Geographically, Scotland occupies the northern section of the island of Great Britain, and is surrounded by the Irish Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. A little known fact is that Scotland is comprised of more than 600 islands including the Hebrides and famous coastal areas such as Isle and Man. Scotland is divided into approximately three dozen regions or council areas. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and a major tourist hub. The country's largest city is Glasgow. Other cities include Inverness, Dundee, Saint Andrews and Stirling. English is the national language of Scotland, however Scots Gaelic is the oldest continuously used language in Scotland.
Most international visitors to Scotland arrive at Glasgow International Airport (GLA) or on connecting flights into Edinburgh Airport (EDI) or Aberdeen (ABZ). For travelers originating from within England or Great Britain, there are a number of domestic air carriers that offer frequent, daily service through the country’s 39 airports. Another mode of transportation is offered by Scotland Railway, which operates in conjunction with BritRail. The railway system in Scotland is a cost effective and wonderful way to see the countryside and enjoy the splendid landscape, with fabulous scenic routes offered on The West Highland, The Kyle, and the Highland Lines. One of our favorites excursions is the train ride from Edinburgh to Dundee.
The Best of Scotland
What comes to mind when you think about Scotland? Maybe it is the centuries-old castles, famous Scotch whisky and distilleries, tartan, or the allure of its mysterious lochs that may hold the key to the Lochness Monster. Whatever image comes to mind, Scotland’s glorious heritage and rich culture continues to capture and romanticize the imagination of the world. Many of Scotland’s consumer goods, destinations, and establishments have become world-famous icons that are unsurpassed for quality, craftsmanship, and uniqueness. These “Best of Breed” Scottish brands are famous all over the world. Whether you are literary fans of Burns, an outdoor sportsman who enjoys hiking and fishing, an adventure traveler looking to explore the countryside, or a history buff hoping to learn about William Wallace, Scotland offers first class cuisine and unsurpassed accommodation.
Scotland has many different types of accommodations that are suited to travelers on any budget. Home to some of the world’s most famous luxury hotels, like the Scotsman, the Caledonian and the Balmoral, Scotland features a wide selection of hotels for every category of traveler. Whether you are a visitor or live locally, hoteliers in Scotland offer many choices of accommodations ranging from five star hotels to charming country inns, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, spas and luxury hotels, and cottages like those in Champany – one of our favorite stops. For student and budget-minded travelers, Scottish Youth Hostels offers its members rooms in central Edinburgh for as little as £16.00 nightly. Keep in mind that many types of hotels, inns and cottages offer weekend breaks and last minute travel specials.
Castles, Golf, and Outdoor Activities
While in Scotland, some of the favorite activities include exploring Scotland’s castles, touring the Whisky Trails, and waking through nature reserves, such as Ayr George Woodlands, Spey Bay Reserve, and Noss National Nature Reserve. Scotland is home to more than 100 castles in varying condition and states of repair. Some of the more popular and famous Scottish castles include Blair Castle, which is a five-star hotel and located in the Highlands, amongst the most spectacular scenery in Scotland. Other castles resemble rustic, open air museums that offer a glimpse into Scotland’s fascinating past. For those looking to explore the Scottish countryside, a popular activity is to follow the 150 mile Grampian Castle Trail or the Victorian Heritage Trial that passes by two famous Scottish single malt distilleries – the Fettercairn Distillery and the Royal Lochnagar Distillery. Other outdoor activities include hiking, fishing, and skiing. As the birthplace of golf, Scotland is home to some of best golf courses in the world, including St. Andrews, Royal Troon, Turnberry, and Carnoustie – the venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Scotland offers many attractions whether you are interested in history, genealogy, hiking, or literature. There is something for every member of the family. Parents with young children can visit amusement parks and enjoy recreation at such venues as the Edinburgh Zoo or St. Andrews Aquarium. For those interested in history and ancient Scottish society, the Highland Games in Aberdeen and Grampian Highlands are a must see. Other famous attractions include tours of Edinburgh Castle, a visit to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Leith, the Cairngorn Mountain Railway, Beecraigs County Park, and the Wallace Monument.
If you are ready to visit Scotland, then explore our travel finder where we offer comparison flight information from all major airlines. We also feature an accommodation finder service with both a comparison service and direct access to more than 400 hotels throughout Scotland, and the most comprehensive directory of car rental companies and travel providers – all of which are ready to serve you.
If you have any questions about travelling to Scotland feel free to call our toll free number that appears at the top of this page.
We look forward to seeing you in Scotland.
Last updated: May 19, 2020