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Isle Of Skye, Scotland | © Pixabay
Isle Of Skye, Scotland | © Pixabay
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14 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Scotland at Least Once

Picture of Tori Chalmers
Updated: 9 May 2017
Every aspect of Scotland lends itself to those rare, life-affirming moments. Between the supernatural showcase of scenery and charming cultural idiosyncrasies, here are all the reasons you need to visit Scotland at least once in your lifetime.

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The Scenery Speaks To The Soul

There’s no Photoshop needed when it comes to snapshots of Scotland. Witnessing the overwhelming beauty that traces the Munros or the brooding lochs as they cast dueling reflections, leads to a primal sense of insignificance. It’s that intoxicating. Like that friend who always looks flawless no matter what, Scotland sparkles come rain or shine!

Breaking Dawn Over Loch Rusky | © john mcsporran/Flickr
Breaking Dawn Over Loch Rusky | © john mcsporran/Flickr

The Fringe Is A Spawning Site For The Arts

Edinburgh in August is irresistible. The entire city undergoes a mystifying transformation into a creative epicentre bursting with famous talent and first-class acts yet to be discovered. Bars become box offices, streets change to stages, pedestrians evolve into performers and the vibe is one worth knowing. With over 50,000 acts spanning numerous genres, Scotland becomes a platform for thinkers, dreamers and entertainers alike.

© Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
Courtesy Of Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society | © Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Walk in a Village Older Than Stonehenge And The Great Pyramids

Skara Brae or ‘The Scottish Pompeii’ offers a snapshot into a bygone Scotland between 3180 BC and approximately 2500 BC. Praised as the most complete Neolithic village in Europe, this ancient stone-built settlement sits on the Bay of Skaill in Orkney.

The Startup Scene Is One To Watch Out For

A place of inspiration and innovation, there’s no stopping Scotland’s startup scene. And there’s plenty more to come. From companies like pureLiFi inventing ways to get WiFi through LED lights and Rockstar North nailing it with games like GTA, it’s a hip place to be. Oh, and there’s also the team at Edinburgh University Robotics Department who created the NASA Valkyrie, the world’s most advanced humanoid robot!

NASA Valkyrie
NASA Valkyrie | © Futurilla/Flickr

You Can Walk In The Footsteps Of Dinosaurs

Embedded into the scenery of spellbinding Skye are dinosaur footprints from around 165 million years ago. These Ornithopod prints live on the beach at An Corran, Staffin, and are an intimate memory and gateway to a world that once was.

Dinosaur Footprints On Staffin | © John Allan / Geograph
Dinosaur Footprints On Staffin | © John Allan / Geograph

And Fairies…

…do exist in Scotland! When stumbling upon the Fairy Pools on Skye in Glen Brittle, you can’t help but look around for the magic portal. An enchanting kingdom wonderfully suited to wild swimmers and free spirits, the fixating green and blue hues dancing within this natural waterfall are otherworldly.

The Fairy Pools, Isle Of Skye | © john mcsporran/Flickr
The Fairy Pools, Isle Of Skye | © john mcsporran/Flickr

The Beaches Are A Cathartic Release

Between the swathes of silver sands dusting some pretty epic dunes and the swirling swell of the ocean, exploring Scotland’s beaches is therapy at its finest. Surprising to some, it also holds the key to some gnarly surf spots like Machrihanish.

Machrihanish Beach | © James Bennett
Machrihanish Beach | © James Bennett

Fingal’s Cave Is A Bridge To The Imagination

A gift from Mother Nature, Fingal’s Cave is a place of unrivalled proportions. Hexagonally-jointed symmetrical basalt columns form the structure while the taunting ebb and flow of the rambunctious swell is heightened by the unworldly acoustics. This remarkable sea cave awaits on the uninhabited isle of Staffa and can be reached by boat tour.

Fingal's Cave, Isle Of Staffa, Scotland | WikiCommons
Fingal’s Cave, Isle Of Staffa, Scotland | © WikiCommons

The Castles Are Straight Out Of Game Of Thrones

Scotland’s castles are constant reminders of the country’s colourful history. Although the famous picks like Edinburgh Castle and Eilean Donan are something straight out of a fairytale, Kelburn Castle deserves some serious kudos for its exterior embellished with graffiti by Brazilian artists.

Eilean Donan Castle | © john mcsporran/Flickr
Eilean Donan Castle | © john mcsporran/Flickr

Scotland Has A Thing For Secret Gardens

Some arty, others ambiguous, Scotland is synonymous with evocative gardens. Between the fractals and mathematical equations embedded in the Garden of Cosmic Speculation and the philosophical garden poetry within Little Sparta, to Jupiter Artland and Dunbar’s Close hidden in Edinburgh’s Old Town, the flower power is verging on too much!

© Elliott Brown/Flickr
Secret Garden | © Elliott Brown/Flickr

Experience The World’s Most Epic NYE Celebration

With its capital praised as hosting the greatest NYE shindig out there — think thousands of fireworks on the hour every hour, famous live bands on every corner, whisky galore, the streets transformed into one mammoth party — there’s nowhere quite like Scotland on Hogmanay.

Midnight Fireworks | © Chris Watt / Courtesy Of Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Midnight Fireworks | © Chris Watt / Courtesy Of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

The Array Of Architecture Is Worth Exploring

From the uber-modern parliament building and the stunning Zaha Hadid-designed Riverside Museum, to Glasgow’s menu of Art Deco Mackintosh masterpieces, Scottish baronial buildings and imposing gothic structures, Scotland’s buildings are as eclectic as its people.

Glasgow City Spires
Glasgow City Spires | Courtesy Of Glasgow Life

The Food Is As Fresh As Can Be

Open Scotland’s natural larder and the wealth of fresh, pure and sumptuous ingredients tumble out. From Scottish salmon and hand dived scallops from the Isles, to local organic beef and home-grown veggies, the memorable culinary journeys showcased across Scottish restaurants owe it all to the providence of the produce.

Lamb Shank Peas Wild Garlic At The Kitchin | Courtesy Of The Kitchin
Lamb Shank | Courtesy Of The Kitchin

And Because Scotland’s National Animal Is The Unicorn…

And who doesn’t love unicorns? Scotland expressed fondness for these alluring mystical creatures back in the 1300s way before hipsters printed them on tee-shirts and stationary! A symbol of grace and purity, with supersonic healing powers, it’s a no-brainer why the unicorn is the Scottish national animal.