When you are vacationing in the UK, Scotland should be the must do part of your itinerary. The very name brings to mind majestic castles, bagpipers, elegant men in kilts, finest single malt scotch and long glens. The must visit places are Edinburgh, the capital, and Glasgow along with Highlands and parts of the countryside if you have the time. Let us see top travel destinations in Scotland that must be on any tourist’s itinerary:
Edinburgh Castle: The majestic castle in Edinburgh is located on top of an extinct volcano. Historically it played a great role in Scotland’s independence. The Castle has excellent views of all directions which helped with military and strategic decisions. It is spread over a very large area and is visible from miles away. It is a great showcase of Scotland’s architecture and is extremely popular with the tourists. It has been there since the 11th century and comprises military barracks, palace, war memorial and fortress.
Loch Ness: This is amongst the most famous lakes in the world. It is popular due to stories of mythical sea monster, Nessie. It is the second largest Noch in Scotland. It will allure you with its spectacular beauty, crystal clear waters and an aura of mystery.
Edinburgh Royal Mile: This mile long trek takes you on a trek between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace in the Old Town of Edinburgh. As you make your way through history, you explore the path that the royalty explored. The Palace is the official residence of the Queen of Scotland. Some other attractions on this stretch are the Scottish Parliament building, Scotch whisky Heritage Centre, Mercat Cross and Giles Cathedral.
Aberdeen Maritime Museum: Aberdeen has a very long relationship with the sea. And its museum narrates that relationship brilliantly. The museum has artifacts that cover shipbuilding, exhibits, maritime objects, touch screen consoles etc. that help you bring sea and related activities to life. It is a fantastic learning experience.
Eilean Donan: This Castle is the most photographed castle in Scotland. It has been featured in movies like ‘The Highlander’ and ‘The World is Not Enough.’ It is located on a small island overlooking the Isle of Skye, showcased by forested mountains of Kintail. It seems to rise out of the water in a misty hue in a truly spellbinding setting.
Skara Brae: This is one of the nicely preserved Stone Age settlements in Europe. It is on the main island of Orkney. It was exposed from under a great sand dune after a fierce storm after being covered for centuries in 1850. It is older than the Great Pyramids and is in excellent condition. A replica house allows visitors to explore the interiors of a prehistoric house. A must visit destination.
Melrose Abbey: This is a famous and probably the most magnificent ruin in Scotland. The abbey was founded by David in 1136 for the Cistercian Order and destroyed by Richard II’s army in 1385. The surviving ruins are of an elegant Church that dates back to 15th century. There are some quaint sculptures to be seen here on the exterior of the ruin. Enjoy a conducted tour of the spectacular place.
Mousa, Shetland: This is an Iron Age broch tower. It rises to a height of 13 m. The complete structure is visible and preserved. It was built around 100 BC and is impressive with external and internal stone lining.
Hogmanay: This is a joyful festival in Edinburgh and must be attended for its pulsating energy if you visit around the New Year’s. It dates back to the 16th century when the Protestant clerics outlawed Christmas celebrations. The Scots figured out their own way of revelry by having Hogmanay around the New Year with its own rituals and fun and frolic.
Inverness: This is the largest city in the Northern Highlands which is one of the most picturesque parts of Scotland. You can travel to Northern Highlands via buses and trains from Inverness which is a hub in the region. The amazing scenery is a must experience. You will be surprised that most of the region in the Northern Highlands still remains remote and untouched by progress. Experience the combination of mountains, lochs, glens and rivers surrounded by a coastline, truly a natural marvel.
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