Things to do in Scotland
Scotland has to be one of the most beautiful and most underrated places to travel to on Earth. It has sensational, exciting history. It has superb and stunning architecture and art. And, most of all, it has some of the most spectacular nature and natural scenery that you can experience on this lovely planet. You’re never short of things to do in Scotland.
If you’re from the UK or Europe (or beyond), this country has to be on your list. One area of Scotland specifically is a must visit. The Highlands. If you are the outdoors type you will absolutely be in your element here. Whether you are relatively new to getting acquainted with nature or full-blown Bear Grylls there’s a whole spectrum of things to do for fun here. We visited recently and it was one of the best family trips we have ever taken in our lives. Read on for some of the best stuff you can do while in Scotland.
Ben Nevis, The Nevis Range, Hills & Hill Walking
Our base while in Scotland was Glen Loy, a gorgeous out-of-the-way piece of nature just a short drive from Fort William. There are some awesome B&Bs and AirBnB properties available in and around the small town and we had the pleasure of staying in one as a family.
Fort William is often picked as a base because it is in such a fantastic location to access wonderful locations in the Scottish Highlands. Just like Ben Nevis and the Nevis Range.
Now, we were travelling as a family. This included my 70-year-old father who suffers from Alzheimer’s and my strongly asthmatic mother, my sister and her fiancee. So, as much as I wanted to tackle the summit of Scotland’s highest mountain it wasn’t on the cards this time. Although we definitely got out our walking boots and backpacks a lot. Which is why the slightly “pop band” looking photo you see above has the summit in the background and not the foreground.
Luckily, for those in this situation or similar the Nevis Range is an epic compromise for those that want to get high off the ground without the blisters.
The Nevis Range cable car is a great bit of transport that gets you high up on the range. Often used for mountain bikers in the summer, and skiers and snowboarders in the winter, a number of walkers, tourists and families also frequent the cable car. A piece of advice though, if you are physically able to I strongly suggest walking. Why? Our family of 5 round trip on the cable-car (including 1 senior citizen) was nearly £100. So, you’ll save a lot of money if you can do the hike.
You can get the latest weather status on top of the range and up to date info on the cable car here.
The views from the top are eye-watering though. Reminding us of how small a part we actually play in this wondrous part of the universe. This is just one of the many from the Lifetime Backpacker Instagram account.
Sun, Loch and Sand at Loch Morlich
I’ve always craved a beach and large body of water to mess around in and look at when travelling. Even with all of its awesomeness Scotland was no different.
Luckily, for us beach people there is something you can do to satisfy your craving. Go to Loch Morlich. This large freshwater loch sits in the foothills of an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Cairngorm Mountains.
It was actually a crazy moment to be able to feel the warm sand under your feet, with a calm, mesmerizing loch in front of you. Just relaxing on a warm day, only to look at the mountains in the distance, topped with snow! I’ll never forget this place and certainly will be back here several times. Especially because we never did any watersports whilst here and there are lots to try!
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Aviemore has a beach by the Loch and it's amazing. 🏖️🏴 ▪️ #loch #scotland #holiday #travel #outdoors #hills #hiking #trek #wanderlust #blue #beachlife #glen #walking #backpacking #lifetimebackpacker #thegreatoutdoors #nature #mountain #natural #green #beach #family #dad #sister #lake #mountains #snow
Meeting The Most Chilled (Probably) Reindeer in the World on the Cairngorms
Keeping in with the Aviemore theme, this is a great one for the animal lover. Incredibly, the UK has a reindeer herd. These were introduced to the British Isles in 1952, and they have called the Cairngorm mountains home ever since. Because of their introduction to the UK, they have been closely monitored and taken care of (with as little invasion as possible) by humans since arrival. This has actually made them quite tame, even friendly animals!
The Cairngorm Reindeer centre is responsible for the animals wellbeing, and as a fundraising exercise allow very small groups of people to meet the herd! We were lucky enough to be around at the time of year when this was happening (May) and decided to join in.
Reindeer are lovely animals and look very cute. It was adorable to be able to see them feed and have them eat out of your own hands. If you ever get the opportunity to do this, it has to go on the list of best things to do in Scotland!
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While in Scotland we got the opportunity to meet the only reindeer herd in the UK 😍 Beautiful creatures in an even more beautiful habitat! These reindeers were introduced to the UK and are looked after by humans, practically fully domesticated. Would love to see them wild one day though! 🏴🗻🦌 #scotland #cairngorms #mountain #landscape #nature #photography #hiking #altitude #like #uk #mountains #outdoors #green #blue #river #reindeer #lifetimebackpacker #holiday #wanderlust #travel #walking #sky #country #countryside #visitscotland #animals #happy #summer #nofilter
Arguably The Best Thing to Do In Scotland After A Long Day Walking: Go to A Distillery
Famous for depth of flavours and that warming feeling, Scotland’s whisky is the best in the World (sorry everyone else). So, it seems like a no-brainer that while here you simply must find out how this incredible stuff is made!
There are hundreds of distilleries across Scotland that you can visit depending on your taste preferences and location. Some of our favourite Scotch Whisky is Lagavulin 16 from the Isle Islay and Glenlivet towards the Speyside region.
Whilst staying in Fort William we hit up the Ben Nevis Distillery and checked out the method of making Scotland’s nectar. Although the Whisky is blended, and not the best here, you certainly get an idea of the effort and skill involved in making this drink. Our Instagram Scotland Highlights also contains video of parts of this tour so you can see it for yourself.
There are so many things to do in Scotland you’ll have to go back again and again
The main conclusion we draw here? There are some epic things to do on this article that simply have to gone on the list. But, Scotland is a great and diverse country. Outside of the Highlands, we’ve not even covered the beautiful cities like Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow; all with rightful places on the list of things to do and see. As a result, we’ll just have to visit again!!
Where have you been in Scotland? Give us your recommendations and comment on our Instagram, or below!