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8 ideas for a memorable adventure in Scotland

Beautiful lochs, city-centre attractions, sustainable food – we all know it’s easy to create amazing memories on a holiday in Scotland. But what we do on holiday doesn’t just create beautiful moments. It can change how we think, or even how we live day-to-day.

Whether it’s connecting more with the people around us, learning more about our communities, or taking more time to get to know a country we visit. Read on for some amazing ideas for a memorable adventure in Scotland, which might just change how you think about holidays, or even about life.

Take a tour of Scotland’s capital city

Looking out across the Water of Leith and the colourful buildings of the Dean Village under a perfect blue sky

What you can enjoy:

A guided city tour with a knowledgeable tour guide, on anything from historic tales and architecture to famous Edinburgh writers and even a dog-led tour!

What to take away:

A different perspective on a city we might think we know. Hear what it really was like to live in Edinburgh hundreds of years ago, and see what it’s like to be a city local today. Scotland’s cities have a lot to offer – plenty to see and do, but lots of quiet spots for a moment of peace too.

Book a city tour of Edinburgh.

Climb an alternative mountain

The sky reflects off the loch water, under Dun Caan, Raasay

What you can enjoy:

Try one of these alternative must-climb hills instead of the famed Ben Nevis. There’re choices for different abilities and locations right across Scotland, but they’ve all got amazing views from the top.

What to take away:

It’s always a great feeling to say you’ve climbed our most well-known mountain. But Ben Nevis is so popular, it’s often quite busy. Spend your well-earned downtime in a quieter part of Scotland and you’ll find it’s just as memorable an experience – maybe even more so, as it’s a chance to climb something new. We don’t always have to go for the must-visits, getting off the beaten path regularly is fun for us, and spreads the benefits of tourism right across the country.

Find an alternative must-climb hill to Ben Nevis in Scotland.

Travelling in a different style

What you can enjoy:

We’ve got a whole bunch of ideas for trails to follow, be that on foot with our walking trails, on two wheels with cycling or mountain biking, on horseback, or on the water, with a canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard or snorkel!

What to take away:

It’s always good to step out of a habit and try something new. We might have driven the same route every day, but by switching to walking or cycling, we’ll get a different perspective and might spot something we’ve missed. It’s also a chance to take our time, soak up the scenery and enjoy the fresh (hopefully sunny!) Scottish air.

Find an eco-friendly way to travel and explore Scotland.

City breaks that last a week

Looking east to the Stobcross Crane Finnieston Crane and the Clyde Arc bridge, connecting the southside of Glasgow to the city centre

What you can enjoy:

A taste of city life with Glasgow’s must-visit attractions, a few days in the surrounding countryside, and a couple of days on the islands of Arran, Bute and Cumbrae.

What to take away:

Our holiday time is precious, but what if we just stretched it out for a couple more days? Maybe you can combine the break with your job on a workcation, or just book for a longer stay, but whatever you choose, we all need that time to properly switch off and enjoy exploring the outside world. You get the best of both worlds this way, by getting to know more of Scotland while enjoying the buzz of the city, alongside the beauty of the islands.

Book your 7-day trip to Glasgow and beyond.

Try something new

What you can enjoy:

We’ve got all the latest info on what’s new in Scotland’s cities, from distilleries and innovative shopping centres to new events, exhibitions and improved facilities.

What to take away:

We’ve all been desperate to get back to the places we love. But let’s not forget the buzz and excitement of trying something that’s new to us, whether it’s exploring a new town, visiting a new restaurant, or being one of the first to book a new attraction tour.

Check out these new places to visit in Scotland’s cities.

Soak up the benefits of our scenery

What you can enjoy:

Scotland has some amazing watery landscapes from the lochs, waterfalls, rivers and canals to our long and varied coastline. There are lots of ways you can enjoy the benefits of water, whether that’s being active with watersports or just taking a quiet moment to relax by the water.

What to take away:

The relaxing properties of time by the water are now well recognised, and who wouldn’t want to enjoy amazing scenery that heals the soul as well? Getting out and active for the day doesn’t just help pass the time and keep the kids busy, the benefits can keep you relaxed and happy for much longer than just the time spent in our Scottish waters.

Pick your water wellness experience in Scotland.

Eco-friendly places for your list

What you can enjoy:

A selection of places to stay and to visit in Scotland, which have all been awarded a Green Tourism Award. The businesses get a bronze, silver or gold award for adapting their practises to be more eco-friendly.

What to take away:

It’s not just at home that we can make sustainable choices, there are lots of ways we can do that with our holidays and short breaks as well. Protecting our country and our planet means making responsible choices throughout what we do and where we go, and hopefully Scotland makes it a little easier for us all to do that.

Browse our 21 eco-tourism places to stay and visit in Scotland.

Taking things slowly

What you can enjoy:

Take your pick from our slow and sustainable adventures from lowland cycling routes and twilight island walks, to luxury train rides and sailing holidays.

What to take away:

Slow travel is about forming connections with the places we visit and keeping them forever. It’s amazing what you notice when you slow down, the people you can meet and the way of life you can enjoy, even for a short time. You’ll not only take those memories home with you, but hopefully also the habit of taking more time to explore your own corner of the world, slowly.

Choose one of our 9 slow travel experiences in Scotland.

Read more about responsible travel in Scotland.