As popular cruising spots become inundated, there is increasing interest to identify the road less travelled. As the world gets smaller, destinations that tend to stay in the shadows, are getting a second look. Scotland is just one of these places. Forget Mel Gibson in Braveheart, haggis and tartans and explore with us five reasons to consider a stopover in Scotland on your next cruise.
1. The Landscape
With 6000 miles of coastline and 800 islands, there are plenty of options for great cruising in the region. Whether it be by land or by sea there are acres of lush scenery to enjoy. Check out the North Coast 500 road trip, or from Oban, head out to the islands. From rolling lowlands to towering highlands, thick forests to wide, sandy beaches, calm lochs to stormy seas and lush greenery to granite cliffs, Scotland appeals to all eyes. This huge portfolio of scenery translates into endless adventurous activities at your disposal, from mountain biking the Outer Hebridean Way to hiking the famous Ben Nevis and sea kayaking the Oban to Mallaig route.
2. The Food (and drink)
Scotland’s foodie scene has long been associated with haggis and black pudding, both somewhat of a desired taste. Today, the country’s culinary prowess has developed. With a newly found reputation for good quality food production, the lengthy coastline provides a huge selection of fresh seafood. The cities are overflowing with Michelin starred restaurants, in particular, The Kitchin in Edinburgh is known for using the best of Scotland’s fresh seasonal produce throughout their dishes. With its five whisky producing regions, you won’t run out of spots for a dram or two. For one of the most famous distilleries in the world, visit the Glenlivet distillery near the small town of Ballindalloch.
3. The Remoteness
Home to some of Britain’s most epic landscapes, Scotland is the place to get in touch with nature and leave behind everyday life. This is a place to unplug, relax and appreciate nature, but if it is civilisation you crave, Scotland won’t let you down. Home to some of the world’s greatest cities, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, will all offer a wide range of arts, dining, architecture and nightlife options.
4. The History
The wealth of Scottish history and its legends can be seen throughout the landscape, specifically highlighted by the various castles, cathedrals and monuments found on the famous battle sites. Scotland’s rich historical sites are protected through UNESCO world heritage. Visit the group of Neolithic monuments on Orkney for a taste of Scottish life 5000 years ago.
5. The Photography
Full of contrasts, from the old to the new and the cities to the remote wilderness, there is plenty to capture. The picturesque panoramas include dramatic rock, green wilderness, some dotted with sheep, some with the sun setting behind a castle, the lens will never get bored here. For particularly dramatic photography opportunities, visit the Isle of Staffa. Along with the subject, Scotland’s varied weather patterns makes for interesting lighting and potential rainbows.