Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands
Find Scotland's magic, a you explore Edinburgh, tour castles, palaces and villages, lost in time, enjoy the rugged beauty of the Highlands, and learn about the legacy of its clans. Discover the mysterious prehistoric sites in the Orkney Islands, take and easy hike in the historic Glencoe, cruise on Loch Ness, ride the Jacobite Steam Train and enjoy a full-day excursion of the evocative Isle of Skye. Stay at a lovingly restored manor house and then in a small hotel on the water's edge of Loch Linne. Enjoy freshly shucked oysters, the Aberdeen Angus beef, the smoked salmon from Dumfries & Galloway, and the peerless malt whiskies.
From magnificent city landmarks to mysterious ruins, Scotland is renowned for its iconic castles. Whether you are looking to explore the largest in the country, follow a regional trail or seek out those hidden gems, there is plenty of history to uncover as each castle has a fascinating tale to tell. Castles arrived in Scotland with the introduction of feudalism in the twelfth century. Initially these were wooden motte-and-bailey constructions, but many were replaced by stone castles with a high curtain wall.
The Scottish Glens
Carved by glacial erosion during the last Ice Age and steeped in history, Scotland’s breathtaking and stunning glens are unique and inspiring places which have remained unchanged for thousands of years. No adventure into the Scottish glens would be complete without a visit to the Great Glen, a giant geological fracture which cuts across the Highlands from Inverness, on the Moray Firth to Fort William, at the head of Loch Linnhe. The Great Glen Way is a popular route along an ancient fault line that should take...
Scottish Lochs & Rivers
There are more than 30,000 freshwater lochs (or "lakes") in Scotland. The five largest lochs in Scotland, Awe, Lomond, Morar, Ness and Shiel, hold about a third of all the water held in lochs in Scotland. Although Loch Lomond has the largest surface area and Loch Morar the greatest depth, the largest loch by volume is Loch Ness, which contains more water than all the lakes in England and Wales together. Loch Lomond is a freshwater loch lying on the Highland Boundary Fault, often considered the boundary between the lowlands of Central Scotland and the Highlands.
Ancient Highland Dress
Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns. Tartan is often called plaid in North America, but in Scotland, a plaid is a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder as a kilt accessory, or a plain ordinary blanket such as one would have on a bed. Tartan is made with alternating bands of colored (pre-dyed) threads...
Scotch whisky, often simply called Scotch, is malt or grain whisky. Originally, all Scotch whisky was made from malted barley, but in the 18th century, commercial distilleries began introducing whisky made from wheat and rye. Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: single malt Scotch whisky, single grain Scotch whisky, blended malt Scotch whisky, blended grain Scotch whisky, and blended Scotch whisky. All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years, and all age statements on a bottle of Scotch whisky, expressed in numerical form, must reflect the age of the youngest whisky used to produce it.