Consider Scotland, if just for a moment, and it’s more than likely you’ll conjure up images of the Loch Ness Monster, tartan kilted Highlanders, blaring bagpipes, magnificent scenery, shaggy Highland cattle, ghostly castles, and of course, the birthplace of golf.
All together, these things are part and parcel of the fabric that makes Scotland so unique. The country lends itself to travel and explore in many different ways.
You can walk around the castles and the fabled battlefields where the ferocious clans fought against the English. You can follow in the footsteps of illustrious kings and queens. Or you can track the literary trails which were trodden by the likes of Sir Walter Scot and Robbie Burns.
A further great attraction of Scotland is its solitude, together with its remote stretches of purple, heather-laden moors, secluded expanses of beaches, and wildly romantic mountains with their lochs and deeply-set glens, all waiting to be explored. Here are the best things to do in Scotland!
1. Castle Rock, Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle
The most famous fortress in Scotland, Edinburgh Castle has played a dominant role in the city’s skyline since the reign of King David I during the 12th Century. For good reason, it is the most popular national monument in the country.
Perched atop the plug of an extinct volcano, the spectacular castle offers terrific views over city landmarks, including Princes Street, the Royal Mile, and Holyroodhouse Palace, which lies at the far end of the Royal Mile.
Also see: Best things to do in Edinburgh.
To gain entrance to the castle, a drawbridge spans over an old moat which has its entryway from the broad Esplanade, the location for the much-famed Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which is held as an annual event in August. As you walk along the Esplanade, you’ll witness bronze statues of two Scottish heroes – Robert the Bruce and William Wallace, both of whom fought and defeated the English during the late 13th and early 14th centuries.