Scotland

Scotland Travel Guide

Scotland is a tiny nation that has had an enormous cultural impact on the world. When you think of Scotland, you think of many things: kilted bagpipers, Scotch whiskey, haggis, lamb's wool clothing, and so on. And although Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, its culture is markedly different from its neighbor, England, to the south.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are Scotland's two biggest cities, and any Scotland travel plans should make ample time to explore the craggy alleyways, historic castles, and centuries-old pubs both offer.

Things Not to Miss in Scotland

• The Royal Botanic Garden, located in Edinburg, was founded in 1670, and has assumed a hugely important role in biodiversity research worldwide.
 • The Scottish Seabird Centre is much newer—it was opened by Prince Charles in 2000—and houses an abundance of local birds, including puffins and gannets. Sir David Attenborough has called it one of the “Twelve Wildlife Wonders of the World.”
 • No Scotland visit is complete without taking a tour of some of the numerous castles left behind by historic royalty. Two of the most stunning are Edinburgh Castle and Eilean Donan Castle.
 • The Orkney Islands are a stunning archipelago off the northern coast with Neolithic ruins from the Bronze and Iron Ages.
 • Take a Scotch tour to find out what all the fuss for the smoky, peaty whisky is all about.

When to Go to Scotland

Scotland's landscape and climate? They are unmistakably British, but don't be fooled. If you travel to Scotland, you should certainly visit the North Sea gently lapping the beautiful coastline, shack up in the mountains buried in snow, or venture into the forests to see the wildlife.

When you go to Scotland should depend on what you want to do. Edinburgh tends to become crowded during the tourist season, which starts in April and is over by September. You might expect Scottish weather to be quite cold due to its northern location, but that is not the case—winters are milder due to the warming effect of the Mid-Atlantic Drift.

The weather is best from May through September, although the rainiest days of the year take place in July and August. The eastern coast of Scotland tends to be drier than the west and is also the warmer place to visit, should you desire to lodge near the coastline.

Articles about Scotland

Darren Walsh, 39, has won the prize for the funniest joke at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland’s capital. His mobile phone joke, “I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It’s Hans free," took first place in a vote by T...
When you want the inside scoop on what bartenders drink when they’re off the clock, there’s no one better to ask than Ryan Chetiyawardana, a.k.a. Mr. Lyan. The 31-year old London-based mixology master was just anointed the International Bartender ...
If you're a fan of planning your vacation around sweet eats, you've got to add Mary's Milk Bar to your bucket list. The Internet recently caught on to the restaurant's Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Floats (spoiler: they're every bit as wonderful as they...
A man who has spent the last 24 years searching for the Loch Ness monster says it is probably just a catfish, after all. Steve Feltham, 52, apparently gave up his job, home and girlfriend more than two decades ago to track Nessie, but now he’s ...
Open-pit coal mining has turned parts of rural Scotland into desolate, denuded eyesores. The collapse of the industry and the ensuing economic downturn has also made it hard for local governments to justify spending millions to redevelop these sit...
Open-pit coal mining has turned parts of rural Scotland into desolate, denuded eyesores. The collapse of the industry and the ensuing economic downturn has also made it hard for local governments to justify spending millions to redevelop these sit...
Open-pit coal mining has turned parts of rural Scotland into desolate, denuded eyesores. The collapse of the industry and the ensuing economic downturn has also made it hard for local governments to justify spending millions to redevelop these sit...
Open-pit coal mining has turned parts of rural Scotland into desolate, denuded eyesores. The collapse of the industry and the ensuing economic downturn has also made it hard for local governments to justify spending millions to redevelop these sit...
Open-pit coal mining has turned parts of rural Scotland into desolate, denuded eyesores. The collapse of the industry and the ensuing economic downturn has also made it hard for local governments to justify spending millions to redevelop these sit...
No one heads to the airport in search of an out-of-this-world meal. But a recent Reddit post alerted us to a new level of incredibly sad airport eats. Above is the (open) face of a bacon and egg sandwich that costs $5.47 at a restaurant in the Edi...