilities.

Car Parking

There is free short- and long-term parking available at the airport.

Websitewww.hial.co.uk/stornoway-airport/


Inverness Airport (INV)

LocationThe airport is in Dalcross, eight miles (13km) from downtown Inverness.
Time DifferenceGMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).
Car Parking

Short-term parking at Inverness Airport, next to the terminal building, is free for the first 20 minutes. Long-term parking is available in a separate lot to the right of the terminal building.

Websitewww.hial.co.uk/inverness-airport/


Dundee Airport (DND)

LocationThe airport is located two miles (3km) from Dundee city centre.
Time DifferenceGMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).
Getting to city

Taxis are available from the airport to the city centre of Dundee and train station, which is five minutes away. Rental cars are also available.

Car Rental

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Arnold Clark and Europcar.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available from the airport to the city centre of Dundee and train station, which is five minutes away. Taxis are often available upon arrival, but passengers are advised to book a taxi in advance when possible.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include shops, vending machines, cafes and internet access.

Car Parking

Short-term and long-term parking is available at the airport with the first 30 minutes free in both parking areas. Short-term parking, situated opposite the airport terminal building, costs £1.50 per hour with a maximum stay of two hours. Long-term parking is available to the right of the airport terminal and costs £3.20 for up to four hours and £5.70 per day.

Websitewww.hial.co.uk


Getting Outdoors


There are plenty of hiking, running and cycling trails dotted in and around Aberdeen, and outdoor fanatics will have no shortage of things to do during their time in the city.


Kirkhill Forest, Gight Wood Reserve and the Bin Forest are just three of the many outdoor havens loc
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Cycling in Aberdeenshire ©VisitAberdeenshire



Golf


With courses stretched out over rambling beaches, or hidden within castle-dotted forests, Aberdeen is likely to tempt even the most unenthusiastic of golfers to a round. Some of the world's greatest golf tournaments have taken place in the area. The Royal Aberdeen Golf Club having hosted
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Golfing in Aberdeenshire ©VisitAberdeenshire



Edinburgh Castle


The imposing castle that stands on the craggy mound of an extinct volcano in the heart of Edinburgh is not only the city's top attraction, but a proud and lasting symbol of the Scots nation. The castle rock has been inhabited since 800 BC, but today most of the remaining structures date
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Edinburgh Castle ©Ingy the Wingy



Palace of Holyrood House


The Palace of Holyrood was originally an abbey, built in the 12th century, and later the home of Mary, Queen of Scots, notorious for her turbulent reign and dramatic life. Today the palace is the official Scottish residence of Queen Elizabeth II, and is used by the Royal family for state
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Palace of Holyrood House ©bvi4092



Royal Botanic Garden


Not just any garden, the Edinburgh Botanic Garden is acknowledged as one of the finest in the world, featuring six percent of all the world's known plants, the most tender being cosseted in glasshouses. Visitors can admire vegetation from 10 climate zones from tropical palms to arctic tu
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Royal Botanical Gardens ©glynniqua



National Gallery of Scotland


The National Gallery of Scotland is situated in the heart of Edinburgh and is home to Scotland's greatest collection of European paintings and sculpture from the Renaissance to Post-Impressionism. The museum opened to the public in 1859 and includes works by Botticelli, Cézanne, Van Dyc
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Gallery of Scotland ©Seo J Kim



St Andrews


The historic city of St Andrews is home to the most famous golf club in the world, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. Often referred to as 'the home of golf', St Andrews and the British Golf Museum are must-visits for any enthusiasts of the sport. With 500 years of golfing hi
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St Andrews ©Evan Wilson



Burrell Collection


Glasgow's top cultural attraction was donated by the shipping magnate Sir William Burrell in 1944. Over his lifetime, Burrell amassed more than 8,000 works of art, 3,000 of which are displayed at any one time on a rotating basis. The collection includes hundreds of sculptures, drawings a
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Burrell Collection ©Jean-Pierre Dalbera



Gallery of Modern Art


Located in a former Grecian-style mansion near George Square and Buchanan Street, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) displays Glasgow's extraordinary range of post-war art and design. Glasgow's most recent gallery, it was opened in 1996 and includes works by Niki de Saint Phalle, David Hoc
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Aberdeen Art Gallery



Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum


Glasgow's principal art gallery and museum, the Kelvingrove is one of Scotland's most popular free attractions. This imposing red sandstone building, opened in 1901, houses a superb collection of paintings by old masters such as Botticelli, Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso, as well
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Kelvin Grove Gallery ©Ian Dick



Loch Ness


Loch Ness is situated in the Great Glen that links Inverness on the east coast to Fort William in the west. The most famous lake is 24 miles (39km) long, half a mile (1km) wide and 700ft (213m) deep and is home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster (affectionately called Nessie), which many
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Loch Ness ©Dave Connor



