Scotland

Scotland Travel Guide

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.

Top fashion houses commission Rohde's cashmere handiwork. The designer, who only works with the finest yarns from Scotland in her town-house atelier sells discounted elbow-length gloves and sweaters in candy colors. Call ahead for an appointment.

The hottest contemporary-arts gallery in the city once housed a 1938 produce market; now displayed are the works of Scottish artists like Christine Borland and emerging international talents. The chic industrial café is great for people-watching.

Johnstons (est. 1797) is one of the oldest mills in Scotland. Certainly, its approach to business is up-to-date.

Weeklong program at a still-operating 1828 distillery in Campbelltown, a historic whisky town (it was home to more than 30 distilleries in its 19th-century heyday) on the Mull of Kintyre. Unlike most producers, Springbank malts all of its own barley, and it also does all of its bottling on-site.

In a funky chandeliered lounge known for the Adidas sneaker collection displayed above the bar, sip an Ape Expectations (local Monkey Shoulder Whiskey, maple syrup, and fresh mandarin orange juice).

Catalonian architect Enric Miralles went $767 million over budget on his 2004 architectural masterpiece, which won the U.K.'s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2005.

 Producers of a rare triple-distilled whisky; tours available.