Still haven’t planned your long weekend trip away? Dreaming of of fresh air, loads of fun and ice cream? With August bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland just round the corner, itâ€™s still not too late to plan a break in Scotland. And with plenty of quick and easy travel options available, including regular train, bus and flights from around Britain, you could soon be packing your bags and beginning a relaxing weekend away.
Whether youâ€™re looking to book yourself into a cosy B&B in the peaceful countryside towns of the south, catch a show on a city break in Edinburgh, or shop till you drop in Glasgow, youâ€™ll find yourself spoilt for choice.
Weâ€™ve rounded up some helpful tips for you. Be sure to also check out our useful and easy to follow itineraries, but before – here is a list of what’s on this weekend:
- Edinburgh International Festival, 9 Aug – 1 Sep
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2 – 26 Aug
- Edinburgh Art Festival, 1 Aug – 1 Sep
- Peebles Art Festival, 23 Aug – 1 sep
- Mull of Kintyre Music Festival, Argyll & The Isles, 22 – 25 Aug
- Mary, Queen of Scots exhibition, 28 Jun – 17 Nov
- Highland games, various dates and locations
- Free things to do in Edinburgh and Glasgow
Festivities in Edinburgh
If youâ€™ve never been to the Edinburgh Festival, youâ€™re up for a treat, but hurry – this will be the last weekend youâ€™ll have the chance to choose from the thousands of fantastic shows Â and performances covering everything from art, music and dance, to drama, comedy and more. Â Donâ€™t worry, it will be back next year too!
With a broad mixture of things to see and do, a diverse range of accommodation, delicious food Â and drink, and a jam-packed programme of events, a city break in Edinburgh may be just what Â youâ€™re looking for.
Spend a morning hopping on and off tour buses while exploring the cityâ€™s top attractions, soak Â up the arts and culture in galleries and museums in the afternoon, and in the evening, enjoy a dram of Scotch whisky on a relaxing night out. The cityâ€™s compact nature makes it easy to fit a range of wonderful activities into one brilliant day out in Scotlandâ€™s capital.
Shopping break in Glasgow
Looking for a retail therapy? Head to Glasgow, the UKâ€™s best shopping destination after Londonâ€™s West End.
Glasgowâ€™s Style Mile offers a perfect variety of shops, from charming boutiques to big labels and independent stores, while the cityâ€™s West End has an array of bohemian shops and cafĂ©s where you can find that perfect vintage bargain and enjoy artisan treats.
More shopping can be found in the Merchant City and the Italian Centre, which are full of designer stores such as Emporio Armani. Nearby youâ€™ll find more designer names including Ralph Lauren, Mulberry, Cruise and many independent gems, cafĂ©s and restaurants.
But Glasgow is not all about shops – it also boasts an impressive architectural heritage. Admire magnificent cathedrals, Art Nouveau buildings designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and other striking architectural landmarks.
To top it all, spend a night in a stylish city centre hotel.
To unwind from the hustle and bustle of modern, urban life, opt for the quaint towns and villages of the Scottish Borders or Dumfries & Galloways.Â Pack your walking boots and fishing rods and hit the road, and before you know it youâ€™ll be soaking up the rolling hills and sparkling rivers of the Southern Uplands.
The Scottish Borders
Steeped in a turbulent history, the Scottish Borders is a naturally inspiring corner of Scotland, which has fuelled the imagination of many great artists and writers. Discover the great array of things to see and do against the regionâ€™s magnificent backdrop, from the many stately homes, ruined castles and magnificent abbeys to wonderful arts and crafts, exciting activities and an abundance of rare wildlife. Or why not enjoy a regional feast of flavours in the many cafĂ©s and restaurants spread across the region?
Dumfries & Galloway
IfÂ the idea of lush green forests, sandy shores and evenings spent gazing up at the stars sound good, you’ll find all this and more awaiting you in Dumfries & Galloway. From walking and cycling to golfing, fishing and mountain biking, you can find something to suit all ages and interests. Enjoy a world of colour inÂ beautiful gardens,Â look for a diverse array of creaturesÂ in the many wildlife and nature reserves, or why not admire works of the local and national artists in galleries and museums?
No matter where you end up enjoying the long weekend, youâ€™ll be pleased youâ€™ve spent it in Scotland.
Top left: Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh.Â Top right: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum ,Glasgow.Â Bottom left: Glasgow’s Buchanan Street shopping Â© Graham Wylie/Glasgow City Marketing Bureau ‘Glasgow: Scotland with style’.Â Bottom right: Edinburgh Fringe Festival Â© Aldona Krzemien
Left: Fishing on the River Tweed, the Scottish Borders. Right: Dalbeattie 7stanes mountain bike trails, Dumfries & Galloway