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Celebrating all that Scotland has to Offer

whisky glass and kilt
Scotland Homecoming
Scotland Homecoming

Celebrating all that Scotland has to Offer

story by: Inspire Magazine

Scotland has always been known for its outstanding natural beauty, warm hospitality and fascinating cultural heritage. Here’s your guide on celebrating everything that makes the country great, including mouth-watering food, spectacular arts and crafts events, outdoor activities and wildlife exploration.

Boasting the highest peaks in the UK, picturesque forests, and coastlines as far as the eye can see, Scotland’s natural attractions are almost impossible to match. This scenic beauty is the setting for many of Hollywood’s big blockbusters, including James Bond’s latest outing Skyfall and the award-winning animation Brave. Wildlife festivals in Shetland and Orkney mean you can learn more about Scotland’s unique flora and fauna through nature trails, and boat trips along the coast.

The John Muir Way was opened during the 2014 Homecoming Celebrations, which was a yearlong celebration of everything that makes the country great. This is a coast to coast 215-kilometre continuous long route between Helensburgh and Dunbar and is named to celebrate the legacy of John Muir, a Scots-born conservationist and founding father of the world’s first national park system. As well as beautiful and dramatic landscape, the route takes in historic sites like Roman forts, the Antonine Wall and the palace of Mary Queen of Scots. Consisting of easy to moderate terrain, the John Muir Way can be done end-to-end on foot, bike and even on horseback for some sections.

Sport has always had a special place in the hearts of Scots, and in 2014 it hosted the hugely successful Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup, where the US and Europe golf teams squared off.

Scotland has an exciting cycling scene, whether you prefer mounting biking or hitting the roads. There’s also the chance to test yourself against the country’s walking routes, including the new 755km Gore-tex National Trail.

Scotland’s creative scene is a vibrant and buzzing environment, with Edinburgh boasting the world’s most prestigious arts festival, known as the Fringe Festival. Every August, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the city to enjoy comedy, theatre, dance and music – it’s the perfect showcase for the country’s artistic talent.

For a real party atmosphere, Hogmanay is without match. Bring in the New Year Scots style, with parades, fire festivals and folk music.

Food and drink
If sumptuous food and drink is always high on your agenda, then Scotland has everything you could possibly desire. There are 16 Michelin star restaurants in Scotland, including five in Edinburgh, which has (along with Dublin) the highest number for any city outside of London.

On a slightly less grandiose scale – although just as delicious – are Scotland’s farmers’ markets, which present the finest local produce from cheeses and game to other artisan delights.

The Dundee Flower and Food Festival and Flavour Fortnight are other annual events to get your mouth watering.

If you have ties with Scotland– or even if you don’t, you’ll be drawn in by the country’s fascinating history. Pride in clan heritage is still strong in Scotland and people are encouraged to uncover their ancestral lineage. 

Witness the world-renowned Highland Games, with caber tossing and tug o’wars, or take an intriguing Castle Trail tour to explore the historic buildings of Aberdeenshire.

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