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Considering a Vacation in Scotland

Jun 7, 2008
The United Kingdom of Great Britain is an extremely popular vacation destination. The kingdoms are England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland with each having unique differences in architecture, culture, language, accents and much much more. The citizens of each country are both proud of their own country but also very proud to be British so a person from Scotland can declare himself both Scottish and British with the vast majority placing "Scottish" first and foremost. Scotland was a fiercely independent nation until the Act of Union in 1707 brought it into union with England. Even today there is a strong movement for independence. Even though Scotland has a devolved government with some important and influential powers, the nationalists feel that the Scottish peoples will be better served by a free and independent government with total power over the country's destiny.

When most folk think of Scotland pictures of a tartan clad piper, or something similar, spring to mind. Much of what we see as wholly Scottish was, in fact, a Victorian creation with influential characters such as the famous novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott, did much to promote Scotland and all things Scottish. While the majority of Scottish Highlanders did indeed wear tartan it was not until the marketing exploits of a Lowland company, William Wilson, that specific tartans were assigned to the different clans or regions. Unfortunately a great many patterns for historical tartans that were in existence before 1746 are now lost forever having been replaced with newer patterns. So what is truly Scottish, well to discover this we need to study the history of the nation and understand a little more about the different regions and cities of Scotland which can differ considerably within only short distances.

Much of what Sir Walter Scott recreated as traditional Scottish was taken from the region of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The traditional dress of the region was, and still is, the tartan plaid/kilt and the bagpipes were played extensively since first promoted by the MacLeods. When visiting the Highlands one can not fail to be in awe of the most amazing scenery of mountain and glen and, as you travel from one place to another, you will be enthralled by the lovely little villages found dotted around. If you prefer larger towns and cities then you could always base a vacation in Fort William or in Inverness. If you enjoy the remote then a visit to the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides or the islands of the Outer Hebrides should not be missed, especially if you wish to experience the culture of the Gaelic Heartland.

Of all the cities in Scotland Edinburgh, being the nation's capital and where you will find the seat of the Scottish Government, is the most important. The city is also one of the most historical with Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile and the New Town being of extreme interest to those who enjoy architecture. Edinburgh is actually rather a small city and you are within easy reach of some of the most incredible scenery with "Arthur's Seat" being one of the best places to get a view of the whole of Edinburgh.

Glasgow is vastly different to Edinburgh, it is certainly larger (Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland), but the architecture is more Victorian with little any older. This is due to the fact that the city developed extremely quickly from a small village to a large town and then a city, during the industrial revolution. The Act of Union in 1707 opened up markets which had previously been closed to Scotland and the tradesmen of Glasgow took full advantage, especially the tobacco merchants who made massive fortunes in a very short space of time. Many of the merchants invested in the building of wonderful civic buildings which are still used today and can be seen throughout the city.

Besides the two cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow there are plenty of other towns and cities, such as Sterling, Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen, that are worth visiting as each are very different from one another. Each has it's own tourist attractions such as St Andrews and it's famous golf courses. One of the most popular tourist attractions is actually a modern work of engineering, the Falkirk Wheel but, in the main, most tourist attractions in Scotland are historical buildings or sites such as Stirling Castle.

Whatever your interests Scotland can provide the location for your perfect vacation. When you have chosen where to base yourselves you can investigate all of the tourist attractions but it is also well worth finding out what tours are available. One of the most popular types of tours in Scotland is the whisky tour but others are just as popular, such as Edinburgh's many ghost tours. So, when you are next choosing a vacation destination give Scotland some thought.
About the Author
If you are visiting Scotland then you should take a look at our listings of Glasgow Hotel or, for the Isle of Harris, Harris Hotel listings.
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