Scotland is renowned for its beautiful scenery and sensational whisky – but there is much more to the country than that.
By Dan Parton
Scotland’s profile as a holiday destination has increased in recent years. In all, nearly 166 million tourism trips were made to Scotland in 2017 – overnight and day trips – a 6.2% increase on the previous year, according to figures from Visit Scotland. The increase is understandable, given the wealth of attractions, as well as its welcoming reputation. Indeed, Glasgow was described by travel publication, Rough Guide, as the world’s “friendliest” city.
Glasgow is a great city break destination and there
Further afield, there are attractions and destinations to suit a variety of tastes all around the country.
For art lovers, the Scottish National Gallery, in the centre of Edinburgh, is a must-see. It houses masterpieces by some of the greatest artists in history, including Raphael, Turner, Monet, Van Gogh, Botticelli and Rembrandt. The most famous names in Scottish art, such as McTaggart, Raeburn and Wilkie are also well represented.
The gallery is fully accessible
A few streets away from the Scottish National Gallery is the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. This houses a history of portraits from the Reformation to the present day, with a diverse range of subjects from the poet, Robert Burns to football manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. The gallery is fully accessible and includes rooms that can be used as quiet spaces for people with autism.
Scotland is also the home of whisky. There are 120 distilleries in the country with many offering fascinating tours. For instance, you can visit the oldest working distillery in Scotland at The Famous Grouse Experience at the Glenturret Distillery in Crieff.
Visitors can see the traditional handmade distilling process that has been used to craft whisky for generations. You also find out how the Glenturret single malt is blended with other grains and malt whiskies to create The
Famous Grouse. And, of course, you get to sample the whisky on the tour.
Further north, the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre in Inverness is well worth a visit. The visitor centre is located at the scene of the last battle fought on British soil in 1746, where the Jacobite rising met its end.
Guided and self-guided tours are available, as well as hands-on activities. The centre features artefacts from the battle, as well as interactive displays that reveal the story of the conflict. Fully accessible throughout – including the rooftop viewing area – there are also accessible toilets and disabled parking bays at the front of the centre. Wheelchairs and powered scooters are available to hire, but it is best to book these in advance.
Scottish Gliding Centre
Why not try something completely different? You can get airborne at the Scottish Gliding Centre near Kinross. Here, the centre, in partnership with
Another popular tourist destination is St Andrews in Fife. Fabled as ‘the home of golf’, the world-renowned Old Course is in the northwest of the town and open to the public on Sundays. The British Golf Museum is also located in the town and is fully accessible, including Braille guides. (A BSL interpreter can be pre-booked.)
Of course, the town is also famous for its historic university. St Andrews University is the oldest in Scotland and boasts buildings with impressive 16th-century architecture. St Salvator’s Chapel is also worth a visit for its stained glass windows and
However, there are few accessible hotels in the town, so a visit here is probably best done as a day trip. There is plenty of parking – including disabled spaces – in St Andrews and public transport links to Edinburgh and Glasgow are frequent.
Where to stay
Many chain hotels throughout the country are fully accessible and cater
Likewise, there are holiday cottages throughout the country that cater
The Moat House Annan
Tel: 0800 024 8641
Crathie Opportunity Holidays
Tel: 01339 742100