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What is there to see and do in Scotland?


ca_gere
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I'm planning on taking the burd on a little visit back to scotland in the summer. Aside from meeting friends and family, I want to show her a good time and do some cool things. I've never really thought much about Scotland from a tourist's perspective so i'd be interested in hearing what people might suggest.

So far, i'm thinking of going in August and do a day or two at the Edinburgh Festival but that's about it.

Scotland's not a huge place (although there is so much room for activities) so location doesnt matter. The only thing I could think of to do in Aberdeen (the city, outside there's loads of walks, etc) was checking out fittie and maybe the maritime museum.

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

U could cover aberdeen's 'cool' things culturally speaking in a day tops. the rest of ur time around here should be spent on the surrounding areas, castles, hills, nature. plenty of that around here.

aside from that there is something decent on just about every weekend and many weekdays in glasgow. the festival in edinburgh is more fun than it sounds too, went there for the first time this year and fucking loved it. best weekend of 2012 actually

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The Festival is as good as you want it to be. If you're into seeing shows with an open mind and getting a couple hours more drinking time at night then it's great, if you moan about yas, large crowds an inflated prices you'll probably not like it. Personally, I think it's one of the best things about Scotland full stop.

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As a resident of Edinburgh and working full-time right in the centre of festival activities, it is a bloody nightmare. But it's a good reason to visit Edinburgh and there's a sure fire bet that if you go just for a couple of days, you'll see something right good.

I'm heading out just shortly, but I will happily contribute substantially to this thread once I have some time to link you to some good stuff. Can you offer an indication as to how long you're going to be in Scotland and what sort of transport you'll have? My suggestions will possibly depend on both.

If you don't know Edinburgh especially well and would like some non-festival activities or sights to pursue, I can give numerous suggestions.

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ledge.

We'll probably only have a week (say a sat-sat) and will most likely have access to a car although I haven't driven in about 7 years and am a big scaredy cat so not sure whether I will use it.

I used to live in Edinburgh so know it pretty well geographically and am well versed in all things festival. To be honest, I find just walking around Edinburgh to be the most satisfying activity what with the insanely bonnie architecture and whatnot.

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skye's a must if you don't have long but want to see some amazing scenery in a lovely place. you can drive there and it's just ace.

glasgow for party times, edinburgh at the festival for some shows. definitely check out a lot of the free festival stuff, some of it's utter shit but it's usually pretty good fun.

aberdeenshire's pretty good for walks, castles (americans love castles right?), and coastline. good excuse to check out some wee fishing villages and get a pint or 4 in a pub somewhere, if you head up the moray firth you could see some dolphins too. then head over to the highland wildlife park. you could also go up the funicular railway at cairngorm. also whisky distillery.

full on scotland.

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skye's a must if you don't have long but want to see some amazing scenery in a lovely place. you can drive there and it's just ace.

I was going to recommend Skye as well. Go to Portree and take a boat trip from the harbour to see Sea Eagles. Most excellent.

For scenery Killin is an excellent wee village with a few great pubs/restauarants at the end of Loch Tay. Big mountains and a massive loch. Or just go to Inverness.

Around here Americans seem to love Dunnottar Castle in Stoney. If you're driving then a hurl over the Cairn O'Mount or the Lecht could be a good option for views.

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Firstly, I’d like to highly recommend the two ancient frontiers of Scotland, Hadrian’s Wall (I have still yet to trek along the wall, but it is in my top five holidays of all time to hire out a bike and cycle along the wall for a few days), and its lesser known little sister, the Antonine Wall. Two important remnants of Roman occupation of Scotland.

A trip to the west coast and over the sea to Skye has already been mentioned. I’ve never done the west coast, although I really want to. So fuck it, I am recommending it also. If you do the west coast, try and make it up to the north west to visit Sandwood Bay, which will give you the walking fix and the sea breeze fix, in addition to any paranormal fixes you may wish to satisfy. If you’re going west, you have to stop at Glencoe.

Logistically, on your way to or from the west coast, you could fit in a visit to Loch Ness and Inverness. Nice old ancient town with more palpable history than you can shake a stick at. I would recommend a drive down the loch to Drumnadrochit, and then a visit in to Urquhart Castle, which is an impressive stronghold situated on a point, overlooking Loch Ness. In the Inverness area, you could also stop by Culloden Moor if you’re into battlefields. Also, relatively nearby to Inverness is Elgin (it has an outstanding cathedral along with Pluscarden Abbey and Duffus Castle in the vicinity).

If you want to stay closer to the north east, then I would actively avoid the renovated castles which offer tours and such like – personally, I find these sites (and the accompanying tour) to be largely unauthentic – it’s all about ruins; try Slains Castle near Cruden Bay, Tolquhon Castle, Huntly Castle, Kildrummy Castle.

I would back the recommendations of Stonehaven and Dunnottar Castle. Dunnottar is by far and away the most impressive castle I have ever seen, and I am a castle nerd. Your bird will definitely want to give you a blowjob if you take her to visit Dunnottar Castle. If you do go to Stonehaven, do not miss out on the opportunity to eat, drink, and be merry at The Marine. After Stonehaven, you could probably go slightly further south to take in Lunan Bay and Arbroath Abbey.

If, by chance, you’re a bit of a geek like me and like a good ruined abbey, I’d also recommend a trip to the Borders for Kelso and Jedburgh Abbeys respectively. They are both quite epic.

Your lady has more than likely heard of William Wallace, so one thing you could do is read up on the Battle of Stirling Bridge, take her to the site of the battle, describe it, and shatter all of those myths that Braveheart propagates. That would be the Scottish thing to do. Bannockburn is quite nearby too, so you could drop in there. If you’re down that neck of the woods, you’d be a heathen not to enter the Trossachs and perhaps drive along to the tip of Loch Lomond and down the other side towards Glasgow.

