Scotland is undoubtedly a really beautiful country, and every year it is visited by crowds of tourists from the United States, France, and even Italy or Spain. However, I cannot resist the impression that Poles come here mainly for work. Hardly anyone taking leave in July, August or September will think of Scotland. Perhaps it is because of the prices that are definitely unfriendly for Polish tourists. Meanwhile, the land of Nessi and the men in kilts is definitely worth a short or long journey. Maybe it is good to think about it right now, when the value of the pound is falling and we will pay less for a holiday in Scotland?
Glen Affric in early spring
So why is it worth it? Scotland is primarily a wonderful landscape in the north of the country. Highlands — hills covered with grass and heathers, deep dungeons (lakes), a dramatic coast line, glen (picturesque valleys), and above all, rarely found in Europe (especially in Poland!) wilderness, where we will not see a single home. Space, space and space again! Wild nature, an abundance of plants, birds and other animals await nature lovers. In Scotland, I have already been able to watch seals, dolphins or even deer.
But Scotland is also a historically interesting land (who watched Brave Heart?), Where you can visit magnificent stone castles (Edinburgh, Stirling, Linlithgow, Eilean Donan). The capital itself, the majestic Edinburgh, also deserves attention, especially during the summer festivals.
SOME IDEAS FOR VISITING SCOTLAND
Travel in Scotland should definitely start with its capital city. Edinburgh is a beautiful medieval a town with characteristic stone buildings. From the main street, the so-called The Royal Mile connecting the former royal castle with the Queen’s summer palace (Palace of Holyroodhouse) runs off a whole network of intriguing small streets (the so-called close), creating a maze in which it is really worth getting lost.
It takes about two days to visit Edinburgh, but you can extend this time up to four. In the case of a short visit to Scotland, you can also limit yourself to Edinburgh only, spending one day on a round trip by bus in the Scottish highlands (almost every travel agency in the capital offers it). In this way, at least for a moment, we will feel the atmosphere of a real land of mists. An even better idea is to rent a car for one day and go on an independent trip (the program and nature of the organized tours do not necessarily suit everyone). Such a self-guided tour will probably take us at least ten hours.
For a slightly longer journey (albeit still limited to a few days only) from Edinburgh, I would suggest to hit in two directions: Isle of Arran or Loch Lomond. Arran is called Scotland in miniature. Spending two or three days on the island, we can enjoy the beauty of the west coast, relax on the beach, climb the highest peak of the island — Goat Fell, as well as admire the grassy hills and enjoy the space. Loch Lomond is one of Scotland’s two national parks, a beautiful lake surrounded by hills and forests. On the way, you can also visit Stirling Castle. There is a direct train from Glasgow in both directions.
Low Budget Travel? Scotland , like the whole of Great Britain, is not one of the cheapest destinations. However, you can find a whole host of hiking trails and campsites here. In addition, in Scotland the tent can be set up literally anywhere, also travelers can also sleep in the wild. What is important in this case is universal access to clean water — we can find mountain streams, rivers and waterfalls almost everywhere.
The most famous and at the same time one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Europe is the so-called West Highland Way. Due to the amazing views, I heartily recommend
Longer trip? How about north along the west coast and then back to the quieter, albeit less spectacular east? Many travelers in Glasgow, takes the train to Mallaig (sometimes visiting Glencoe or Fort William on the way) ), then visits Isle of Skye (the most beautiful of the Scottish islands), then head along the coast towards Ullapool, all the way to Durness, on the way back visiting Inverness, Fort Augustus (Loch Ness), Aberdeen and Cairngorms National Park, and finally St Andrews.
Is it possible by trains and buses? Of course it is possible, but you will miss a lot, so it is much better to rent a car for at least part of the trip. And don’t be fooled by the tourist trap of Loch Ness — there are actually plenty of much more beautiful places all over Scotland