Scotland is known as an adventurous destination. With the Highlands as the setting, the country offers a lot for the active traveler. But even those who prefer not to walk or cycle can spend their holiday in Scotland. Old castles, kilts and a lot of whiskey are part of the rich history for which many travelers travel to the Scottish Highlands every year. But how do you plan your trip to Scotland completely independently?
How to travel to Scotland?
Anyone who wants to travel to Scotland will probably book a flight to Glasgow or Edinburgh, two of the main cities. These airports are easily accessible from most European cities. Those who prefer to travel via London can travel by sleeper train from the English capital to Glasgow.
When is the best time to travel to Scotland?
It seems strange but it is better to avoid the summer months if you plan to stay in the Highlands. The summer months can be very wet and are often the high season for the infamous midges, a persistent mosquito plague. A better option is to travel in spring or autumn. Not only are these mosquitoes absent, but the Highlands are also often at their most beautiful. Those who limit travel to cities such as Glasgow or Edinburgh can plan their trip in the summer months. Please note that this is the high season and they are often very busy.
Scotland may not be the most popular destination due to the less favorable climate, but it does have many sights to fill a holiday. The capital Edinburgh is not only a nice start or end to a trip through Scotland, but is also worthwhile as a city trip. The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle are just some of the highlights of a city where you can get to know its dark past through the many tours.
Traveling to Scotland and ignoring the Highlands would be very strange. Those who want to see the most impressive panoramas of these mountains can travel to Loch Lomond, Scotland’s largest lake, or to Fort William, a city at the foot of Ben Nevis. From Fort William you can not only easily travel to the Isle of Skye, but you can also conquer a place on the Jacobite. This steam train increased its popularity even more thanks to the Harry Potter films in which it zipped over the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Of course, a visit to Loch Ness should not be missed. This impressive lake with its legendary resident Nessie is easy to reach from Fort William by car. Fort Augustus, located at the beginning of the lake, is the most attractive base here, but you can also easily book a boat cruise across the loch from Inverness.
Food & drinks: haggis and whisky
There is no one who does not know Scotland’s national specialties. Not that the national dish, haggis, can appeal to everyone, but the stuffed sheep’s stomach (nowadays much more attractively presented) is on every menu and is simply a must to try. To try their national drink we will have to make less effort to convince anyone. Whiskey is a big part of Scottish culture and with the numerous distilleries in the country it will be difficult to avoid a visit.
Anyone planning a visit to Edinburgh should take into account the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo that takes place annually in August. This music festival is an impressive spectacle in which drum music is combined with fireworks. Another event not to be missed is the Highland Games. These take place in many different cities during the summer months. If you don’t want to miss these games, it is better to check the calendar in advance.