Guide To Visiting Scotland
Welcome to Scotland. Covering the northern third of Great Britain this compact region offers the eager globetrotter the chance to dip their toe in ancient architecture, mythical landscapes and delectable seafood. And thanks to 21st century engineering, exploring this captivating country has never been so simple. With so much to explore in what Rough Guides readers voted the most beautiful country in the world there has never been a better time to don your tartan and get exploring!
Peak tourist times: June – August
Currency: Pound sterling
Neighbouring countries: England
Official languages: English & Scottish Gaelic
The Ring of Brodgar & Orkney Islands
The Ring of Brodgar kick starts our Scottish bucket list and for very good reason too! The bewildering landscape transports the eagle-eyed historian back to the 3rd millennium BC. Nestled in the Orkney Islands this prehistoric wonder makes up one of Western Europe’s richest surviving Neolithic landscapes. While on the island, Skara Brae is a must! As one of four plots which makes up the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, the once thriving village still remains a hotbed of discovery. The settlement is located on the Bay of Skaill and is older than Stonehenge and The Great Pyramids.
Drummond Castle & Gardens
With Alba (the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland) known for its spectacular rugged landscapes, next on our list is decidedly “un-Scottish”. Located in Perthshire, Drummond Castle is widely known for its spectacular gardens. Modelled on the Baroque style which is prominent throughout Italy & France, the gardens have attracted the grandest of nobility when Queen Victoria popped into say hello back in 1842. For all you Liam Neeson fans out there, the buildings along with the glorious gardens were featured in the historical drama Rob Roy.
Knoydart & Loch Quoich
Burrowing itself into rural Scotland the isolated loch offers tranquillity and solitude in abundance. The perfect excursion if you are looking to dodge the crowds of Edinburgh and Glasgow. There is a good reason why Knoydart is in the list of “hidden gems”… it is not easy to reach. But once you do, this wonderful region with the most alluring of landscapes will occupy your wildest thoughts for hours.
Fingal’s Cave & The Island of Staffa
This striking sea cave is located on the uninhabited Island of Staffa. Owned by the National Trust of Scotland this natural wonder can be found in the Inner Hebrides and boasts a 227-foot cavern. Each year hundreds of tourists flock to wonder at the size, sounds and colours this magnificent creation has to offer. Aggressive waves and harsh storms have whipped the coastline over the years to create the vent which we marvel at today. Catch this natural phenomenon in low tide and the island is yours to explore.
Aurora Borealis at Duncansby Head
Often associated with Iceland, the Northern Lights have dazzled millions of tourists and star gazers throughout the centuries. So, it may come as a surprise to the novice explorer that Scotland offers some of the most spectacular viewing points when it comes to capturing the polar lights. The phenomenon can often be spotted dancing through the skies over The Orkney Islands. If taking to the waters isn’t your thing and you prefer to stick to the 4 round things we call tyres then head to Duncansby Head. The most north-eastly part of the British mainland provides you with extra-terrestrial views that will last a lifetime.
Travelling around Scotland? Don’t forget to tag @KumhoTyreUK (Twitter) @kumhotyre_uk (Instagram) in your photos and tell us about other sites you’ve been to in this spectacular country. Or simply contact us here to share your adventure with us. Happy travels!
Need some inspiration for your next road trip? Check out blogs on Iceland & The Netherlands