Scotland operates a very small corner of the globe, but this little country of only 5 million people has so much to offer you travelers and backpackers!
Whether you want a more remote, rural experience or a city-like urban experience, Scotland has it all.
I’m going to go through 10 different reasons why I think Scotland is a destination that you must have on your bucket list!
Full disclosure guys, I am from Scotland but I promise I’ll be totally honest and objective!
Starting off strong with this one.
Scotland has some of the best hiking trails you will find, anywhere in the world. The mountains aren’t the tallest, but what they lack in height, they more than make up for by being among the most stunning.
Some of the more famous hiking trails include the John Muir Way, the West Highland Way and the Southern Upland Way.
For more info on these, check here.
As I mentioned in reason number one, Scotland has some of the most stunningly beautiful mountains in the world, with the most famous being Ben Nevis (the highest peak in the UK).
However, it’s not just the mountains that makes Scotland’s scenery so awesome.
It’s also home to some amazing lochs (lakes), forests and just amazingly peaceful stretches of countryside.
3. North Coast 500 Road Trip
I’ve talked about this road trip before in this post.
Anointed as “Scotland’s answer to Route 66” the North Coast 500 begins in Inverness and takes you around more than 500 miles of some of the best coastlines in Scotland!
With so many places to stop off on your way, including castles, beaches, and towering Munros, it’s easy to see why the North Coast 500 is ranked as one of the top 10 road trips on Earth! (according to CNN travel)
*By the way, a Munro is a Scottish mountain that surpasses 3000 ft in height.
Yet another reason why Scotland should be on your bucket list, the festivals here are something to behold!
Probably the most famous one is the Edinburgh festival. This occurs every August and lasts for three weeks. The festival has everything including free street performances of all sorts, musicals, theatre performances, comedy shows and a host more. The point of the festival is to endorse arts and entertainment of all different types and bring people together. Literally, people come from all over the world to witness this festival.
But that’s not the only festival in Scotland. For you music fans, there are some insane festivals here, most notably, T in the Park (which has recently been changed to Transmit). Tens of thousands of people go every year to witness some of the top music acts on the planet.
Here’s the lineup from last year…
Also, be sure to check out some classic Scottish Highland Games. These now world famous cultural events have made some of Scotland’s traditions famous across the globe. Some of these include their native instrument, the bagpipes as well as other things like the kilt and traditional Scottish country dancing.
During the Games, there are a variety of different competitions including the cable toss and the Scottish hammer throw.
This is probably the best way to experience pure Scottish culture!
5. Cities (Edinburgh and Glasgow)
I’m going to just talk about the two biggest (and best, in my opinion) cities in Scotland.
Edinburgh is the country’s capital city and is one of the unique cities in the world! Hosting a great deal of cultural diversity, Edinburgh is the perfect capital, especially considering the popularity and success of its festival.
Some places to check out in this wonderful city include Princess Street and the gardens, the Royal Mile and Arthur’s Seat where you can climb and get the best view of the city.
More details here.
My other favorite Scottish city, Glasgow, is actually the country’s largest, both by size and population. It’s a really vibrant city with amazing bars and restaurants as well as buzzing nightlife (more on that in a minute).
Just as promised!
The nightlife in Scotland (especially the two cities mentioned above as well as Aberdeen) is really something worth doing.
Bouncing nightclubs, as well as traditional and original pubs and bars, provide you with the perfect night out.
Also, if you travel to Scotland, you will discover that Scottish people like to drink, a lot! So be ready for a mad one!
7. Loch Ness (The Loch Ness Monster)
Loch Ness is one of the most famous places in Scotland and is known all over the world.
It’s famous mainly because of the mystery that surrounds it.
The story goes that a giant, prehistoric sea monster (often referred to as Nessie) lives in the loch, and people come from far and wide, hoping to catch a glimpse of this mysterious beast.
The legend of the Loch Ness Monster has yet to be confirmed or debunked. There have been people who have claimed to see it and there have even been photos but are most likely hoaxes.
With its bloody, battle-filled history (more on that in the next section) Scotland has its fair share of castles dotted around all over the place.
By far the most popular and most famous is Edinburgh Castle. It’s perched on top of a volcanic plug, overlooking the entire city.
There are also many castles for you to see on the North Coast 500 road trip!
On to the history.
Scotland has an incredibly fascinating history. I don’t have enough time to give you a full rundown (if you want a more detailed explanation, try this).
The history is littered with famous battles and conquerors including the Vikings, William Wallace, and Robert the Bruce. On a more positive note, some of the history’s most famous inventors like John Logie Baird.
You also can’t forget about the famous rivalry and slaughters that took place between the Campbell and McDonald families.
I know, I’m ending with a pretty boring one (well, I guess not if you’re a golf fan).
Scotland is literally the home of golf and is home to some of the world’s top courses.
For the ultimate golfing holiday, head to St Andrews. Some other notable spots include Gleneagles and the North Berwick area.
Okay, hopefully, I’ve managed to shed some light on just how amazing Scotland is.
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That’s all for today, though guys. Have a good one!
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