We are talking about what to see in Scotland in a week. A week can be too short a time to take advantage of all the wonders to see in Scotland. However, if it is the first time you visit the country, our experience may help you a little when choosing your destinations.
Scotland is a country with contrasts. Cosmopolitan cities with an immense history enclosed between their buildings and immense unpopulated areas where loneliness is appreciated in all its extension. Endless plains in the Highlands and tiny desert islands scattered across the dark North Sea. Here is our grain of sand to help you with your trip.
Know what to see in Scotland in a week
Visiting Scotland goes unquestionably through its capital. Its old town is full of historic buildings, and its streets breathe the spirit of ancient events. We start touring the Royal Mile from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to the Castle of Edinburgh.
On the tour, we could see the impressive Scottish Parliament or the magnificent St. Gilles Cathedral, but also many traveling musicians, bagpipers … and plenty of pubs to quench your thirst! Almost at the end, we came across The Hub, an outstanding gothic styled tower, where the concerts of the Edinburgh International Festival are held.
From there it caught our attention, very close to the Scottish National Gallery, the Scott Monument. A monument in honor of the Scottish writer, Sir Walter Scott. The most striking is the contrast between the dark black tower that stands to commemorate the characters of his novels, and the white marble statue that reminds the writer.
We walk to the famous Carlton Hill, from whose top you can see a beautiful view of the city.
Edinburgh well deserves at least a couple of days touring pubs and monument of this city, a Unesco world heritage. If you have little time or do not want to complicate your life, we recommend that you look for a free tour of Edinburgh to be able to make the most of it.
Glasgow is the perfect counterpoint to the city of Edinburgh and one of the must-see places for them who does not know what to see in Scotland in a week. If the former is the perfect Scottish historic city, Glasgow is a melting pot of styles and cultures. It is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the country. Full of activities and events. Glasgow is the perfect city to go shopping or dinner and continue with a night out in this amazing city.
There are many people who criticize Glasgow, comparing it negatively with the capital. The best thing is that you make your own decision. We believe that it is about choosing between rancid ancestry and modern frenzy.
But do not think that in Glasgow everything is shops and pubs. The Modern Art Gallery, the fun (and bizarre) Science Center or the fabulous and central Botanical Garden, are very accessible places that can keep us entertained for a full day.
Southwest of Glasgow, less than half an hour away, film lovers can find the town of Elderslie, the birthplace of William Wallace, the hero of the movie Braveheart. However, you have to travel to Stirling, northeast of Glasgow to get to the place where his revolution began, and where a monument is preserved in his memory.
We love to know what to see in Scotland in a week. The region of the Islands in the western part of Scotland is amazing. It is the most rugged region with a harsh climate due to its orientation towards the Atlantic Ocean. And yet it attracts like no other area. Wild coasts and islands without inhabitants. The perfect place to set a mystery novel of the nineteenth century.
The beaches are great, although they are not the best place to sunbathe. The region, however, is the perfect place for lovers of sightings of birds and other rare animals: seals, puffins, porpoises, ospreys …
From the wonderful city of Oban, known as the entrance to the islands, many ferries leave to visit the Hebrides. A different route to enjoy the sea and the peculiar climate of this area.
We continued to climb the Scottish Highlands and we could not help but see the biggest attraction on what to see in Scotland in a week.
There are many lakes, but Loch Ness and the mystery that accompanies it is a great magnet for tourists. We were surprised by the shape of this lake, since it has an elongated shape, occupying a strip of almost 30 kilometers between Inverness and Fort Augustus.
In some places the depth exceeds 200 meters, so do not bother looking for the monster because you can hardly surprise it among the deep forests that surround most of the lake.
In any case, and forgetting Nessie, Loch Ness has an undoubted beauty and mystery, with those dark tones, typical of the waters of the north. 56 km2 and still not the biggest in Scotland.
If you want to find out what to see in Scotland in a week, do not forget about Aberdeen. The third city of Scotland by population, but with 8000 years of history on its back.
It is said that Aberdeen is a quiet, pleasant city, ideal for walking and enjoying it. The truth is that, at times, it looks like an immense garden. And there are green areas to give and take. Although of course, that in Scotland does not attract much attention.
We like Aberdeen as a base of operations to visit the following two zones. To be able to enjoy nature and to be able to visit all the distilleries of authentic Scotch whiskey.
PN Cairngorms and Balmoral Castle
The Cairngorms National Park is not only the largest in the country.
It is not only the one with the highest mountains in the United Kingdom.
It is not satisfied with having the most rugged orography in the country, with more than 50 mountains above 900 meters. And it is not enough to offer lush forests of green, very green trees, mighty waterfalls and lots of flora, fauna and landscapes for any hiking lover.
Everything that attracted us to the Park, should have been captured by the royal family when they decided to choose this area as their summer destination. And it is that inside the Cairngorms NP we find the Castle of Balmoral, where Isabel II spends her vacations for … a long time!
We were also in summer, but it seems that for lovers of winter sports, it is a great area for cross-country skiing or dog racing.
North of the Cairngorms NP and east of Inverness, the Speyside region is deployed. This is where you have to go to visit the famous distilleries of Scotch whiskey. And we can say that they abound. It is advisable to choose the best way to visit any of them (or several), without forgetting that visits usually include a tasting. An excellent way to “forget” a full day of hiking and get a good headache.
We, in addition, were surprised by the innumerable castles that are around here. It is true that a country like Scotland is full of castles, but here we had the opportunity to visit some of them, even inhabited and in good condition.
The owners allow the visit of the castles and with the money raised they can keep them. Not only is it an interesting experience, but it is also very fun, both for children and adults. Now you know what to see in Scotland in a week.