From the beautiful Highlands to vibrant cities, there’s something for everyone in Scotland. Whether you want to go walking in the countryside, or visit some of the most popular tourist attractions in Britain, Scotland has it all.
Here at Parkdean Holidays, we’ve put together a variety of activities to add to the top of your to-do list, which we believe make up the ultimate Scottish day out.
Taste a Haggis Dish
A visit to Scotland would not be complete without a taste of the national dish; haggis. Despite the name “hagws” or “hagese” being used in England in 1430, it’s believed that the dish became traditionally Scottish in 1787, after poet Robert Burns wrote the poem ‘Address to Haggis’.
This popular dish is a savoury pudding, which is made up of sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, oatmeal, onions, salt, and spices, and is often served with neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes). The dish was traditionally cooked in a sheep’s stomach, however most haggis nowadays is cooked and sold in sausage casing. Serve it up with some scotch whisky on the side, and you’ve got yourself a traditional Scottish supper.
If you fancy trying a traditional haggis dish in a tasty restaurant, then we recommend Ubiquitous Chip, which is just under an hour away from Sundrum Castle Holiday Park and Wemyss Bay Holiday Park. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to try haggis in a more familiar way, then many fast food establishments serve it similar to a battered sausage. Some, even make haggis burgers or haggis pizzas.
Video sourced from How It’s Made
Search for the Loch Ness Monster
Whether you believe in the Loch Ness Monster or not, when you’re in Scotland you can’t help but be on the lookout to catch a glimpse of Nessie. The creature is said to live in Loch Ness, in the Highlands of Scotland, and is often described as being large, with a long neck, with one or more humps peaking above the water.
Just under an hour away from Nairn Lochloy Holiday Park is the Loch where the monster supposedly lurks beneath the surface. As well as being the home to this mythical creature, this deep, freshwater loch also has a variety of fish species, such as eels, sea trout, and Atlantic salmon.
Although Nessie was first ‘spotted’ in 565 AD, the first ever photo of her was taken in 1933. However, there is still no evidence which proves the monster’s existence. The debate over whether she is fact or fiction continues, and the questions about the creature are endless. If you don’t happen to spot Nessie, then don’t worry, as the beautiful views won’t disappoint. Loch Ness is a popular walking spot, and is surrounded by picturesque villages, untouched landscapes, and the historic Urquhart Castle.
Video sourced from Alltime Conspiracies
Dance to the Sound of Bagpipes
Upon hearing the sound of bagpipes, you can’t help but think of Scotland. No matter where you are in the country, you’re never too far away from somebody playing this traditional instrument.
The first reference to bagpipes in Scotland dates back to the 16th century, when they were used at gatherings, during military marches, and to accompany dancing. Although the bagpipes are popular in Scotland, the oldest reference of them comes from Egypt, in about 100 BC. How this instrument came to Scotland remains a mystery, but that doesn’t stop thousands of Scots playing them around the country.
Video sourced from Music Show Scotland
The instrument usually consists of an air supply, a bag, a chanter (melody pipe), and at least one drone. For anybody holidaying in Scotland, your trip wouldn’t be complete without a sing-a-long or dance to the sound of bagpipes when exploring this beautiful country.
Explore Edinburgh Castle
Dominating the skyline of Scotland’s capital is Edinburgh Castle, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. Standing proud on top of a 700-million-year-old extinct volcano called Castle Rock, over one million people visit the castle every year to discover the history behind the UK’s Top Heritage Attraction.
The castle has a complex history, and the oldest part, St Margaret’s Chapel, dates back to the 12th century. During its many years, the castle has been used as a royal residence, a prison, and army barracks. Despite being involved in numerous wars, parts of the building are still standing, leaving us with a national monument, museum, and popular tourist attraction.
For £16.50, you can explore the castle for yourself, and you’re not going to be stuck for something to do. There’s plenty to see, including The Great Hall, the National War Museum, and the Prisons of War.
Video sourced from Rick Steves Europe
Take on the Highland Games
If you’re visiting Scotland between May and September, then you won’t want to miss the chance to see, or even take part in, the Highland Games. Combining sport, fun, and culture, these games take place every weekend in summer – in many areas across Scotland.
It’s said that the Highland Games originated in Ireland in 2000 BC, and made their way across the sea to Scotland in the 4th and 5th century. Throughout time, it’s not just Scotland who have kept the games as a tradition. The Highland Games are also popular in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
The Highland Games are a great day out for the entire family. As well as the physical events such as tug-of-war, caber toss, Scottish hammer throw, and more, there’s also plenty of dancing and music to keep you entertained.
You can spectate from the side-lines or, if you’re feeling really inspired, you can register to take part in the games yourself! You can find the nearest Highland Games here.
Video sourced from tourscotland