A Map of Scotland & What to Do during Your Holiday in Scotland

Located in Northern Europe, Scotland is a small country with a strong identity and a fascinating history. Although part of Great Britain since 1707, Scotland has managed to maintain its own culture and institutions.

With its beautiful scenery and unspoiled landscapes, Scotland has become a popular destination among American tourists. This amazing country, which includes over 790 islands, houses thousands of historic sites and interesting destinations. Consult a map of Scotland to get an idea of the location of the most important points of interest.

Scottish castle (image by {a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore/” target=”_blank”}Moyan Brenn{/a})

Ever wanted to visit Scotland? Here are some tips that can be useful if you are planning to travel to Scotland:

The weather in Scotland is pretty unpredictable. Most tourists visit Scotland between April and September. However, although warm, the weather during summertime can be wet too. If you want good weather, try to go in May, June or September, which tend to be the driest periods of the year.

Also, make sure to book your reservations well ahead of time because most cities become crowded during summertime and festival periods.


Main Sights in Scotland:

  • Edinburgh: Being the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is the most popular destination in Scotland. The Old and New Towns are included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Make sure to visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile (the main thoroughfare of Edinburgh). From Mid-August until early September, Edinburgh also welcomes the “Edinburgh International Festival”, an Art festival that has become very popular in Europe.
  • Glasgow: With over 600,000 inhabitants, Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city. Take a look at the amazing architecture by visiting the imposing Gothic-style Glasgow Cathedral. Glasgow will also seduce Art lovers who will appreciate the 13 museums and art galleries located in the city.
  • Loch Ness: Located in the Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness is the most popular loch in Scotland, due to the legendary Loch Ness Monster (nicknamed “Nessie”) that is said to live in its waters.
  • Islay: Islay is a Scottish island renowned for its distilleries. Indeed, Islay Malt Whisky (“Scotch”) is the foremost attraction on the island. Islay is also a great destination for bird lovers, for it hosts many bird species such as barnacle geese, sea eagles, oystercatchers, cormorants, etc.
  • The Orkney Islands: The Orkney Islands are an archipelago of around 70 islands. If you like sightseeing and archeology, visiting the Orkneys will be a wonderful experience since they house a lot of prehistoric monuments. Make sure to see the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar (stone circle), Skara Brae (stone settlement) and Maeshowe (passage grave) which are all included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
  • The Isle of Iona: Iona is an island that attracts 500,000 visitors each
    year. It is renowned for its white-sand beaches, its Abbey (Iona Abbey) and its remaining stone Celtic crosses.
  • Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is a national park located around Loch Lomond. The major attractions include hiking, wildlife and landscapes.


Top activities and events:

  • Visiting Scotland’s castles: Scotland is a country that boasts hundreds of castles. The most famous are the Culzean Castle, the Eilean Donan Castle, the Glamis Castle and the Balmoral Castle.
  • Attending Highland games: Highland games are sporting events that promote Scottish culture and heritage. The most popular Highland game is Braemar’s Royal Highland Gathering (held at the end of August or the beginning of September) which includes games such as the caber toss or weight throw. During Highland games, participants dress with a kilt and tourists can enjoy listening to the symbolic music of the bagpipe.
  • Ben Nevis Hiking: With an altitude of 1,344-metre (4,409-feet), Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the United Kingdom and draws 100,000 hikers each year.
  • Playing Golf in Scotland: Scotland houses some of the most beautiful golf courses in Europe. As a matter of fact, Scotland is renowned to be the cradle of golf and St. Andrews, known world-wide as the Home of Golf, has become a veritable pilgrimage destination for golfers from all over the world.
  • Horse riding in the Highlands: Horse riding can be a good way to enjoy Scotland’s scenery and discover the most beautiful sights of the country.

Thanks to its breath-taking landscapes and its strong culture, Scotland has become a popular destination. Drawing around 1.8 million tourists each year, this amazing country hosts many historic monuments and sights.

The fascinating history of Scotland, as well as its cultural identity, will surely make your trip unforgettable.
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