Local Insider – Venturing Into the Scottish Wilderness

Our Local Insider Danny is an expert in all things Scotland
Our Local Insider Danny is an expert in all things Scotland | Courtesy of Danny Barden

Editorial Manager

Our Local Insider Danny has been a guide in Scotland for a number of years and, when Shelby from Culture Trip’s US team spoke to her, we dug deep into the two exciting new itineraries we have in the country.

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Scotland is one of our favourite places in the world. With its stunning scenery, calming natural retreats and idyllic islands, there is something magical about this place, which attracts millions of visitors every year. Travel Expert Shelby is based in America but is a huge fan of everything Scotland. When she spoke to out Local Insider Danny, she wanted to know more about some of the main reasons people keep coming back to this wilderness wonderland.

Explore Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands by Train on Culture Trip’s newest rail adventure.

Wild Scotland really float my boat!,” Danny enthuses. “Scotland as a location lets you immerse yourself in ancient nature, you can imagine what it was like when volcanoes were erupting and the land was moving. What we’re left with now is stunning views.”

Culture Trip’s Rail Trip lets you experience this too, as well as cultural stops in Edinburgh and Inverness. The joy of this itinerary is that it takes you from the city to some of the least populated parts of the UK.

Is there a more iconic train route on the planet? The Jacobite steam train, or Hogwarts Express, is also one of the most picturesque

“Scotland has some classics that you should sample,” Danny tells us when talking about the food and drink you’ll be sampling on the trip. “Haggis has to be on the menu. There’s some great fish soups you can try, and it’s a local delicacy. Salmon is obviously farmed in the area and is about as fresh as you can get. Black pudding is one of the specialities on the islands but there are also some great seasonal vegetarians dishes too.”

Shelby highlighted one of her favourite activities from here last trip to Scotland and Danny agreed. “Yes, there are some great distilleries, including one near where I live in Fort William. The water for this one comes straight from Ben Nevis itself. It’s very pure, and you can compare it to some of the more peaty whisky distilleries on the islands”.

Danny is a big advocate of the small-group travel experiences Culture Trip is known for. “Sharing trips as part of a group has environmental and financial benefits, but the real bonus is that you end up doing things that you might not do on your own. It’s things that you might not otherwise think of”, he explains.

“Responsible travel that supports local businesses is one of the things I really like about the Culture Trip itinerary,” Danny adds. “Scotland is a small part of the world, but it really does offer a bit of everything”.

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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

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Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.