Scotland Travel Guide

Photo by Shadowgate


Nemo me impune lacessit (No one attacks me with impunity), so it says on the most noble Scottish order of chivalry. The great William Wallace (so lively portrayed as Braveheart) is long dead but it seems the gallant spirit of his compatriots and pride in the national identity are hovering over every single Loch and filling every single chamber in the countless fortresses scattered all over the country.

The nation's turbulent past left a deep imprint on Scottish mindsets, culture and landscape, be it in the form of a separate government, linguistic diversity, or distinct traditional apparels. For an account of history in a nutshell, go to Edinburgh. Nicknamed Athens of the North, it is not only a vivid trip to the Middle Ages but also a splendid cultural treat. Dangle your feet from the edge of Arthur's seat, marvel at the Honours of Scotland resting in Edinburgh Castle, touch the Stone of Destiny, trying to figure out why this featureless block of sandstone has fired the passion of Scots for hundreds of years, and if you're fortunate to be there in August, melt with crowds in the artistic frenzy of the Edinburgh National Festival. If you haven't had enough, jump to Glasgow for more or less the same dose of attractions. Get a taste for the water of life during Whisky Live tasting show, step inside Hampden Park to see where the Rangers sweat their guts out, get enlightened in countless premier galleries, and walk your feet out in even more numerous parks and gardens.

However, if your mind has ever generated a picture of legendary King Arthur's whereabouts and you'd like to compare it with reality, there's no place to go but the Highlands. Called the last great wilderness, this vast, rugged and empty territory astounds with what's quintessentially Scottish: the stirring sound of the bagpipes, romanticism woven into the tartan pattern, abundantly grassy hills and mysteriously steamy lakes. Although the probability of Nessie sighting equals that of finding a four-leaf clover, who knows...if you're lucky...