Visit Scotland, why? This is why!

Not that anyone needs an excuse to visit Scotland this or any other year! But just in case you felt you did, this particular year Visit Scotland brings together a large part of what is great about Scotland, it’s history, it’s heritage and archaeology #HHA2017

I have ever since my first visit back in 2003 been fascinated with the ancient history and magnificent heritage that can be found throughout Scotland, from the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, right up to the Northern isles (some of which I am still to visit) and of course the magical Outer and Inner Hebridean Isles.

Anyone who wants to visit Scotland are likely to wish to see the grand Edinburgh Castle. This is undoubtedly one of the most amazing sights in Scotland, as it sits proudly on an old instinct volcanic rock and watches over Edinburgh and the Lothian’s. Scotland do however have a lot more to offer and deserves to be explored!

Below I have included a handful of the locations and attractions which I have visited and believe deserves a mention, some famous and others less so. I appreciate there are of course thousands more sights, castles, museums, gardens and hidden gems which I suggest you also check out. For details why not also check out Visitscotland.com/about/themed-years and Digit2017

Historic Scotland and National Trust for Scotland

How many of these sites, castles and locations have you visited?

Edinburgh Castle, the crown jewel of Edinburgh’s history and skyline. With hundreds of years of history and it’s iconic setting, this is a must if visiting Edinburgh.

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Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street Gardens

The National Museum of Scotland. Within it lies a magnificent collection of artifacts from around Scotland. Including this 3,000 year old bone structure displayed in the grand gallery. Within the museum you will find something for the whole family to do, interactive experiences, children’s designated play room. Also, why not explore the diversity of the natural world and the world cultures, all under one roof (but throughout many galleries).

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The Grand Gallery at The National Museum of Scotland

Sir Walter Scott’s, Abbotsford House in Melrose. Its astonishing the collection Sir Walter Scott had of historic artifacts and armoury, you should see for yourself! There is also an extra treat if you’re looking for a weekend with friends, as you can hire the Hope Scott Wing of the house exclusively.

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Abbotsford House as seen from the beautiful walled garden

Melrose Abbey, this ruin sits in the quiet village in the Scottish Borders and well worth a visit when touring lowlands of Scotland.

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The ruins of Melrose Abbey

Scott’s View, Scottish Borders. Sir Walter’s favourite view, I wonder why! A treat to the eye at any time off the year.

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The Scottish Borders as seen from Scott’s View

Callendar House, Falkirk. I hidden gem on route to the Scottish Highlands and you may recognise the inside from a recent popular series filmed in Scotland!

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Callendar House as seen from Callendar Park

Riverside Museum (the transport museum), Glasgow. Where you walk in and constantly go, do you remember those, oh do you remember what they were like! With it’s new location next to the River Clyde, it’s easily reached from the centre of Glasgow and home to some of the most fascinating collection of automobiles, scooters, prams, cars and you will find a themed street, with little shops and workshops, but there is so much to see and do. This really is an ideal visit for the whole family (they also have a nice restaurant onsite!). Make sure you allow enough time to get around.

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The unusual roof architecture of the Riverside Museum

Glen Coe, one of the most famous landscapes around Scotland. Amongst these great Glens, a great deal of Scotland’s highlands wars took place and shaped the future of our country as it is today.

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A house in Glen Coe

I could not mention Scotland’s rich history and beautiful castles and not mentioned what is one of the most photographed castles in Britain (if not the world!), Eilean Donan Castle. It dates back to the 13th century and lies near Kyle of Lochalsh, on route to the Isle of Skye.

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Eilean Donan Castle

Smoo Cave is on the northern tip of Scotland, in a small village Durness. This is on the route NC500 (check it out NC500) if you’re driving around the northern coast. Its a large combined sea and freshwater cave and you are able to get a small boat tour to experience it fully!

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Smoo Cave as seen from the in-cave boat trip

Carrbridge, Avimore. This is one of my favourite bridges anywhere in Scotland and the oldest in the Highlands, dating back to 1717. Its charm and authenticity is unreal. We have passed it a number of times over the years and seen it with different colours surrounding the bridge bringing out its charm further.

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Carrbridge

The Ruthven Barracks, near Avimore in the north of Scotland. Its the smallest, but best preserved of four barracks built in 1719 after the 1715 Jacobite rising.

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Ruthven Barracks, standing proudly in the Scottish Highlands landscape

The McManus Galleries in Dundee. Within the building you’ll find a museum and art gallery with a collection of fine and decorative art as well as a natural history collection. A lot of interesting local stories and photographs of the history of Dundee.

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McManus Galleries in all it beauty

The beautiful Dunfermline Palace and Abbey. Located in Dunfermline, the old Kingdom of Fife. Established as an Abbey in 1128 and the final resting place of King Robert Bruce, this is a historic site, steeped in Scottish history.

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Dunfermline Abbey

Isle of Lewis standing stones. Thousands of years of history and they’re still standing!

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Isle of Lewis, Callanish Stones

Carloway Broch, Isle of Lewis. Imagine living here, far far away from the civilisation on the mainland of Scotland. Build about 2000 years ago and potentially used up until the 1600’s.

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Carloway Broch

Scolpaig Tower on the Isle of North Uist and the tower was build almost 200 years ago. It is a prominent feature on otherwise flat ground and amongst the most photographed sites on the island. If you look closely, it’s said that in good weather,the historic islands of St Kilda can be seen to the west of the island.

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The historic Scolpaig Tower

The isle of Iona, with its hugely importance of the Iona Abbey and all its history which lies within the beautiful surroundings of the peaceful and tranquil setting.

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Ioan Abbey and the beautiful island

The Giants’ Graves on the magical Isle of Arran on the West Coast of Scotland.

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The magnificent Giant’s Grave

I couldn’t talk about Scotland’s history and heritage and not mention our nations wear, the kilt! This was part of the annual Beating Retreat which takes place on Edinburgh’s High Street, also known as the Royal Mile and ends up on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade.

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The ‘Beating Retreat’ played out by Edinburgh Castle

Thanks as always for reading. I hope you have enjoyed yet another of my blogs and this will encourage you to either as a local in Scotland to get out and see more or as a visitor, choosing your next trip, to look again at Scotland and why it’s so special!

To see what I get up to throughout Scotland and beyond, follow me on Twitter and Instagram @kimkjaerside

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