Making a compelling argument to travel to Scotland is an easy one. From climbing to the highest point in the United Kingdom (the Grampian Mountains) to kayaking across freshwater lochs, Scotland is renowned for its pockets of outstanding beauty. A country that’s captivating in both nature and culture, you may be surprised to learn an adrenaline-fueled adventure is never far away. Beautifully diverse with an array of exciting experiences, a visit to Scotland is a must for Canadian Travellers.
Seek (and find) serenity while observing breathtaking panoramas in the highlands or celebrate Scottish culture at a spirited Hogmanay festival in Edinburgh. Wherever you decide to pitch up, Scotland is a melting pot of delightful cuisine, awe-inspiring views and activities aplenty.
In the Canadian Traveller office, we endeavour to find the best hidden gems and travel insights. These are often imparted upon us by locals. So in today’s post, the explorers at Wilderness Scotland name a few of their favourite Scottish activities. Here are five activities you'd be mad to miss:
1. Hike in the Highlands
Home to Ben Nevis and Loch Lomond, the Scottish Highlands are renowned for rugged mountain peaks and tranquil waterways. Whether you’re an experienced trekker looking to conquer mighty mountains or would prefer an afternoon amble around a remote Scottish glen, the highlands are begging to be explored.
2. Experience an action-packed adventure
From cycling across the Clachan Sands to canoeing along Loch Moidart, an action-packed activity is always just around the corner. You can even pick your season: fancy snowsports in the Cairngorms? Or want to make a splash white water rafting? Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, avid sportsman or just keen to quicken your pulse, Scotland is a haven for anyone looking for a good time!
3. Learn to dance at a Cèilidh
Robert Sharp, Flickr/RobertSharp59
It’s not all wearing kilts and dancing to drums, but it will certainly play a large part of this traditional Gaelic gathering. With Scotland famous for its whiskey, it’s no surprise that the Scots know exactly how to keep spirits high - and this is one celebration that you shouldn’t miss. Whether it’s a wedding, Burn’s Night or Hogmanay, learn to dance the fast-paced reel with the expertise of an authentic Scottish ‘caller’!
4. Explore the depths of Scottish history and heritage
adrianpluskota - Fotolia
There’s nothing quite as moving as tracing your ancestry right back to the ancient origin of your Scottish clan, or paying a visit to where your predecessors once walked. The ancient Celtic, Norse and Norman-French traditions of the Scottish clan system appear to have developed firm roots in the Highlands of Scotland by the 13th century, and the country still passionately celebrates its heritage today. Learn about Scotland’s dramatic stories and lively lore as you explore majestic castles and mysterious ruins. The engineering and architecture of the archaic world is sure to wow.
5. Relax with retail therapy
Raphael Chekroun - Flickr/raphaelchekroun
Scotland’s stunning scenery isn’t exclusive to its natural wilderness and wildlife; the architecture in urban Scotland oozes charm. From quaint picturesque villages to the medieval and neoclassical builds in Edinburgh’s pedestrian-friendly city centre, make sure you stop off at the vibrant vistas on your return from a rural retreat. Glasgow’s artistic influences make this cultural capital a real hotspot for unique and independent boutiques. Find a trove of treasure at one of the city’s pop-up shops or antique fairs - they are truly one in a million!
Scotland is bursting with things to see and do. There are sights, spirits and music scenes you’d be regret missing out on. With stunning views and adrenaline-fueled activities, the only struggle you’ll face is deciding where to begin your adventure!
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