Ah Glasgow. A place of many delights. It’s a dirty as fuck city and I find it hugely oppressive, but there’s plenty to do there and always worth a visit. I’ve written enough of an essay already without having to go into what Glasgow has to offer. You probably know more about that than I do anyway.

Finally, if you’re still actually awake, I’d also like to suggest at least one distillery tour. Whisky distilleries are fucking brilliant places. Depending on where you’re situated, you can cluster a few together. Glen Garioch and Fettercairn are the two main distilleries to the north east. I would also personally recommend Blair Atholland Edradour (a brilliant whisky) distilleries should you find yourself anywhere near Pitlochry or the A9 generally. I would be more than happy to offer a more concise route to distillery visiting if you wish. I could probably map out worthwhile distillery trails depending on your movements and areas you’re heading to.

So, excuse this thesis. I am sort of living out my own recreational holiday through your opportunity here. Hope you have a blast whatever you do!

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Firstly, I’d like to highly recommend the two ancient frontiers of Scotland, Hadrian’s Wall (I have still yet to trek along the wall, but it is in my top five holidays of all time to hire out a bike and cycle along the wall for a few days), and its lesser known little sister, the Antonine Wall. Two important remnants of Roman occupation of Scotland.

A trip to the west coast and over the sea to Skye has already been mentioned. I’ve never done the west coast, although I really want to. So fuck it, I am recommending it also. If you do the west coast, try and make it up to the north west to visit Sandwood Bay, which will give you the walking fix and the sea breeze fix, in addition to any paranormal fixes you may wish to satisfy. If you’re going west, you have to stop at Glencoe.

Logistically, on your way to or from the west coast, you could fit in a visit to Loch Ness and Inverness. Nice old ancient town with more palpable history than you can shake a stick at. I would recommend a drive down the loch to Drumnadrochit, and then a visit in to Urquhart Castle, which is an impressive stronghold situated on a point, overlooking Loch Ness. In the Inverness area, you could also stop by Culloden Moor if you’re into battlefields. Also, relatively nearby to Inverness is Elgin (it has an outstanding cathedral along with Pluscarden Abbey and Duffus Castle in the vicinity).

If you want to stay closer to the north east, then I would actively avoid the renovated castles which offer tours and such like – personally, I find these sites (and the accompanying tour) to be largely unauthentic – it’s all about ruins; try Slains Castle near Cruden Bay, Tolquhon Castle, Huntly Castle, Kildrummy Castle.

I would back the recommendations of Stonehaven and Dunnottar Castle. Dunnottar is by far and away the most impressive castle I have ever seen, and I am a castle nerd. Your bird will definitely want to give you a blowjob if you take her to visit Dunnottar Castle. If you do go to Stonehaven, do not miss out on the opportunity to eat, drink, and be merry at The Marine. After Stonehaven, you could probably go slightly further south to take in Lunan Bay and Arbroath Abbey.

If, by chance, you’re a bit of a geek like me and like a good ruined abbey, I’d also recommend a trip to the Borders for Kelso and Jedburgh Abbeys respectively. They are both quite epic.

Your lady has more than likely heard of William Wallace, so one thing you could do is read up on the Battle of Stirling Bridge, take her to the site of the battle, describe it, and shatter all of those myths that Braveheart propagates. That would be the Scottish thing to do. Bannockburn is quite nearby too, so you could drop in there. If you’re down that neck of the woods, you’d be a heathen not to enter the Trossachs and perhaps drive along to the tip of Loch Lomond and down the other side towards Glasgow.

Ah Glasgow. A place of many delights. It’s a dirty as fuck city and I find it hugely oppressive, but there’s plenty to do there and always worth a visit. I’ve written enough of an essay already without having to go into what Glasgow has to offer. You probably know more about that than I do anyway.

Finally, if you’re still actually awake, I’d also like to suggest at least one distillery tour. Whisky distilleries are fucking brilliant places. Depending on where you’re situated, you can cluster a few together. Glen Garioch and Fettercairn are the two main distilleries to the north east. I would also personally recommend Blair Atholland Edradour (a brilliant whisky) distilleries should you find yourself anywhere near Pitlochry or the A9 generally. I would be more than happy to offer a more concise route to distillery visiting if you wish. I could probably map out worthwhile distillery trails depending on your movements and areas you’re heading to.

So, excuse this thesis. I am sort of living out my own recreational holiday through your opportunity here. Hope you have a blast whatever you do!

Um.... wow!

Thanks very much indeed for taking the time to write all that and source the links etc. There's some really great tourist fodder in there... I think that's our holiday sorted to be honest. I hesitate to use the phrase 'wide on' but I'm gonna show my girlfriend these links tonight and I think she'll be pretty excited.

Thanks again!

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St Andrews is aesthetically very satisfying. If you go to St Andrews you can also take the coastal route south and take in all the little villages along the way. Pittenweem and Anstruther are especially quaint. I can personally endorse the award winning Anstruther Fish Bar whilst there. Just the thought has made me peckish.

Man, Fife generally is great. Apart from Glenrothes. Avoid like the plague.

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Um.... wow!

Thanks very much indeed for taking the time to write all that and source the links etc. There's some really great tourist fodder in there... I think that's our holiday sorted to be honest. I hesitate to use the phrase 'wide on' but I'm gonna show my girlfriend these links tonight and I think she'll be pretty excited.

Thanks again!

Is your bird fit? I think we'd all like to see some pictures of her (right ladz?) just to provide imagery for said wide on.

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