Watch one episode of “Outlander” and you will be speed dialing your travel agent. Trust me.
Scotland is a place we love to return to, for the people and the grand landscape (they have a wonderful tourism board too with a lot of great tips and high social engagement). Much like our trips to Ireland, while the major cities boast the most cultural activities, it’s worth driving around the countryside and exploring smaller towns scattered through out. It’s the best way to get the true romanticism of the Highlands, glacial glens (valleys) and lochs (lakes). No car? No problem. The train is the perfect way to get to the capitals (we generally spend time visiting friends in London first) and there are a lot of options (bus, trains) to get around or join tours to areas further out. There are of course so many places to stop, we are only mentioning the two big cities below, but we highly recommend visiting the tourism website or checking out this Telegraph article round up “Top 10 Cities and Places to Visit in Scotland” or check out Lady In London’s road trip guide to Scotland. And PLEASE do a whiskey tour.
Also, if you are looking for a fantastic new way to celebrate New Year’s eve, look no further than Scotland’s legendary Hogmanay (December 31st – the big night that marks the arrival of the new year. Its origins reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Vikings with wild parties in late December)
The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is Scotland’s compact, hilly capital. It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings, as well as Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny.
STAY: G&V Royal Mile Hotel, The Witchery by the Castle, New Town, Tigerlily, Apex Grassmarket Hotel, Malmaison Edinburgh
EAT: The Timberyard, The Witchery by the Castle, Restaurant Mark Greenaway, Tower Restaurant, 21212, Ondine, to name a few but the food scene is growing rapidly. Check out Eater’s List
SEE: Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, Shop George Street, National Museum of Scotland, Arthur’s Seat, Royal Botanic garden
Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands, West Highland Lochs and Castles Tour, Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian’s Wall, St Andrews and Fife
Glasgow is a port city on the River Clyde in Scotland’s western Lowlands. It’s famed for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture, and today it’s a national cultural hub, home to institutions including the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland.
STAY: Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens, Dakota Deluxe Glasgow, Village Hotel Glasgow, Blythswood Square
EAT: The Ubiquitous Chip, Rogano, Stravaigin. Here is a BBC guide to their faves!
SEE: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Buchanan Street, University of Glasgow
Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond and Whisky Trail, Isle of Skye and Highlands Tour
See the “Parts Unknown Anthony Bourdain” episode on Scotland