Apart from its border with England to the southeast, Scotland is surrounded by sea. It has more than 700 islands within its boundaries, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides. It became part of Great Britain in 1603 when Elizabeth 1 declared the King of Scotland as her successor. This united the three kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland to form Great Britain and, ultimately, the United Kingdom. The current Royal Family have special links with Scotland, as it is a place where they have several homes and they love to spend time there.
It is not just the Royal Family that love Scotland though. It is said to be a happy place to live, and tourists in their millions flock there every year. Most people relate kilts, bagpipes, and haggis with Scotland, but it has so much more to offer, and here are just a few of the wonderful places to see when you take a holiday in the northern-most part of the UK.
Edinburgh is probably one of the most famous cities in Scotland and is a must-see for anyone visiting the country. If you are interested in historical buildings there is Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, St Giles Cathedral, Holyrood Abbey, and the Edinburgh Vaults among many others.
There is no shortage of accommodation for a stay in the city within a stone’s throw of the wonderful shops, bars, and restaurants that are all part of the culture here. There are plenty of rooms and apartments for you to stay in, depending on the type of holiday accommodation you are after, but 7Boutique Hotels has a hand-picked selection of luxurious boutique hotels to choose from in many cities across the world, including Edinburgh, and you should consider these hotels if you want a memorable break.
There is a world-famous underground ghost tour and another walking tour through the streets that is full of mysteries. Murder and legends. Children will love the World of Illusions, or perhaps taking a short trip to Loch Ness to see if they can spot Nessie.
With all its theatres, cinemas, parks play areas, the zoo, and many attractions, there is no shortage of things to do whether you are on a family holiday or a romantic break.
The Outer Hebrides
Scotland is not the first place that comes to mind when you are considering a beach holiday, but the Outer Hebrides has some of the best beaches in Europe. At the right time of year, it is said they compare favourably to beaches in the Caribbean.
There are 15 of the islands inhabited and between them, they offer peaceful solitude or great places for surfing. The Outer Hebrides also has the only beach in the world that doubles as an airport. If you want brilliant sands and deep blue seas, the Outer Hebrides is the place to go.
Arran is said by some to be the mainland of Scotland in miniature. It has hills and glens as well as many pretty villages for visitors to explore. Arran has a relaxed atmosphere which many find appealing. There is a distillery that makes the finest whiskey from the sweet waters of the island. There are stone circles to be amazed at, country parks to stroll around, a pottery, museums, a leisure centre, and many other attractions on the Isle of Arran.
Glasgow has reinvented itself from a city known for its shipping, industry, and commerce into a cultural hotspot of design, theatres, art, music, creative arts, and wonderful cuisine. Its buildings are from several different eras, including Victorian. There are Italian, Greek, and Roman influences mixed in with this.
Apart from all the stunning things to see in this wonderful city, it has a nightlife that is hard to match. It caters for all ages with walking tours, bus tours, distillery visits, parks, castles, and many children’s activities.
Glasgow used to be the second-largest city in Great Britain, and although it no longer has that claim to fame, it is still a vibrant place to visit on your trip to Scotland.
Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebrides islands, and if you want to see frolicking lambs, carpets of spring flowers, snow-capped peaks and a glorious landscape, head to Skye in May or June. From the beach, you can see the Black Cuillin mountain range, which is said to be one of the finest in Britain. Glen Brittle has Fairy Pools if you fancy a swim and on Skye, you will be able to watch puffins and other seabirds in their natural habitat.
Fort William is a haven for hikers and those that enjoy walking. It is a very important part of the south of Scotland, as it forms a natural area for links to other parts of the country. The town has everything anyone could need when visiting the Highlands, including a good range of shops, restaurants, cafes, and entertainments. There are museums, old churches and, of course, no visit would be complete without seeing the Old Fort.
It is surrounded by some wonderful walking and hiking trails, including a climb up Ben Nevis if you want to try to get to the peak of the UK’s highest mountain.
Fort William is not far from Glencoe, which is said to be one of the most haunting places the country has. The mountains have seen many clan wars and it is where the famous battle between the MacDonalds and Campbells took place in 1692. Take a walk up the footpath and you will find a historic hiding place of cattle, in a place where many clansmen were murdered.
Scotland is a place of many wonderous sights and only a few of them have been mentioned here. There are the Shetlands and Orkney that have many archaeological treasures, the mountain wilderness of the Cairngorms National Park, and numerous other cities such as Dundee and Aberdeen that are well worth a visit.
Next time you are planning a holiday, consider Scotland if you want a wonderful and relaxing break where you will never get bored as there is so much to do.