Dramatic landscapes, rich traditions, and vibrant culture…Scotland is a honeymooner’s best kept secret. Who knew little Scotland had 6,158 miles of coastline and 700 islands? From castles in the hills to lakes in the lowlands, from historic cities with a modern vibe to quaint countryside villages, there’s so much to explore in the UK’s northernmost nation, it’s enough to fill romance-hungry honeymoon hearts a hundred times over.
Start in Edinburgh, one of Europe’s most picturesque cities, and home to the world’s largest performing arts festival. The city’s castle that sits atop an extinct volcano is one 1,200 medieval buildings gracing the country.
Drive into the outskirts for charming towns with narrow streets and stone houses dating back to the 12th century, and don’t forget to stop at the pubs or the world-class distilleries for a dram of Scotch. Continue into the Highlands for craggy landscapes draped in blooming purple heather and cut with sparkling rivers. Then reach the northern coast where you find cliffs to take your breath away. There are a thousand ways to have a honeymoon in Scotland, where incredible natural landscapes, historic treasures, and tons to see and do make for a getaway to a truly unique paradise.
At a Glance
- HIGHLAND GAMES: From May to September the country’s small towns and villages, athletes compete in traditional events like the Caber toss, hammer throw, highland dancing, and plenty of bagpiping for a celebration Scottish and Gaelic culture.
- STORM THE CASTLES: From Castle Mey where the Queen Mum still spends her summers, the perfectly restored Stirling Castle to the fairytale fortress of Eilean Donan or the nameless ruins dotting the countryside, Scotland’s medieval history is a treasure to behold.
- FRINGE FESTIVAL: Every August thousands of performers take to stages all over Edinburgh to present theater, comedy, dance, cabaret, musicals, operas, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events for every taste. The streets are alive with talent from around the world looking to share their craft and the fun in the arts.
- SCOTCH DISTILLERIES: A visit to any of the dozens of distilleries will make you feel warm and fuzzy as you explore the grounds, learn about the Scots-only trade, taste the finest whiskey proud to bear the name Scotch. Tip: Become a Diageo Friend of the Classic Malts and you’ll get free entrance into 12 of the finest distilleries.
- ISLAND HOP. If you don’t have time to see all 700 islands start with the breathtaking Isle of Skye, charming Mull, rugged Lewis & Harris, or the Scandinavian-influenced Shetland Islands.
WHEN TO VISIT: For the best weather and festivals, July and August are the best months to visit Scotland.
· GETTING THERE: Fly into the major Scottish cities of Glasgow or Edinburgh; the flight is 7.5 hours from New York.
· GETTING AROUND: Scotland has an extensive network of trains, buses, and ferries. Use the handy website Traveline Scotland to plan a journey within the country, using all forms of public transport. Also consider a campervan to best explore the far-flung areas that give Scotland its rugged charm.
· LANGUAGE: English and Scottish Gaelic are the official languages of Scotland, though all Scots speak standard English (often with a colorful brogue).
· CLIMATE: Though the climate varies drastically for a small country, it’s quite moderate overall with no extreme cold or heat. In the recommended travel months July and August, the average temp is 66 degrees and has the most sunshine.
· CURRENCY: British Pound (GBP) is roughly $1.00= 0.60 GBP. Latest rates can be found here.
· ELECTRICITY: The main voltage for electricity is 230V and 50Hz, which is standard in Europe.