Known for its stunning natural beauty, with numerous parks, national trust locations and wildlife reserves, Scotland is a goldmine of history. With hundreds of hiking trails, cycling routes and even biking locations around Scotland provides the perfect backdrop for an adventurous couple or family looking to explore a unique culture that’s thousands of years old.
If experiencing history first-hand is something that you’d love, then look no further than these attractions, that will transport you back to the untamed history of Scotland itself. With a complex history including many cultures and religious beliefs, including Romans, Vikings, Nobles, Monarchs and Philosophers, Scotland has so much to offer.
Unique, ancient wildlife
For fans of all kinds of wildlife, Scotland has a rich history of unique and ancient animals in locations all around the country. From deer to otters, and even elusive basking sharks, both the coasts of Scotland and inland are bursting with life that has existed for generations, and can be experienced at many locations including family-friendly parks as well as the opportunity to get up close to wild animals in their own habitat through programmes like Wild Scotland.
Scotland also features many wildlife sanctuaries and centres, protecting both the local wildlife and other animal attractions thanks to zoos, parks and safaris dotted around the country. Find out more about animal attractions from VisitScotland, including the Highland Wildlife Park and Deep Sea World.
Stunning national parks
Beyond the amazing wildlife and animals found in and around Scotland, the national parks also provide a wealth of history and life, including stunning mountains, winding forest paths, beautiful rivers, classic lochs and countless wildlife hotspots as well as friendly villages and distilleries within the parks themselves. The biggest of which is the Cairngorms, which is twice the size of the Lake District. This varied and complex landscape lends itself to numerous sports and activities, from rowing to skiing as well as hiking, cycling and simply walking.
Though the national park itself has only existed since 2003, the history of the Cairngorms is lengthy and includes the ancient Caledonian Forest, a temperate rainforest dating back to an incredible 5000 BCE, housing hundreds of species of plants and animals under its branches over the centuries. Considered one of the sites of King Arthur’s Twelve Battles, hundreds of paths and walks exists amongst the trees.
Dotted around Scotland are beautiful and ageless standing stones and stone circles, shaped over 10,000 years ago. Though the reason behind these mysterious stones is lost to time, sites like the Calanais Standing Stones are more popular than ever thanks to the film ‘Brave’ featuring the mysterious and ancient stones. Located all around Scotland, these stones are said to have mystical properties and draw travellers from around the globe.
The 12 Apostles Stone Circle near Dumfries is the largest monument of this type in mainland Scotland, and the seventh largest in the UK – and well worth a visit. Other stone circles around Scotland can be read about on VisitScotland, with a full history of each site.
As with most of Britain, Scotland features multiple imposing and dramatic castles and stately homes, built over generations of clans and years of war and strife. From the reportedly haunted Slains Castle through to the almost Disney-esque Dunrobin Castle, Scotland features some stunning historical architecture that has stood the test of time. Alongside the ancient Cairns and Roman structures dotted around the wilds of Scotland, the range and variety of architecture available is vast.
For those looking to venture further across the country, Castle Trails are available across the land, offering an overview of a number of the stone structures across the country.
If exploring the deep history of the Cairngorms and beyond, and getting to know the local wildlife sounds like the ideal holiday, then choosing luxury self-catering accommodation may be the best choice for you – allowing you to get closer to the local history and stay relaxed, recharged and refreshed throughout your stay. Whether you’re looking for an authentic experience, need a constant connection to Wi-Fi or you need a place to relax at the end of the day, we have something to match your needs.
Contact us today to discover how we can help you explore Scotland.