17 October 2019

There is more to Scotland than Edinburgh: 5 things to see outside the capital

Edinburgh is an amazing city and well-worth visiting but don’t be fooled that it is the only place to see in this beautiful country. As a lover of everything Scotland has to offer, I have come up with 5 places to visit outside of the capital.

This is a post from Caroline, a travel blogger whose thoughts can be found at breaks.com.

Loch Ness
Set your sat nav for Inverness and discover the mythical lake that is home to myths, legends and maybe even a monster. There is a trail and museum dedicated to the Loch Ness Monster and they offer something for adults and children alike.

Once you’ve found (or given up looking for) the famous Nessy, it is time to take to the water. There are boat tours and adventure sports on offer to help you escape from everyday life and lose yourself in the dramatic backdrop of this Scottish gem.

Fun fact: there is more water in Loch Ness than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined. Okay, that wasn’t fun but a good pub quiz answer perhaps?

Ben Nevis 
The first suggestion on this list showed you the depths of Scotland and #2 will take you high above sea level. Ben Nevis is part of the Grampian mountain range and attracts over 125,000 hikers a year. Soaring above all other peaks in Scotland, Ben Nevis is an icon in every essence of the word.

The volcanic formation of this great peak is the primary reason for the stunning scenery that surrounds Ben Nevis. If you choose to visit and aim for the top, you have two paths to choose from: the Mountain Track (most popular with tourists) or the Carn Mor Dearg Arête which is for the more experienced climber.

Whichever path you take, you will be on a route of beauty so make time to stop and admire as you go.

Hogwarts Express
Arguably the most famous Scottish writer of the 21st Century, J.K.Rowling’s magical world of Harry Potter has ignited the imagination of millions. Fans of this wizarding world can now board the Hogwarts Express!

Book yourself a seat on the Jacobite Steam Train that runs from Fort William to Mallaig to see this magical route for yourself. Hop off for lunch when you arrive in Mallaig to refuel before your 43 mile trip back on the West Highland Line.

This is one that must be booked in advance as, unsurprisingly, it is extremely popular!

Island Hopping 
You may not associate a trip to Scotland with island hopping but it is a reality for those who choose to go off the beaten track! Put any thoughts of Greek Islands to the back of your mind and you’ll find a unique experience much closer to home.

The key islands to consider are Inner and Outer Hebrides to the west and Orkney and Shetland in the north. No trip to Scotland would be complete without sampling a dram of whisky; complete the full Scottish experience by having yours on the Isle of Islay. Home to 8 working distilleries, Islay spoils its visitors for choice.

Want to go further afield? Isle of St Kilda is for you! This abandoned island is so special it has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to the highest cliffs in Britain, this island is an important breeding ground for sea birds. Most notable are the impressive flocks of guillemots who cover the cliffside with their striking black and white.

Just Drive 
Fill your car up and hit the road! There are some stunning driving routes across Scotland; the hardest part is to choose which to tackle first!

It is no secret that Scotland is littered with Castles and a road trip is a good opportunity to explore some of the lesser-known structures. If this interests you then Aberdeenshire is the county for you. With more castles per acre than anywhere else in the UK, a roadtrip in Aberdeenshire is the way to castle-hop.
Ready to start planning your road trip? You can find a handy guide to the castle trail from Visit Scotland. 

Wherever you choose to go in Scotland, make your next trip a true adventure but exploring each corner of this majestic country!

This is a guest post from the lovely Caroline at breaks.com.

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