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Scotland gets a bad rep. Yes the sun seems to barely rise in the winter (but try pleading your case to someone from Tromso…) Now, it goes without saying that when it comes to the weather there’s certainly room for improvement, but I think it’s hugely underrated – there’s so many great reasons to visit Scotland!
A lot of my love for Scotland comes from the peace, beauty and solidarity offered by the highlands.
If it wasn’t for the pandemic I probably would’ve never headed to the highlands. I loved Edinburgh, but I didn’t know the hidden beauty that existed once you head beyond the Forth Bridge.
So I guess that’s one thing I can, dare I say it, thank COVID for.
Anyway, I know there are still plenty of people out there who aren’t quite convinced Scotland is the place for them.
So if you’re wondering ‘why should I visit Scotland?!’ Here’s my list of reasons to go to Scotland this year, to hopefully convince you to venture to this unique and special corner of the world!
- 1. The Most Beautiful Landscapes in the UK
- 2. World Famous Events
- 3. Amazing Architecture
- 4. There’s something quite magical about it all
- 5. Even the cities are beautiful
- 6. It’s Got a Bit of Everything
- 7. It’s Accessible
- 8. Alcohol
- 9. Wildlife
- 10. There’s nobody there!
- Reasons to Visit Scotland FAQs
- What are your best reasons to visit Scotland?
1. The Most Beautiful Landscapes in the UK
We can’t kick off a list of reasons to visit Scotland without mentioning the sheer beauty this country has to offer.
The UK is home to some real beauty spots and hidden gems, but none of them come close to the beauty of Scotland.
The dramatic, jagged mountain faces, rolling hills and pristine beaches are a real feast for the eyes.
These incredible landscapes mean you’re treated to some of the best scenic drives ever in Scotland, and it’s definitely one of the best UK road trip destinations.
And what I love the most about Scotland, is that a lot of the time the landscapes still look half decent in the rain.
There’s no getting away from the fact that Scotland is no Costa Del Sol. But whilst beaches and coastline don’t tend to look great in the rain, I find there’s something beautifully eerie about the way the mist settles on the mountains in Glencoe. Or, how the rain falls on the windows of coffee shops in Edinburgh’s old town.
2. World Famous Events
Every August the streets of Edinburgh come to life for the Fringe Festival. Whilst paying a visit here is still firmly holding its spot on my bucket list, I’ve heard about times from trustworthy sources that it’s absolutely brilliant.
I will definitely head there one day. I’m sure the atmosphere is fantastic, and I couldn’t think of a better city to enjoy such a buzz in than Edinburgh.
There’s also the iconic Highland Games that take place over various locations in the highlands throughout the summer.
The event season begins in May with the Gourock Highlands Games and runs all the way through to September.
Events at the Highland Games include the hammer throw, weight for height, hill racing, and the games’ most iconic event, the Caber Toss.
3. Amazing Architecture
You won’t be able to take a trip to Scotland without stumbling across a castle or two! In fact, some of the best places to see in Scotland are castles.
Some of my favourite Scotland castles include Eilean Donan, Craigievar, Braemar and Edinburgh. Other popular and famous Scottish castles are Kenmure Castle, Stirling Castle, Balmoral Castle, and Dunrobin Castle.
Scotland is also home to some iconic bridges including the Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing.
4. There’s something quite magical about it all
Never have I been somewhere before that’s felt so otherworldly. I distinctly remember one time driving through the north west highlands, upwards of Ullapool and gasping out loud because one of the mountains that appeared in the distance actually looked like moon rock.
Whilst there’s no denying the magic of places like the Isle of Skye and its fairy pools, the magic begins further south in Glencoe.
The drive along the stretch of the A82 that meanders along Rannoch Moor and through Glencoe is perhaps one of the best drives in the UK, and one of my all time favourite roads.
Just off the main Glencoe pass is a turn off for Glen Etive. Glen Etive was actually used as the backdrop for the James Bond film Skyfall. It’s a very isolated and desolate area, but one which I love.
The single track road winds 10 miles alongside the River Etive, until it ends at a car park where you can access the sea loch Loch Etive. This is a great spot for a swim and a wild camp – of course remember to leave no trace.
Heading up slightly further north, we reach Glenfinnan Viaduct, perhaps better known as the Harry Potter Bridge.
Another spot which almost seems unreal has to be the Prince Albert Cairn, found on the Balmoral Estate. Seeing a giant concrete pyramid emerge through the trees in the middle of the Scottish Highlands is quite an impressive sight.
5. Even the cities are beautiful
I’ve always said I prefer the mountains to cities, but the great thing about Scottish cities is that you don’t feel too out of touch with nature, even in the cities.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland but it couldn’t be more different to London. What I love the most about Edinburgh is its perfect divide between city and outdoors.
