Home to rolling hills, stunning coastline, and some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in Britain, Scotland is a rewarding destination. Easy to access from major cities in England, visiting Scotland for a weekend is a wonderful experience.
This simple two-day itinerary is ideal for people travelling to Scotland for the first time. From city life to stunning countryside, try these great activities for a fantastic experience that’s undeniably Scottish.
1. Fly direct into Edinburgh
Scotland’s capital is one of its most appealing cities for tourists. Fly into Edinburgh from any major city in England on a number of airlines, or – for those located in the North of England – make the mid-distance road journey on your own.
While Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and commercial capital, the wonderful local history and outstanding buildings make Edinburgh the best place to base your stay in Scotland.
2. Explore the historic Old Town
Edinburgh’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that must be visited. Spend your first morning walking around the Old Town, appreciating the historic buildings and magnificent architecture that’s on offer.
Local attractions include Edinburgh Castle, which is home to the famous Edinburgh Tattoo. St Giles Cathedral, which was originally built in the 9th century and has since been reconstructed numerous times, is also a great place to stop by and explore.
3. Shop until you drop in Glasgow
While Edinburgh is Scotland’s historical and cultural heartland, the best shopping is found in Glasgow. Board the train from Edinburgh and enjoy a short journey across some interesting Scottish countryside.
Glasgow’s shopping district is known as the ‘Golden Z.’ Brand names and high street retailers are easy to find on Buchanan, Argyle, and Sauchiehall Street, while Ingram Street is a great place to shop for modern, high-end brand names.
4. Visit the charming town of Dunbar
Dunbar is a beautiful seaside town in East Lothian that’s a favourite of travellers and locals alike. Home to one of Scotland’s most picturesque harbours, the town attracts a lot of American tourists due to its association with conservationist John Muir.
Known for its golf courses, Dunbar is one of the Lothians’ top golf destinations. Test your skills on Winterfield Golf Course, which offer some of the best coastal views in all of Scotland.
5. Attend one of Edinburgh’s famous festivals
Edinburgh is known around the world as a festival city, and a wide variety of unique and exciting festivals are constantly taking place in the city. If you’re visiting during summer, be sure to ask your hotel about ongoing festivals and events.
From the Edinburgh International Film Festival to the wild and famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo, some of the UK’s best festivals take place in Edinburgh during the summer. Ask your hotel for recommendations or visit specialized websites for travel information.
6. Taste fantastic local scotch whiskey
No visit to Scotland is complete without trying some local scotch whiskey. Visit the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and sample over 200 of the country’s finest scotch whiskey.
Some of the varieties on offer, particularly the aged whiskeys, can command prices reaching well over £50 per serving. If your budget rules out vintage whiskey, make sure you pick up a bottle of famous scotch whiskey on the way home.
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