One thing 2020 gave us was time – time to appreciate all the amazing things we have on our doorsteps.
Continue your new-found love of Scotland in 2021 with a staycation and fall in love with the scenery, history, culture and warm welcome that brings people from all over the world back to Scotland.
To help, VisitScotland has sent a handy list of ideas.
Nestled beneath the Eildon Hills, this Scottish Borders town is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and steeped in history. There is plenty to explore, from the impressive Melrose Abbey to Abbotsford House, the former home of Sir Walter Scott – with 2021 marking the 250th anniversary of his birth.
One of Scotland’s most famous abbeys will be at the centre of celebrations next year to mark the 701st anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. Festivities were postponed in 2020 but there is plenty to look forward to next year with events to celebrate. Arbroath is also home to the famous Arbroath Smokie while the surrounding countryside is home to 10 Munros and beautiful glens.
This eastern tip of north Scotland, part of the famous North Coast 500 driving route, is home to the highest concentration of brochs and ancient monuments in Scotland. There are also incredible geological features, including Whaligoe Steps and castles on cliff edges such as Keiss Castle and Castle Sinclair Girnigoe.
Inverclyde, Ayrshire & Firth of Clyde Islands
This corner of Scotland is home to scenic coastal towns, rolling countryside and fascinating maritime and cultural history. The new driving route, The Coig, made up of five routes stretching from Ayrshire, Arran and Cumbrae to Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and Bute, is an excellent way to explore the area.
It might be Scotland’s smallest county, but Clackmannanshire offers plenty of adventure and beauty. Located between the Ochil Hills and the River Forth, the region boasts stunning countryside, rich history, medieval castles and an impressive collection of public art. Local highlights include the Tower Trail, which includes four medieval towers and a number of works by artist Andy Scott, creator of the impressive Kelpies.
New for 2021
Diageo continues its investment in whisky tourism in Scotland in 2021 with the opening of the flagship Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland will get a new home in 2021 as the Great Tapestry of Scotland Visitor Centre opens its doors in Galashiels in the Borders. The new visitor attraction tells the story of Scotland through one of the world’s largest tapestries, created by more than 1,000 stitchers in communities across Scotland.
The relaunch of the David Livingstone Centre in South Lanarkshire will re-interpret his life for a new generation, telling his story from his humble beginnings as a Blantyre mill worker to world-famous adventurer.
The team behind Scotland’s carbon-neutral gin and vodka launch The Arbikie Distillery Experience in Angus in 2021.
And Cameron House Hotel will reopen in April following a sensitive restoration project at the resort on Loch Lomond.
Agritourism has gone from strength to strength, with holidaymakers looking to get their hands dirty down on the farm. Guests at Arnprior Farm near Stirling, Kitchen Coos & Ewes in Newton Stuart, Lennox of Lomond near Luss or Newton Farm Holidays in Angus can experience farming life first-hand and, at some locations during lambing season, even help welcome the new arrivals!
Voluntourism is a growing global trend and is a great way to give back to a destination while enjoying all the benefits of a trip. There are a range of volunteering opportunities in Scotland. Trees for Life offer Conservation Weeks, with participants helping to restore the ancient Caledonian Forest. And working holidays with The National Trust for Scotland offer the chance to make a real difference to the country’s natural heritage.
Sample Scotland’s finest seafood at the Lobster Shack in North Berwick, the Skipness Seafood Cabin in Tarbert or Oban Seafood Hut. Or try water activities such as paddleboarding, surfing or wild swimming.
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