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SCOTLAND

DESTINATIONS / EUROPE / UNITED KINGDOM / SCOTLAND

FACTS /  Scotland – although a country in its own right – is in the United Kingdom. With about 790 islands, the famous Highlands and several lively cities, the country has a lot to explore. It is also home to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom. Although Edinburgh is its capital, Glasgow is actually the largest city in the country. Scotland has a population of 5.3 million and its official languages are English, Scots and Gaelic. The national dish is haggis, which is usually made out of sheep or beef offal, onion and spices.  The national drink is whisky, which can be tasted in pubs and distilleries up and down the country.
PLAY /  The T in the Park music festival is one of the most popular summer events in Scotland. It was previously based in Balado, but it is now hosted at Strathallan Castle near Perth. T in the Park is known for its fun-loving atmosphere, and in the past, it has attracted a huge range of top performers, from Rihanna to The Proclaimers. Choose to go for the day or pitch up for the weekend at their campsite in the Scottish country. Glamping, or high-end camping, is also available.  You can even stay in a yurt or Bedouin-inspired accommodation. 

VIEW /  Head to Loch Ness for fantastic views of the Scottish landscape. While you’re unlikely to spot the Loch Ness Monster, the scenery more than compensates for this. Take a cruise around this huge body of water or visit Urquhart Castle, which sits nobly on its shore. The castle’s ruins have witnessed some of Scotland’s most turbulent historic chapters, including the Jacobite period, so it too is worth a visit while you are here. Follow all that up with a hike through the beautiful wooded areas surrounding the loch.

SEE /  The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh is a striking building in the heart of historic Edinburgh. It was created by Catalan architect Enric Miralles, who based his design on elements as diverse at the artwork of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and boats – and, as you’ll see, the result is very eye-catching. It is made from materials including steel and oak and since it opened in 2004, it has become one of the most recognizable features in the Edinburgh skyline. Tour the inside of the building to learn more about Scottish politics and to see more of the inspirational architectural design.

 

SHOP /  Miss Katie Cupcake on Edinburgh’s Cockburn Street is great for unique jewelry with a vintage twist. You will find many designs by Miss Katie Cupcake herself. Her creations include necklaces with vibrantly colored stamps from different countries and eras, as well as jewelry featuring Scottish cartoon character Oor Wullie. Dainty earrings with tiny teacups, as well as tea set-inspired necklaces and rings are also available here. Plan to spend a long time here; the shop is peppered with so many interesting knickknacks that you will want to devote at least an hour to exploring every nook and cranny of this bohemian little establishment.