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What’s not to love about Scotland? Home to a rich history, spectacular scenery, and some of the kindest people around; Scotland should be at the top of everyone’s “Must Visit” list. Here are eight particularly great reasons to plan a trip to Scotland now:
With a beautifully preserved Old Town that is jam-packed with worthwhile Medieval and Renaissance era sites, historical Stirling is a stunner. Stirling Castle, the city’s most famous site, sits high above the city enclosed by formidable walls. It’s easy to cover Stirling in just one day—begin at the Castle and then wind your way down through Old Town’s characterful streets.
It’s no secret that Scotland is home to mind-boggling scenery, but what surprised me most is the sheer diversity in landscapes. In the Central Highlands, I stumbled upon forest scenery that seemed to be plucked from a fairy-tale. Deep red soil, tall and furry trees, and gushing rivers—the perfect fodder for an afternoon hike.
If you’ve come to Scotland for the castles, then you’ve come to the right place—Craigievar Castle is nothing short of spectacular. Completed in 1626, the pretty in pink Castle is one of Scotland’s most famous sites. Don’t forget to wander the manicured grounds too.
Scotland is home to some of the kindest people that I’ve ever met. They’re friendly, hospitable and keen to teach visitors more about their enchanting country. While staying at a small bed and breakfast located on a working sheep farm, my husband and I fell in love with the tiniest members of the owners’ family. Realizing that we were gaga over the lambs, the owners asked if we’d like to bottle feed them. Our response, “Of course!”
With billowing thick coats, pointy horns and inquisitive eyes, Highland cattle are a sight to see. Keep an eye out on rural roads, particularly in the North of the country. Rumor has it that the cattle can become aggressive though, so certainly keep your distance!
Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is what legends are made of—a vast, astonishing land laden with history, vibrant colors and a whole lot of peace and quiet. Come here to escape it all!
Get past the whole driving on the wrong side of the road thing, and Scotland is quite an easy place to traverse by car. Though, do be prepared for tiny rental cars!
Last but certainly not least, Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh should not be missed. Of course, there’s loads of history and important sites, but age-old streets are also home to tasty restaurants and bars, colorful festivals, and a whole bunch of local spirit.
Written by and photos by Katherine Sazdanoff for EuropeUpClose.com