Stunning Scottish Isles
The Scottish isles shelter white sandy beaches, abandoned castles, and sparkling clear waters that await your arrival. Only a few of the hundreds of islands are inhabited by people. Ancient traditions and culture are present among its inhabitants, and every island has its own unique personality. Although it might be costly to visit these islands, they are certainly worth it.
The Arran Island provides all kinds of activities that are available on the mainland. Ranging from hiking to golf, the island is sure to keep you busy with its activities.
It is among the most accessible and affordable islands. It hosts lavish wedding ceremonies in its magnificent estates, and the rocky shores invite Glaswegians for the summers.
The burial grounds of the Scottish kings reside on this spectacular and spiritual island.
This island is home to woollen goods, exotic birds, and the smoothest whiskies.
These comprise of the Shetland and Orkney, which are two distant groups of islands. They have vibrant Scandinavian heritage, and are home to cheerful festivals and prehistoric artefacts. The lands of Shetland which have been flattened by the wind are an ideal spot for those who want to be in seclusion, and Orkney’s lush green pastures are ideal for nature lovers.
With shady glens, concealed beaches, and hazy mountains, this isle is sheer beauty. Fine restaurants, hotels, and B&Bs are located on this isle.
The hiking opportunities in Scotland are such that they bring back the hikers again and again to enjoy the spectacular rural landscapes, on which lochs and hills are scattered all over. From Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh to the country’s tallest peak of Ben Nevis, Great Britain holds a great amount of possibilities for hiking. The unpredictable weather conditions of the Scottish hills change rapidly, so you are advised to hike during May-September.
Fife Coastal Path
This is a seaside trail that covers a distance of 116 miles. However, you can travel it in chunks while enjoying the beautiful scenery. It follows along golden beaches, scenic fishing villages, and rocky inlets.
The spectacular mountain of Ben Nevis resides in Glen Nevis. Other than that, the region has numerous options for moderate hikes that follow past ruined crofts, forested gorges, and beautiful waterfalls. If you are up for a challenge, the region has possibilities for that as well.
Some of the most diverse terrain can be viewed from this range of mountains in the north-east. It is a route of 8 miles that goes around Loch Muick, and passes Queen Victoria’s vacation home of Glas-alltShiel, which is a beautiful sight no matter what the weather is.
Southern Upland Way
Covering a distance of 212 miles, this is a famous hike between Portpatrick and Cockburnspath. It can be covered in small sections.
Trossachs National Park
Located in the Central Highlands, the Trossachs National Park offers quiet strolls as well as challenging hikes up its harsh cliffs.
West Highland Way
Covering a distance of 95 miles, this is a well-marked track that follows ancient coaching roads between Milngavie and Fort William.
Prehistoric stones, tombs, stone houses, and stone circles are scattered all over the landscape of Scotland. The monuments offer a sneak peek into the phenomenal past and the people of Scotland. If old remains and history interests you, head to the isles where some of the most important and appealing sites can be found.
Calanais Standing Stones
Situated on the Isle of Lewis, this ancient location is implicative of the Stonehenge. It is believed that these splendid stone were used for observations of astronomy. The local tradition states that these are actually the bodies of giants who refused to convert to Christianity, and therefore, were punished by being turned into stones.
Described as ‘one of the most remarkable archaeological sites ever excavated in the British Isles’, Jarlshof is a settlement of the Bronze Age, dating back to 2500 BC. Cared for by Historic Scotland, the sight is open for visitors during April-September.
Machrie Moor Stone Circles
Situated on the Arran Isle, these boulders of granite, and circles of reddish sandstone, provide a fascinating setting in the centre of a secluded moor.
Dating back to 2800 BC, Maes Howe is a massive burial mound, and is well-known for its overwhelming burial chamber.
This stone tower of the Iron Age has been preserved beautifully. It has now become a sanctuary for birds, and a boat can access it easily. When the weather is pleasant, bird watchers visit here at sun-set to witness the return of around forty thousand storm petrels from the sea.
Ring of Brodgar
Located between Loch Stennes and Loch Harray is the magnificent Ring of Brodgar, which comprises of thirty-six stones dating back to the Neolithic times.
The Neolithic village of Orkney that was first occupied in 3000 BC got buried underneath heaps of sand, until it was discovered in the mid-19th century. Stone beds and covered passages join the eight clustered houses; cupboards and fireplaces are among the amazing remains of the distant and ancient times. The site has been excellently preserved and is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Scotland is no more just the land of the two W’s: wool and whisky. International brands, ranging from Vivienne Westwood to Louis Vuitton have set up their establishments here, and the major departmental stores of Britain such as John Lewis, Debenhams, and Harvey Nichols, are established in all the big cities. Marmalades, traditional shortbread, heather honeys, and rich chocolates filled with whisky are among some of the gifts that are easily portable.
There is no better place than Aberdeen for purchasing malt whisky.
Old farm buildings have been transformed into small workshops where the village people sell their handmade crafts.
Home of the Dundee Cake that is topped with almonds and a rich mixture of fruits, the city has a wealth of delicious edibles to sell.
The most impressive department store of Scotland, Jenner’s, is a must see. And if antiques interest you, then head to the New Town where there is a cluster of shops selling fascinating antiques.
The biggest city of Scotland claims to offer the best options for shopping in the UK, after the Oxford Street of London. Start your tour from the Buchanan Street, and head to the West End where you will find various antique shops and boutiques.
The former capital of Scotland, Perth is considered a shopper’s paradise. It offers a vast variety of crafts, exquisite jewellery, freshwater pearls, and excellent china.
Tartan blankets, pebble jewellery, and Celtic silver are among some of the traditional crafts offered in Shetland.