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.
Ryanair Has $11 Flights to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day
The Irish airline is getting into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit by offering flights for as little as €9.99. You might need the luck of the Irish to find... Read More
How to Plan a Harry Potter-Themed Trip to Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a city with a story to tell. It has a literary history that spans from Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson to contemporary... Read More
Sweater-clad Ponies Go on a Boating Adventure for a Family Reunion
Next time you're due for a family reunion, take inspiration from Albert and Ernie, two Shetland ponies from the U.K. who took a trip to meet their... Read More
Norwegian Air Gets Go-ahead for Super-cheap Flights
Last Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration approved low-cost airline Norwegian Air to begin flights to and from the U.S.The airline can now open... Read More
Here’s How Filmmakers Recreated a Sparkling 1940s NYC in the UK
If there’s one thing that "Florence Foster Jenkins" (starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant) proves, it’s that you can get pretty far by faking it for a... Read More
Win a Stay at This Castle Straight Out of 'Beauty and the Beast'
If living out a fairy tale is on your bucket list, HomeAway would like you to be their guest.The vacation rental service is partnering with Disney to... Read More
The Top Trending Destinations for Families in 2017
When you're traveling with family, not any destination will do.While a quiet seaside resort could be the perfect getaway for two, it could prove too... Read More
Live Like a Lannister at a New 'Game of Thrones' Pop-up Bar
It's no secret that HBO's hit medieval fantasy based off the books of George R. R. Martin is a boozy, bloody fest.In fact, there's rarely an... Read More
Travel + Leisure Editors Share the Trips That Changed Their Lives
It’s a new year, and the time to start thinking about what’s ahead (and planning for where you’ll go). Maybe you’re ready to discover a new place, maybe... Read More
Glasgow Airport Has a Robot That Sings Christmas Carols to Travelers
You never know what you're going to encounter at the airport, but chances are no one is expecting a Christmas carol-singing robot. That's exactly what... Read More