Scotland

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.

Behind a narrow red storefront on Victoria Street, this self-proclaimed “liquid deli” is a cross between a liquor store and an old-fashioned apothecary shop. Inside, the open wooden shelves are lined with row after row of Italian glass demijohns in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Four-day course on one of Scotland's most remote islands (Jura is a two-hour ferry ride from the mainland town of Kennacraig).

Since 1670, when it was established for cultivating medicinal plants, the gardens have been an exemplar of botanical conservation. On the immaculate grounds: dwarf rhododendron, 11 glass conservatories, and a heath garden.

Riverside outfit with a weekend Whisky School

Best for live music, especially during the Celtic Colours Festival.

Every summer, en route to Balmoral from Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II stops at this spectacular, if lesser-known, 16th-century royal residence to host an annual Garden Party.

 Scotland’s largest stills and a whisky-making exhibit, just outside Edinburgh; tours available.

The shop carries pottery, art, and jewelry produced by Scottish artisans.