Scotland is always a very fascinating country
Scotland is always a very fascinating country - A journey between history and modernity , visiting symbolic places of Scotland such as Loch Ness, Edinburgh Castle and the Isle of Skye, between a tasting of real Scottish Whiskey
Travel to Scotland: what to see and where to go
Breathtaking landscapes, good whiskey and unspoiled nature: these are the destinations to visit during an unforgettable trip to Scotland.
Scotland is always a very fascinating country , able to give strong emotions with its unique landscapes, the beauty of wild nature, the mysteries of the Highlands and the modernity of the cosmopolitan cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. A journey between history and modernity , visiting symbolic places of Scotland such as Loch Ness, Edinburgh Castle and the Isle of Skye, between a tasting of real Scottish Whiskey and a walk in the medieval historic centers of the countless towns of the region.
What to see in Scotland: Glasgow
One of the main destinations in Scotland is Glasgow , a city able to mix modernity and history, passing from the mysteries of the gothic and medieval atmospheres, to the contemporaneity of the young quarters of the Scottish city . Here you can find a lively nightlife, with excellent typical restaurants and pubs always very crowded , but also museums, parks and monuments of great interest and charm.
Among the must-see places in Glasgow is the Kelvingrove museum and art gallery , located in the heart of the city, easily accessible by subway, a building that for over 100 years has housed paintings, sculptures and art objects, with masterpieces by artists such as Titian, Giorgione, Cézanne and Picasso. Another equally interesting destination is the Riverside Museum , a modern facility where multimedia exhibits and events are set up.
Also not to be missed is the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art , the GOMA, located inside the Royal Exchange, where you can admire a vast collection of modern and contemporary paintings , made by exponents of Pop Art and the main artistic currents of the ' 900. Of great charm is the Glasgow School of Art , an institution built in 1845, which today houses relics and books that offer a comprehensive look at Scottish and English architecture of the last few decades.
Among the places to visit there is also the Glasgow Science Center , a science museum always very popular with children, while as regards the monuments, a must see is the Glasgow Cathedral , built in the 7th century in pure Gothic style. Extremely impressive is George Square , a square dedicated to King George III of England, with buildings in typical Georgian style and the majestic Glasgow City Chambers .
Near the cathedral you can also find the municipal cemetery , a necropolis that has become a rather popular tourist attraction, with historic tombs of important personalities of Scotland and a nature that comes to life in summer, offering landscapes of flowering meadows and thousands of magnificent butterflies in flight among the mounds . Also worth seeing are Glasgow's parks , including Pollock Country Park with its labyrinths and Kelvingrove Park , where you can relax and enjoy a few moments of relaxation lying on the grass.
For the night the neighborhoods of Clydeside are very popular , the port area with the famous SECC, a place that hosts concerts, live music and bars open until late at night. The West End is also full of cafes, restaurants and pubs, with thousands of young university students who enliven the evenings and the streets of the area at any time, while in the East End area you can find a more popular atmosphere and shops where to do shopping.
The capital of Scotland is a unique and fascinating city, characterized by an omnipresent Gothic style and by the evocative landscapes of the surrounding nature . The main attraction is definitely Edinburgh Castle , perched on top of a hill from which it dominates the entire Scottish capital. It is one of the most visited places in all of Scotland, a construction dating back to 1100, which combines styles and decorations from different eras.
The complete visit to the castle lasts at least 2 hours, however it is really worth it. Worth seeing are the weapons room, the fortifications, the war museum, St. Margaret's chapel and the Royal Palace , the residence of the Scottish monarchs. To visit after the castle is the historic center of Edinburgh , characterized by narrow alleys, ancient buildings and the famous Royal Mile , a street where pubs, restaurants and souvenir shops are located, without forgetting the splendid Gothic-style St. Giles Cathedral .
A symbol of Edinburgh 's historical past is Holyrood Park , consisting of a magnificent Victorian-style garden and a summer residence of Queen Elizabeth, connected to the ancient ruins of Holyrood Abbey from 1128. Don't miss a visit to the museum of Modern Art of Edinburgh , also surrounded by a splendid English-style garden, which houses hundreds of paintings, sculptures and is the location of events and cultural events.
