The Finest Attractions of Scotland
The skyline of Edinburgh is dominated by the Edinburgh Castle, which sits atop the ancient Castle Rock. The castle is most frequented by tourists with more than 1.2 million visitors in the year 2011. A number of facilities are maintained within the Edinburgh Castle, such as cafes, restaurants, shops, and some historical displays. The one o’clock gun is fired daily at exactly when it is expected to be fired with the exception on Sundays, Christmas, and Good Friday. The sword, crown, and sceptre that were once the grace of the Scottish monarch are the treasures you can see here.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Located in Glasgow, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is home to one of the best civic art collections in all of Europe. Outside London, it is the museum most frequented by visitors, and its entry is free. The Kelsingrove consumes a massive building that looks like a castle. It displays Scottish and international art, natural history, and other captivating objects. The museum underwent three years of renovation and refurbishment, after which it reopened in 2006. After the renovation, the museum now has a restaurant and about 8000 exhibits on display.
Some of the country’s most splendid museums reside in Scotland, such as the Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland, which has on display various objects, ranging from history of nature to the cultures of the world.
The House of an Art Lover, and the Glasgow School of Art displays the best influential designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh who was a 19th century architect. The city’s museums, galleries, and skyline are lined with the striking legacy of this great designer. His masterpiece is the School of Art, which blends art nouveau with motifs with Scottish baronial influences. If you get the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Trail Ticket, you will get entry to the places mentioned above, as well as, the Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Art Gallery, the Hill House in Helensburg, the Mackintosh Church, the Lighthouse, and the headquarters of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society. In addition to all these provisions, you will also get unlimited travel on public transport.
The site of the Massacre of Glencoe is where this dramatic countryside region lies between rolling valleys and rugged mountains. Echoing with the history of the massacre of the MacDonald clan at the hands of the Campbell clan in 1962, Glencoe is a great site for history lovers. The brooding landscape and wild beauty makes it an ideal place for nature lovers; in addition, Glencoe provides various superb opportunities for climbing and hiking.
Isle of Skye
Dawdle over sunsets, savour delicious and fresh food from the sea, and reconnoitre heather meadows in Skye. The Cuillin Mountains dominate the centre of this island; its rocky slopes provide spectacular mountain scenery. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s saga makes the island’s past romantic, and appeals to the senses of history lovers. With the island’s largest settlement, Portree has a picturesque harbour. There is an abundance of wildlife, so lovers of wildlife will have a nice time exploring the wild. Visit the famous Eilean Donan (which is one of the Scottish castles) on your way to the Isle of Skye.
Although the name suggests a castle, the building is more a country house. On the outskirts of Kelso, the Floors Castle is the home of the Duke of Roxburghe, and was built for him in 1721. It is the largest castle of Scotland that is inhabited. Its splendid gardens are open for the public to explore. The castle is sprawled along River Tweed’s banks, therefore, providing beautiful sceneries all around. The Floors Castle was featured in the movie Greystroke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.
The country’s turbulent and brilliant past of monks is recalled in the ruined abbeys of Scotland. An elegant, but dominating structure built in red-sandstone, the Melrose began in the 1100s. The well-preserved carvings retain the power of the abbey’s ruins. The abbey is noted for its decorated carvings that include dragons, plants, gargoyles, and saints. A master mason, John Morrow, made an inscription on one of the stairways, which translates as ‘keep in mind, the end, your salvation’. It has become a motto of the town.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
Sparkling waters, ragged mountains, open skies, and lush green woodlands make the place a coveted retreat for visitors as well as locals. Trossachs is the first national park of Scotland, and provides ideal opportunities for biking, hiking, and other such activities. It is easily accessible from Edinburgh and Glasgow. The beautiful scenery and diverse wildlife are among the principal attractions of this park. The West Highland Highway offers a challenging walk through the park for those who are up for it. Most hikers are attracted to the mountains of Arrochar Alps, the Cobbler, and Ben Lomond.
Malt Whisky Trail
As you travel the Malt Whisky Trail, you will come across more than half of the total whisky distilleries present in Scotland. Each distillery will welcome you with its warmth, and invite you to taste, smell, and absorb its magical whisky. The Malt Whisky Trail follows in the picturesque valley of the River Spey, and is well-known for its distilleries as well as a fascinating historic cooperage. Visit in May or September to experience the fun of whisky festivals, when shops, bars, distilleries, pubs, and the entire villages invite you to party.
The town is famous primarily for its golf course, and then its university, which is Scotland’s oldest. It is a charming, prosperous, and historic town. St. Andrews is home to a church which dates back to the 8th century; the church now lies in ruins. The historic appeal and the charm of the place make it the perfect spot for a heavenly walk in the town, or along the shore. Visitors travel in great numbers to St. Andrews for its sandy beaches, and its several golf courses, which are ranked amongst the world’s best golf courses.