Top 10 Things You Must Do In Scotland

Top 10 Things You Must Do In Scotland

An aerial and time-lapse tour around one of the world’s greatest countries. Filmed by Airborne Lens and Airborne Media Productions throughout 2016.

 

Featuring (in order): Rannoch Moor, Forth Bridge, Glencoe, Glen Etive, The Enchanted Forest, Dundee, Edinburgh, Eilean Donan Castle, Floors Castle, Culzean Castle, Kilchurn Castle, Drummond Castle, and Gardens Portree Harbour Kilt Rock, Isel of Skye, Sligachan, Quiraing, Glenbrittle, Aberfeldy Dewars Distillery, Talisker Distillery Carbost, Rannoch Moor, Pass of Glencoe, Buachaille Etive Mòr, Kelvingrove, Glasgow, Glasgow University, Scott’s View, Abbotsford House, St Mary’s Loch, Inverness, Kessock Bridge, Dunnet Beach, John o’Groats, Brough Bay, Moray Firth, Loch Droma, Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Park.

Dunnottar Castle: Scotland’s Most Spectacular Castle

Dunnottar Castle: Scotland’s Most Spectacular Castle

Dunnottar Castle is  a romantic, evocative and historically significant ruined Castle, perched on a giant conglomorate on the edge of the North-Sea. Once seen – never forgotten. The medieval fortress is located upon a rocky headland on the north-east coast of Scotland, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south of Stonehaven. The surviving buildings are largely of the 15th and 16th centuries, but the site is believed to have been fortified in the Early Middle Ages.

 

Dunnottar has played a prominent role in the history of Scotland through to the 18th-century Jacobite risings because of its strategic location and defensive strength. Dunnottar is best known as the place where the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish crown jewels, were hidden from Oliver Cromwell’s invading army in the 17th century. The property of the Keiths from the 14th century, and the seat of the Earl Marischal, Dunnottar declined after the last Earl forfeited his titles by taking part in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. The castle was restored in the 20th century and is now open to the public.

William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II have graced the Castle with their presence. Most famously though, it was at Dunnottar Castle that a small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for eight months and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels, the ‘Honours of Scotland’, from destruction.

 

Opening hours

Summer (April 1st – September 30th)

  • 09:00 – 18:00

Winter (October 1st – March 31st)

  • 10:00 – 17:00 or half an hour before sunset, whichever is sooner

Last entry is 30 minutes prior to closing time.

The Falkirk Wheel & The Kelpies

The Falkirk Wheel & The Kelpies

The Falkirk Wheel is a huge, rotating boat lift, operational since 2002. It forms a crucial part of the Millennium Link project that reconnected Edinburgh and Glasgow by canal, a means of transformation that had been allowed to slowly decay since the 1930s. The Union Canal runs from Scotland’s capital to the Wheel where it meets up with the Forth & Clyde Canal, continuing through to the country’s biggest city. Boats simple sail into the impressive apparatus and are lifted, or lowered, 24 metres from one canal to the other – although there are some locks involved too.

 

 

It’s a remarkable piece of contemporary engineering and an attraction in its own right with a visitor centre, café and boat trips that lets you fly gently through the air while afloat. The Wheel is just to the west of Falkirk but if you get the ScotRail train from Edinburgh Waverley or Haymarket to Falkirk High (25 minutes), you can walk there along the Union Canal towpath that passes immediately south of the station. Station platform to Wheel is 3.5km.

 

falkirk wheel

 

A stone’s throw from the Falkirk Wheel is Helix Park, home to the Kelpies: two monumental sculptures depicting the heads of mythical water horses, each nearly 30 metres high, built of steel.

 

kelpeis2

 

They are enormous, glittering, utterly magnificent and new – only open to the public since spring 2014.

 

 

Linlithgow

Linlithgow

The main reason people come to Linlithgow is to see the striking ruins of its royal residence. The birthplace of both James V and his daughter Mary, Queen of Scots, Linlithgow Palace echoes with the history of the Stewart dynasty that ruled Scotland from 1371.

LinlithgowLake

It sits on the shore of the town’s small loch, right next to St Michael’s Church with its distinctive modern steeple. There has been some form of royal palace here since the 12th century although the current structure developed in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its heyday as a favourite residence for the Stewart came to an end when James VI became King of Great Britain in1603 and skedaddled off to London with his court. The building fell into disrepair over the next hundred years or so, and a fire finally put the old place out of its misery in 1746.

Atmospheric and resonant, it’s now cared for by Historic Scotland and, if you catch it on a fine day, its red sandstone comes alive in the sunlight.

Linlithgow Canal

The High Street is where to find places to eat and drink, or you can head away from the town to sit by the Union Canal. If you feel like a saunter along the towpath, ScotRail trains from Edinburgh Waverley or Haymarket to Linlithgow take around 20 minutes.

Trips from Edinburgh: North Berwick

Trips from Edinburgh: North Berwick

A small and attractive seaside town, North Berwick has beaches stretching east and west of its harbour, a decent selection of bars, cafés and restaurants, small islands immediately offshore and the imposing presence of the Bass Rock, with its gannet colony, around 5km out into the Forth. Standing sentinel over it all is the 187 metre bulk of North Berwick Law directly behind the town, an ancient volcanic plug which affords brilliant views if you make the effort to reach the top.

North Berwick

You also find the Scottish Seabird Centre here. It also worth a visit while there are seasonal boat trips to enjoy, some going all way to the isle of May – the last stop before Scandinavia. Put all that together and you have an attractive package for a day trip; trains take less than 35 minutes from Edinburgh Waverley.

North Berwick

Meanwhile one thing that fans of fresh of seafood shouldn’t miss is the Lobster Shack at the harbour. A glorified garden shed with catering facilities and some al fresco seating adjacent, it opens weekends only in May then daily June to September, noon-8pm, weather permitting. Fresh crab, fish and lobster are no the menu, with chips.