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Things to do in Scotland

There are many things to do in Scotland, but if you like festivals, this is the country to visit. The most famous of these is Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. It takes place during the entire month of August and features entertainment such as theater, dance, and music. The last day of the festival is capped by a brilliant display of fireworks at Edinburgh Castle. Another famous festival, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, starts up in October and is an annual celebration of traditional and modern methods of storytelling.

If you go during the winter and want to ski, Scotland also has five mountain ski resorts. You might not think of Scotland as a site of great athletic potential, but skiing is truly one of the best things to do in Scotland. The great thing about the country's mountain ski resorts is how long the season is—there is usually snow from December to as late as April.

If you still find yourself wondering what to do in Scotland, indulge in the country's rich historical legacy by embarking on an architecture tour. One famous relic is Kisimul Castle, the only surviving medieval castle in the Western Isles. The locals refer to it as the Castle in the Sea because of its precarious location atop a rock in the bay. At times, Kisimul Castle appears to be built atop the water itself. You can access this castle by boat any time between April and the end of September. Cap it all off with a visit to one of Scotland's many whiskey distilleries. Such a trip belongs on any list of what to do in Scotland.

  • Art Centre

    Best for live music, especially during the Celtic Colours Festival. More
  • Auchentoshan Distillery

     Producers of a rare triple-distilled whisky; tours available. More
  • Bladnoch Distillery

    Riverside outfit with a weekend Whisky School More
  • Borders Textile Towerhouse

    In a 16th-century edifice of rough and smooth stone, the textile museum opened in the spring of 2008. Move from sobering displays on the second flo... More
  • Bruichladdich Academy

    Three-day course at a seaside distillery on the Isle of Islay that also includes evening trips to the pub, live folk-music performances, and inform... More
  • Byre Books

  • Cadenhead's Whiskey Shop

    Established in 1842, this bottler deals in fine aged single-cask whiskey from distilleries like Banff, Glenlivet Minmore, and Royal Brackla; the na... More
  • Caerlee Mills Ltd.-Factory Shop

    New president and CEO Massimiliano “Max” Zegna Baruffa plans to bring much needed energy to Scottish cashmere’s most luxurious label. Though the co... More
  • Carnoustie Golf Links

  • Claire Schoeder

    Taking several trips a year to both England and Scotland, Claire Schoeder has first-hand knowledge to help clients plan unique luxury trips to thes... More
  • Demijohn

    Behind a narrow red storefront on Victoria Street, this self-proclaimed “liquid deli” is a cross between a liquor store and an old-fashioned apothe... More
  • Dragonfly Cocktail Bar

    In a funky chandeliered lounge known for the Adidas sneaker collection displayed above the bar, sip an Ape Expectations (local Monkey Shoulder Whis... More
  • Dunvegan Castle

  • Eastern Mini

    Rent a Mini Cooper S—a sporty classic that hugs the winding Scottish roads nicely. More
  • F. Peter Herff II

    Years as agent: 35. Other specialties: Italy, the Iberian Peninsula. Consulting fee: From $350. tor@jensenworldtravel.com More
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