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10 Things To Do In Scotland Before You Die

By on July 28, 2014 in Travel and Tourism

10 things to do in Scotland before you die

10 Things You Must Do In Scotland Before You Die

 Whilst some people might find the idea of a bucket list as a bit morbid, we prefer to see it as a motivational tool to make sure that you get off your butt and enjoy as much of this beautiful island as you can. Now, when it comes to Scotland, call us biased, but there are literally hundreds of things that we could put on this list. However, we’ve narrowed it down to some of our essentials, the things we think, whether you’re local or visiting, that you have to do at least once.

1. Go to a gig in Glasgow

Glasgow is the undisputed home of music in Scotland where legends are formed and good music is venerated on a godlike level. Going to a gig in this town is a guaranteed good night out. With a veritable cornucopia of music venues to choose from, as well as a varied and eclectic mix of performers, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Whether you like big name performers in venues like the SECC, or prefer listening to up and coming acts in industry powerhouses such as King Tut’s or the Barrowlands, there’s always a gig to suit everyone’s tastes. The crowds in these venues know how to appreciate a good show, sometimes loudly, but always in a manner that is never short of banter. After the gig head to one of the pubs or clubs to carry on your night in style, you might be hot and sweaty, but this is Glasgow, and Glaswegians know how to have some messy fun.

2. Climb something – preferably something high.

It might have escaped some people’s notice, but Scotland is not a very flat country, in fact we have all of the ten highest mountains in the UK within our borders – with Ben Nevis being the highest at 4409 feet, if you were wondering. This general lack of flat ground makes Scotland an adventure playground for those who liking hiking, walking, or just generally being outside in the refreshing Scottish air. In every region of Scotland there are a range of challenging areas where you can climb to your hearts content. The iconic Monros offer a variety of walks and opportunities to explore the west Highlands and the Cairngorms National Park; The Corbetts in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs area offer some challenges for people prepared to work hard to reach the stunning views of the Scottish uplands; and the Grahams, settled between Loch Lomond and Loch Tay, are ideal for less experienced climber, or those who prefer their climb to be more of a gentle walk. Wherever you decide to go, we can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed by the view.

3. Eat something native

Food is an integral part of any country’s culture, and Scotland is no different. We love our food up here, and have some wonderful inventions to share with the world. What’s not to love about the country that brought you the deep fried mars bar? If you prefer your fare to be less heart attack inducing we humbly suggest haggis, tablet and shortbread as a good place to start. Plus, they make great presents for the folks at home!

4. Go on a Whiskey Trail or to a distillery

It’s Scotland, and in the minds of the vast majority of the world’s population Scotland equals whiskey. Like it or not whiskey is pretty much one of our best exports, and we can guarantee you’ll have a lot of disbelieving whiskey lovers crying at you if you go home without at least trying a dram. Luckily for you, we have quite a few world class distilleries up here, such as Glenlivit, Macallan and Glenfiddich, that are more than happy to give you a tour and explain the ins and outs of why whiskey is the best drink ever created. If you want to take it a step further you can always follow the Malt Whiskey Trail, which will take you a few days but will introduce you to same of Scotland’s finest, and will let you view some stunning scenery at the same time.

5. Visit Edinburgh or Stirling castle.

Castles – well, no shortage of those dotted around our island! There are some absolutely stunning medieval castles in the wilds, but for a start we would recommend the two iconic bastions that are Edinburgh and Stirling. Both of these castles have undergone extensive renovation and investment so that you can really get a sense of what it would have been like to live there in ye olde times. Plus, they are seriously impressive examples of what a castle should be: huge, imposing, awe inspiring and effective. Seeing Edinburgh castle silhouetted against the sky in the setting light of the sun is one of life’s great pleasures, and something that everyone should see once in their life.

6. Go to a ceilidh

It’s really not a proper Scottish party unless you have a spot of ceilidh dancing at some point throughout the night. To the outsider it looks fast, furious, and maybe even a tiny bit dangerous with all those flying limbs, but we promise it’s a great amount of fun as well. We’ll also let you into a little secret – very few Scottish people actually know what they’re doing either, but we’ve found if you just sort of follow along, kick your legs enthusiastically and twirl a lot you’ll fit right in.

7. Play Golf

This is very much like the whiskey thing, even if you don’t like golf, you really ought to try it out at some point when you’re in Scotland. Given that we are the home of golf and boost the oldest golf course in the world (The Links at the Old Course) as well as some of the most famous (Gleneagles, Muirfield, Royal Dornoch), it’s inevitable that sooner or later you’re going to run into golf on your travels. Luckily, even if you decide the noble sport isn’t for you, golf courses in Scotland are generally situated beside some very yummy restaurants and bars, as well as spectacular scenery, so there’s always the option of an early retreat.

8. Go Loch Ness Monster Hunting

One of the world’s most famous monsters lives in Scotland, and you should definitely go looking for it. Who cares if Nessie is actually the result of some badly taken photographs and overactive imaginations, that shouldn’t stop you having fun hunting for her, or him! Plus, Loch Ness is a beautiful place in itself, and is full of quirky little places to while away an afternoon.

9. Pay a visit to some standing stones

Who put them there and why? And how did they get those massive rocks to stand up? Nobody knows, but there are a few spots in Scotland where you can go and ponder such questions and have a look at some amusing ancient myths at the same time. There are a few that involve giants and saints, and who doesn’t love a bit of fantasy reading on their travels. If you like your heritage to be outdoors and involve a good bracing walk, then a visit to these old and mysterious objects is a must.

10. Have a cultural day in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a truly glorious capital city, especially when the sun comes out. A day devoted to the city is a must, and will not be wasted in any weather. Visit the multitude of museums and galleries, have a wander around the old town and take in the old architecture and the twisting streets, climb the Royal Mile and laugh at the street performers, wonder at the variety of religious buildings that dot the city, and when you’re done with all that retreat to George St for some of the best cocktails in Scotland. A day spent in Edinburgh is never wasted, and the city provides for all interests and tastes.

We hope you liked the first instalment of our bucket list. We would love to know what you think is a ‘must do’ when you’re in Scotland.

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