Top Ten Towns To Visit During A Tour Of Scotland

Scotland, the northern-most country in the British Isles, has a plethora of metropolitan attractions and scenic landscapes. The castles, tartans, the timeless museums, the pretty lochs, the beautiful seaside and the rugged mountains make Scotland a travellers’ paradise!

So, which are the prettiest cities and towns in Scotland? Read on and find out:

1. Edinburgh

A wonderful city with a dramatic setting: Edinburgh is the perfect starting point to your Scottish exploration. The skyline, when seen from Princes Street, offers you a panoramic view of the Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat and the Edinburgh Castle. Besides, would you really want to miss the art festival in August?

2. Glasgow

Although not heavily touristy like Inverness and Edinburgh, Glasgow, the “Workplace of the West” is known for its abundance of shopping, pubs and restaurants. Glasgow also prides itself on having the friendliest residents ever, what with the legendary “Glasgow friendliness” and all! A few must-visit sights are the Glasgow School of Art, the Ubiquitous Chip and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

3. Inverness

Second only to Edinburgh in the popularity department, Inverness, called “the Highland Capital” offers you a bunch of unique entertainment options: the Inverness Botanical Gardens, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Inverness Castle, and St. Andrews Cathedral. Plus, Loch Ness, Culloden Battlefield, Fort George and the Caledonian Canal are good places to visit outside the city limits.

4. Dundee

A pretty little town on the banks of the River Kay, Dundee is scenic and has a warm friendly vibe, much like Glasgow. Called the “Discovery City” by virtue of the RRS Discovery ship on display in its harbour, Dundee is artsy (Dundee Contemporary Arts) and boasts a number of retail shopping plazas. It could be your basic gateway to visiting places like the Fife and the Angus Glens.

5. Perth

Perth is Scotland’s newest city! Its Georgian houses, cobbled pavements, and elegant manors speak volumes about its rich history, but the dazzling pubs, nightlife options, shopping malls and Perth Concert Hall are testimony to its cosmopolitan culture. Stroll about in the North and South Inch public gardens and visit the Scone Palace, very close to downtown Perth.

6. Aberdeen

Europe’s primetime moneymaking city, Aberdeen is known for its oil industry and granite. Located on the east coast, its scenic seaside, the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Art Galleries and the pretty floral walks all around town (“Britain in Bloom” award-winning city) make it a city worth visiting. Enjoy the spectacular sunset at the Aberdeen Golden Beach.

7. Stirling

Its feet planted firmly in the past, Stirling is a historian’s delight. Explore the Stirling Ghost Walk, Stirling Castle, the Battle of Bannockburn site and the National Wallace Monument. The Old Town of Stirling, although much quieter compared to Edinburgh, is lovely and so is Loch Lomond, just thirty minutes away from the city centre.

8. Linlithgow

More history folks! Linlithgow is the birthplace of the famous Mary, Queen of Scotts. Visit the Linlithgow Palace, a 15th century ruin to hear her story. Located between Edinburgh and Glasgow, this charming old-style city is popular for its quaint cafes, taverns and souvenir stores on High Street.

9. St. Andrews

A bustling university town with some of the best beaches in Scotland and an aquarium, St. Andrews is famous for its golf courses. Called the “home of golf”, it boasts the St. Andrews Royal Ancient Golf Club, which was founded in the late 17th century. St. Andrews University is also a famous tourist spot.

10. Melrose

Melrose is a market city, with vibrant shopping plazas and trinket stores. Outside the city limits, the rolling hills offer a picturesque milieu. Nothing much to do here, but nevertheless, Melrose is a laid back city with perhaps, the best salmon from the nearby River Tweed.

Happy travelling!


