Although it is very underestimated by those who are visiting Europe for the first time, Scotland is an amazing country with a unique blend of contrasts between the new and the old, the rural and the urban. Edinburgh and Glasgow are two modern and vibrant cities, but still retain architectural wonders of past times. While it holds a rural backdrop of small villages and towns with medieval features, Scotland also has large cities that host important events in the country. It is impossible not to love this place! Just to give you an idea, here are five reasons why you must visit the country.
1. Castles – Edinburgh and Stirling
Scotland can offer so much for castle lovers. They are scattered throughout the Scottish territory accompanied by incredible scenarios that have served as the location for many films. The Stirling Castle is not far away from Glasgow and has amazing views! Of all the castles in Scotland, however, the most famous and best loved is, of course, Edinburgh Castle perched on an ancient volcanic rock and overlooking the capital. Inside, it is a living reminder of Scottish history where Scottish kings and Queens reigned and where the Scottish crown jewels reside to this day. It is a must see for visitors to Edinburgh offering both a wealth of history and legend and holds stunning views over the entire domain of Edinburgh.
2. High Lands
Scotland was divided into Lowlands and Highlands from the Middle Ages. In addition to geography, culture, language and religion also separated these two regions. The landscapes are simply breathtaking and a true invitation for an adventure!
3. Loch Ness – the mystery of the monster
Sure! Just mention the Loch Ness and the first thing that comes to our minds is the famous legend of the monster that inhabits its depths! That is why the creature stamps almost all the Scottish souvenirs. If you want to check out the story of Nessie and the Loch for yourselves, you can visit The Original Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Centre with rich investigative material about the legend, including documentaries and reports in audio-visual displays.
4. Chapels and Cathedrals
Scottish cathedrals and chapels carry their own tale of history as most were the scenes of as many battles as worship. They can be found throughout the Scottish landscape and islands, for the most part in a state of ruin. Some of the most noteworthy are Melrose Abbey and Dryburgh Abbey, the resting place of Sir Walter Scott, Scotland’s most famous writer. Perhaps one of the most intriguing abbeys and one of the few fully standing intact is Rosslyn chapel brought to public attention recently with the worldwide success of the book and film the “Da Vinci Code” in which it plays a central role to the plot of the story. Whether or not the allusions to freemasonry, the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail are true or not, there is no denying that the intricate architecture and carvings sculpted inside Rosslyn Chapel are fascinating. All of the details involved in the chapel appear to be steeped in symbolism from many different sources, biblical, pagan, and Masonic.
5. The festivals – Edinburgh festival
Over three weeks each August, Edinburgh is taken by a lot of festivals that celebrate and promote all artistic sectors. During the day the streets are filled with free street entertainment, art exhibitions and events for all the family, while at night Edinburgh comes alive with theatre, opera, shows, acts and parties held across various venues while the pubs are often filled with live music and some comedy acts.