Dumfries


Known as the 'Queen of the South' and birthplace of both world-famous poet Robert Burns and James Barrie, author of Peter Pan, the quaint and picturesque town of Dumfries may not be as large as some of its neighbours, but it is warm, welcoming and beautiful. In 1997 Dumfries was voted th
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Dumfries ©Craig Murphy



Northern Highlands


Beyond Inverness and the Great Glen, Scotland stretches away in a spectacular fusion of wooded glens, sweeping moors, rugged coasts, towering mountains and welcoming villages. The Northern Highlands includes both the rich farmland of the Black Isle and the precipitous sea cliffs of Cape
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Northern Highlands ©Alan Jamieson



Malt Whisky Trail


The Grampian Highlands area is famous for its delicious malt whisky, and the best way to explore this long-standing tradition is by following a whisky route (self-drive or guided) to eight different distilleries, including the Glenfiddich Distillery that was founded in 1886. Visitors can
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Whisky still ©Finley McWalter



Duthie Park


Created by Lady Elizabeth Duthie in 1881 to commemorate her uncle and brother, Duthie Park is beautifully situated on the banks of the River Dee and draws hundreds of visitors to its colourful floral displays and 44 acres (18ha) of well-maintained grounds. The park is famous for its Wint
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Duthie Park ©Iain Middleton-Duff



Brig o Balgownie


Built from granite and sandstone, the single-arched Brig o' Balgownie, stretching over the River Don, dates back to the 13th century and was completed in 1320 during the Scottish War of Independence. Although part of the bridge has never changed, it was extensively renovated in the 1600s
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Brig O' Balgownie ©Gordon Robertson



Aberdeen Maritime Museum


Situated on historic Shiprow, with spectacular views of the busy harbour, the Aberdeen Maritime Museum proudly exhibits the city's strong maritime history and its close connection to the sea. It is an award-winning museum and is housed partly in Provost Ross's House, built in 1593, which
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Aberdeen Maritime Museum ©Richard Slessor



Aberdeen Art Gallery


The Aberdeen Art Gallery first opened its doors in 1885, and more than a hundred years later, continues to be one of the city's most popular attractions. The gallery has a large permanent and changing collection, housed in an impressive 19th-century building with an exquisite marble inte
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Abderdeen Art Gallery ©Stuart Caie



Balmoral Castle


No trip to Scotland is complete without a visit to one of its magnificent castles, and Balmoral Castle - set on the banks of the River Dee - is one of the best known and most prestigious. The castle, with its fairytale turrets, is set on 50,000 acres (20,234 ha) of spectacular grounds, a
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Balmoral Castle ©Stuart Yeates



Museum of Edinburgh


Get to grips with the mystery and magic of the ancient city of Edinburgh at the museum dedicated to its history, from prehistoric times to the present day. The Museum of Edinburgh contains important collections all relevant to the city's history, from pottery to documents, shop signs to
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Edinburgh Museum ©Stefan Schafer



Scotch Whisky Experience


Alongside Edinburgh Castle, visitors can enjoy a 'wee dram' and uncover the secrets of brewing Scotland's famed malt, grain and blended whiskies, known to the locals as 'the water of life'. The whisky tour includes a barrel ride through the history of whisky, a tutored tasting, and a cha
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A shot of the best ©Norio Nakayama



Royal Yacht Britannia


Pride of the Ocean Terminal in the port of Leith, Edinburgh's recently developed waterfront shopping and leisure area, is moored the famed Royal yacht, Britannia. Numerous illustrious passengers, including Sir Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela, have trod her decks, not to mention the
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Royal Yacht Britannia ©Karen Roe



Rosslyn Chapel


Made famous by the conclusion of the exciting novel (later turned movie) The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, this 15th-century Gothic church has become a touristic place of pilgrimage, just six miles (10km) south of Edinburgh's city centre. Known among the clergy as the 'Collegiate Chapel of
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Rosslyn Castle ©Steve Brown



Edinburgh Festival Theatre


The Edinburgh Festival Theatre is used primarily for musical events and touring groups, and it is one of the main venues for the annual summer Edinburgh International Festival, as well as being the year-round venue for the Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ballet. This historic location is
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Edinburgh Festival Theatre ©Dancewear Central



Royal Mile


A 'must see' in Edinburgh is the Royal Mile, a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of Edinburgh's Old Town. Fittingly, the Royal Mile is approximately one Scottish mile long, running between two historic attractions; Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Castle Rock and Holy
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The Royal Mile ©Ronnie MacDonald



