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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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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
…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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.