Complete guide to Scotland – Lonely Planet

Scotland has many treasures crammed into its compact territory – large skies, historical structure, spectacular wildlife, very good seafood and hospitable, down-to-earth folks.

Outdoor Adventure

Scotland harbours a few of the largest wilderness areas left in Western Europe. In this wildlife haven you may see golden eagles soar above the lochs and mountains of the northern Highlands, spot otters tumbling within the kelp alongside the shores of the Outer Hebrides, and watch minke whales breach off the coast of Mull. Scotland’s additionally an journey playground: you may tramp the tundra plateaus of the Cairngorms, stability alongside tightrope ridges strung between the peaks of the Cuillin, sea kayak among the many seal-haunted isles of the Outer Hebrides, and take a speedboat trip into the white water of the Corryvreckan whirlpool.

Deep History

Scotland is a land with a wealthy, multilayered historical past, a spot the place each nook of the panorama is steeped previously – a abandoned croft on an island shore, a moor that was as soon as a battlefield, a cave that sheltered Bonnie Prince Charlie. Hundreds of castles, from the plain however forbidding tower homes of Hermitage and Smailholm to the flowery machicolated fortresses of Caerlaverock and Craigmillar, testify to the nation’s typically turbulent previous. And battles that performed a pivotal half within the constructing of a nation are remembered and introduced to life at websites reminiscent of Bannockburn and Culloden.

A Taste of Scotland

Visitors have found that Scotland’s eating places have shaken off their previous repute for deep-fried meals and unsmiling service and might now compete with the perfect in Europe. A brand new-discovered respect for prime-high quality native produce means that you would be able to feast on contemporary seafood mere hours after it was caught, beef and venison that was raised only a few miles away out of your desk, and greens that had been grown in your lodge’s personal natural backyard. Top all of it off with a dram of single-malt whisky – wealthy, complicated and evocative, it is the true flavour of Scotland.

The Culture

Be it the poetry of Robert Burns, the crime fiction of Ian Rankin or the songs of Emeli Sandé, Scotland’s cultural exports are appreciated around the globe each bit as a lot as whisky, tweed and tartan. But you may’t beat studying Burns’ poems within the village the place he was born, having fun with an Inspector Rebus novel in Rankin’s personal Edinburgh, or catching the most recent Scottish bands at a music competition. And museums reminiscent of Glasgow’s Kelvingrove, Dundee’s Discovery Point and Aberdeen’s Maritime Museum rejoice the affect of Scottish artists, engineers, explorers, writers and inventors in shaping the trendy world.

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