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Calanais Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis
Edinburgh Festival Carnival
Glen Isla, Angus
Highland Cow, Argyll
Sea kayaking in Brodick Bay
While visiting Glasgow & The Clyde Valley during the XX Commonwealth Games, don’t miss the opportunity to explore Scotland as the country welcomes the world in 2014 with the Ryder Cup and the Year of Homecoming too. From Glasgow, it's easy to find National Parks, World Heritage Sites, island hop and soak up culture and tradition. With a fantastic year round programme of Homecoming events, from Highland games to historic re-enactments of epic battles, what better time to visit?
Edinburgh & The Lothians
With Edinburgh hosting the diving events at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, take time to soak up Scotland’s capital and take in the amazing sights and attractions. Only an hour from Glasgow with excellent public transport links, head to Edinburgh & The Lothians to see some of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks, uncover history and experience the festival atmosphere.
Every summer Edinburgh transforms into a bustling hive of activity as numerous festivals take place across the city, celebrating fringe events, film, arts, culture and literature. For a real slice of Scottish tradition, watch the stirring Royal Military Tattoo set against spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Look out for the great range of events and festivals throughout the year too.
Head out of the city and visit Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian which is steeped in history and set in expansive parkland. Or enjoy the charming coastal towns of East Lothian. At North Berwick, take a boat trip out to the Bass Rock, a seabird sanctuary which is home to thousands of breeding gannets along with puffins, guillemots and razorbills.
With the Commonwealth Games’ shooting events taking place in Carnoustie in Dundee & Angus, come and explore the pretty towns, nature reserves, historic castles and golf links courses of Angus. Visit Dundee, one of Scotland’s seven cities, where you’ll discover amazing museums, attractions and a rich industrial heritage.
Explore the coastal towns of the region around Carnoustie, stroll along the soft sands or play a round on the famous championship golf course. The charming harbour town of Arbroath is famed for its Smokies, line-caught haddock which is smoke cured over burning oak chips and you will be fascinated by the diverse wildlife at the Montrose Basin, an enclosed estuary of the South Esk River. The reserve includes a 4-star visitor centre along with four remote bird hides.
Dundee’s McManus Art Gallery and Museum is a treasure trove of paintings, sculpture and artefacts which tell the cultural and historical stories of the city. Become a polar explorer as you visit the RRS Discovery, the historic ship captained by Robert Falcon Scott as he took on the unchartered wilderness of the Antarctic.
Start island adventures, explore nature reserves teeming with wildlife and uncover histories of ancient kings and past civilisations. Argyll & The Isles is within easy reach of Glasgow either by road, rail or bus as well as ferry links from central Scotland.
Take a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry from either Oban or Kennacraig to one of the Inner Hebrides, and island hop between dozens of inhabited islands, each with its own unique character and geography.
Discover enchanting woodland at Argyll Forest Park, a magnificent stretch of rugged hill country where you’ll find splendid walking trails including Puck’s Glen in Benmore or waterside paths at Loch Goil.
Across the region you’ll find a spread of pleasant villages and town. At Inveraray, situated overlooking stunning Loch Fyne, take in attractions from the historic jail to the grand castle, home to the Duke of Argyll. Visit the nearby Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, part of the Seafood Trail, and sample delicious fresh shellfish.
Uncover ancient monuments, burial sites and stone circles at Kilmartin Glen and venture to the top of Dunadd Hill and stand at the spot where early kings were crowned.
Lying to the south west of Glasgow you will find rolling hills, varied coastline and island escapes combine with a rich creative heritage and an extensive natural larder. This region is easy to get to and can be enjoyed by car, train and bus. Catch the ferry journey to the Isle of Arran or one of Scotland’s most accessible islands, the Isle of Cumbrae.
On the Isle of Arran, often referred to as Scotland in miniature, discover sandy beaches, lush golf courses, abundant wildlife, delicious local produce, grand castles and vast landscapes to explore.
From Largs, you can reach the Isle of Cumbrae and the picturesque town of Millport, home to the National Centre for watersports. Explore the island on bike, following the Cumbrae Sensory Trail to take in the best of the island’s natural highlights.
Delve deep into the south of Ayrshire to discover Burns' Country, the birthplace of Robert Burns and look out for the many festivals, attractions and events which celebrate his life and work. Why not follow the Ayrshire Coastal Path, one of Scotland’s Great Trails and get a real sense of the region?
Loch Lomond, The Trossachs, Stirling & Forth Valley
Lying only 30 minutes away from Glasgow, discover an enchanting region renowned for stunning natural landscapes of tranquil lochs, high peaks and deep forests. Visit Loch Lomond, The Trossachs, Stirling & Forth Valley to explore Scotland’s first National Park, hear tales of folklore and Scottish icons and visit charming villages and bustling towns.
Head to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, a superb natural playground that includes 720 sq m of woodland and loch shores where you can walk, cycle and spot wildlife. Feel a deep sense of history as you wander through the Old Town of Stirling, once at the heart of medieval Scotland and site of historic battles. At the end of June enjoy spectacular re-enactments as Scotland celebrates the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.
In The Forth Valley, visit the Helix, a brand new outdoor recreation area where you can marvel at the majestic Kelpies sculptures. Witness the Falkirk Wheel, a feat of engineering which connects the Forth & Clyde and Union canals and enjoy exploring the area along the canal towpaths.
If you are lucky enough to have time to explore more of Scotland, you’ll experience the ever changing landscapes of mountains, forests, lochs, long coasts and hidden shores. Discover landmarks that link to long-forgotten times, spell binding wildlife in natural habitats and world-class attractions.
Aberdeen City & Shire has its fair share of all of these things. Known as 'Castle Country', the region boasts some 300 castles, 17 of which can be visited along the Castle Trail. In the Highlands, discover true wildernesses, geoparks and charming rural communities. The region is home to rare species such as the elusive capercaillie of the Caledonian Pine forests. Enjoy thrilling outdoor activities including red deer safaris and white water rafting on fast-flowing rivers.
From the west Highlands, start your island adventure. Take in the majestic ranges of the Isle of Skye before sailing to the Outer Hebrides where you can island hop and explore the many enchanting islands. Or, take a chartered flight to the Isle of Barra and land on golden sands. You’ll find long beaches and awe-inspiring scenery, but also discover that every island is different from the last. Reach the furthest corners of the British Isles and take in Orkney and Shetland, filled with archaeological wonders and a haven for wildlife.
South of Glasgow, explore the lowlands of Scotland and take in the Scottish Borders, an area which offers excellent cycling and a gentle pace of life as well as being the home of the Rugby Sevens. In Dumfries & Galloway, discover a naturally inspiring region which is particularly popular with artists. For spectacular star-gazing, visit the Dark Sky Park in Galloway Forest Park, the first of its kind in the UK.