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Capturing Classic Scottish Style In Your Guest House Interior

It’s hard work running a guest house: you have to keep on top of maintenance, décor, cleaning, washing and ironing, and that’s in addition to looking after the comfort of your guests, including preparing breakfast. Then, because you are running a business, you have to pay attention to marketing your establishment, taking bookings, answering general enquiries and perhaps giving people directions so they can find you easily. You may also want to provide information on local events and activities in order to make sure guests have a good time and encourage them to visit again. Above everything else, the impression the guest house makes on visitors is all-important, and this is where interior design can make a real difference.

Attractive Interiors

Maintenance is a given, as is keeping a clean house, because these are in your own and in your guests’ interests. However, the way in which you choose to decorate your premises is known to affect the experience of staying in a guest house. Many visitors to Inverness want the fact that they are in Scotland to be reflected in their surroundings, and this means interiors as well as the great outdoors.

Plaid patterns are particularly associated with classic Scottish looks and these days it’s possible to find attractive tartan patterns on carpets and rugs, wall coverings, upholstery and cushion covers, as well as on bedspreads, tablecloths and curtains. It’s important to combine plaid with more neutral, plain fabrics and finishes, perhaps inspired by one of the colours in the plaid, such as grey or beige, so as to achieve a classic look, rather than a room that looks too busy.

The same goes for the use of ornaments, china, glassware and pictures – everyone loves the Scottie dog and the thistle is the emblem of Scotland, so one or two well-placed pieces will enhance a space, whereas too much will make a room appear overstuffed and even a little chaotic. Oak furniture says traditional while botanic prints and old photographs or maps make an attractive alternative to the mounted stag’s head. Remember, classic means traditional and tasteful, not old-fashioned and kitsch.

Guest Bedrooms

You don’t need a castle or a mansion house with a four-poster bed to achieve a Scottish look, nor do you need to dress the bed entirely in plaid linen. This may be just too much for your guests to wake up to, especially if they’ve enjoyed a wee dram or two the night before. In fact, any plain bed linen you choose will be enhanced by a simple plaid throw over the double bed – Trafford Bank Guest House achieves a subtle Scottish look in some of its bedrooms by using plaid throws and matching scatter cushions on white bed linen. A sense of humour doesn’t go amiss either – at Trafford Bank there’s also a cheeky little nod to where you are via the plaid toilet seats sporting a thistle.

Themed Interiors

Perhaps the key thing to bear in mind is that your guests want to remember their stay with you – they want it to


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Wedding Photographer In Aberdeen

Wedding Photographer in Aberdeen: Things To Look For

Photography Aberdeen

Your wedding day is going to be one of the most important days of your life; no two ways about it. There are many who might have planned this day for a long time and want it to be just perfect. You have put in all the effort to ensure that the day turns out to be exactly according to your vision. When that is done you can have a big smile on your face and enjoy the special day to the fullest. Then of course, you want to have stunning pictures that will remind you of the perfect day for a long time to come.

If you live in the stunning city of Aberdeen, you naturally have a gorgeous setting and many brilliant venues for your wedding. If you are planning a wedding in Scotland why not also employ a Scottish wedding piper. It will add to their natural charm but you need to take the effort to find a suitable Aberdeen Wedding Photographer as well. The photographer you choose should do justice to the big day of your life and bring out the special moments that you want to be cherished for a long time to come. That’s the reason it’s crucial to hire a wedding photography professional for your needs after due consideration.

Look for experienced professionals to work with

If you want to find the best Wedding Photographer in Aberdeen then you will have to consider his experience. There are photographers who have a strong portfolio of wedding pictures that they have clicked and it gives you a fair idea of what they are capable of. Those who have been in the field for many years know exactly what wedding photography is all about and what new couples are looking for. Hence they will be able to offer you results accordingly and ensure that you are completely satisfied.

It’s important that you are on the same page as the photographer

You might hire photographers Aberdeen who know their job to a T; but it’s your big day after all and you want the picture to be exactly according to your tastes. Hence it’s a good idea to consult with the photographer you want to work with before the big day and give him a brief about what you are looking for. You will realise that even experienced quality photographers will be willing to listen to your requirements and take them on board. They will also offer you suggestions that will only add to the final results.

