planning a trip to scotland

Travelling Scotland, with a Difference

Planning a Trip to Scotland, with Over-Tourism in mind The summer season has passed and the relative calm of September has taken hold. An extra layer has appeared and the leaves are transitioning towards our most photogenic season. It also means it’s reflection time. Time to give the industry a health check and reflect on the big issues. I’ve been closely observing with interest the bubbling tension surrounding over-tourism here in recent months. I’d go so far as to say it’s currently the most divisive issue in the industry. That bad. Time, then, to get my hands dirty. Debates have
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pittulie castle drone

Exploring the north east and things to do around Fraserburgh

North East Days Out on the Coast It’s a rare thing, this. A first foray into a part of Scotland that I have very limited personal knowledge of. I’ve been intensely travelling Scotland for seven years now, as well as being born and raised here of course, and there remains precious little of this land that I haven’t formed a relationship with. There’s some of the smaller islands sure (I’ll never visit all 800ish of them and have no intention of trying) but the varied and atmospherically-charged north east coast is my final unexplored nugget on the mainland. Over to
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drone scott's view scottish borders

A Weekend of Culture, off the beaten path

Things to do in the Scottish Borders Warm, sunny afternoons, empty country roads, windows down…..it sneaks up on me with alarming realisation that I can’t remember the last time I had this experience. This sense of solitude. You’ll certainly never find it in the Highlands in summer and it’s always in August that us locals start to long for traffic-free journeys and a slowing of the pace. This is the Scottish Borders, have you met? In truth, the same applies to neighbouring Dumfries and Galloway but there is something very appealing about the rolling hills, acres of agricultural land and
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glasgow blog

A Glaswegian’s Glasgow

A Glasgow Blog, with a Difference The rain is coming down. I’m watching from the safe side of the glass and having one of those snuggly, self-satisfied sensations of comfort and belonging. My city, my streets, my Glasgow. I want to share how I really feel about my home. It’s actually an extremely difficult thing to put into words. You can throw all the adjectives in the world at something but if you don’t understand it, deep down, what’s the point? And it’s not like my recent adventures up north either, where raw nature and deep immersion are there to
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fringe festival edinburgh crowds

It’s That Time Again…..

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival – My Approach It’s the event that humbles all others. A city-wide carnival that sprawls itself over an entire month and generates laughs, screams and gasps throughout. Always with an indefatigable and relentless dynamism that seems to somehow increase year-on-year. A riot of creativity and passion, forever with a vibrancy and international outlook. It’s Festival time my friends and I’m off to the capital to observe the true impact of this month-long explosion on Scotland’s tourism industry. I’m writing this with double-sided intent. Firstly, and most obviously, I want to promote Edinburgh and the uniquely impressive
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thigns to do glenelg five sisters

Immersion in the Scottish Highlands

Things to do in Glenelg and the Search for Escape While madness descends on much of the Highlands at this time of year, I feel an ever more urgent need to find tranquillity. This most recent drive north – to Glenelg, just over the water from Skye on the mainland – is one where I intend to re-visit my recent search for ‘immersion’. To switch off. And to find at least a few hours of total solitude. I’ll be doing the blogger thing and looking at interesting things to do in Glenelg, yes, but I’ll also be seeking out one
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scotland travel blog whisky

Game of Thrones Meets Scottish Whisky

A Game of Thrones Whisky Marathon A campaign about whisky, you say? Charging about bonnie Scotland like there’s no tomorrow in pursuit of dramatic destinations, dreamy distilleries and delectable drams? There’s a connection with maybe the greatest TV show ever made as well, is there? Aye, right. Despite the inevitable misery of this Game of Thrones whisky challenge, I came to the grudging conclusion that things could, conceivably, be worse. That there are probably one or two worse ways to spend a weekend. And that is because whisky is maybe the single best thing about being Scottish. It’s as Scottish
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skye sustainable tourism scotland

Looking after Scotland

Sustainable Tourism Scotland It’s that time of year when travellers are about to descend on Scotland en masse. Peak season. All in the industry have been revelling in this wee chunk of the planet getting worldwide recognition as a must-visit, bucket-list, incomparable destination. Great stuff. But, with stereotypical Scottish caution, I present a spanner for the works. The environment is our most priceless possession. I choose ‘possession’, because it belongs to all of us. With that comes responsibility, and that applies as much to travellers as it does to residents. While there has been an unprecedented surge in exposés and
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northton harris drone

Scottish Island Holidays

Scottish Island Holidays - Much More Than They Seem I’m going to attempt to venture down a road I’ve not been seen on for a while. The writer’s road. Necessity has seen me focus on ‘blogging’ in recent years – an increasingly difficult thing to define, hence the inverteds. It’s been fun, I enjoy it for the most part, but it’s unquestionably different from proper writing. The focus is on being useful. Producing text that gives people what they want to know in a digestible and, ideally, fun fashion. But, in so doing, I’ve realised that I’m missing a lot
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highland road trip scotland

Things to do in Aberdeenshire

Road Tripping Through Aberdeenshire and the Cairngorms National Park It’s that typically lovely time of year in Scotland, May, when most in-the-know travellers descend on our outdoors in search of midge-free zones and almost predictably calm weather. Time then for the first Scotlanders campaign of the year as we take on one of the most epic drives in the land, the North East 250. Splitting the giant into four, we unearth the best things to do in Aberdeenshire, the Cairngorms, Speyside and the east coastline in another frantic weekend of activity. For my contribution, I’ve locked gaze with the southern
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In Search of the Perfect Spring Day Trip

