Scotland offers a wide range of potential amusements, which might tempt tourists (and, indeed, native Scots) over the bank holiday weekend. Whether you’re after an adrenaline-fuelled descent through the canyons of Ben Nevis, or a more sanguine few days spent taking in the scenery over a dram of whiskey or two, Scotland can provide. There is something, as the saying goes, for everyone.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more eye-catching distractions available to tourists this May.
Scotland is famed for its vertiginous landscape. In fact, the steeply-undulating scenery of the Scottish highlands are perhaps more famous worldwide than kilts, bagpipes and haggis combined. It should come as little surprise, then, that the country offers some of the best mountaineering opportunities in the entire United Kingdom. Every year, thousands of tourists delight in plunging over the sides of Scottish gorges, white water roaring in their ears, with delighted (and more than slightly terrified) screams issuing from their mouths.
Activities of this sort are available across Scotland, from the highlands to the Isle of Skye. For adrenaline junkies, the lure of a Scottish activity holiday may prove irresistible.
But, of course, this is not the sort of thing which will appeal to everyone. It may be the case that you’re after an active holiday, but lack the appetite for high-octane water sports of the sort we’ve looked at so far. That being the case, then you might consider a stay in Knoydart, one of the most remote settlements in the entire country. It’s an eighteen-mile walk from the nearest road, by the end of which you’ll have likely worked up a healthy thirst and a voracious appetite. Thankfully, both can be sated at The Old Forge, a pub whose menu is comprised mostly of freshly caught seafood and locally-sourced microbrewery ales. Suffice to say, this is not an experience which can be replicated elsewhere!
The pub’s menu contains a healthy mixture of traditional Scottish cuisine, while unashamedly flaunting more exotic influences. If you’re not a dedicated walker, but are interested in a uniquely-secluded dining experience, then don’t despair; for those who lack the stomach for such a lengthy trek, there are ferries available for modest prices.
Scotland, of course, is famous for its wealth of beautifully scenic walks, which wind their way through the hills and circle the many lochs. Owing mostly to the legend associated with it, Loch Ness which attracts much of the tourist footfall (you can now even navigate its waters using google street view) but there are many other lochs which are just as worthy of a mention.
Loch Fyne, on the west coast of Scotland, is the longest of all the sea lochs. A walk along its shores may offer glimpses of animals as diverse as sea otters and even dolphins! It is also a location of much historical interest, as the ruins of both Castle MacEwen and Old Castle Lachlan are in the immediate vicinity. Loch Fyne is most famous however for its oyster fisheries. So much so, in fact that a chain of seafood restaurants bears its name. But of course, there is no seafood quite like fresh seafood and so for connoisseurs, the local oyster restaurants are without peer. If you – or anyone you know – has a particular love of oysters, then you should certainly add Loch Fyne to your list of Bank Holiday destinations.
Art and Culture
If you don’t feel like exerting yourself this bank holiday weekend, then there is plenty of fun to be had without leaving the confines of the major cities, within which one can find art galleries, museums and theatres aplenty.
We have already discussed the wealth of natural beauty available in Scotland. It should come as little surprise, therefore, that Scotland has made such a disproportionately hefty contribution to human literature, art and culture over the years – from Robert Burns to Iain Banks.
If you are looking to visit a place of great literary significance to Scotland, then there are few better places to start than the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, where the most famous of Scots are celebrated. Here you’ll be able to take a glimpse at the cottage in which Burns was born in 1759, along with the world’s most extensive collection of the poet’s works. If you should happen to be a member of the National Trust, then admission is free, leaving you with plenty of funds left over to spend at the restaurant and café!