A travel through Scotland, a country full of mystical history, breath-
taking landscapes, cozy pubs and whiskey
Scotland is located in the north of Great Britain, covering one third of the island.
It consits of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
The only border it shares with is England in the south, the rest of the country is surrounded by water. The weather can be quite rough, rain, clouds and storms are part of daily life. The main reason for that is Scotlands location, facing the Atlantic coast in the west. However, the Scotch are well prepared for those weather conditions, cozy pubs and restaurants are spread all over the country.
Scotland especially is famous for its Scotch Whiskey and Nessie, the monster
of Loch Ness, but it has way more to offer!
A good point to start exploring Scotland is the country‘s capital Edinburgh.
With its estimated population of 483.000 citizens, it is the second largest city. Edinburgh is full of cultural events and historical sights. The first location
to visit is Edinburgh Castle, located in the center of the city. Its Royal Mile is
directly connected to the castle. It has plenty of sights to explore such as the Museum of Edinburgh and the Camera Obscura, a building full of optical
illusions and experiments.
The name Royal Mile refers to its actual length. It is exactly one scottish mile
long, which is 1.8 kilometers if converted.
Another attraction are the Edinburgh Vaults, a series of chambers in the arches of the South Bridge. Horror stories and mysterious events made this place in the underground famous. It is said to be haunted by ghosts of old times, never resting souls which have been mistreated and killed in those chambers. Horror tours can
be booked daily, a creepy experience for everyone.
Whiskey with mountainflavour – The Highlands
The best way to travel around Scotland is by car. The country is pretty small, distances can be accomplished easily by driving. Traffic is rare and roads are well developed.
Just a few hours north of Edinburgh is Inverness. It is well known for its nearby, world famous lake Loch Ness and its monster.
Loch Ness is the second largest lake in the country, due to its long drawn-out shape, it is 37 kilometers long but only 1.5 kilometers wide. Special about this body of water is its deepness, it is said to be the second deepest lake existing all over the British Islands.
Is Nessie alive?
Until today there is an on going discussion about the Loch Ness monster.
Various scientists tried and still try to prove its existence.
The story of the creature reaches far back as the year 565. In a story of Abbot Adamnan, he writes about a monster which attacks a man at the river Ness.
Since then, sightings have been reported for several times. The mysterious being got known to be Nessie in the year 1933, when a regional newspaper published an article stating that a monster has been spotted in Loch Ness. Various pictures
and videos of the creature have surfaced. Most of them, however, turned out to
be just hoax.
There is no definite proof as of yet which validates if indeed the legend of the monster is true.
Lochs and glens
The Highlands are shaped by uncounted glens, which is translated as valley, and lochs, the scottish word for lake. This unique landscape was formed due to volcanic acitivities. The volcanoes got grindid by huge ice streams during various glacial periods. Afterwards, constant erosion gave the Highlands the appearance which attracts millions of tourists nowadays.
There are plenty of possibilities to hike and explore one these fascinating valleys. Most tours can easily be arranged by oneself, tourguides are not a necessarity since there are well developed tracks and routes all around the area.
Glen Affric is said to be one of the most beautiful glens. It consists of two lakes which are connected by the Affric River. The whole valley is enclosed and surrounded by huge mountains. Altogether, this setup within untouched nature
and wildlife, makes this place so unique and spectacular.
A highlight which should definitely be included in every travel itinerary of Scotland. It is located about 30 kilometers west of Loch Ness and easy to reach by car.
Remains of the past
The Highlands of Scotland are full of historical sights, going back to the times of druids and wizards.
Mysterious stone circles and ancient carvings are scattered all over the place.
Easy to reach are the sights located in the northeast, the so called Aberdeenshire.
Another attraction are the old castles, Scotland has plenty of them. Urquhart Castle next to Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle on the way to the Isle of Skye are popular spots. Always keep an eye open while driving, there might be a castle just around the next corner!
Things to do:
Lots of famous brands of Scotch Whiskey are produced in the Highlands.
Talisker and Glenfiddich are popular examples. Whiskey production in the distillery is a must see as it offers a glimpse of how this special blend is concocted in the traditional way.
Pubs are part of the culture, a social meeting point for scottish people.
In the evening, those places become full of life and energy. Whiskey, Guiness
beer and delicious, traditional food can be ordered in every pub to make the experience complete.
Traditional dance and music
Witness a traditional scottish concert, a must do for tourists. The atmosphere is wearmhearted and cheerful, inviting everyone to dance to the sound of bagpipes and fiddles.
A good place to experience this kind of event is the Skipinnish Ceilidh House in Oban. Concerts are organized every second day.
Ben Nevis near Fort William is the highest mountain of Scotland, the peak is 1344 metres above sea level. The hike is quite a challenge, especially with rough weather conditions. Climbers should not over estimate themselves, making sure that they are in good shape. Breathtaking panoramic views and landscapes are part of the hike. By arrival on top, exhaustment will fade away, turning into a feeling of satisfaction, into one of these special ‚Yes I can do it‘ moments.
A good point to hop on a boat for wildlife watching is the Isle of Skye. Various operators offer cruises along the shores. Seals and sea eagles can be observed all year, sharks and even whales can be spotted only during specific seasons. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee since nature is unpredictable!
A journey to Scotland is an escape from usual modern city life. Its roads lead back into ancient times in Europe, when wizards, knights, kings and queens used to be rulers of society. It is a place covered in the fog of its mystical past, turning holiday into an important historical event itself.