Haggis, loch monsters, whisky, tartan – Scotland is known for many different things to different people and is a fascinating country with an intriguing history. Here are 69 interesting facts about Scotland you might not know. 69 Interesting Facts about Scotland 2. The United Kingdom’s most remote bar is The Old Forge Pub in Scotland. …
Scotland, in the north of the UK, happens to be one of the most fascinating and beautiful places to visit. Aside from the gorgeous landscapes, iconic historical sites, and whiskey, there are also volumes of legends, myths, monsters, and people to discover.
Scotland is equal parts proud of history and self-deprecating whimsy. Its national animal is a unicorn, supposedly because it’s the only animal that can easily defeat a lion. It just so happens that England’s national symbol is a lion, so make of that what you will.
I’ve done my fair share of exploration in Scotland, so I have some idea of the possibilities of a trip here. From the cities to the highlands, the lochs to the mountains, there’s an endless possibility to this beautiful country. Let’s talk about Scotland.
Why You Should Visit Scotland
If you’re looking for a place to start, why not stock up on general facts about the country? These interesting facts about Scotland are sure to intrigue you, regardless of your field of interest.
For example, the fact that there’s nearly no place too remote in Scotland to find a pub. One exists in a place that you can only get to by ferry or a really rough one-mile hike. Talk about being desperate for a drink.
That said, Scotland’s beauty is widely recognized, and there are several places to mark on your map if you want to get some idea of what that means. Castles, beaches (yes, beaches), lochs, and other iconic buildings rank among these beautiful places in Scotland you absolutely have to see. My list isn’t even exhaustive, but it’s well worth checking out.
If you’re more of the traditional holiday type, you’ll be pleased to know that there are notable spa breaks in Scotland. Scottish spas tend to be very high-end, and many include facilities like golf courses (this is Scotland, after all, where the game was invented). Add top-tier food and accommodations, and you’ll soon see why this is a place to get away.
Side note: people sometimes forget that Scotland has several islands — 790 of them, in fact.
Where to Visit in Scotland
Scotland isn’t the biggest country in the world, but it is a place you want to take your time to see. Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Isle of Skye are just about all you should fit in on a 7-day Scotland itinerary.
If you have more time, a 10-day Scottish Highlands itinerary is an absolute must. Get yourself a car and truly explore this magical piece of the world.
Scotland’s main city (sorry, Edinburgh) offers several delightful Glasgow tours and day trips that will do a fine job of introducing you to the culture and people. People have lived in this area since the sixth century, so it’s best to tour this city with a knowledgeable guide to talk about its true history.
At the end of a big tour day, you’ll be happy to know that there are some amazing spots to see the Glasgow sunset. That is to say, on a clear day, the sunsets here are quite spectacular, offering reds and oranges in a breathtaking northern sky.
Scotland’s best city (sorry, Glasgow) has a creative buzz about it and is beautiful to boot. If you like the idea of getting to the sunsets in Glasgow, you’ll also enjoy these spectacular places to experience the Sunset in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh’s incredible vault tours also help separate it from other cities. These are tours of the city’s underground areas, where people lived for a while. Edinburgh used to be pretty small and built on a hill. The only room for expansion at the time was up… or down.
The largest city in the Scottish Highlands is Inverness. More than likely, you’ll find yourself at a stop here when you venture into these parts. Among the key attractions are Inverness Cathedral and Inverness Castle, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s quite possible to be overwhelmed with the options on a visit here, so here are 26 things to do in Inverness that you should put on your list for a start. Victorian Market is a great place to start your tour and stock up on supplies, for example.
You can also reach the famed Loch Ness from here. Maybe you’re lucky and spot Nessie!
Among other things, Ayr and Ayrshire are known for great golf courses like Royal Troon, Turnberry, and Prestwick. The western coastal towns and villages are all pretty and moderate in terms of weather. Meanwhile, there are rolling hills and valleys just inland, making you yearn for a pastoral life.
But that’s not the whole story. Some fantastic things to do in Ayrshire include staying at a castle and visiting the famous Brig O Doon.
Side note: Speaking of golf, did you know that Scotland has the world’s highest proportion of golf holes per capita? Ironically, golf has been banned in Scotland three times since the mid-1400s. It will likely not be banned again due to its immense popularity and cultural value.
Dumfries & Galloway
Beach fans will want to consider this region as a possible stop, as there are several beaches along this otherwise rocky coastline to enjoy. The irony is that Dumfries and Galloway are far from the top of most lists regarding hotspots in Scotland. That’s a shame because it is beautiful.
I found at least 11 things to do in Dumfries and Galloway that utterly elevated my experience, and I highly recommend them.
Ben Nevis is Scotland’s highest mountain. In fact, it is the highest mountain in the UK and all of the British Isles. That makes it a definite item on the list of must-dos if you’re into hiking or climbing.
Be warned, climbing Ben Nevis is challenging. I found this out the hard way. Probably the one thing many underestimate is how long the hike actually takes, as it’s a 7 to 9-hour round-trip.
You can read all about my experience and tips if you have any thoughts of conquering the beast.
Lovely Inverness in Scotland is the gateway city to the stunning Scottish Highlands. But it would be a huge mistake to only have a flying visit to Inverness. As you will see in this article, there are loads of fantastic things to do in Inverness and around the city. It definitely warrants a couple of …
Glasgow is a monumental Scottish city filled to the brim with things to do throughout the day. Although, there aren’t many things better than capping a fun-filled day with a mesmerising sunset. The sight of the sun dipping away into the horizon while reflecting hues of orange on the sky is a breathtaking spectacle. Catching …
Edinburgh’s got a creative spirit, vibrant nightlife, and charm to spare. One of the most gorgeous cities in all of the United Kingdom, this hilly Scottish capital boasts impeccable views and a unique mix of modern and historic architecture. There is so much to do and see in Edinburgh like take an underground vault tour, …
Scotland is absolutely stunning. If the weather were more reliable it would be absolutely jammed with tourists. The beauty of Scotland is that the weather changes at a pace so even at its worst often blue skies can be literally just moments away. This is not an exhaustive list of beautiful places in Scotland – …
When you’re thinking about a holiday with saunas and massages spa breaks Scotland don’t necessarily come first to mind. However, there are a fantastic range of spa hotels Scotland to consider. Spa breaks Scotland tend to veer towards the indulgent/luxury end of the spas spectrum vs detox/extreme exercise. Most, of course, have gyms and/or a …
The Ayrshire region of Scotland sits on the southwest coast and enjoys considerably better weather than most of the country. This is also Robert Burns country – you can’t miss him and his influence when exploring the area. It is also home to some lovely beaches, fantastic castles, great food, stunning drives and much more. …
Dumfries and Galloway is the least visited area of Scotland – I have no idea why. The region is absolutely stunning, tends much more towards good weather relative to the rest of Scotland and there are some fantastic things to do in Dumfries and Galloway. From the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse to Wigtown Scotland to …
Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities. It has so much history, so much character, and so much to do when you visit. I have now been there several times and there are always different things on offer. This trip I decided to do something I had never done before – explore Edinburgh underground by …
I had always wanted to visit the Scottish highlands. And boy did they very much exceeded my expectations. There is something quite magical about the Scottish Highlands – the extreme and ridiculously fast weather is extraordinary and creates a different feel – you can imagine that if anywhere has fairies and dragons this place does. …