Scotland has it all, doesn’t it? Deep fried mars bars (that I’m still too scared to try), Hogmanay, Annie Lennox, J. K. Rowling (who once said of herself “They see me Rowling, they hatin’…“) and of-course those wonderful kilts that I genuinely wish I could pull off! Despite the fact that kilts don’t suit me, there are thankfully other things that are just as great about Scotland (actually, even better) and possibly cause less of a draught to your nether regions – the pretty towns and cities that make up Scotland!
I fell in love with this wonderful country after living there for 6 years. I had the best time there, though those short-lived Scottish summers do get some getting used to!
Thankfully, there’s a multitude of wine cellars, whiskey houses and old-style Scottish bars that’ll see to those summer woes right up and get you raring to go explore some of Scotland’s most impressive towns and cities. Take a look at the top places to include while exploring beautiful Scotland.
1.) St Andrews
I just had to include my old university town! I love St. Andrews! This tiny little town is literal a stone’s throw from the North Sea and houses the world’s most famous golf course. The town is cut off off to most of Scotland (in that it doesn’t even have it’s own train station) but this just adds to the charm. It’s also got lots of students here so you’re guaranteed a good night in town when you visit.
This stunning captial city is a perfect place to spend a long weekend exploring the multitude of historic sights, Royal Mile and furious hopes to bump into J.K. Rowling. Plan a long weekend and take advantage of the many free things to do in the city, before heading out to some of Edinburgh’s best bars!
Take a wander around Falkirk to see one of Scotland’s most impressive works of art, the Kelpies. These stunning horse heads have been commissioned as a meeting point for 16 communities that surround them. Take a wander around and even try one of Scotland’s deep-fried mars bars for a little sugar high!
Spend an afternoon exploring the historic charm of Perth. There’s actually a surprisingly huge amount of sights to see here and ways to keep the traveller in you very happy when you’re in Perth. For starters, take a trip to Scone Palace and Elcho Castle to explore some of Scotland’s royal heritage and historic opulence – you might even find your own Prince or Princess Charming… or at the very least an ogre with a Scottish accent!
Perth is really easy to visit from Edinburgh or Glasgow. Hop on a train and within just over an hour you’ll be there!
Carnoustie is home to Scotland’s second most famous gold courses (after St. Andrews, of course) but there’s so much more to do in Carnoustie than just golf. Carnoustie is definitely a must-visit for a nature buff and if you’re one of those people I long to be, an early-bird, take a stroll at sunrise and enjoy a truly beautiful view.
6.) Fort William
Prince William has never invited me to see his fort but thankfully no one needs an invite to explore this quaint little town. With it’s stunning scenery and picturesque mountains (which have no doubt inspired many a poet and crooner) this is perhaps one of the very best places to get lost in nature!
Anstruther is home to one of the best things in all of the UK….the best fish and chip shop EVER! (Like seriously, they win LOTS of award for their fish and chips!) If you pop in to try the fish and chips, do bring me back some too! This tiny fishing village in perched in the Kingdom of Fife, about an hour north east of Edinburgh. You can also take a boat from here to the Isle of May to see those cute (and seemingly elusive) puffins!
Famous for its castle and salmon, Pitlochry is definitely one place to enjoy the finer things in life. It’s also close enough to Perth and the Cairngorms for you to make this a 3-in-1 trip! When you visit, do head straight for Blair Castle or Atholl Palace and set up home for as long as you can!
Edinburgh’s arch rival, Glasgow has so much to offer and a completely different feel from its neighbour, Edinburgh. Take a wander around the Burrell Collection, Pollok House and even discover the now world-famous Santa Dash that happens every year!
This tiny little fishing village is situated on the Isle of Islay. Take a wander around one of Scotland’s unspoilt villages and enjoy a true throwback in a place that time forgot.