A very popular place at the moment is The Scotch Whiskey Experience , also located on the Royal Mile, where you can experience typical dishes of traditional Scottish cuisine, accompanied by a large collection of the best Whiskeys in the region , with guided visits to the cellars and tastings of the best products local . It is also advisable to visit the National Museum of Edinburgh , where relics and objects symbolic of the history and culture of Scotland are displayed.
Equally important is the Royal Scottish Academy , with the masterpieces of European artists from the Renaissance to today, including important names such as Titian and Monet, or The Writer's Museum , the museum of writers, which houses the first works of great personalities such as Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson, the writer of the famous novel Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde.
To visit the castle without queuing or discover the innermost secrets of the city, our advice is to book an organized tour with expert guides who will explain everything to you.
The Scottish Highlands are the heart of Scotland's scenic and natural beauty, the true symbol of these lands , characterized by a unique atmosphere in the world, which attracts millions of tourists every year. It is a wild region, the setting of historical battles, legendary novels and millenary myths, a place where lakes, forests, hills and endless expanses of greenery follow one another , a destination appreciated by hikers and photographers.
Among the must-see places in the Highlands is the mysterious Loch Ness , one of the most famous in the world thanks to the legend of the monster Nessie and its immeasurable beauty. The lake measures over 37 kilometers in length , and is surrounded by villages and buildings of historical significance, including Urquhart Castle, Fort Augustus and the magnificent Foyers Falls.
Icon of the Highlands is Eilean Donan Castle , built above a small island and connected to the mainland by a stone bridge, a fortress dating back to 1200, set of films and historical TV series such as Highlander. Equally suggestive is the Stalker castle , a private structure that can be visited at certain times of the year by reservation, able to offer a breathtaking landscape with the mountains all around as a backdrop.
Worth seeing is certainly the capital of the Highlands, Inverness , a beautiful Scottish town where peace and tranquility reign, connected to the main cities of Scotland by train and coach, easily accessible from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Inside are the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery , with a large collection of Viking objects, the Ness Bridge, St. Andrews Cathedral and the famous Church Street , the historic center of the town.
Other must-see spots in the Scottish Highlands are Oban , a port city famous for its old whiskey distilleries and Fort William, from which to go for hiking, biking, ferry rides or aboard the spectacular steam train , which runs through the valleys of the region offering a unique scenario. In the region there is also Inveraray , an enchanted city of the '700 with a castle residence of the Duke of Argyll and Stirling , built on a hill and defended by its ancient medieval castle.
For nature lovers, you can visit the Glen Coe valley , a fascinating area surrounded by mountains and green valleys, the Trossachs , with its many lakes, woods and a thousand colors of nature, the white beaches of Morar characterized by a crystal clear water and John O'Groats , a remote village located near the cliffs of the Highlands, from which ferries depart to reach the nearby Orkney Islands.
The best thing is to rely on a specialized tour so as not to miss anything in the Highlands.
Off the west coast of Scotland are the Hebridean Islands , an archipelago made up of 800 small islets , divided between the Inner and Outer Hebrides, whose white beaches offer a Caribbean-like landscape. One of the least frequented is Vatersay Bay , a wild and completely uninhabited island, while one of the most famous is the Isle of Skye , the largest of the Inner Hebrides, where you can admire the Fairy Pools waterfalls , the rock formations of the Black Cuillin, or stop in the village of Portree to taste a good Scottish Whiskey.
In the vicinity of Skye are also located Jura , inhabited by a small community and characterized by a spectacular wild landscape , Islay, where you can practice birdwatching thanks to the presence of many species of birds and Mull, one of the most animated and modern, where to visit the town of Tobermory and go out on a boat, to screw specimens of dolphins and whales. The islands of the Outer Hebrides , on the other hand, are less hospitable and more inaccessible to reach , due to the always very rough sea conditions.
Among the most important and evocative destinations are North Uist , with its inland lakes and pristine beaches, South Uist , a remote and lonely island, Barra with the famous Kisimul Castle located in the middle of the sea and Lewis and Harris , with the endless stretches of lawn and Dun Carloway Tower. Do not miss Harris Forest , a fascinating and remote place, as well as a stop at the old whaling stations in the area, founded by Norwegian fishermen and now abandoned.
The Orkney Islands are an archipelago located between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, consisting of about 100 islands, most of which are completely uninhabited . They are located off the north-east coast of Scotland, in a geographical position that makes them extremely close to Scandinavia , accessible by ferry from the ports of Gill, Aberdeen and John O'Groats.
