Scotland is the land of Tradition, Beauty & Adventure, from ancient myths like the Loch Ness Monster, legends of heroes William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the spider, John Knox, religious reformer, Poems and songs of Rabbie Burns and Bonnie Prince Charles. Scotland is also full of traditions which have survived hundreds of years despite occupation from the earliest time such as the Vikings who has left they mark on Scotland with their own traditions such as Up Helly Aa which is a tradition that originated in the 1880s. Since then the festival has been an annual occurrence in the Shetland calendar, which celebrates the link between the Shetlanders and the Vikings.
What everyone associates Scotland with is the kilt used to display which clan or family you belonged to and many Scots still wear the kilt and the tartan or plaid associated with their family name. The bagpipes which you either love them or loath them and they are as Scottish as you can get but they are also found around the world as far away as India and as near as Ireland, but it's Scotland that the pipes are traditionally found.
While enjoying you visit you have to try Haggis which is celebrated in Robert Burns poem 'Address to the Haggis' or why not try the traditional smoked haddock and only smoked in Arbroath, the 'Arbroath Smokie'.
Scots have a tradition of dancing, normally to the Fiddle the fast and sometimes complicated, dances will keep you going all night. The gathering of musicians for an evening in a local pub are quite common around the Highlands & Islands, you will hear it before you see it and if you play the fiddle or some other traditional stringed instrument you will be welcomed to join in.
Visitors can also learn about how many Scots lived and worked throughout the centuries at the Highland Folk Museum which shows how Highland folk lived and worked from the 1700's.
Scotland has so many traditions some deep seated within pre-Christian beliefs such as 'The First Foot' the first person to visit you after the chimes at Midnight to take you into the New Year or Hogmany, they bring a gift of food or drink, the traditional gift was a piece of coal to bring you luck within the coming year. Placing of a coin into a new babies pram or cot for luck and you never give a purse or wallet without a coin in it and the ‘Clootie Dumplin’ made with fruit and spices and steamed in a flour soaked cloth or Cloot, again this had money inside for luck and traditionally eaten at Christmas or New Year.
Within the east of Scotland mainly Angus and Perthshire for hundreds of year the tradition of soft fruit pickers, coming from all over Scotland to pick Raspberries and Strawberries, this has lead to songs and poems, many traveled hundreds of miles by horse and cart, or on foot to pick the berries. Also the women and young girls from the Scottish Islands following the Herring fleets and stopping at fishing ports all down the east coast of Scotland and England to pack the Herring into salted barrels many of the husbands and fathers were the fishermen. The time of the soft fruit and the herring women have now passed into history as the modern world has taken over. But you can still learn about all these traditions and more when you visit Scotland.
Go north through the oil capital of Aberdeen with its beautiful beach, promenade and
large amusement park with rides or young and old, shopping and great restaurants, still heading north along the stunning coast road. A visit to Fort George, a large 18th-century fortress near Ardersier also a visit to Culloden Battlefield 16th April 1746 wher the graves of the brave Highlanders who fought for Scotland and Bonnie Prince Charles. then to Cawdor Castle to the north-east of Inverness, to see if you can spot the Loch Ness Monster.
Heading through the delightful town of Kirriemuir the birthplace of J.M. Barrie the author of Peter Pan, his house is open for visitors, Kirriemuir is your gateway to the Glens Clova and Doll to name just two with staggering beauty, or through the amazing Glen Isla, into the skiing area of Glen Shea then a drive along the now modern 'old military' road with breathtaking scenery to Royal Deeside and Braemar,with it community owned 17th century Braemar castle open to the public and the Queens homes of Balmoral and Crathes, take a short ride on a steam railway and local craft shops fills a day or two.
On the stunning west coast with a visit to Rabbie Burns birthplace Alloway, Ayrshire, seaside town of Oban where you can catch a ferry to the Isla of Mull with its multi-coloured harbour front homes in Tobermory. Another Island very worth visiting is the stunning Isle of Skye, with its beautiful prehistoric landscape on one side, its ancient peat bogs which are still cut today to provide heat for the fires, the interesting and beautiful Portree with its little shops and interesting places to visit, then to Uig a ancient Viking port where you can get the ferry to the Outer Hebrides, with even more to explore, a short hop across to the island of Raasay with its standing stones and its prehistoric landmarks, the very lucky few that live on this island will make your visit special.
Heading South to the borders and the lowlands, the nation's capital with its spectacular castle, monuments, galleries, museums, restaurants and public green space. Heading westward to Rosslyn Chapel,
formally known as the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew, is a 15th-century chapel and was the main building in Dan Browns book ‘The Da Vinci Code (2003)’ Then into Glasgow for a meal and late night shopping, accommodation
Don’t forget Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National.
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is a national park in Scotland centered on Loch Lomond and includes several ranges of hills and the Trossachs just outside Glasgow
There is so much beauty to see in Scotland that you can spend a lifetime looking and still won't see it all.
Scotland is one massive playground in any of the four seasons that is enjoyed by people who live here. You can find adventure within 30 minutes of anywhere you live in Scotland, If you just want a gentle walk on flat ground within the hills then it is there for you. How about
Rock & Mountain climbing even if you have never tried it you will find registered clubs who will teach you, if you are already trained and experienced you are in rock climbing heaven, want to go further and climb a mountain, well Mountains over 3,000
feet (914 metres) in height in Scotland are called the Munros there are 282
of them just waiting for you to give them ago, but make sure you are equipped to cope with the mountains as some are not for the faint-hearted. Ben Nevis is the highest in Scotland at 4435 feet , which is
attempted by hundreds of people a year and complete it.
There are so many laid out paths through forests, up hills, along rivers and around lochs, some are very well laid out, for example, Loch Lee – Angus.
Mountain Biking: Boasting some of the best mountain biking trails in the world, with trails from easy to expert and some even the experts shake. There are clubs and instructors available to train you beginners or give you further training if required even winter riding.
Skiing and Snowboarding: Winter sports in Scotland is perfect for those who wish to enjoy the sport but stay in the UK with ski centres all around Scotland and dry ski slopes for those who wish to get in some practice before the winter.
Sailing: All around the coast of Scotland including the Isle there is support for those sailing to Scotland, the rise of marinas have made sure there are plenty of safe havens. If you are bringing a boat powered or sail you will find a Loch which will suit you, you may have to make arrangements if you want to take to the sea, then you will find a slip at most ports or is there is no slip for example Dundee there will be a crane.
If you are looking for a residential week then Skye Experience the outdoors on a beautiful island which lies between the Isle of Skye and inland Scotland. You can Sea Kayak, Coasteer, Sail, Gorge-walk, Canadian Canoe, Climb, Abseil and more in this stunning island location. Experience outdoor adventure on a beautiful island nestled between the isle of Skye and the Scottish mainland.
What about the adventure with music, Scotland is famed for its music festivals and throughout the summer there are festivals held all over many with top bands and performers. Skye Folk Music Festival, T in the Park, Montrose Music Festival, Rock Ness, Solas Festival, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Grove Loch Ness, Shetland Folk Festival, Kelburn Garden Party, The Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, The Wickerman.
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Thank you for visiting and I do hope if you have never been to Scotland before, I do hope that you visit Scotland year after year and you love every second.