Things to do in Scotland

Planning a holiday? Going to Europe and don't know which countries to visit? Why not add Scotland to you list of holiday destinations? Located in the Northern part of the UK, Scotland boasts some spectacular scenery that include the mountainous Highlands, over 790 islands, low valleys, and large lakes called lochs. There are so many things to do in Scotland that it is a holiday destination that is sure to suit any type of traveller, from families, to couples to individuals.

Visit Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is the most famous Scottish castles, and as a world icon is a Heritage Listed Site. Edinburgh Castle has been added to throughout time, with the oldest part, St. Margaret's Chapel constructed around the 12th century. King James IV added the Great Hall in 1510, and Regent Morton build the Battery in the late 16th century. The Castle was still being extended after WWI.

A tour is a definite must when visiting Edinburgh Castle, as it offers both guided tours by castle stewards, or a self guided audio tour that is available in eight different language. THe audio tour will lead you around the castle, outlining the history and explaining the architecture. 

Edinburgh Castle is open seven days a week from 9.30am until 6pm, and caters for people with disabilities, providing a vehicle to drive them to the top of the castle, as well as easy access to rooms, memorials and exhibitions though ramps and a lift. For those who are vision impaired, there is a free Braille guide, as well as Braille signs and texts available. 

Edinburgh CastleCredit: Wikimedia

Play Golf at St Andrews

If golf is your sort of activity, then you can't go past playing 18 holes at the famous St Andrews course, where avid golfers have been teeing off for over 300 years. Known as the 'home of golf', the equivalent would be Wemberly or Wimbledon, and is considered such an amazing course because of it's natural, unmanufactured design and architecture. There are very little trees or water, obstacles instead are hidden away in the form of bumps and dips in the manicured glass. Then there is also the famous 'Road Hole Bunker' at the 17th hole - you know you are in for a treat if you need to escape an obstacle via a ladder. 

If you plan for having a game, invest in a local caddie who can take you around, explain the significance of each hole, select the right club for you, so you can just practise your swing and take in the whole experience.

Horse Riding in the Highlands

There are many different horse riding operators that offer something for everyone, so why not take a ride through the beautiful highlands of Scotland. With short treks for beginners and kids, to longer rides for the more confident horse riders, all the way up to long distance treks that span several days, you are sure to find something that suits your ability, price and sense of adventure.

With so many horse riding operators , you can choose what you want to see, whether it is the Cairngorm mountains out in the eastern Highlands, to the beautiful views of Loch Tay in the heart of Scotland, or explore the foothills of the Angus Glen, near Kirrienuir. You can also choose to do a coastal ride,  racing down through the sand and waves, with your wind-swept hair flying everywhere at Lunan Bay, or explore any of the other spectacular beaches that Scotland has to offer. 

Wherever you choose to go, whatever you want to explore, you will find a horse riding operator that will suit your needs and provide an unforgettable experience exploring Scotland, as it is an ideal place for horse riding.

Hike Ben Nevis

Standing at 1343 metres (4406 feet) tall, Ben Nevis is Britain's highest mountain. Located in the Scottish Highlands, the name means 'venomous hill', but don't let that deter you from visiting and hiking up the mountain to enjoy it's spectualar scenery of breathtaking gullies and valleys, large, wide plateaus and murky lochs. It is best to walk and hike during the summer and spring, as the weather is fairer then, but even in the winter, the looming clouds and snow make for an equally excellent view, just remember to rug up warmly.

Ben NevisCredit: Wikimedia

All Aboard the West Highlands Railway

Another way to see the breathtaking views of the Scottish Highlands is by taking a trip aboard the train on the West Highlands Railway.  Running from Glasgow to Mallaig on the coast, the train ride boast some spectacular scenery of the high peaks and green lowlands and fields that surround the Highland area. Stop at stations along the way to see and explore the sites such as the large birch forests, estuaries, bogs and lochs, as well as Fort William, which is located at the bottom of Ben Nevis, before travelling over the famous 21 viaduct bridge at Glenfinnan, known across the world from the scenes in Harry Potter when they are aboard the Hogwarts Express.

Facts about Scotland

  • As of 2011, the population of Scotland was 5,254,800.
  • Scotland also includes 790 islands, 130 of which are inhabited.
  • Loch Ness in Scotland is famous for the story that a giant monster lives in the depths of the water.
  • Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, was the first city in the world to have its own fire brigade.
  • The offical animal of Scotland is the mythical creature the Unicorn.
  • The Scottish motto is 'Nemo me impune lacessit', which means 'No one provokes me with impunity.'
  • The longest river in Scotland is the River Tay, which flows for 193 kilometres (120 miles).

With so many different attractions and things to do in Scotland, it would make the perfect holiday destination for anybody and everybody, whether it be families, couples of individuals. So know that you know what to do in Scotland, why not make it your next holiday destination and take the time to see this beautiful country?