Hopping on the Ferry to Bute It’s May, the heating is still on. Political and economic uncertainty hang in the air. It’s been a slightly timid start to the season for the tourism industry. Nobody seems quite ready to say a firm goodbye to winter just yet. Never has a jolly to the Scottish islands seemed more called for and it's high time I caught the ferry to Bute. I have to hold my hands up and admit that it has been many years since my last visit to the Isle of Bute. A sorry state of affairs that I’ve
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islay flight over gigha

A Flying Trip to the Whisky Island

Glasgow to Islay Flights, with a Difference It’s been several years since my last jolly over to Scotland’s whisky island. A dismal effort on my part. Home to some of the very biggest brands in the drinks industry and a completely unique island economy, it’s among the most fascinating jewels we’ve got to offer. But, me being me, I’m always on the lookout for alternative ways of doing things and I’ve long fancied trying this journey from the air. Ferry travel (from Oban or Kennacraig) would be the default course of action here, but Glasgow to Islay flights were not
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ben vorlich loch lomond walks

The Highlands are Teasing and I’m off to Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond Walks and Exploring the National Park I’ve been feeling a bit cabin feverey lately. It’s the time of year when I’m always consumed with things like event speaking during Scottish Tourism Month, blog trip planning and strategic prioritising for which direction I want to swing my work this year. The result is spending my time almost entirely in towns and cities meeting people, digitally analysing just about everything and stroking my beard in perpetually deep contemplation. Added to the fact that spring has had multiple false starts already and I’m absolutely aching for the outdoors. The mountains, and
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skye scotland 10 day itinerary

The Classic 10 Day Scotland Itinerary

10 Days on the Road Well Travelled It’s that time of year when enquiries start coming in from the well-prepared travellers out there as to how to plan their perfect trip to Scotland. I’m going to have to close my eyes, cover my ears and grind my way through this a bit I’ll be honest. A big part of my job is opening up all of Scotland to travellers and shining some spotlight on the oft-forgotten spots. I veer away from the best-known, over-promoted locations where I can. But, keeping my international travels in mind, I know that sometimes there
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lothian castles near edinburgh

Castles near Edinburgh

Castles near Edinburgh Edinburgh Castle. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? One of the undisputed iconic images of Scotland, it sits looking very chuffed with itself atop Castle Rock, bejewelling the crown of one of the world’s prettiest city centres. But it’s not the only show in town. Ruins are strewn across Central Scotland and there are numerous alternative castles near Edinburgh to satisfy even the most insatiable of history hunters. Sticking just within The Lothians, see what you think of this hit-list.   Edinburgh and Midlothian Craigmillar Castle In 2018 I now realise that I found myself at this guy
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tarmachan hiking routes scotland

Scotland’s Hiking Trails for Winter Walking

Winter Walking in Scotland It’s an interesting time of year in Scotland. Winter has thus far been pretty stable but forecasts are wildly inconsistent and finding opportune weather for outdoor adventures is no small ask. Serious hiking trail enthusiasts love snow-covered peaks and relish getting the crampons on but, for most, we’ll lean towards those that don’t pose too much of a challenge. Faced with limited light, the majority of Scotland’s population will poke about the easy options in the cental and southern areas. With that in mind, here’s some picks to help locals and visitors stay active with some
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falls of clyde drone

Off the Beaten Tourism Path in Lanarkshire

Things to do in Lanarkshire Key to all that I do as a travel blogger is my absolute focus on fuelling Scotland’s tourism industry. I want to see a country that puts tourism at the genuine heart of its economy in the way that other nations I’ve visited have done. And, based on the last couple of years’ visitor numbers in particular, this is currently being achieved with emphatic success. However, having scored with the core aim of convincing people to come to Scotland en masse (and convincing locals to more fully appreciate what’s on their doorstep), the next tier
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duart castle ferry mull

Back to the Isles and a Return to Mull!

Winter Island Getaways - Things to do on Mull I spent my first days of 2019 doing something of a first. I must be getting on but Hogmanay just wasn’t for me this year and the polar opposite of a raucous, alcohol-fuelled riot seemed more appealing – the Scottish Isles were calling. The Isle of Mull was always going to be one of my priorities this year and I accelerated my plans with a spontaneous 4-day winter trip back to the west coast. Blissful escape from the post-festive excitement and time to focus on my plans for the year was
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fife coast lady's tower

A Weekend Exploring the Kingdom of Fife

Chasing the Winter Light in Coastal Fife I think it’s fair to say that winter weather can bring with it certain frustrations. Chief of them being the encroachment into how much play time we can eke out of each day. No sooner has lunch been ticked off than the sky starts to dull and darkness continues to charge on in uninvited before the day prematurely ends around 4pm. For me this means very limited travel to the Highlands for several months as there’s nothing more self-defeating than a rushed hill walk or a roadtrip destroyed by detours, road closures and
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A Look Back at Another Year of Travel Memories

2018: My Summary The final days of 2018 are upon us and it’s that time when we all can’t help but have a look back at what we’ve been getting up to in the year gone. The highs and lows, the opportunities that have come along, the mistakes, the surprises, the laughs and the memories that will live forever. As a Scotland travel blogger, it’s particularly fun for me to reflect on where I visited, who I worked with and also on how the industry and the world of blogging has continued to evolve. Amidst the madness, it’s been an
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