Edinburgh Castle in Scotland

Scotland is home to mossy green countryside, mysterious monsters, haunted castles, hiking trails and 18 holes. This country, on the northern point of the Great Britain Island, boasts a proud heritage, distinctive tastes, and boundless beauty. A visit here connects you with an extraordinary culture and people.

Home to many theatres, museums, galleries and more, Edinburgh has a wealth of culture along with professional sports such as rugby, football, and cricket. This capital of Scotland is at the southeastern portion of the Scottish Lowlands, about an hour north of the English border. Old Town is the heart of the city, featuring Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Museum of Scotland, and St. Giles’ Cathedral. New Town’s orderly design and Georgian buildings are home to Princess Street, boasting panoramic views of the city, gardens, and luxury shopping. Edinburgh enjoys many festivals throughout the year such as the Edinburgh Festival, the Fringe, and the Military Tattoo. Just outside of Edinburgh, schedule a tour through the famed Rosslyn Chapel, said to have Freemason and Knights Templar connections and of DaVinci Code notoriety.

Pipe Band on Glasgow Green in Scotland

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, and within the last 30 years, earned the title of European City of Culture. While in the city, enjoy the Scottish Opera or Ballet, the National Theatre of Scotland or the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In August, take in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow where you will see pipers from around the world compete on the Glasgow Green.

A trip to Scotland is every golf lover’s dream. Considered the birthplace of the game, Monks at St. Andrews invented the game of hitting a ball with a stick roughly 600 years ago. St. Andrews, located on the peninsula about an hour north of Edinburgh, is worth a visit to the legendary links. With over 400 courses throughout the Scottish countryside, many packages cater to exploring the greens and feature every level of expertise, from beginner to pro. Be sure to reserve your tee times well in advance as many golf courses are popular with the locals and tourists alike.

Glen Coe, Scotland

Often considered the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is one of the most northern cities in Scotland. This quaint city is a great place to take many day trips into various parts of the Scottish Highlands, such as the rugged mountains to the north for a day of hiking or rock climbing, or to the Lakes District to the south, full of mountain lakes, or lochs, including the infamous Loch Ness. Home to abundant wildlife, rivers and streams, the Highlands stretch across northwestern Scotland. Many areas in the Highlands, such as Glen Coe and Glen Nevis, are prime spots for hiking and breathtaking views. Take in one of the many Whisky distilleries in the Highlands region and learn what makes Scotch whisky unique. Although sparsely populated, the Highlands are not short on luxury. Contact a Luxe Travel Advisor and ask how you can stay in the exclusive Inverlochy Castle in Fort William in the Highlands.

Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland

Just like England to the south, Scotland is home to many legendary castles, many of which began as a fortress against England. Fairytale like tall towers are distinct among Scottish castles, protecting its inhabitants from invaders below. One of Scotland’s oldest castles is Edinburgh Castle, dating around the last millennium, 1000 AD. High atop Edinburgh’s Castle Rock, the castle is no longer a royal residence. Tours through Edinburg Castle take you through old apartments, the prison, and the Scottish Crown Jewels. Holyrood Palace is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II when she is in Edinburgh. Visitors are welcome here outside of formal events and royal occupation. Visit the royal family’s personal art collection in the Queen’s Gallery. If you’re looking to have the fairytale wedding, look no further than Airth Castle, northeast of Glasgow. One of the largest venues for Scottish weddings, the castle offers plenty of rooms and a chapel on site. Minutes away from Airth are Stirling and Stirling Castle, at the border between the Lowlands and Highlands. The Stirling area is best known as the historical site depicted in the movie Braveheart. The closing battle was fought just minutes from Stirling Castle. Further north, explore the Balmoral Castle. Here you can promenade through the ballroom, explore the Carriage Hall, and peak into the Cottage Garden windows, where Queen Victoria once sat and wrote her diaries. The Royal family vacations here from August to early October, and Balmoral is closed to visitors at that time.

Balmoral Castle in Scotland

If you enjoy visiting castles, but with a haunted twist, be sure to check out some of Scotland’s famed haunted castles. Shakespeare’s Scottish play, Macbeth, was the Thane of Glamis, after Glamis Castle, north of Edinburgh. Thought to be the site where Macbeth murdered Duncan, other ghosts take residence here, such as the “Grey Lady,” the card playing Earl, and Lady Glamis among others. Mysterious piano playing, a murdered princess, singing and laughing children haunt the Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire. The heiress Muriel Calder in a blue velvet dress frequently haunts Cawdor Castle near Inverness.

A vacation to Scotland is best in the late spring, when temperatures begin to warm. Summer temperatures are also moderate, and rainfall is steady throughout the year. To travel to majestic Scotland, contact the Luxe Travel team at 1-866-365-8747 or concierge@luxetravel.com.