Scotland is a place that seems to have it all, thanks to its vibrant culture and stunning scenery. Here are some of the most amazing things Scotland is renowned for in case you’re ready to explore the lush Scottish countryside, wave to highland cattle, and stroll through historic city streets.
One of the first things that come to mind when considering what Scotland is best known for is its stunning ancient castles. The nation is synonymous with this wonderful and symbolic fairytale landmark, from well-preserved buildings to subtle ruins. The country reportedly once had more than 3,000 castles!
As you can guess, finding medieval castles in Scotland is not difficult. In spite of the bustling city life all around you, Glasgow offers several opportunities for castle hopping, where you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time. Visit the 13th-century Bothwell Castle, located conveniently on the River Clyde, and Crookston Castle, where you can enjoy breathtaking views from the roof.
Stirling Castle, a well-known building built in the eighth century and set atop Castle Hill, is located not far from the city. In the 1500s, Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at this fortress.
2. Highlands of Scotland
Undoubtedly one of the fascinating regions in the nation is the Scottish Highlands. The area is suited for road vacations, bicycle excursions, and hiking.
Discover nature in areas like Cairngorms National Park or Lake Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Many people seek to climb Ben Nevis, the tallest peak in the UK, or travel a little farther to the beautiful Island of Skye, where you may trek the renowned Old Man of Storr, one of the best in the UK.
Another fantastic Highlands destination is Glencoe, where the valley offers an amazing driving route and multiple trailheads for exploring the area on foot. Visit the Highland Wildlife Park if seeing animals is on your bucket list; there, you can get a chance to see the Scottish wildcat.
3. Monster of Loch Ness
The Loch Ness Monster, who is purported to live in the waters of Loch Ness, is one of the most well-known things in Scotland. The first reported sighting of the “monster” dates back to 565 AD. It has been the subject of numerous rumors and possible sightings, and it frequently appears in books and movies.
Visit Loch Ness and go boating there to take part in the mystery. Maybe Nessie will even appear to you! Explore the history of the myth at the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibits, which details the monster’s history, odd sightings, and studies conducted in the Loch. You can make your own judgment about whether the Loch Ness monster is a genuine creature or a long-running hoax right here.
Scotland is frequently linked to bagpipes, which are well-known as the nation’s emblem. The Great Highland bagpipe, which has military roots, has a storied past in Scottish culture. The bagpipe is played as street music, in taverns, and as the background music for events and festivals, frequently in combination with fiddles and folk tunes.
One of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in a place’s culture is to listen to traditional Scottish music. At the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, learn more about the bagpipe’s rich history. More than 300 years of the instrument’s history are covered in the middle.
Scotland is renowned for its wide range of whisky variations. Visiting one of Scotland’s 109 distilleries is a great way to sample the local libation while you’re there. Scotch whiskey has been produced commercially since the 11th century.
The premise of the tale is that when European monasteries began manufacturing wine, monks began producing what would later become the whisky we know today. The old Gaelic nickname “uisge beatha,” which means “water of life,” is where the word “whisky” originates. Only in Scotland is real Scotch whiskey made, and it must age for at least three years in oak barrels.
You will notice definite variances in the drink’s flavor depending on what part of Scotland you visit and how it’s made. The five whisky-producing areas are Speyside, Campbeltown, Highland, Campbeltown, and Islay.
6. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Scotland’s most famous performance is held in the capital city’s Edinburgh Castle. Every summer, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performs a magnificent musical and artistic show for a captive audience. The festival runs in August, with performances on Saturday nights and weekday evenings.
International military bands and the British Armed Forces play for the acquisition of military tattoos. Traditionally, the term “tattoo” was used to denote the end of the day’s work and to allude to the next military musicians’ performance of the evening’s entertainment.
Almost 200,000 people can enjoy the music of the Massed Pipes and Drums at the magnificent castle location. The Lone Piper, cultural ensembles, singers, and an annual, intriguing theme are all highlights. One of the most exciting and enduring parts of the Lone Piper is the climax.
7. Scottish Wool
Due to the abundance of sheep farms and the gloomy weather that necessitates cozy sweaters and blankets, wool is a symbol of Scottish heritage and fashion. Genuine Scotland wool is the ideal memento to use at home and while traveling. Popular goods include knit blankets, scarves, hats, and sweaters; argyle or plaid patterns are frequent.
The Edinburgh Woolen Mill is a well-known store for buying a range of wool products in the capital city, but there are many other places to find them. The Be Inspired Fibres shop has a wide variety of yarns and other supplies you might need to get started if you want to try your hand at knitting your own goods. In addition, keep an eye out for Hawick, Pringle of Scotland, Lochaven of Scotland, and Harris Tweed.
Oh, Scotland’s national meal. More than simply the heart, liver, and lungs of sheep are included in haggis. A traditional Scottish pudding that is typically eaten on holidays or special occasions is made by combining those ingredients with some onion, oats, stock, and spices. The mixture is then cooled inside the lining of a sheep’s stomach. If you’re courageous enough, this delicious delicacy is a must-try when in Scotland.
It is popular throughout the nation and frequently served with mashed potatoes and turnips. In addition to buying it at grocery stores and butcher shops, you may also order it in restaurants and bars.
Scotland often celebrates haggis in January during a meal known as a Burns supper. This celebration honors the poet and his love of haggis on the occasion of Robert Burns’ birthday. He adored the food so much that he wrote a poem about it.
Lochs, often known as lakes, are a well-known natural feature that may be found all around the country. According to estimates, Scotland is home to more than 30,000 freshwater lochs, most of which are found in the verdant Highlands.
The enormous Loch Ness, one of the most well-known in the north, is the location of the Loch Ness Monster mythology. Lake Earn is located in the middle Highlands, north of Glasgow, where the picturesque surroundings provide wonderful hiking trails.
To explore the well-known Loch Morlich, enter the Cairngorms National Park to the southeast of Inverness. Take a stroll along the lovely beach, go kayaking or canoeing, or have a picnic.