Edinburgh Dungeon


Like the London and York Dungeons, the Edinburgh Dungeon gives a graphic and spine-chilling look into Edinburgh's history. The dungeon employs every trick in the book to scare the life out of its visitors, and it does a pretty good job of it. But behind the scary masks and gruesome make
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Edinburgh Dungeon ©Shadowgate



Edinburgh Zoo


Featuring a wonderful variety of cute and exotic animals, children will be absolutely thrilled with a visit to the Edinburgh Zoo. It also offers younger visitors a Kids Zone where they can do puzzles, meet new additions to the zoo, find out about wildlife in their own back garden and mor
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Giant Panda at Edinburgh Zoo ©The Land



The Museum of Childhood


When travelling to Edinburgh with children, a trip to the Museum of Childhood is an absolute must and a favourite with adults and children alike. It contains wonderful displays, featuring toys from the past and present and from all parts of the world, as well as displays about other aspe
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Museum of Childhood ©Conversation By Design Ltd.



Our Dynamic Earth


Situated at the foot of Edinburgh's beautiful Salisbury Crags, this science centre is a fabulous attraction for children of all ages and adults alike, and aims to educate and inspire visitors to think about our planet and its evolution. Our Dynamic Earth takes visitors on a journey throu
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Our Dynamic Earth ©SteveR-



Arthurs Seat


The tallest of the seven hills that form Holyrood Park at 822 feet (250m), Arthur's Seat is actually an extinct volcano that overlooks the city of Edinburgh. There are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort, with several grassy plateaus that make for pleasant stopping points on the way up.
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Arthur's Seat ©Vanessa



Stirling Castle


One of the most impressive castles in Scotland, Stirling Castle has a famous history of clashes between British troops and Scottish revolutionaries. Its bridge is the site of one of William Wallace's major victories, and the field of Bannockburn was the venue for the triumph of Robert th
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Stirling Castle ©dun_deagh



Glasgow Science Centre


One of the city's premier tourist sights, the Glasgow Science Centre is a captivating and compelling attraction that will appeal to visitors of all ages. Located in Glasgow's Clyde Waterfront Regeneration area, the Science Centre has been awarded a five-star ranking from VisitScotland, t
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Glasgow Science Centre ©Bruce Cowan



Falkirk Wheel


The Falkirk Wheel, a rotating boat-lift located near the town of Falkirk in central Scotland, is an unlikely but extremely popular Scottish tourist attraction. The Wheel, which was built as part of an initiative to rejuvenate Scotland's canals and waterways, is a tremendous feat of engin
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Falkirk Wheel ©Martin Burns



Glasgow Cathedral


The history of the city of Glasgow is intimately linked to that of the Glasgow Cathedral, as it was the city's patron saint, St Mungo, who oversaw its original construction. The Saint's remains are buried in the cathedral's crypt, and the cathedral itself continues to form a vital part o
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Glasgow Cathedral ©Guillaume Capron



Ben Nevis


The highest peak on the British Isles, Ben Nevis, affectionately known as 'The Ben' among locals, is an extremely popular destination for serious mountaineers and intrepid hikers alike. Located near the charming town of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, the imposing igneous cliffs
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Ben Nevis ©Graeme Law



Isle of Skye


Linked to the mainland by the Skye Bridge in 1995, the Isle of Skye is the most scenic and easily accessible of Scotland's many islands and attracts thousands of visitors on holiday each year. The weather is unpredictable, but when the sun shines there are few more beautiful places in Eu
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Isle of Skye ©NOLA Focal



Dundee


Scotland's fourth largest city, Dundee is historically famed as the city of 'jam, jute and journalism', as it is the original home of marmalade and also processed the backs of carpets and ship sails (jute), while the Beano and Dandy comic books were first published here. Located on the n
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Dundee ©Neil Williamson



Fort William


Sitting on the shores of Loch Linnhe, Fort William is the gateway to some of the Highlands' finest natural attractions and is a natural stop-off for those heading up to the north of Scotland.


Ben Nevis is just to the south of the town and at 4406ft (1,344m) is Britain's highe
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Fort William ©Sergio



Whisky Tasting

Scotland conjures images of vast green rolling highlands, wailing bagpipes, risqué tartan kilts, mouth-watering haggis and one of the world's warmest and most charismatic accents - and, of course whisky, its most famous and celebrated export. With so many whiskies to taste and experience, travellers who visit Scotland should do themselves a favour and be sure to visit their favourite distilleries to learn about the process of making some of the world's finest whisky by coaxing different smells, tastes and colours from a mixture of yeast, barley, peat and water.


The four main whisky producing regions in Scotland are the Highlands, Lowlands, Islay and Campeltown, with Speyside and the Islands generally being accepted as sub-divisions of the Highlands region. Each of these regions produces its own unique brand of whisky with varying flavours, though the geographical characteristics have little to do with the final flavour of the whisky as this is determined more by the equipment and methods used in the distillery.


