Today is St Andrews day! It's Scotland's national day. Whilst it isn't as big a celebration as it is in some other countries but I'll be trying to catch the fireworks at Edinburgh Castle tonight. It's looking likely that I won't be living in Scotland this time next year so I'm trying to savour my time in this beautiful country. Scotland is my home and I love it. I think that Scotland should be right up there on people's bucket lists as it has so much to offer. Here are my reasons for why you should visit Scotland:
1. Scotland is a relatively small country so it's possible to see a lot in a short about of time.
It doesn't actually take that long to drive around Scotland so if travelling by car, then you can see a lot of different places in a short time. In April I went on a day tour of the highlands with Grayline (which you can read about here) and I got to travel to Loch Ness and some other really interesting parts of Scotland. In a quick going 12 hours, we saw lots of different landscapes, wildlife and even the sun! I can't drive but once I learn how to I'm going to plan a more in-depth road trip because whilst I've seen a lot of Scotland I know that there's still so much more to see!
2. The capital is home to the biggest arts festival in the world - and many others.
Every summer Edinburgh is home to the Fringe Festival - the largest arts festival in the world. For the month of August, the whole city comes alive. There are tonnes of free acts but there's also the opportunity to see some of the big names in comedy. The wide variety means that there's something to suit everyone and even a lot of events for children. The price of accommodation absolutely soars during the festival but if you're careful then you can experience the fun of the city. Everyone should visit Edinburgh during August at least once!
3. It's the perfect place for scenery.
People always associate Scotland with bad weather and I can't lie - it's pretty grim outside as I'm writing this. But when the sun shines it's truly magical. I love to be by the water and Scotland is the perfect place for beaches. You're never really more than an hour or two's drive from the coast. When the sun is shining at the beach in Scotland it is stunning. Or even if you can't make it to the beach the lochs also provide some amazing scenery. If you're a fan of photography then Scotland proposes the most beautiful backdrops.
4. If you're prepared to climb, you can get some wonderful views.
A lot of people are drawn to Scotland for the hill walking and it's easy to see why. We're home to the tallest mountain in the UK! But even if you're an inexperienced climber you can still get some lovely views. Both Calton Hill and Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh offer lovely but different views of the city. Both are right in the city centre and take under an hour to climb. Meaning that you can pack an activity that's a little different into a city break.
5. The islands themselves offer an amazing escape.
Scotland has almost 800 islands and every single one of them is beautiful. The islands aren't highly populated and generally don't have the best phone signal so they're the perfect place to go to if you want to detach from the bustle of modern life for a while. And the stars that you can see from the islands are amazing as the light pollution isn't as strong. My favourite island is the Isle of Arran which I visit most years with my family. The island offers amazing views, 60 miles of coastal walking, 4 Munros (not that I've ever climbed any) and many other activities for tourists.
Happy St Andrews day everyone!