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Maypole Travel

Scotland: an Itinerary in 10 Steps

Scotland: an Itinerary in 10 Steps

Scotland is part of the four nations building up the United Kingdom; it is located in the North of England. Languages spoken are English, Scottish Gaelic and Scots. Famous for its Celtic legends and its wild landscapes, Scotland promises to dazzle you!

If you have three/four days only, plan a short itinerary including Edinburgh and an insight of the Highlands with Loch Lomond. If you have more than a week, have a look at the itinerary below:

 

First step: Edinburgh

Necessary time: 2 days

Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital, the city reveals much curiosity: between its cobbled streets, its neo classical and neo gothic architecture, its legends and undergrounds you cannot be bored! You cannot miss Edinburgh castle as it dominates the town, perched high up on Castle Rock hill. Then, visit the Mary King’s Close, a maze of streets and undergrounds built by the inhabitants in the 17th century, the Mary King’s Close is well-known for its scary legends and myths.

Afterwards, have a stroll in the city centre, the Royal Mile is the main road and the heart of the old town, admire its cobbled streets, listen to the bagpipes’ players in the street and why not have a haggis tasting?

Keep in mind that the National Museum of Scotland is free, its internal architecture is beautiful and its collection very varied. If the sun is up, plan a walk to the summit of Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano located very close to the city and offering a spectacular view over Edinburgh!

Step 2: Glasgow

Necessary time: 1 day

Although Edinburgh is the Scottish capital, Glasgow is the biggest city of Scotland and the third city of the United Kingdom. It hosts many free museums such as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Riverside Museum! To know more about the Bagpiping let’s go to the National Piping Centre! Then, have your lunch break in the Botanical Gardens of Glasgow.

 

Step 3: Loch Lomond

Necessary time: 1 day

This lake (or loch) is located in the south of the Scottish Highlands, it’s the biggest of the United Kingdom’s lochs, its surface area is 27.5 square miles. Stop for a walk and a picnic at the edge of the loch before embarking on a mini cruise of approximately one hour (to book it’s this way). Bring warm clothes and a waterproof jacket 😉

Step 4: Fort William & Glenfinnan viaduct

Necessary time: 1 day

Fort William is the second biggest town of the Highlands after Inverness. Fort William is located at the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest summit in the United Kingdom (4,411 ft high). There is also a train station from which the Jacobite Train departs to reach Mallaig, via the Glenfinnan viaduct (famous scene in the Harry Potter saga). The cult films Braveheart and Highlander were shot not far from Fort William.

Step 5: Ile of Skye

Necessary time: 1 or 2 days

The Isle of Skye is the widest of the Inner Hebrides’ archipelago. It is famous for its wild atypical landscapes. We can find the Storr, a series of sharp rock pinnacles located at the top of a ridge, the Fairy Pools, which is a fall of crystal-clear water and the Kilt Rocks and Mealt Falls, a cliff from which a waterfall cascades into the sea! So, still not convinced?

Step 6: Loch Ness & Inverness

Necessary time: 1 day

The Loch Ness? You have surely heard about this mysterious Scottish lake where would live a marine monster most commonly known as the Loch Ness Monster or Nessie. This legend has made the lake famous, indeed, since the so-called monster was spotted in the 30’s many underwater expeditions and researches have been conducted without any result. The creature is fictional but the lake still rouses the public’s interest and tourists are still coming to unravel the mystery! On the edge of the lake we can find the ruins of Urquhart’s castle where the Visitor Centre and a café stand.

Step 7: Crieff & the Glenturret Distillery

Necessary time: Half a day

Crieff is a market town mainly known for its whisky which is produced in Glenturret distillery. If you are interested in the preparation method of this typical Scottish drink (or Irish, the debate is still open) then come visit Glenturret’s distillery!

 

 

 

Step 8: St Andrews

Necessary time: Half a day

St Andrews is a small seaside town hosting the third oldest university in the UK after Oxford and Cambridge. It is a very famous university, Prince William and the Duchess of de Cambridge used to study there! St Andrews is considered as the cradle of golf, the Golf legislative authority was founded there in 1754. The town now counts 5 golf courses; so, are you tempted by an introduction to this typical sport?

Step 9: Stirling

Necessary time: 1 day

Stirling was once the capital of the Scottish kingdom and a medieval town, it hosts an impressive castle and Wallace Monument, a tower elevating to 67 metres, built to commemorate Sir William Wallace, one of the main leaders during the First War for Scottish Independence.

Step 10: The Kelpies

Necessary time: 1 hour

On your way back to Edinburgh stop at the Kelpies, 30-metre-high sculptures representing horses. According to the legends, kelpies are mythological creatures living in running waters, they often take the form of a horse but they can also take a human form.

 

 

 

Return to Edinburgh

Here you are, it’s the end of this itinerary, have a last stop at the Elephant House Café which is now famous for often hosting J.K. Rowling when she started to think about the Harry Potter story.

Feel free to adapt timings of each step of this itinerary according to your wishes! You can also combine Scotland and a bit of England!  As for nature, don’t forget Wales which has not been invaded by tourists yet 😉


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