Take a ferry to Islay, which boasts eight of Scotland's most recognised distilleries and is the home of 'whisky tourism' in Scotland. Islay hosts a Festival of Malt and Music in May, where events, plenty of tastings, and general celebrations of cultural heritage take place. Here one can visit the home of Ardberg, Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich, Bowmore, Caol Ila, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Kilchoman. Other island distilleries include Talisker, Arran, Isle of Jura and Highland Park.


On the mainland, the Grampian Highlands area is famous for its malt whisky, and travellers who venture here are spoilt for choice. Following a whisky route is a must, be it self-drive or guided, to the eight distilleries of the region, including Glenfiddich, Dalmore, Dalwhinnie, Glenmorangie and Oban. Some distilleries can only be visited with advanced bookings, but most offer tastings and tours of some kind.


In Edinburgh, visitors can enjoy a 'wee dram' at the Scotch Whisky Experience to uncover the master art of brewing Scotland's world-famous whiskies, known locally as 'the water of life', including a barrel ride through the history of whisky, a tutored tasting, and a choice of more than 270 whiskies to enjoy at the bar. The nearby whisky-producing region of Speyside, set along the banks of the Spey River and home to the Malt Whisky Trail, is home to half of Scotland's distilleries, including famous labels such as Aberlour, Cragganmore, The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, The Macallan and Strathisla, the oldest continuously operating distillery in Scotland. The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival takes place here during the first long weekend each May and features over 200 events.



A shot of the best ©Norio Nakayama


Golf

A passionate golfer might toy around with exotic Asian courses, enjoy a brief whirlwind of exciting American names, and relish their home-grown municipal links, but true love of the game is reserved for Scotland. Famous locations such as the Old Course at St Andrews are a pilgrimage site to those who worship at the shrine of golf, and they are also wonderful tourist attractions.


The huge demand for the honour of playing on the famous golf courses of Scotland makes it nearly impossible to book tee times, and ensures that it is expensive to walk the most hallowed of courses. Fortunately, the country is littered with stunning courses. While enthusiasts love the traditional links courses that seem to define Scottish golf, only a small percentage of the fairways are true to this style. New resort courses are constantly in development. Between five star hotels, guest cottages, resort courses and the various golf styles that Scotland boasts, planning the outing can be overwhelming. Highland golf courses in the northeast and the famous links of the southwest both offer historic clubs and lesser known gems. To get the most out of a brief golf tour of Scotland it is best to hire a golf trip planner.


The main golfing season in Scotland runs from April to September, with May and September the busiest months. Golf is enjoyed in the country year round, but the courses are generally at their best in the summer months.



Golf in Scotland ©easylocum


Hiking in Scotland

Scotland is heaven for hikers and one of the best destinations in the world for a walking holiday. The country is honeycombed with wonderful trails, and although the Highlands is possibly the most famous region for hiking, there is barely a part of Scotland that doesn't have something to offer ramblers. Sutherland and Invernessshire are both glorious areas to hike, with Invernessshire boasting Britain's highest peak, Ben Nevis, and numerous other beautiful mountain trails.


Arguably the best place to use as a base while hiking, however, is Fort William, as so many famous trails either begin or end in the small city. The West Highland Way, from Milngavie to Fort William, is one of the country's most popular hikes, traversing stunning and varied scenery along its 96 miles (154km). The East Highland Way starts at Fort William and ends at Aviemore 78 miles (125km) later, passing castles and prehistoric sites along the way as well as natural splendour. The Great Glen Way crosses Scotland from Fort William to Inverness, covering 79 miles (127km) and traversing dense forest as well as passing many magnificent lochs.


Another gem for hikers in the region is the West Highland Railway, which runs on 100 miles (161km) of track from Glasgow to Fort William, and then along the west coast through the remnants of the Caledonian forest, Loch Lomond, Glencoe and some of Britain's most spectacular mountain scenery and finest walking country. Passengers can get off at Highland stations and set off on wonderful walks direct from the platform. For a hiker this railway is an absolute gift and for any visitor wanting to explore the Highlands in comfort, a ride on the West Highland Railway is a must.


Scotland is also home to some glorious stretches of coastline and there are many worthwhile coastal walks. One of the best is the Clyde Coast Way, along the southwest coast, a 50-mile (80km) trail that can easily be walked in four days and is a good option for beginners as it is less remote than many of the other famous hikes, passing many villages which offer refreshment and accommodation.



Hiking in Scotland ©Robert J Heath


Travel Guide powered by www.wordtravels.com, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. All rights reserved. By its very nature much of the information in this guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. Globe Media and UNIGLOBE Travel does not accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.

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