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Scotland

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Arriving at Edinburgh Station, the traveler goes directly to the central valley between the Old and New Towns. The first thing that opens before your eyes is a cliff overlooking the city with Edinburgh Castle. This is a rather famous tourist place, so you should pay attention to another part of the city. There, behind the stone towers, is the Holyrood National Park - a rugged landscape with the highest point of Arthurs Sith (251 m), offering a gorgeous view of the city and the bay. The name is not connected with King Arthur, it is the distorted Celtic Ard-na-Said - “top of arrows”. Climbing to the top is an exciting adventure and the opportunity to experience the power of the Scottish mountains in the very center of the capital. At the foot of the mountain is the Royal Palace of Holyrood, in which Elizabeth still stops once a year for a week. Directly opposite the palace is the Scottish Parliament - a modern building with very informative excursions and many interesting details (for example, the Scottish cross can be found in the figure of the floors and windows, and on the walls in the meeting room are figures of people).

How to get there: Walking along the Royal mile to the Royal Castle, the ascent begins right behind it.

2. Rosslyn Chapel Chapel

All fans of The Da Vinci Code remember a small church in which the heroes of Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou found the former burial of Mary Magdalene, where she "found peace under the stars." There are stars there, but in a completely different place, and Dan Brown is once again convinced of the unreliability. But definitely not to go to Roslyn. The chapel itself is a work of art of the 15th century. Unremarkable from the outside, inside it is an impressive world of carving and stained glass. The most amazing thing is the theme of patterns, which is full of unusual and mysterious stories. Some scholars find Masonic sources in them. It is possible to devote several hours to independent study of all the mysteries of the chapel.

How to get there: A bus runs from Edinburgh Station from the Princess Street stop, and you can take a schedule from the nearby tourist center. On the way, pay attention to the University of Roslyn, in which Dolly the sheep was cloned. The journey to the chapel will take from 30-45 minutes.

4. Wallace monument

Wallace Monument - the second highest point in Stirling, rises opposite the castle. The huge tower is set on a high rock, which overlooks the scene of the battle of the Scots and the British in 1297, in which William Wallace Braveheart became famous (yes, which was later played by Mel Gibson). In addition, in the tower you can find out the history of the battle, estimate the size of the national hero’s battle sword (and he is taller than average height) and, if you're lucky, look at the performance of amateur actors playing the Scots and the Englishman in the morning after the battle.

How to get there: There is a bus from the Stirling train station, but you can also walk, the journey takes about 20 minutes.

5. Dunnottar castle

We drive north along the east coast through Perth and Dundee. In the latter, we are surprised at the miniature airport and the huge bridge over the bay. Before reaching Aberdeen, stop in the village of Stonehaven, from which you should take a walk to one of the most amazing castles in Scotland - Dunnottar.
Standing on a rocky cliff, impregnable for enemies, he changed hands over his 700-year history: in turn, they were owned by Scots, English, and Jacobites. Now the castle is a stone ruin, around which gulls nest and cows graze. But standing on a cliff, you see - here it is true Scotland.

Another interesting story is connected with the castle. In 1297, the church at the castle was captured and burned by William Wallace, whom, as we recall, was played by Mel Gibson. And in 1990, Hamann was filmed in Dannattor, again with Gibson in the title role.

How to get there: from the village of Stonhaven, 15 miles south of Aberdeen, a hiking trail with a length of about two miles was laid.

6. Inverness castle

Standing in the very north of Loch Ness Lake, Inverness Castle, according to Shakespeare, was Macbeth's ancestral estate. Modern scholars deny this, but their skepticism does not prevent Shakespeare fans from rushing to the north of the country.

In addition, it is worth a trip to Inverness to look for the famous Loch Ness monster; for this, go from the city further and further into the forest along the coastal road. Stop at each small bay and peer into the expanse of water - will Nessie swim there?

In the town of Dramnadrohit, which is in the middle of the way from Inverness to Fort Augustus, it is worth visiting the expositions telling about the mystical inhabitant of these places. You can also look into the third most important castle in Scotland (after Edinburgh and Stirling). Only ruins remained of it, but, as in the case of Dannottar, the castle even benefits from this.

How to get there: from Aberdeen on the A96 to drive through Speyside and peek at a couple of distilleries.

7. Isle of Skye

Getting around Sky is best done by car or bicycles. Comfortable here and lovers of hiking trails. The standard path includes Portree - the largest city in the vicinity of which you can see fur seals, Old Man of Storr rock, Kilt Rock waterfall. Going around the island, you should cut off the road and, having avoided the northern end, turn towards the Uig a little earlier to drive along the magical Quiraing valley. It is good at any time of the year: with flowering green fields, and has just departed from winter.

