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Discover the magic of Scotland

The land of tartan, whisky, and bagpipes will enchant you. 

Scottish Highlands Cattle

There’s a reason the unicorn is the symbol of Scotland – it’s a land of pure magic. Travel to discover every delightful vista, from the heather-covered Highlands to the depths of Loch Ness. Let us introduce you to the richness of Scottish culture and the charms of Scotland. Here are just a few of our favorite Scottish delights:

A love of myth and folklore

Such is the Scottish love of myth and folklore that the unicorn is the Scottish national animal - but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are also selkies, creatures who live in the sea as seals but as green-haired humans on land. Water spirits called kelpies inhabit the lochs, sometimes appearing as horses and sometimes as humans, with tell-tale water weeds in their hair. Countless ghost stories include the famed ghosts who haunt Edinburgh. And of course, Nessie, one of the world’s most famous monsters, lurks in Loch Ness. For lovers of the fantastic, Scotland is hard to beat. 

Edinburgh 

Scotland’s capital city is simply splendid. It has a spectacularly rich architectural heritage, from the medieval buildings along the Royal Mile to the Georgian richness of New Town, all topped by the grandeur of Edinburgh Castle, perched on a plateau above the city. This architectural wealth is wonderfully matched by a thriving cultural scene. With plenty of independent bookshops, fantastic restaurants, and the world’s largest literary and arts festivals, this beautiful city will energize and inspire you.

Innovation nation

The telephone, penicillin, bicycles, radar, steam engines, the Kaleidoscope… The list of what the Scottish have given the world is endless. The Scots are justifiably proud of their history of ingenuity and discovery, driven by a national spirit of imagination and creativity – and aided by Scotland’s universities, which have been training scholars and scientists since the 15th century. 

The home of golf

Golfers have been playing rounds in Scotland since the 15th century. It wasn’t universally appreciated in its early days, however – it was banned by King James II in 1457 as a distraction from young men’s military training in archery, and the ban wasn’t lifted for nearly 50 years. Today Scotland boasts over 550 golf courses, including many of the finest in the world. And for golfers around the globe, there is probably no greater place of pilgrimage than St Andrews. The Old Course is the oldest in the world, and golfers have been on the links since the early 15th century. 

Global influence

There are more than 50 million descendants of Scotland around the world. While most are in the English-speaking countries of the US, Canada, Australia, England, New Zealand, and Ireland, the Scots have also settled in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, across Europe – and probably every country in the world. These sons and daughters of Scotland have made their mark. 44 US presidents have been Scottish, including Washington, Roosevelt, Ford, Reagan, Clinton, Obama, and Trump. Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Joan Baez all had Scottish heritage. Astronaut Neil Armstrong took his pride in his Scottish heritage out of this world:  he brought two pieces of tartan along on his 1969 moon landing.

The Gaelic language 

There are around 60,000 Gaelic speakers in Scotland, mostly in the northwest in The Highlands and the islands, particularly the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye. Though it was heavily suppressed in the late 18th century, and the number of speakers dwindled with emigration, this beautiful language is enjoying a revival these days. With a spectacularly rich heritage of music and folklore, Gaelic is very present in modern Scotland. You might hear it spoken, and you’ll see it in the place names, on the road signs, in song, and in theatrical and television productions. 

The ‘hairy coos’ of the Highlands

Scotland’s Highland Cows are unusually photogenic – and these shaggy-coated beasts are made to conquer the tough Scottish winters. The unique long length of their outer coat’s hair, combined with a woolly undercoat, protects the cows from cold, rain and winds. While their fearsome horns may look alarming, they have a reputation as being gentle, friendly creatures, as evidenced by their willingness to pose for photographs.


There’s so much more to Scotland. For more to whet your appetite, why not dip into Scottish culture in books and movies? Check out our recommendations: 
Movies to watch before visiting Scotland
Books to read before visiting Scotland

 

Scotland Tours

Showing 8 of 8 total
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Irish & Scottish Sampler

Starting from $2950

4.6
8/9 Days

This short-and-sweet combination Ireland and Scotland tour visits all the top highlights, mixing in historic cities with iconic sights.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

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Taste of Scotland

Starting from $1595

4.6
5 Days

Explore the very best of Scotland's gorgeous scenery and bustling cities on this short-and-sweet introductory tour. 

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

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Scottish & Irish Dream

Starting from $4025

4.6
13/14 Days

This great combination tour covers essential parts of Scotland with dreamy castles, mythical Isle of Skye, historic Culloden, skilled sheepdogs and the capital city of Edinburgh. Your adventure…

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

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Scottish & Irish Gold

Starting from $4430

4.8
15/16 Days

This great combination tour covers the same itinerary in Scotland as on the Scottish & Irish Dream with romantic castles, mythical Isle of Skye, historic Culloden, and Edinburgh. In Ireland…

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

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Scottish Dream

Starting from $2620

4.8
8 Days

Check the must-sees off of your wish list on this good-value Scotland tour, which is an ideal introduction to the bustling cities and breathtaking landscapes.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

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Scottish Clans & Castles

Starting from $2885

4.6
10/11 Days

Revisit the past on this leisurely Scottish tour filled with castle ruins, ancient battlefields, and colorful stories from the country's rich history.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

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Scottish Isles & Glens

Starting from $4255

4.8
12 Days

Head a little off the beaten path on this tour of Scotland's rugged Highlands, coastal byways, and the archaeological treasures on Orkney and the Isle of Skye.

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

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Taste of Scotland & Ireland

Starting from $3355

10/11 Days

The perfect combination of two great countries in one itinerary. Start in Glasgow before exploring the Scottish Highlands with a Loch Ness cruise and whisky tasting. Visit St Andrews and Edinburgh…

​Guided Tours, Guided Small Groups

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