15 extraordinary things that you can do in Scotland

Aside from its tourist attractions, Scotland offers a variety of magical experience, from taking a dip under the beautiful waterfalls on the Isle of Skye to having a drink in the most remote pub in Britain, in Knoydart. Scotland also has pink sand beaches on the Angus Coast and exciting horseback riding routes. If you’re going to travel to there soon or you love the region already, don’t miss the things we talk about below.

1. Isle of Skye. Take a dip under its beautiful waterfalls

isla de skye

Enjoy the waterfalls near Glenbrittle, on the Isle of Skye. If you want to walk, keep going about five miles until Coire na Creiche. You’ll reach the magnificent Cuillin mountains. You can begin the route in the forest parking lot signposted on the Sligachan highway to Glenbrittle.

www.walkhighlands.co.uk

2. Loch Lomond. A bird’s eye view of the West Coast

loch ness

Take a hydroplane with Loch Lomond Seaplanes, the only service with commercial hydroplane tours in the United Kingdom. One of its routes is the West Coast Explorer Tour, where the passengers can see the Isle of Bute and Rothesay Castle. Another is the Loch Lomond Discovery Tour. There’s also a tour around the Isle of Skye with spectacular views of Cuillin. The tours cost from 119 pounds per person.

www.lochlomondseaplanes.com

3. Angus Coast. Pink sand beaches

playa angus

The White sand of the West Coast is fairly well known, but Lunan Bay, on the Angus Coast at the east of the country, is not so much. The beach has the pinkish tones of sandstone. Overlooking this stretch of sand, around two miles long, is Red Castle, a ruined fortress from the twelfth century.

www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/angus-coastal-route

4. Orkney. A 5000-year-old town

orkney

You have to visit Skara Brae in Orkney, a small Neolithic town that was discovered when a storm disturbed a sand dune in 1850. Now it’s a UNESCO world heritage site, along with other ancient constructions in Orkney.

www.orkney.com

5. The Isle of Staffa. Visit Fingal’s Cave

Staffa

This marine cave is formed by hexagonal columns of basalt, similar to the ones that make up the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. It’s found on the uninhabited island of Staffa. It’s said that the composer Felix Mendelssohn wrote an overture after his visit to the cave in 1829. He was inspired by the mysterious echoes from the heart of the cave. You should go there with Turus Mara, a family-run company for boat tours that organizes excursions to Fingal’s Cave and the nearby Islas of Treshnish from Mull. A six-hour excursion is £57.50 for adults and £29 for children.

www.turusmara.com

6. Knoydart. Have something to drink at the most remote pub in Great Britain

The Old Forge

Walk the 18 miles to the pub The Old Forge, or take it easy and go by boat. Considered the most remote pub in Scotland, it’s the heart of the community of Knoydart, on the West Coast of Scotland. Drink microbrewed beers, eat lobster, and enjoy the live music (if you want, you can bring your own violin). B&B and apartments with kitchens are available in the surrounding area.

www.theoldforge.co.uk

7. From Fort William to Mallaig. Take the Jacobite Steam Train

Jacobite Steam Train on the Glenfinnan Viaduct

This glorious six-hour journey begins at the foot of Ben Nevis, in Fort William. To get the best views, you need to sit on the left side of the train. On this route, you’ll cross the Glenfinnan viaduct, which appears in the Harry Potter films, and pass silver sands of Mora before reaching the fishing port of Mallaig—-above the sea of Skye. You can take this train until 24 October. A adult return ticket costs £34; for children it’s £19.

www.westcoastrailways.co.uk

8. Cruise along the Crinan Canal in a steamboat

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vic 32 is a traditional steamboat run on carbon, on which aspiring sailors can travel, passing by lush Scottish gardens and beautiful castles along the route. The steamboat whistle rings out in the mountains around the bay.

savethepuffer.co.uk

9. Discover the treasures in the centre of Edinburgh

museum

The National Museum of Scotland, on Chambers Street, shows how Edinburgh is a centre of art and history. In Scotland’s capital, you can find a tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, among many other things. One of this year’s exhibitions was “Ming: The Golden Empire”, which was on until 19 October. In addition, the museum is going to open 10 new galleries next year, thanks to a lottery fund. It’s open every day from 10am to 5pm.

www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland

10. Cross Scotland by horse

caballo

Gallop along the sandy beaches, take a dip with your horse in a mountain lake, and gallop across the moors on a seven-day trip from coast to coast on trails from Brora, in Sutherland, to Loch Inver, on the West Coast, for £1180 per person, all inclusive. This path is for experienced horseback riders, but short rides for people of all ages and levels, including beginners, are available in the centre of Brora.

www.highlandsunbridled.co.uk

11. Glasgow. Visit the House for an Art Lover

Art lover

Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s house is a place that’s full of light, where elegant interiors are designed for appreciation of the fine arts. Here, there are master classes with local artists as well as exhibitions that display their work, and a programme based on art, design, and architecture. Visitors can have something at the café, where they serve – among other things – smoked tenderloin, asparagus risotto cakes, and egg with spinach. The house opens every day from 10am to 4pm, and the café is open from 10am to 5pm.

www.houseforanartlover.co.uk

12. Cape Wrath

Cape

Explore the northwest corner of Britain while travelling in a 10-passenger boat along Kyle of Durness, and later take a ride on a minibus for 12 miles. From there, you can see the Clo Mor Cliffs.

www.visitcapewrath.com

13. Isle of Mull. Stay in a castle

Mull

Glengorm Castle, in Mull, is located in a glorious spot surrounded by ruined stones, cobalt blue sea, and white sand beaches, in front of the dramatic black rocks of the north coast of Mull. Thanks to the warm welcome you’ll get from the owners of the castle, you’ll feel quite at home.

www.isle-of-mull.net

14. Shetland. Go to a fire festival

Fire Festival

The last Tuesday of January is the day of the fire festival in Up Helly Aa in lerwick, Shetland, when thousands of people show up and participate in processions with torches. You’ll learn to sing Viking songs there.

www.uphellyaa.org

15. Wester Ross. Enjoy the Inverewe Gardens

Jardines

Visitors to these enormous gardens with views of Loch Ewe will find subtropical species of plants, some from China, Nepal, and India. You can also find otters there.

nts.org.uk/Property/Inverewe-Garden-and-Estate

Which of these fifteen things are you going to do?

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