If you pay due attention to hiring the Wedding Photographer in Aberdeen, you will have pictures that you will always be proud of.


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The 2014 Festival Highlights Concert Inverness

The 2014 Festival Highlights Concert is taking place on Saturday 7th June 2014 at 7:30pm in the OneTouch Theatre at Eden Court.

The Inverness Festival Association will present another outstanding concert of highlights from this year’s Inverness Music Festival as a tribute to the breadth of talent we have on display in the Highlands.  Here is a chance to experience some of those memorable moments that caught the attention of judges and audience alike during the festival itself.

The concert will not only display that impressive talent, but also reveal the wide variety of artistic ends to which it is applied. From nursery rhyme through folk song, piano sonata, music theatre, string ensemble to ceilidh band, there is much here to appreciate both as sound and spectacle.

This year’s line up will include, the amazing Clarsach duet Imogen Hay and Lucy Faulkner, Milton of Leys Rockin Recorders plus much, much more.

The Highlights concert represents the culmination of the festivals efforts to provide performance opportunities for talent of all ages and is set to be a night not to miss.

Tickets £10 from Eden Court Box Office. Discount Available for IMF Members. Call: 01463 234 234

www.eden-court.co.uk


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Scotch Whisky – The Right Way To Enjoy It

Scotch whisky is one of Scotland’s major exports and it is sold to countries all over the world. The drink has a history that stretches back more than 500 years. It is an iconic drink; a beverage steeped in tradition, history and legend, and one that contributes a great deal to Scotland’s culture and economy.

Whisky is not merely an export: the presence of more than 100 distilleries brings tourists and whisky enthusiasts to Scotland by the tens of thousands, greatly bolstering the national economy. So what is it about Scotch that captivates so many, and how is it best enjoyed?

Scotch – The Basics

Scotch whisky has just three ingredients: water, cereals and yeast. For a whisky to be a true Scotch, it must be distilled in Scotland and matured there for at least three years, although most whiskies are matured for much longer than this, eight to 25 years being the norm.

Following maturation, the liquid is bottled and from that point it does not develop any further – whisky matures in the barrel, not in the bottle. Some whiskies will be bottled and sold as single malts, which means that the bottle contains only whisky from the named distillery, but most are sold as blends. Blended whiskies are combinations of complementary whiskies, from different distilleries, that are mixed and bottled together.

Although it is often believed that single malt is superior to a blend, this need not always be the case. Some blends are exceptionally good and may exceed the quality of an inferior single malt. Indeed, some keen whisky drinkers buy single malts and use them to create their own blends, at home.

Tourism

Just like wine, whisky is profoundly affected by the surroundings in which it is created, and the very particular qualities of Scotland’s whisky regions draw in visitors, just like the world’s great wine chateaux. Many tourists base themselves in one of the five whisky-producing areas, so that they can visit the local distilleries and sample its various malts. Some areas, such as Highland, are very large and so produce whiskies with a wide variety of aromas and flavours. Consequently, whisky fans base themselves in the area and travel across it in order to savour the many varieties of scotch.

Scotland has five key malt whisky-producing areas: Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown.

Many hotels and guest houses in these areas now offer information and assistance specifically for whisky enthusiasts, and there are several ‘distillery tours’ available.

Drinking Whisky

The way in which Scotch is enjoyed varies widely across the world. In some countries it is heavily diluted and enjoyed as a long drink, in others it is most frequently used as part of a cocktail. In Scotland itself, whisky is generally drunk in small amounts and savoured straight, or with a very small amount of water. Although scotch is often served in tumblers, experts agree that the perfect whisky glass is a squat, tulip-shaped glass, because this allows the aromas to be held in a small area at the top of the glass (a tumbler allows the aromas to escape, which reduces the quality of the drink).


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