One of the most important Orkney islands is that of Skara Brae , which houses an ancient village of Neolithic origin , where you can admire the remains of the buildings of the time. The area also has beaches of light sand , with a sea that is always very clean although rough. To visit is the island of Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney , with the Cathedral of St. Magnus and the prisons of Earl's Palace , as well as a walk in the historic center of the town.
Among the most remote, but at the same time most suggestive islands, there is Stromnes, a fishing village with an intense port activity . In the city, the enchanting historic center is worth a visit, consisting of dozens of narrow alleys and small streets, which create a unique and particular atmosphere, especially in the evening and at sunset. A must is a stop at the site of Brogdar , where you can admire 27 enormous ritual stones , used to form a religious structure 104 meters long, a sign of ancient cults present in the islands.
Isle of Skye
Another archipelago of Scotland is that of Shetland , made up of a hundred islands of which only a dozen are permanently inhabited . These are inaccessible places characterized by wild nature and a harsh climate , with strong winds from the north that sweep these lands even in summer. Activities to do in the Shetland Islands include hiking , exploring the islands for wildlife and visiting archaeological areas in the area , many of which date back over 6,000 years.
Among the most popular islands are Lerwick , a modern city with a population of around 7,000, founded in the 17th century and featuring Victorian-style buildings, historical museums and some art galleries. For lovers of breathtaking landscapes the ideal destination is Central Mainland Island , a small fishing village with almost untouched nature, while on Northmavine Island you can meet some of the most picturesque spots in Shetland , especially when crossing the area in motorcycle or car.
Westside Island is a popular destination for beaches and tranquility , while South Mainland is famous for its rocky coastline overlooking the sea , countryside and the 12-meter Broch Mousa tower, built over 2,000 years ago. Also of historical interest is the island of Jarlshof, home to one of Scotland's most important archaeological sites , with unearthed ruins dating back more than 4000 years, a sign of an ancient Stone Age civilization.
Travel itineraries in Scotland: what to see in 3 days
To visit Scotland it would take at least a week , enough time to discover all the symbolic places and the most suggestive destinations in the region, however it is possible to organize an interesting trip even with a few days available . An itinerary much appreciated by tourists, to see Scotland in 3 days , includes for example the city of Edinburgh , to be reached by plane with a direct flight from Italy, in which to spend the first two days leaving the third to visit the surroundings, including Loch Lomond, Inveraray and Stirling.
Alternatively, you can focus on the Scottish Highlands , spending only the first day in Edinburgh, to see the Isle of Skye, Inverness, Loch Ness, Stirling, Glen Coe and Eilean Donan Castle over the next two days . Otherwise you can opt for the Glasgow area, to see Scotland in 3 days, visiting the city and then moving to Loch Lomond and ending the trip in Edinburgh, leaving for Italy by plane from the international airport of the Scottish capital.
Of course you can also organize thematic itineraries for the trip to Scotland , for example to visit the most famous castles in the region, the most interesting places in the Highlands , the Whiskey route, between distilleries and small processing centers, the most suggestive coastal stretches or a tour of the most fascinating islands of Scotland. For enthusiasts it is possible to create a bicycle route , through the trails and cycle paths of the area, or visit Scotland by train along the west coast of the country.
Traveling to Scotland with children: where to go
Scotland is certainly an ideal destination for traveling with children , especially if you want to discover the two symbol cities of the region, Edinburgh and Glasgow, or some quiet towns in the Highlands. A family-friendly itinerary , however, requires a longer time, to avoid over-tiring the little ones, allowing them frequent breaks and short trips, so it is advisable to take at least 5-7 days .
For a trip to Scotland with children it is preferable to choose Edinburgh and Glasgow as places of departure and arrival , opting for visits to interesting and fun places, such as Edinburgh Castle, Loch Ness Lake, Urquhart Castle and the beautiful island by Skye. Another solution could include Edinburgh Zoo , Deep Sea World Aquarium, Glasgow Science Center, and a stop at stunning South Beach , just an hour away by car.
Other places that should never be missed are the National Museum of Scotland , the Novotel park in Edinburgh, a visit to Dunnottar Castle , an excursion in the Glen Coe Valley on the steps of the most famous wizard in the world, Harry Potter , the suggestive island of Mull and a stop at Eilean Donan Castle. In any case, it is important to plan your holiday carefully , organizing travel and alternating moments of culture with moments of pure fun.
