By Shawn Stevenson
The rolling of Scotland, the magnificent castles, beautiful lakes and haunting forests are known to everyone thanks to Braveheart. Many articles will tell you that Scotland is a great deal more than that with magnificent cities like Glasgow dominating the skyline with awe-inspiring architecture. That is indeed true, but the real beauty of Scotland to me is still the raw unexplored natural beauty of its plain and the castles now long abandoned and a lot more to explore.
Scotland is perfect for the backpacker on the budget. You can not only trod the path less taken, you can even save. Camping out on the plain is not just a life-changing experience but also one that costs a lot less than the posh hotels in the cities.
The best time to travel to Scotland
The best time to travel to Scotland is in the summer, when the weather in warm and you have ample daylight. August in Scotland is full of festivals and art lovers flock to Edinburgh in droves.
Spring and fall is also a nice a time to visit Scotland, more so if you prefer peace and quiet. Airfares are lower in this season and very few tourists around the great castles and hiking trails.
Things to do in Scotland
There are many great hiking trails but let us start the Scotland adventure with something off the well-trodden path.
Imagine a magnificent eagle soaring overhead and then suddenly swoops towards you, but you are not worried for you are wearing your falconer’s glove on and the bird glides to your outstretched hand and settles its wings. Falconry is known as the “Sports of Kings” and one of the oldest known sports known to mankind. Once ownership of falcons was limited to only royalty but now we can all engage in it.
In Scotland to try your hand at falconry you can visit the British School of Falconry at Gleneagles. You get a 45 minute introductory lesson plus a full-day falconry hunting experience. You can even get a package that combines hawking experience with a two-night stay, with dinner and breakfast included.
When travelling you opt for something out of the ordinary, something that cannot be just bought. You can book a great luxury room in a five star hotel anywhere in the world but there are few places in the world where you can experience staying atop a craggy coastline which overlooks a bay that is old has history itself. In Scotland you can experience staying in a lighthouse and experience the beauty of the untamable sea from a fresh new perspective.
For a lighthouse experience that does not break your budget you can visit the Rua Reidh Lighthouse which gives you a specular view across the water towards the Isle of Skye.
There is no place in Scotland that you can dub as the most picturesque place of all because all of Scotland is beautiful and you can in no way decide which is the most beautiful place in Scotland.
However the Isle of Skye has a slight edge when it comes to the most interesting place. If you love wildlife then this is the place for you. While you will not find any dragons here (Dragonslayer was filmed here) it does offer a wonderful array of wildlife. Otters, seals, red deer and white-tailed sea eagles are some of the animals that call this place their home. You can get a local photo guide you will not help you just spot these beautiful animals but capture them on film in the best possible light.
Image Source: Wikipedia
Author: Shawn Stevenson
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