The Cairngorms

If you are looking for a host of activities to do in Scotland this is the place to head to. Situated in the Eastern Highlands of Scotland lies The Cairngorms which are a mountain range that is associated with Cairn Gorm mountain. Cairngorm National Park is twice the size of the Lake District. According to www.visitingscotland.com, “more people come to ski in the Cairngorms than at any other resort in the UK”. There are routes for hillwalkers and rock-climbers, mountain-bike trails, cross-country skiing trails, pony treks, orienteering courses, and even husky racing! It’s worth adding The Cairngorms to your list of places to visit in Scotland.

Edinburgh Royal Mile

One of Edinburgh’s most famous streets is the Royal Mile. It starts from Edinburgh Castle (to the west) and runs to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (to the east). As Edinburgh.org states, the Royal Mile is a ‘Scots mile’ long and, “it is also home to parliaments old and new, law courts, a cathedral and churches, and a vast range of visitor attractions, walking tours, shops, restaurants, cafes, and pubs”. Clearly, there are lots to do there. Don’t miss the Famous Underground Ghost tour, Hop On Hop Off tour of Edinburgh or the Edinburgh Castle Walking tour. The Camera Obscura is also a fascinating place to visit to try to get there too if you can. And if you’re on a tight budget check this article by for affordable backpackers hostels in Edinburgh.

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle sits atop an intrusive crag called Castle Hill. This was a very advantageous position in terms of defense as it is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs. Some of the Castle’s structures date back to the 14th century. Things to do include getting a taste of what royalty ate, visiting the palace vaults, learn about Stirling’s skeletons and exploring Queen Anne’s garden.

Loch Ness

Visitinvernesslochness has suggested itineraries on their website. One that caught our eye includes a 4-day tour around the area including a boat tour on the Loch Ness (a very large loch in the Scottish Highlands) and a fine dining experience at Rocpool Restaurant in Inverness. You can take a walk along the River Ness where you can see Inverness Castle and Cathedral.  At the Castle don’t forget to go up to see the beautiful views Inverness has to offer.

Also, worth exploring is Ness Islands. For a lunch head over to Loch Ness Country House Hotel, a 10-minute drive away. Inverness Botanic Gardens is also worth visiting and for a relaxing ending to the day stop by Kingsmills Hotel and Spa. And if those activities aren’t enough, there’s more! Go dolphin spotting, whiskey tasting, visit another Castle (Cawdor Castle and Gardens) and walk along the beach of Nairns. Don’t forget to pack in your binoculars.

Skye

If you’ve only got a day to spend in Skye we suggest the following that are worth not missing: Quiraing (a walk that is a must-see for any photographer with some of Scotland’s best landscape views), Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls Viewpoint (views of waterfalls, cliffs and seas), Loch Mealt, The Storr (a steep rocky face in juxtaposition to gentle slopes), Dunvegan Castle & Gardens and Neist Point Lighthouse. Skye is sensational by what it offers in terms of views of the Scottish landscape so it’s well worth making the effort to go to Isle for a trip, even if you only have a day.

Prehistoric Orkney

According to HeritageDaily.com, “Orkney is an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland that has been inhabited for at least 8,500 years. Originally occupied by Mesolithic and Neolithic tribes and then by the Picts, Orkney was invaded and forcibly annexed by Norway in 875 and settled by the Norse”. Be sure to visit Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar, Midhowe Broch, Standing Stones of Stenness and Broch of Gurness. And if you’re that passionate about archaeology you can even study it at the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Archaeology Institute in Kirkwall. Being an archipelago, an extensive group of islands, makes Orkney a rather special place to visit so try to get to this part of Scotland if you can too.

 

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