I have visited Scotland at least a couple of times and would say its truly a heaven in disguise. You can keep visiting again and again, for its beautiful landscapes and unforgettable road trips. Each season Scotland gives a pretty painting of its own nature, with winters fully snow-covered, autumns fall with varying colored leaves, summers with clear skies and picturesque mountains, Scotland is a dream location for any season and it’s a photographers delight. I planned my trip through the car and booked a cottage midst of mountain to enjoy its breathtaking views. From powerful peaks to untouched beaches, glorious food and drink to spectacular golf courses, I think it has something for just about everyone. I had planned one trip during summer and next one during the spring season. Of all places in Scotland, Isle of Skye had been the highlight along with Scottish highlands and Fringe festival which happens during August month.
Tips before going to Scotland
- Scotland accept same currency as Great Britain Pounds, though they have their local currency, Scottish Sterling.
- It’s quite expensive compared to Europe. If accommodation, flight, etc aren’t planned well you might end up spending too much.
- Winters are extremely cold and need to carry appropriate warm clothing.
- It’s best to plan Scotland by car, as you can visit all the best places and public transport doesn’t cover to half the scenic locations. Also taking a rental car will save you a lot.
- There are various festivals which happen during July to September, with Edinburgh International festival being the main one (August full month)
- Carry an umbrella anywhere you go around the UK, as it rains every now and then. Weather is unpredictable throughout the year.
- Edinburgh is good for Royal mile road and Glasgow is good for its food and nightlife, so plan your trip as per interest.
- Take appropriate boots/shoes as Scotland has some of best trekking routes, you can easily spend a day hiking up beautiful trails.
- Lake district can be clubbed along with Scotland for a week trip, which has also got some beautiful lakes and drive.
Top Places to Visit in Scotland
Isle of Skye: My Scotland trip highlight was Isle of Skye, which cannot be described in words. It connects Scotland’s northwest coast, is known for its rugged landscapes, picturesque villages and breathtaking mountains. The drive itself was heavenly and it has a wide range of places like Old Man of Storr, Portree, Mealt falls, Fairy Glenn etc., You can take up a trek all the way up to Old man of Storr, enjoy the magnificent falls, capture picturesque colorful houses in Portree, soak in all the beauty driving the scenic route. Isle of Skye has it all for you.
(Click on the pics to view full size)
Neist Point: At the end of Isle of Skye is Neist Point, a steep walk down steps initially and then onto a fairly flat walk down to the lighthouse. Great view from the cliffs – we went at sunset which was lovely and not too busy with people. The views and walks were absolutely amazing. Truly breathtaking and a photographers delight. Stunning views of cliffs are your reward after a pretty long drive along single track road. Parking might be an issue and might have problems to park your car at times.
Scottish Highlands: Roadtrip along Scottish highlands can be described as the best trip of UK. Beauty at every corner, we halted the car every now and then to capture the pretty landscapes. No wonder why many Hollywood movies have been shot here. Seriously I felt like I’m in some dreamland. It’s best to book a cottage/hotel in the middle of Scottish highlands and wake up to the charming beauty next morning. More than words few pictures will tell you why Scottish highlands are the best.
Inverness and Lochness: We got to go around Loch Ness and it was beautiful along with a boat ride and seeing Urquhart castle from the water, we didn’t go in, but we were fine with that, for we saw so much more. The cruise on Loch Ness was gorgeous, but despite most people probably thinking Loch Ness is the highlight, Urquhart Castle is also must-see stop. Make sure you carry a jacket as its cold/windy during a boat trip. Whether you see the monster or not, it is still a magical lake. The waters are so dark and mysterious that they do make you wonder what’s inside!
Kelpies: Huge horse head sculptures, it would amaze you by its architecture. They are beautiful and big and I couldn’t take my eyes off them. Magnificent sculptures. Beautiful surroundings. The changing weather added to the spectacle and returning at night to watch the colors change was well worth it. Definitely, a wonderful engineering attraction in Scotland for both locals and visitors. Spend some time here and relax your day by Edinburgh.
Edinburgh & Fringe festival: I had planned my trip along with Fringe festival, which is the most popular festival of Scotland. It happens almost the whole month of August and lot of events, comedy shows, dances, cultural events happen around Royal mile road. Don’t miss out trying Scottish Kilt which is their traditional dress. You can also visit Edinburgh castle and enjoy the rest of day with the Fringe festival. I got chance to take colorful photos with various street artists and dancers who were performing. Then I went to Falkirk wheel, which is yet another stunning piece of rotating boat engineering worth visiting.
Cairngorm Mountains: I would have liked to visit these mountains, but due to shortage of time on both my trips to Scotland I couldn’t go here. But I would suggest to add it along in your Scotland itinerary as these mountains are excellent spots to trek and. During winters its even beautiful with full snow and there are skiing adventures which can be planned.
Foods to Tryout in Scotland
- Scottish Grilled Salmon – Fish is best served as grilled with amazing sides
- Scottish breakfast – Great start to the day with Scotland pudding, sausage, and scones
- Sticky toffee pudding – Amazing dessert topping up your taste buds with deliciousness.
- Fish and chips – Try out the traditional British supper anytime
- Scottish cookies – Shortbreads are famous and available in most shops
- Scotch – When in Scotland one mustn’t miss out their whiskeys. It’s their home of Scotch.
Signing off with few beautiful memories of Scotland.