Enjoy the freedom of planning your own amazing holiday around Scotland on a road trip, and you can choose your own attractions, accommodation and places to eat. But maybe you’ve never driven in the UK before? Or maybe you want a refresher on the rules before you set off on an epic two week drive past mountains, around lochs and through glens?
Well, here is all the info you need on driving in Scotland with helpful tips on country driving, speed limits, and much more.
The 10 most popular sites in the UK during 2016 were all in London.
The most popular attraction north of the border, and the 15th most visited in the UK, was the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, which opened 10 new galleries in 2016. Some 1.8million visitors passed through its doors last year.
Please see below the 7 attractions named in the top 100 most visited in the UK:
15 National Museum of Scotland
16 Edinburgh Castle
18 Scottish National Gallery
41 Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
50 National War Museum, Edinburgh
62 Edinburgh Zoo
99 Scottish National Portrait Gallery
ALVA director Bernard Donoghue said:
“Like the 2015 figures, Scotland has continued to outperform the rest of the UK with a substantial increase in their visitor numbers.
“2016 was a great year for Scottish tourism – proving that Scotland is reaping the benefits of significant capital investment in attractions and creative programming by its institutions.”
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:
“As these figures illustrate, this has been a record year for Scotland’s leading visitor attractions”.
Ever wondered how Scotch whisky was made? Peer behind the doors of Scotland’s distilleries and discover the centuries-old secrets to production in its five whisky regions.
Whisky is Scotland’s national drink. It’s also our biggest export, with bottles safely stored in drinks cabinets and proudly displayed on shelves across the globe. Rare bottles sell for thousands of pounds (really rare bottles sell for hundreds of thousands). Whisky is a pretty big deal – but we’re not surprised at all.
Pancake Day is also known as Shrove Tuesday in the UK and takes place on Tuesday 28th February this year. It marks the last day before the Christian festival of Lent which is generally a period of abstinence. It is customary to eat pancakes on this day as pancake recipes used up food that was traditionally given up for Lent such as eggs, milk, butter and sugar.
Wherever you are in the world, join us in making the perfect pancakes with this recipe:
100g plain flour
1. Pour the flour through a sieve into a large mixing bowl and dig a little hole in the centre. Add the eggs into the hole and pour in about 50ml milk. Start whisking the mixture together from the centre and beat until you have a smooth, thick paste. Then, continue to whisk whilst steadily pouring in the rest of the milk until you have a batter that is the same consistency of a relatively thick single cream.
2. Grease the frying pan with some of the butter and heat over a moderate temperature. Then, pour a small part of the mixture over the pan, tilting it to allow the mixture to settle in a thin and even layer. Return the pan to the heat and allow the mixture to cook for around 30 seconds.
3.To cook the pancake on the other side, you can either turn it over carefully with a spatula, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can flip it using the pan (we only recommend this flipping technique for more experienced pancake-makers!). Cook for a futher 30 seconds and you should have the perfect golden pancake! Repeat stages 3 and 4 for each extra pancake. If you follow this recipe, you should have enough mixture to make around 8 pancakes.
4. Add your favourite toppings! For this section, you can add savoury toppings such as ham and cheese for a lunchtime snack or sweet toppings to make a dessert. We love to top our pancakes with lemon and sugar, jam and ice cream or Nutella and strawberries.
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is a festival for performances, workshops, talks and children’s events. Guests from all over the world are also invited for this great 10 days’ festival that takes place once a year in Edinburgh.
It’s the perfect chance to practise your English and learn about Scottish storytelling traditions. Here are some videos from previous years to give you an idea of what it’s like:
Date: Friday 21st – Monday 31st October 2016
Price: Mainly free but some performances are charged
“an informal social gathering with folk music, singing, dancing, and storytelling”
If you ever get the chance to go to a Ceilidh, don’t hesitate and just go! This will be the best memory of your time in Scotland! It may seem intimidating to go to a Ceilidh, but don’t worry if you don’t know the moves, somebody will help you!
How does this Ceilidh thing work? So one of the band members walks us through each dance. He explains each part of it until it seems like we understand. We try it once without music before doing it “full out”. Then, the music starts, he gives us the cue so we all start at the same time and you just hope you remember the moves! Each dance lasts between 5 and 10 minutes. The dance moves aren’t really hard, you just have to remember them!
Here’s an example:
So if you ever visit Scotland, you have to go to a Ceilidh, even if you don’t really fancy dancing. It’s the perfect opportunity to see a part of Scottish culture up close!
Ceilidhs are a lot of fun and they play a regular part in our social programme, so you will have plenty of time to practice once you’re here!