View of the University of Glasgow
How much does a trip to Scotland cost
Scotland is not an overly expensive destination , in fact it is possible to travel low cost and save on air flights, connections and overnight stays, according to the budget available and to your needs. Compared to London and Dublin , the places in Scotland are certainly cheaper, in fact it is possible to calculate an average daily expense of just € 45 , including food, accommodation, visits and transport.
To spend less on connections it is better to rent a car , especially if you are traveling in 3-4 people, otherwise you can opt for the bus, always quite cheap. You can also find passes and tourist cards , which allow you to save and get discounts for some attractions. To sleep you can choose a hostel instead of a hotel , especially in Edinburgh and Glasgow, or a fully equipped campsite.
There is a considerable price to be paid for lunch and dinner. Eating in Scotland is not cheap , unless you stop in pubs or fast food restaurants, however to taste some typical dishes at the restaurant the price goes up significantly. By booking in advance you can spend 5-600 euros for a week of travel , buying a low cost flight, sleeping in a hostel and avoiding restaurants.
How to organize a motorhome trip to Scotland
One of the most evocative ways to visit Scotland is by organizing a motorhome trip , a unique experience that allows you to see unique and remote places in the region . Of course, it is essential to prepare yourself in the right way, as the landscape outside the inhabited centers is often impervious and complex. First of all, we need to establish an itinerary , which is not an easy task given the amount of places to visit in Scotland.
It is important to plan the movements , consider any emergencies and intermediate stops to refuel and provisions. Furthermore, it is also necessary to consider the season, as it is profoundly different to travel in Scotland by camper in winter or in summer , so the tour must be modified according to the period. Finally, we must avoid including too many destinations in the itinerary , focusing on a particular area to fully enjoy this unique experience.
Useful tips for organizing a motorhome trip to scotland
- Animals on the road: during the summer, from April to October, on Scottish roads it is possible to meet many wild animals , which can suddenly cross the roadway, so you must be very careful by reducing your speed.
- Country Roads: When traveling from one city to another, especially in the Scottish Highlands, it is possible to find sections of road with one carriageway , so you have to reduce your speed as you can often only pass one vehicle at a time.
- Speed limits: in Scotland there are two types of roads, the extra-urban ones marked with the letter A, which have a limit of 96 km / h , while on the motorways, marked with the letter M, the maximum speed allowed is 112 km / h .
- Distances: some villages are quite far away, so it is important to calculate exactly the distance and travel time , to avoid night falls without having found a place to sleep. In these cases , Google Maps is an excellent travel ally!
- Traveling in winter: if in the summer you can find easily equipped campsites, in winter many structures remain closed , so it is essential to check before departure.
- Equipment: to fully enjoy a campervan holiday in Scotland it is necessary to equip yourself, bringing hiking shoes and clothing , some thermal jerseys for sudden drops in temperature during the night, a first aid kit for any eventuality.
The best places to visit while traveling in Scotland by motorhome
Scotland offers many places to visit, especially when traveling by camper, however there are some unmissable destinations that you absolutely must include in your itinerary. These include the Isle of Skye, Lauder and Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders region, Fort William, Sutherland, Assynt, Blair Castle , Scourie Town, Loch Ness, Loch Lomond Park, Inveraray Castle, Machrihanish Holiday park, Arrochar mountains, Scone estate, Elie and Anstruther villages.
When to go to Scotland: the best times to travel
The best months to organize a trip to Scotland are summer, but avoid August due to the high temperatures, preferring cooler ones like May, June and July. The general climate of Scotland is quite mild, however, in the western region, atmospheric phenomena can also be encountered quite intense , with frequent and abundant rains especially in November and December.
The climate of the eastern part of Scotland is drier, with just 4 cm of annual rainfall on average. At the same time the weather can change suddenly in Scotland , or be different from one city to another, so it's important to dress appropriately and always be prepared for some downpours. In spring the wind and rains are rare , often giving wonderful days to discover the beauties of the Scottish Highlands and cities.
Those who intend to visit the country in winter must instead pay more attention, equip themselves with thermal clothing , use anti-rain clothing and wear coats that shelter from the wind, always very strong especially in coastal areas. To go to the western islands it is advisable to avoid the winter season, preferring the summer or spring months.
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