Scotland has approximately 2500 castles, often they are owned and maintained by Historic Environment or National Trust for Scotland. There are still a number of privately owned castles, such as Blair Atholl, Glamis Castle and there are also obviously the Queens residencies: Holyrood Palace and Balmoral Castle. Whatever way they are owned there is a vast variety of castles to choose from. Each of them will provide you with some fascinating insights to Scottish history and clans. If you are planning to visit a number of castles joining the National Trust or Historic Environment can safe you some money. You can combine several castles as well as added other attractions such as scenic drives or a whisky distillery. Furthermore a number of castles have served as film locations not only for Outlander of course.
Let me take you on a journey throughout the finest Whisky regions of Scotland.
Scotland’s soul: Whisky
If you want to discovers Scotland’s heart and soul you better engage in -at least- a little tasting of the water of life. There are about 120 whisky disitlleries in operation. So you are spoilt for choice. Speak to us and tell us your preferences if you know them or let us take you to a variety of distilleries. There is even a ‘wee’ tasting kit onboard. Also keep in mind all our tours are bespoke and you can combine a distillery visit with a vast variety of other activities.
Campeltown is Scotland’s smallest whisky region with only three distilleries however whisky lovers swear by them: Springbank
(Springbank, Hazelburn and the peaty Longrow), Glengyle
& Glen Scotia
The whiskies of this region are known for their smoothness and can be found in Central Belt and the South of Scotland including Edinburgh & The Lothians, Glasgow & The Clyde Valley, the Kingdom of Fife, Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders. All of them are very accessible and close to home of Starfish Travel we have quite a few new editions: Daftmill , Lindores Abbey , Kingsbarns Distillery , Rosebank
In the early days of spirit distillation accessibility was by boat- hence why Islay which is roughly 25 miles long contains nine distilleries among them some of the most famous of all. In the days of hiding from the tax man the valleys of Speyside were much preferred. Back to Islay:
Scotland’s beauty is well known and provides a good reason for film makers around the world to choose it for its breathtaking landscapes for Harry Potter, Rob Roy, Braveheart, Outlander, The Da Vinci code, The Outlaw King, , Queen Mary of Scots, Skyfall and so many more.
We happily create a tour along one or more of those filming locations. You can spend quite some time with Outlander or Harry Potter on its own.
“What is your favourite place in Scotland?” This is a question I get asked very frequently and after all those years of living in the most beautiful country of all (My opinion!) I still cannot answer it. Because it is beautiful wherever you turn. It is a task to find something ugly and usually requires digging deep into Scotland’s industial past and even there will be something amazing to be discovered.
Most visitors focus on the well known breath-taking landscapes such as Glencoe, Loch Lomond, Loch Ness, Cairngorms, The Land of the Big Trees , the isle of Skye etc. All of which are truly amazing but to be honest there is so much to discover that I feel I will not manage in my life time and I do this for a living.
So my advice to you is pick some attractions you fancy visiting and I guarantee you there will be some mesmerizing scenic back roads to discover. Alternatively, just opt for an area and allow me to suggest what you could do.