Whilst London has its huge parks, you’re not even within touching distance of hills and mountains for miles and miles and miles.
Edinburgh is actually famous for its seven hills – Calton Hill, Castle Hill, Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill, Braid Hill, Blackford Hill and the most famous, Arthur’s Seat.
And it’s not like you feel like you’re drowning in a concrete jungle. The buildings and streets in Edinburgh, especially the old town, are beautiful and there’s lots of pretty corners wherever you turn.
Glasgow often seems to be viewed as second rate to the mighty Edinburgh, so when I visited the bar was very much on the floor as far as expectations go. But sometimes having no expectations is the best, because I was SO pleasantly surprised.
There are some fantastic things to do in Glasgow, and it’s actually equally pretty as Edinburgh in some respects.
The other 6 cities in Scotland to visit are Aberdeen, Stirling, Dunfermline, Dundee, Inverness and Perth.
6. It’s Got a Bit of Everything
Next on my list of reasons to visit Scotland is the sheer variety and versatility of the country.
Now if it’s warm weather and sunshine you’re after, you might want to look elsewhere, but there isn’t much, aside from that that Scotland doesn’t have.
From cities, to quaint villages, to snow capped mountains, to white sand beaches, the variety and the diversity of Scotland’s landscapes is incredible!
7. It’s Accessible
Well, within reason…
Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness all have major airports that you can fly to in less than 90 minutes from London.
From there it’s easy to hire a car to explore. Whilst I will always say it’s best to hire a car to explore Scotland, there’s very good public transport links throughout the cities, and even up to the highlands.
Of course, the more remote you go, the harder it becomes, but there are Stagecoach buses, and tour operators which take travellers to the darkest corners of Scotland, you just have to do your research and be organised with your planning.
Of course the UK is very famous, or infamous(?), for its booze culture. And if there’s one thing we can be sure about when it comes to Scots, it’s that they know how to drink!
Whilst it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, or shot of liquor in this case, there’s no denying Scotland is renowned for its alcohol, and good alcohol at that.
Why not a visit to one of Scotland’s many whisky distilleries – there are over 130! – or enjoying a tasting of some Edinburgh gin.
You’ve seen endless videos and photos of people snorkelling and diving in SE Asia with the turtles and the manta rays – no judgement, I was one of those snorkelers on more than one occasion in 2019!
But who knew Scotland was home to so many fascinating animals and wildlife?
On my tour to the Isle of Staffa, I saw seals, puffins and dolphins. If you’re lucky you might spot an otter, or a stag on the roadside. Scotland is one of only 2 places in the UK where you can spot the endangered red squirrel, but my favourite of all Scottish wildlife has to be the iconic highlands cows!
10. There’s nobody there!
You may or may not have heard the trending audio on insta reels of Billy Connolly going ‘Scotland is beautiful, and THERE’S NOBODY THERE’.
Of course having to travel more in our own countries throughout Covid, then the undeniable influence of social media, and lots more people doing #vanlife there are now a lot more people visiting than probably ever before.
It might not be quite the hidden gem it once was, but it’s still a country mile away from an all inclusive in the Canaries, or Piccadilly Circus at 5pm on Friday.
If you like to really ‘get away from it all’, then Scotland’s highlands are definitely the place for you.
Wherever I drive around I always think about how most of the things I hate about the world don’t really exist there. Now yes, a lot of that could be to do with the fact I’m on annual leave, but I’m willing to keep romanticising it until I’m proved otherwise.
Reasons to Visit Scotland FAQs
Is Scotland worth visiting?
If you’ve got through all of this post and still don’t know the answer to this question then I’ve gone wrong somewhere.
YES, Scotland is well worth visiting. Whilst you might need to spend some time planning the logistics of the trip, and putting together your perfect Scotland itinerary it will be well worth it.
Scotland has so much variety on offer, and is a totally unique place to explore. When putting together your Scottish itinerary, make sure you include a variety of activities like cities, hiking, food and drink and cultural activities / events.
When is the cheapest time to visit Scotland?
Scotland is cheaper to visit than some other popular locations in the UK like London and Cornwall, however Edinburgh is more expensive to visit than other more northern parts of the country.
Try and avoid travelling in peak times like the school holidays, to get cheaper accommodation and activity rates.
The school holidays in Scotland tend to be different to those in England and the rest of the UK so do your research before you travel.
What are your best reasons to visit Scotland?
Are you a Scotland fanatic too? Let me know what you love most about the place by dropping a comment below.
Or better still, if this post has inspired you to take a trip up to Scotland then I would LOVE to hear about it. Drop a comment below, or say hello over on instagram.
If you are planning a trip to Scotland, but not sure where to visit in Scotland, check out some of my other Scotland content:
Waterfalls to Visit in Scotland