Scotland Travel Guides

Scotland is a land of stunning scenery, historic cities, and vibrant culture, with a strong identity all its own. With DFDS ferries to Newcastle, it couldn’t be easier to travel Scotland for a fantastic holiday, with Edinburgh just a couple of hours’ drive from the port.

Header image credit: Scottish Viewpoint/ Visit Scotland

Overview, Traditions, and History.

Scotland is part of the UK, but has always retained its own distinct identity as a nation and a country. There are many Scottish symbols and traditions that are recognised across the world, such as tartan, bagpipes, and whisky, but the country also has a strong history of ingenuity, art, and culture.

Climate

Much like the rest of the UK, Scotland receives its fair share of rain throughout the year, though temperatures tend to be cooler than further south. The weather rarely gets extreme, but it is very changeable, and conditions are usually windy in the north and west.

Why Visit Scotland?

Scotland has long held a romantic quality for visitors, with its rugged mountains and remote castles, and the sound of bagpipes drifting across misty lochs. This image may be true to some extent, but you’ll also find a vibrant modern country with bustling cities and an eclectic culture.

Whatever your particular interest, you’ll find something to attract your attention, from the museums and galleries of Glasgow and Edinburgh, to the hiking trails of the Highlands. You can explore Scotland’s complex history through prehistoric sites, Bronze Age remains, medieval castles, and romantic country houses.

Driving in Scotland

From Glen to Glen

Scotland’s unspoilt landscape is one of its most famous assets, particularly the Highlands with their imposing mountains and mysterious lochs. 

Scotland’s glens have long inspired writers and painters, and have played host to many historic events that have shaped the nation. 

Outdoor enthusiasts can explore this near-wild landscape for a breathtaking adventure.

Loch Ness is probably Scotland’s most famous natural feature, not only for its legendary monster, Nessie, but also for its vast size and scenic vistas. 

There’s also Loch Lomond National Park near Stirling, and further north the rugged beauty of the Cairngorms, home to the Queen’s Balmoral Castle.

You could even head further afield and discover some of Scotland’s many islands, such as Skye, Arran, and the remote Shetland Islands, all with their own distinct character and history. 

The isles of Orkney off the northeast tip of Scotland feature spectacular Neolithic remains and other natural wonders, including giant standing stones and ancient burial mounds many thousands of years old.

Castle

Castles and Cities

Scotland’s beautiful landscape is also home to some truly beautiful and vibrant cities. The capital, Edinburgh, was once known as the Athens of the North thanks to its place at the heart of the Enlightenment, and was home to many great thinkers and inventors. This name also comes from the city’s stunning architecture, with classical and gothic monuments like the Scott Monument and the National Gallery, and the famous Edinburgh Castle perched on its rock like the Parthenon in Greece.

There’s also Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, with its elegant squares and Victorian grandeur, world-class museums and galleries, and fantastic music, shopping, and culture. Further north near the Cairngorms National Park is Aberdeen, also known as the Granite City thanks to the sparkling silver granite of its buildings.

Inverness, regarded as the capital of the Highlands, sits at the end of Loch Ness on the Moray Firth, and has been repeatedly voted as one of the happiest places in the UK! There’s a fairy tale castle, a historic Old Town, and beautiful local scenery to take in. It’s also an ideal base from which to explore the Highlands.

Whether you want outdoor adventures, urban culture, or historic sites – or mix of everything – Scotland has you covered.

Image credit: Scottish Viewpoint/ Visit Scotland

More Guides

Want to find out more about some of Scotland’s top cities and attractions? Take a look at our individual travel guide pages for more information:​

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