Scotland Tourist Guide

Scotland is a country of contrasts, from its beautiful lochs and glens to its historic castles, sandy beaches, great sporting facilities and amazing wildlife to observe there, is lots to offer the visitor of any age or interests. Here are just a few of the best places to add to any holiday itinerary:

For Golf Lovers - Scotland is the home of golf and has the most golf courses per head of population in the world. There are over 500 courses to suit players of all abilities, from municipal courses (many of which can be found on the islands) to the famous courses such as St Andrews, Muirfield and Gleneagles. It's no wonder the Open championship is held in Scotland regularly.

 

For Anglers - Some of the best fishing in the world can be found in Scotland as there are thousands of miles of salmon and trout fishing waters in rivers and lochs, and of course being surrounded by water on three sides, sea fishing is extensive. Halibut, cod, bass, hake, ling and turbot are just a few of the species that inhabit the surrounding waters. There are many charter boat companies who will take you out for the day's fishing.

 

For Riding Enthusiasts - Pony trekking and horse riding are pleasant ways to see the wonderful countryside, and cater for visitors of every ability. There are many trekking centres throughout Scotland and usually offer day trekking as well as trekking and camping trips. Most tourist maps mark these centres with a horseshoe.

 

For Cycling Enthusiasts - Cycling throughout the Scottish landscape is a fantastic experience, with many visitors choosing to tour the beautiful countryside on 2 wheels, whilst taking in the lochs, fells and many places of interest. You can bring your own bikes or take advantage of the many cycle hire outlets, some of which will pre-organise your entire cycling holiday including pre-arranged accommodation, cycle hire and luggage transfer.

 

For Water Sports Enthusiasts - Windsurfing, water skiing and swimming are available all over the country. Surfing is also a popular sport in the north of Scotland along the coastline from Bettyhill almost to John O'Groats.

Sailing off the west coast of Scotland and around the western and northern islands is a fantastic way to see the area. Explore sea lochs that are inaccessible by overland routes and moor up and take a swim with only sea birds for company. There are marinas and sailing centres around the coast from the Clyde to Ullapool as well as on many inland lochs.

 

Outdoor Activities & Pursuits:

For Skiing Enthusiasts - Scotland has five ski centres in the Highlands at Glencoe, the Nevis Range, Cairngorm, Glenshee and the Lecht. All these have excellent ski runs and lift networks as well as ski schools and equipment hire. Snowboarders are welcome at all of the centres. In the summer months skiers can head for the indoor slope at Xscape in Glasgow which has 1,700 tonnes of fresh snow, or the Midlothian Snowsports Centre to the south of Edinburgh which has the UK's largest artificial ski run and is open all year.

For Walkers and Climbers - Scotland has much to offer from a gentle stroll to the toughest climb, all set in stunning scenery. There is something here for visitors of all abilities. The only drawback being the unpredictable weather so it is imperative that proper clothing and equipment are used. Even on a sunny day it is best to pack a light sweater and waterproofs as on the hills the weather can change rapidly. There are thousands of walks and climbs in the Highlands and islands, there being 279 peaks over 3,000 feet in height. These are called Munros after the mountaineer Sir Hugh Munro who first listed them. ‘Munro bagging' is a popular pastime as most of them are reasonably accessible. Top mountaineers have trained at places such as Cuillins on the isle of Skye, the Arrochar Alps north west of Loch Lomond and several peaks in the Trossachs. Ben Nevis is Scotland's highest mountain with several routes up including a well marked tourist route. In the north west the highest peaks of the Grampians provide a challenge for experienced climbers. For those who prefer walking there are many long distance footpaths including the West Highland Way which runs from the outskirts of Glasgow to Fort William, the Speyside Way which runs from Spey Bay to Ballindalloch, and the Southern Upland Way which runs from Portpatrick to Cockburnspath in the Borders.

 

 

For Diving Enthusiasts - The clear waters around the coast of Scotland make this area popular with divers. In the north at Scapa in Orkney there are four sunken German ships which offer a great opportunity for wreck diving. On the west coast off Oban the waters are excellent for diving. Another popular spot is in the north west off the Summer Isles.

So if outdoor pursuits and activities is your 'thing', then have a browse through this ecellant selection from around Scotland:

 

Motor Sports - or perhaps you would like to have a look at:

 

For Nature Lovers - Scotland is a great destination for nature lovers and bird watchers in particular. Many rare birds will only be seen in the south west due to its mild climate. If you are lucky you may see a golden eagle in flight. Further north in the Orkneys can be seen marine life as well as many species of sea birds. Whales and seals can regularly be spotted off the Shetland Isles.

If you would like to try something really adventurous have a look at Airborne Pursuits:

 

Places of Interest:

Edinburgh Castle - is well worth a visit. It dominates the city and can be seen from miles away. On display here are the Honours of Scotland, Europe's oldest crown jewels, and the Stone of Destiny on which all Scots monarchs were crowned.

National Museum of Scotland - situated in Edinburgh this museum brings together many details of Scottish history (including a Mary Queen of Scots exhibition), the natural world, scientific and technological displays, and art and design exhibits and makes for a fascinating and educational day trip.

To learn more about the rich Scottish history have a look at:

 

For a selection of superb Scottish Arts & Crafts have a look at:

 

Family Fun:

Scotland is a wonderful location for a family holiday with lots and lots of things to do to suit all age groups. There are theme parks, bowling alleys, specialist visitors centres and much more. So if you are looking for some great family days out, then have a look at:

 
 

More Resources:

http://www.scotland.org.uk/
http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/europe/scotland/
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/