10 Things to Know When Travelling to Scotland
What do you need to know if you are considering travelling to Scotland? What to pack, where to go, what to eat? Find it here!
- Scotland is a relatively small country and its public transport system is amongst the best in the world, making it an accessible option for travel and exploration. It’s a capital city that is also easy to navigate, and if you attend a course at Mackenzie School, one of the first activities you will do is the exclusive ‘Get to Know Edinburgh’. This is a scavenger hunt style activity using iPads and maps, designed to help students find their way around the city centre. This gives a good basis on which to build your local knowledge and give you confidence when travelling further afield.
- One of the most striking things you will notice when travelling Scotland is the lush green scenery. There are so many walks you can do, each with their own fantastic views and intriguing history. One of the best of these is in Edinburgh, the hilly climb of dormant volcano Arthur’s Seat which charms the skyline and offers summit views of the whole surrounding area. The Scottish Parliament and Holyrood House are nearby and can be visited on the way.
- Scotland is full of castles, each with their own tales of battles and royal occupants. Some are ruins – still well worth a visit – whilst others, such as Stirling Castle, stand proud and splendid, offering a great day out for all ages.
- Loch Ness is world famous but did you know there are other lochs too? Loch Katrine in the Trossachs and Loch Lomond both offer breathtaking views and are very accessible from central Scotland. Boat trips are available at both locations.
- Scottish Universities, such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and St Andrews, where Prince William and Kate Middleton met, are also recommended to visit and can be combined with other interests, for instance St Andrews is also the home of golf, which originated in Scotland. You could even try a University Experience course.
- You don’t need to go far to have a good time anywhere in Scotland. An evening of traditional Scottish dancing and music is called a ‘ceilidh’ and it is wonderfully entertaining and fun! If you want to embrace other areas of Scottish culture, you could visit a whisky distillery or watch some live sport such as rugby, football or even ice hockey.
- The festivals, such as the comedy and arts festivals in Edinburgh throughout summer are a unique experience. You can book courses that combine English tuition with festival related activities here at Mackenzie School.
- Local produce includes whisky, seafood, and of course haggis, but Scottish people do enjoy a variety of international cuisines and there is a wide choice of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Among the best meals to try are a Scottish Breakfast, which will set you up nicely for a day of sightseeing, and Cullen Skink, a creamy, rich soup of smoked haddock and potato. Scottish people traditionally drink a lot of tea but modern cafes offering Artisan coffee are common too.
- Scotland has a gruesome past and there are several attractions which celebrate this part of its heritage, such as dungeons, jails and ghost tours. In fact if you want tours, there are a variety to choose from – not just ghost tours, but also literary tours, Harry Potter tours and Outlander Tours. And don’t forget to go island hopping – Scottish islands such as Skye and Arran have a special charm and are worth adding to the list of places to see.
- With so much to do, learn and see, you may not even notice the weather in Scotland. But if you do, you may well find that it is not as bad as you expected, with long daylight hours all year round and quite mild weather in winter. However the weather can be changeable and as Scottish comedian Billy Connolly said ‘There is no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes’. Pack for all weathers and bring a decent pair of walking shoes and you won’t go far wrong. If you want to combine travelling Scotland with improving your English skills, then you can enrol at Mackenzie School of English here. For further information on Scotland’s main attractions and activities look here.
Mackenzie School of English offers a range of course options and cultural visits, excursions & social events for both young learners and adults.
By choosing one of our programmes, you will not only improve your English, but we will make sure you make the most of your time in Edinburgh.
Contact us for more information or to book now: [email protected]