We all know good things come in little packages, and Scotland is no exception. As a relatively small country, Scotland certainly packs a mighty punch when it comes to stunning scenery, enchanting wildlife, tranquil lakes, chocolate box villages and bustling cities.
With the prospect of foreign holidays still uncertain for the time being – at least in the manner to which we have become accustomed – many are beginning to look at the exciting staycation opportunities right here on our doorstep.
We’ve all probably been at least a little guilty of overlooking the beauty of our homeland for quite some time. And with glossy travel brochures and filtered Instagram posts luring us abroad to fancy beach resorts and tourist hotspots, it’s not surprising. But now is the ideal opportunity to turn holidays on their head and experience the splendour at our fingertips.
And those planning a Scotland getaway are in for a real treat, no matter the season.
From the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders, to the rugged landscapes of the Outer Hebrides and the breath-taking coastlines offered up by the Highlands, this wee land has something for everyone.
Not only that but Scotland, with its rural settings and relaxed pace of life, is perfectly set up for the current climate.
In the country’s most peaceful, secluded spots, hiring a car is a must and so there is no need to mingle too closely on public transport, while Scotland boasts a fantastic array of cosy cottages and luxurious lodges for you and your family to enjoy alone.
Lovers of the great outdoors are also spoilt for choice when it comes to sensational walking, hiking, cycling or water sport opportunities, perfect for leaving those supermarket queues behind.
In Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat provides a popular vantage point from which to overlook the capital and beyond, while Munros like Ben Nevis will serve up the ultimate challenge for hikers. Areas such as Perthshire, Cairngorms National Park and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park are probably more friendly to beginners looking to take on their first Munro and, for a more relaxed walk, the 4 kilometre Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail – Harry Potter fans take note – may be more agreeable.
Those fancying a different view of Scotland will love the tranquil canoeing and kayaking adventures presented by Loch Lomond, Loch Morlich or even the stunning Great Glen Canoe Trail in Inverness. The River Tay, close to Perth and Dundee, is ideal for an adrenaline rush thanks to its rushing rapids, ideal for white water rafting. Off the coast, Thurso is a world-class surfing spot, while areas around the Kintyre peninsula and Outer Hebrides are a windsurfers’ dream, particularly around autumn and early winter.
For those looking for a more competitive challenge, Scotland’s array of world-class golf courses are sure to keep your getaway above par, whether you take on a links course, heathland course, parkland course or one of the many other options among the country’s 550-plus courses.
If that all seems a little much for a relaxing getaway, Scotland’s show-stopping wildlife could be exactly what you’re after. While North America and exotic Pacific destinations are probably what first spring to mind when thinking of dolphin spotting or whale watching, Scotland also boasts its fair share. The Moray Firth near Elgin is great for seeing bottlenose dolphins and the Inner Hebrides are the place to head for Minke whales.
But that’s not all. Otters, grey seals, puffins, red deer, Scottish wildcats and pine martens are just some of the animals native to Scotland, so don’t forget the camera.
And if you can’t bear the thought of missing out on a beach holiday, Scotland can help out with that too. Iona, in the Inner Hebrides, could easily be forgiven for a Caribbean beauty spot, just minus the crowds, while Bhatarsaigh Bay and Luskentyre Sands in the Outer Hebrides will simply take your breath away.
All things considered, there’s never been a more perfect time to dip your toes into the deep and expansive pool of staycations, and sample the wealth of opportunities and mesmerising experiences on offer.
At Hidden Scotland, we’ve handpicked some of the most unique and stunning staycation spots, to help ensure your 2021 getaway is your most memorable yet.