30 things everyone should do in Scotland
With several large, metropolitan cities that offer the best of culture, history, and food, and small towns that boast unique charm and local activities, you cannot go wrong with a visit to this beautiful country.Here are 30 things to do in Scotland on your next trip, from the Lowlands, to the Highlands, to the outlying islands. Be sure to pack wellies and an umbrella, just in case - but if you really do get stuck in a rain shower, just give it five minutes.
Visit the magical Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye. If you're feeling brave, take a dip into the clear chilly waters.
Rent a car and drive the A82 towards Glencoe. "You won't find more dramatic views from the driver’s seat than this," raves The Telegraph.Advertisement
Attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August to see dozens of plays, musical acts, poetry performances, and more.
Frolic in the golden rapeseed fields in springtime. The bright plants are used to make canola oil, but they also make for incredible photos.Advertisement
Pose for a photo on the Swilcan Bridge on the Old Course in St. Andrews. It's the most famous bridge in golf, and has been a landmark there for at least 700 years.
Search for "Nessie"— the famous monster said to lurk in the waters of Loch Ness in Inverness.Advertisement
Relive "Chariots of Fire" on West Sands, the beach in St. Andrews where the legendary running scene was filmed to that tune.
Hike up Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh's Holyrood Park and get an unbeatable view of the city.Advertisement
Spend a day skiing or snowboarding in the mountains of Glenshee, Glencoe, or Nevis, where you'll be surrounded by traditional Highland scenery. If conditions aren't great, you can always try indoor skiing at Snow Factor in Glasgow.
Tour the iconic Edinburgh Castle, whose large stone silhouette dominates the city from above.Advertisement
Eat at the Anstruther Fish Bar in Fife, home of the "best fish and chips in Britain."
Walk through Edinburgh's Old Town, the cultural and historical center of the city. Take in the charming stone buildings that line the Royal Mile.Advertisement
Hike around the Loch an Eilein in Aviemore. Bring your camera along to capture the mysterious allure of the castle ruins in the middle.
Visit the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh to learn more about the country and its history.Advertisement
Marvel at the old university buildings and cathedral ruins on the North Sea in St. Andrews. The University of St. Andrews is also famous as the place where Prince William and Kate Middleton met as students.
Relax on the lush green grass at Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens.Advertisement
Visit Shetland to pet the world's most adorable ponies, which roam freely over the island.
Take a tour of the Dalwhinnie Whisky distillery, high in the Drumochter hills near Inverness. See the entire process of whisky production from start to finish, and enjoy your taste of 15-year-old Dalwhinnie.Advertisement
Watch an international rugby match at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. The energy of the crowd — and the singing — makes for a fun atmosphere.
Appreciate the tranquility of Loch Lomond, the largest freshwater lake in Scotland. Situated between the Lowlands and Highlands, it's a top leisure destination for tourists and locals alike.Advertisement
Visit the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. Like most other major exhibits and galleries in the city, entry is free.
Observe puffins and other seabird populations in St. Kilda, an isolated archipelago of islands off of Scotland's west coast.Advertisement
Go camping at the Cairngorms National Park, where hikes at varying levels of difficulty offer breathtaking views.
Listen to spoken Gaelic on the Isle of Lewis, which is also home to the stone ring of Callanish — an ancient, man-made circle of huge rock slabs that evokes images of Stonehenge.Advertisement
Catch a horse race at Ayr Racecourse. It's the host of Scotland's most prestigious racing events, and is also famous for its high-fashion atmosphere.
Explore the charming old fishing village of Footdee in Aberdeen. Its quaint houses have changed little over the years, so it feels like a step back in time.Advertisement
Dig into a traditional Scottish breakfast at the The Green Welly Stop in Tyndrum, Stirling. Once the local post office, it now welcomes passerby as a restaurant and shop.
Have afternoon tea at the Elephant House in Edinburgh— it's where J.K. Rowling sat and wrote some of her early Harry Potter novels.Advertisement
Wind your way through the hidden streets of Mary King's Close, Edinburgh's warren of underground lanes and alleyways from the 17th century. Guides in period dress will tell you blood-curdling tales of ghosts and murder victims who are said to still roam the dark paths.
Spot whales and dolphins on a wildlife cruise in the Outer Hebrides. Hebridean Whale Cruises offers a variety of trips on boats that leave from Gairloch.Advertisement
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