Scotland – home of golf, bagpipes, kilts, haggis and some very beautiful castles, cities and landscapes. I’ve just come back from my second trip up to Scotland and this time with more recommendatons, pictures and stories. With the combination of my wee weekend trip last year and my recent trip, I think I can safely give you my top 7 things to see in Bonnie Scotland.
Number 7 – Arthur’s seat
If you haven’t walked enough in your time in Scotland, I’d suggest an afternoon wander up Holyrood Park’s highest peak – arthur’s seat. It offers spectacular views of the Edinburgh city and out to the river forth and bay area. It’s a great way to burn some of the calories consumed from the pies, haggis and deep fried food you’ll have most probably indulged in.
Number 6 – Edinburgh castle
A visit to Edinburgh is not complete without a visit to the ancient Edinburgh Castle perched on the dormant volcano overlooking the capital. Plan your visit around midday to be able to watch and hear the cannon sound which happens every day at 1pm. The castle is most visited in Scotland as it houses the Scottish Royal Jewels, offers 360° views and centuries of history.
Number 5 – A walk around Dunfermline
A wouldn’t hear the end of it if I didn’t include Dunfermline in my top 7. It’s my boyfriend’s hometown and it is in fact a great town to have a wander around. A lot of it’s history focuses on King Robert the Bruce who resided in this royal burgh. The grand abbey, palace ruins and surrounding garden makes for a lovely walking day out. While in Dunfermline, make sure you treat yourself to a Steak Bridie from Stephens bakery, it’s the towns delicious version of steak cornish pastry.
Number 4 – A visit to North Queensferry (or South Queensferry) for a beautiful view of the famous forth bridge.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars along the South Queensferry waterfront but if you travel over the Forth Rail or Road Bridge to North Queensferry, you find The Wee Restaurant. True to its name, it is a small restaurant of about 30 covers. It is a hidden gem offering a romantic dining setting and serving a delicious two or three course menu for a set price. With 3 courses for £35, it’s well worth splurging, you won’t be disappointed.
Number 3 – Stirling Castle
Edinburgh castle is impressive but Stirling Castle offers more history, more beauty and more breathtaking views of Scotland. It’s strategic location overlooking the highlands and the lowlands of Scotland makes it one of the most important castles on Scottish soil. Learn about the battles fought around the castle dating back to the 13th century, find out about the meanings behind the palace statues and take a step back in time and imagine life as a king or queen. Stirling Castle is a must and the stunning Stirling city is a great place to visit for the day.
Number 2 – Highlands Experience Tour
If you have more time in Scotland, I would strongly recommend a trip up into the highlands. The highlands have a long, interesting and fairly tragic history spanning thousands of years. The terrain differs immensely to the lowlands with the majority of munroes, glens, bens and lochs located in the higher areas of Scotland.
I went on the Highlands Experience which was a two day tour. The trip is a great way of gaining a quick snippet of what the highlands have to offer while simultaneously seeing the main historical spots. The tour guides are extremely knowledgable and tell plenty of scottish stories to better illustrate what went on. They ensure that you get to experience the best of the highlands in the short period.
Number 1 – A round of golf at St Andrews Links
St Andrews is the home of golf and what better way to improve your handicap than to have a hit on one of the oldest golf courses in the world. Try your luck gaining a tee time on the old course, if you have the required handicap (less than 18), or book on one of the other five courses. Depending on how busy the old course is, you’ll still have a chance to see it and potentially walk over the famous bridge. Ladies, the popular course for women is the Jubilee course. This course is pictureseque, challenging and rewarding. Good luck and enjoy the experience.