Famous golfing links and festivals, fabled legends, sparkling lochs, magnificent castles, countless Scotch Whiskey distilleries and a marvelous melding of the modern with the ancient make Scotland amazing.
Explore Scotland’s main cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Edinburgh has two distinct areas; the Old Town with the medieval castle, and the New Town, dating back to the 18th century. The harmonious blending of the two contrasting historic areas infuses the city with its distinct character and helped it earn World Heritage Site status by UNESCO.
Edinburgh’s main attraction can’t be missed — literally. The 12th Century Edinburgh Castle, built atop Castle Rock, a dormant volcano, stands imposingly over the city. Go inside the Scottish Kings’ former home to see the nation’s glittering crown jewels or take a guided tour to learn the castle’s secrets. Part of the famed Edinburgh Festival: the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, with several performances by military bands, dance and pageantry, takes place on the castle’s esplanade. If you visit in the summer, you can witness the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with over 2,000 live performances in 250 venues across the city. You can also visit the National Gallery of Modern Art and meander through its impressive sculpture garden.
The dynamic city of Glasgow radiates glamour with its Georgian squares, its own historic castle and over 20 museums and art galleries. For retail therapy, don’t miss the “Style Mile” with its high-end stores, boutiques and vintage shops.
But you’d be missing much of Scotland’s wonders without escaping its cities to the countryside and the beautiful Highlands. Probably the country’s largest claim to fame is it is where the sport of golf began. St. Andrews golf course is a top attraction. Golf has been played here for more than 600 years. For many golfers, swinging a club on the steep rolling links in the birthplace of their favorite game is a bucket list experience.
In the heart of Scotland, Pitlochry and the Highland resort is famous for its hospitality, crisp air and stunning scenery. Here, you can discover the mystical side of Scotland witnessing standing stones, stone circles and ancient sites, including the famous Dunfallandy Stone.
Admire the lush forests and rushing rivers in Perthshire, and The Trossachs National Park offering astounding views at the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond. You can also take a cruise on the waters of Loch Ness, reputed to be the home of “Nessie” or the Loch Ness monster. You most likely won’t see a creature here, but you will have your breath taken away by the dramatic scenery of the pristine loch, surrounded by majestic mountains and lighthouses accenting the landscape.
It’s also north in the Highlands, where you can sniff and sip the aromatic Scotch Whiskey liquor on a distillery tour. At Glenfiddich Distillery you can sample a single-malt whiskey. Distilleries abound here, so you won’t want for choices, including the Aberfeldy Distillery, which makes the popular Dewars brand of whiskey. Of course, no journey to Scotland would be complete without an evening show featuring traditional bagpipers and Highland dancers.
There’s no better way to get to know Scotland than through the eyes of an experienced Cosmos tour director. For expert help planning your own escorted tour, contact our agency today.