Be sure to find a beach exit on the way and stop for a picnic. Where else can you enjoy nature, rocks, the sea, sheep and highland cows scurrying around?

If time allows, it is worth stopping by at Dunvegan Castle - the residence of the MacLeod clan. Most likely, you will not meet immortal highlanders, but you will learn the history of the struggle with the MacDonald clan.

Another amazing place that is rarely written in guidebooks is Fairy Pools, fabulous lakes. Located away from the main tracks, and even a couple of miles from the road, the cleanest ponds with small and not very waterfalls surrounded by mountains seem one of the most beautiful places on the whole of Skye.

How to get there: by bus to Portree, by ferry from Mulligue (buses run from Fort William) or by car through the bridge at Kyle of Lochash. Get to Skye: Drive through Eilean Donan Castle, which stands on a small island connected to the ground by a bridge. Cross the bridge to Skye, during a trip through which the landscape is surprised.

8. Laskentir (Luskentyre)

To be on a tropical white sand beach, but on the northern coast of the Atlantic (at the same latitude as Stockholm and St. Petersburg) - this is possible in Scotland. On the Lascentir Peninsula, nature has created wonderful beaches with a clear sea. And although most of the year there is wind, rain and storm, getting to even such a place for several hours of good weather is an extraordinary success.

How to get there: by ferry from Uig to Lewis & Harris Island, from there by bus in the direction of Leverburgh.

9. Inner Hebrides (Inner Hebrides Isles)

We already wrote about Oban and many islands in our country overview, but some things eluded our attention. The archipelago consists of almost a hundred islands, of which only half are inhabited. However, if you go off the beaten track, you can find a lot of interesting things. For example, on the island of Colonsay (Colonsay) are stone pillars of the Iron Age, presumably left over from ancient forts.

Skipness Castle, on the Kintir Peninsula, belonged to the Norwegians in the 12th century.

There, in the vicinity of Kilmartin (Kilmartin Glen), more than 800 archaeological sites and ancient monuments. In the north of Mullah Island, in the Calgary Conservation Forest, you can find amazing landscapes created by nature. And fish and seafood are abundant on the islands - here they sell it as fast food. Gourmets will be able to roam!

How to get there: get to Oban on the A85, and from there either go south along Kintyr or take ferries to the islands.

10. Dumfries

Usually southern Scotland skips by bus or train on the way to Glasgow or Edinburgh. Meanwhile, it is a beautiful land with its riddles and interesting places. In addition to the Galloway National Park, it is worth visiting the main city of the region - Dumfries.

First, because there spent his last years of life, "Pushkin Scotland", Robert Burns. Go to his museum house, have a beer in his favorite pub, walk through the streets, parks or the farm on which he lived. It is best to be imbued with the spirit of universal adoration, of course, on January 25, the poet’s birthday.

Secondly, during the Second World War, this region was one of the most powerful rear industries. You can appreciate this by visiting the Aviation Museum or the Devil’s Porridge Exhibition (a factory for the production of military equipment).

How to get there: from Glasgow along the M74 highway in the center of the country or M77 along the coast. By bus or train from Glasgow and Edinburgh.

1. Broch of Mousa

One of the most famous and well-preserved brooches on the Shetland Islands, this impressive structure is a tower, lined with stone internally and externally to ensure optimal strength as a defensive structure. The tower was built around 100 BC It is the tallest building in the world and the best preserved prehistoric building in Europe. Brocha Musa is located on the west coast of the island of Musa. This brocha is mentioned in two Scandinavian Viking sagas.

2. Abbey Melrose (Melrose Abbey)

Melrose Abbey was founded in 1136 by Cistercian monks, at the request of the King of Scotland, David 1. Alexander II and other Scottish kings and nobles were buried in the abbey. The abbey was largely destroyed by the English army led by Richard II in 1385. And the Melrose Battalion is one of the most historically significant architectural structures in Scotland and one of Scotland's most famous sights.

3. The Cayillin Hills

This rocky mountain range is located on the island of Skye. Also known as Black Caillin, the highest point of the mountain is Alistair Peak, 992 meters high. These mountains consist of two different formations. Red kaillin are the formation of red granite, which is softer and more attractive in appearance. Black Caillin is more severe in appearance with sharp, uneven peaks of volcanic rock.

4. Skara Brae (Skara Brae)

Skara Brey is located on the island of Orkney, it is one of the well-preserved villages of the Stone Age, Neolithic era in Europe. It was covered for hundreds of years with sand dunes until a large storm in 1850 cleared it of sand. The stone walls were relatively well preserved because the dwellings were filled with sand almost immediately after the village was abandoned. Scara Bray is older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids, it is called the "Scottish Pompeii" because of its excellent preservation.

5. Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of the most impressive castles in all of Scotland. The castle is located on top of Castle Hill. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, making it impregnable. Sterling Castle is ideally strategically located near the Fort River, which has made it an important defensive fortification since ancient times. Several Scottish kings and queens were crowned at Stirling Castle, including Mary Stuart in 1542. The castle survived at least eight sieges, including several during the War of Scotland's independence, the last in 1746, when Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle. Stirling Castle is Scotland's iconic landmark.

6. Scotch whiskey (Scotch Whiskey)

Not every whiskey can be called scotch tape, but only one that is prepared using classic Scottish technology from pure barley malt and barley and has a aging time of at least three years. The first producers of whiskey in Scotland were monasteries. The drink was significantly different from the modern one and was used only for medicinal purposes. However, ordinary people soon became addicted to the “medicine”, and private distilleries began to appear like mushrooms after rain. In the XVII century. the volume of handicraft production of whiskey reached such proportions that the English authorities had to introduce taxes and licenses, which ultimately stimulated the appearance of large distilleries.

Today, Scotch tape is produced both on an industrial scale and in small closed distilleries, where collectible varieties of the drink come from. In each of the regions where whiskey is produced - Campbeltown, Speyside, Highland, Lowland, on the island of Islay, their traditions of its preparation have developed. There are even special whiskey tours of distilleries, which are very popular with tourists.

7. Lakenty Beach (Luskentyre Beach)

Lakshenty Beach is located on the West Coast of the spectacular South Harris on the outer Hebrides. The beach has been recognized as the best beach in the UK. This beach stands out for its beautiful white sand and stunning blue-green water.

8. Loch Ness

One of the most famous lakes in the world, Loch Ness is the second largest lake in Scotland after Loch Lomond (and because of its great depth).

But Loch Ness is not famous for its size, but first of all it became famous because of the legend of the Loch Ness monster named Nessie. The Loch Ness monster, a giant sea creature that supposedly lurks in a lake. The first mention of the Loch Ness monster was found during excavations of the Roman Empire camps, when the legionnaires captured the Celtic lands of Scotland, and in Celtic folklore the spirit of the lake with the body of a horse, a long neck and a small head is described. In 1934, the famous photograph of the Loch Ness Monster was taken.

Of course, the Loch Ness Monster is the main attraction of the lake, but besides this, Loch Ness lake cruises are very popular. During the Loch Ness cruise, you can enjoy the idyllic scenery of Scotland, framed by hills and dotted with historical sites and castles.

9. St. Giles Cathedral

With its famous spire, towering over the Royal Mile in Edinburgh's Old Town and a history dating back over 1000 years, St Giles Cathedral is one of Scotland's most famous religious buildings. Founded in 1120, the cathedral had a long and vibrant history in the center of the Scottish Catholic religion. From looting and burning by British troops led by King Richard II to the famous sermon of the John Knox Reformation in 1559, a statue of John Knox stands in front of the cathedral.

Today, most of the cathedral’s Gothic structure dates back to the 19th century with highlights including exquisite stained glass windows and the legendary Capel.

10. Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis is located deep in the mountains of Scotland, it is one of the highest points of Scotland and the British Isles, which offers stunning. breathtaking view of the surroundings

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11. Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle is located on a small tidal island, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge. The original castle was built at the beginning of the 13th century as a defense against the Vikings. Today, the castle is one of the most photographed monuments in Scotland and one of the most popular venues for weddings and filming.

12. Iona Abbey

Iona Abbey is located off the west coast of Scotland on the island of Iona, Iona Abbey is the main religious attraction in Scotland, this Benedictine monastery, is the first monastery built in Scotland and one of the oldest religious centers in Western Europe.

The Irish monk Columbus arrived on the island in 563 and laid the first stone in the foundation of the monastery.Around 1200, the historic abbey of Aion was built.

It was from Iona Abbey that Christianity spread throughout Scotland, it remains a symbol of Scottish Christianity, and still it is visited by a large number of pilgrims in addition to tourists during excursions.

13. Forth Bridge

Fort Bridge is a free-standing railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in Scotland near Edinburgh.

The question may arise, how among a unique natural and historical sights of Scotland some kind of bridge was cluttered, but the Fort Bridge opened by the Prince of Wales in 1890, having a total length of almost 2500 meters, is a symbolic symbol of engineering and architectural skill, the main engineering attraction of Scotland, introduced a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The bridge and its associated railway infrastructure are owned by Network Rail. Before him there is a special bus tour from Edinburgh.

14. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a magnificent example of Scottish architecture, ideology, politics and military construction. Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland's main tourist attractions. The castle is located right in the center of the Scottish capital, the city of Edinburgh on the castle cliff.

Originally built in the early Middle Ages, the castle was thoroughly rebuilt at the beginning of the XVII century and adapted for defense using fortress artillery.

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