Scotland is full of great places to visit, from Edinburgh Castle to the ski resorts of the Highlands. Whether travelers are looking for peace and quiet or a hustling and bustling city, the country has something for everyone.
Backpackers in Scotland seeking a taste of the great outdoors will find the country is home to some of the best walking and hiking trails in the UK. The Dalbeattie to Colvend Trail is particularly popular for a hiking break. The three-hour walk runs through the Dalbeattie Forest, which is home to a large population of Red Squirrels.
During the winter months, skiing is also a big draw and many Scotland hostels are bustling with travelers looking forward to hitting the slopes. Major ski centers in the country can be found at Glenshee, Glencoe, the Lecht, Nevis Range and Cairngorm.
Scotland is similarly well-known for its salmon fishing and travelers can learn how to hook one of their own with fishing lessons offered at many places such as Aviemore, Boat O Garten and Grantown.
Surfing is another great activity in Scotland, as it boasts some of the best surf spots in Europe. Good breaks can be found along the coats between Edinburgh and Eyemouth.
Culture and Heritage
Scotland has a wealth of cultural heritage sights, including the famous Rossyln Chapel which is located in Roslin, Midlothian. Founded in 1446, the chapel has had many famous visitors over the centuries from Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Victoria to William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scot. It was also featured in the Dan Brown novel, The Da Vinci Code.
Another significant Scottish landmark is Edinburgh Castle, built on the site of a dormant volcano. The castle was constructed in the 12th century by David I and was the birthplace of James VI of Scotland (and I of England). It’s easily accessible from the many Edinburgh hostels located in the Old Town, with some accommodation even boasting views of the impressive castle.
Stirling Castle, meanwhile, played a crucial role in Scotland’s history. Looming over the battlefield where William Wallace (famously played by Mel Gibson in Braveheart) defeated the English in 1297, the castle’s Great Hall is the largest banquet hall ever built in Scotland.
The Neolithic village in Skara Brae, 31km north-west of Kirkwall, is also well worth a visit. It is one of the best preserved villages of this era in Western Europe and was only discovered after a storm uncovered it in 1850.