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Archive for scotland

Iron Age Roundhouses

By Linda Tancs

A broch is a round tower found in Scotland. Dating to the Iron Age, it has an inner and outer dry-stone wall (that is, assembled without mortar) of imposing height. The best-known example is the Broch of Mousa on the island of Mousa in Shetland, Scotland. Its renown as one of the best-preserved prehistoric structures in Europe is no doubt due to its remote location. Enjoy a climb on the winding staircase to the top of the tower during the open season (April to September).

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Tall Trees in Britain

By Linda Tancs

Some of the tallest trees in Britain are located in the gardens of Blair Castle near Pitlochry in Scotland. You’ll find them in Diana’s Grove, a tranquil wooded area adjacent to the castle. The Banvie Burn runs through the grove and is crossed by two 18th-century bridges giving access to the ancient Celtic ruins of St. Bride’s Kirk. The herbaceous borders are particularly resplendent in Hercules Garden in summertime, where a life-sized statue of Hercules presides over a nine-acre walled Georgian garden. If you can tear yourself away from the exquisite environs, then be sure to take a self-guided tour of 30 rooms in the castle, covering 700 years of history of the Atholl family.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Heart of Scotland

By Linda Tancs

Perth, Stirling, The Trossachs and Highland Perthshire represent the very heart of Scotland. You can experience all of it on the new touring route known as Heart 200. It’s a 200-mile road trip comprising six sections: the Wooded Western Edge, the Highland North, the Riverside East, Perth, the Historic South and Stirling. Gems abound throughout the route, like Loch Tay (the largest loch on the route) and the nation’s oldest tree in the Highland North and Loch Leven (where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned on Castle Island) in the Historic South. You’ll find a plethora of places to stay, too, from five-star hotels to campsites.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Going With the Flow in Scotland

By Linda Tancs

Stretching across Caithness and Sutherland in the far north of Scotland is Europe’s largest blanket bog, a morass of deep peat and bog pools. The region is known as Flow Country, a wildlife reserve of nearly 500,000 acres sheltering, among other things, birds with small populations there like the white-tailed sea eagle and hen harrier. The area has been growing for 10,000 years, and the peat is over 32 feet deep. Start your orientation at the Forsinard Flows Visitor Center, located in the former station building at Forsinard on the Wick-Inverness railway line. From there you can take a wooden walkway to the Flows Lookout Tower for amazing views. Another must-do is the Forsinain trail, a waymarked path across the peat bogs and forestry at the heart of Flow Country.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Scotland’s Answer to Stonehenge

By Linda Tancs

Predating England’s famous Stonehenge is Scotland’s Calanais. Also known as the Callanish Stones, they’re located in Lewis (at the top of the Outer Hebrides off Scotland’s west coast). One of the country’s best-preserved Neolithic monuments, they date back over 5,000 years. The reason for the stones’ construction is uncertain; the site may have served as an astronomical observatory or a place for ritual activity. You can explore their construction and potential uses through an interactive exhibition at the visitor’s center.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Light North of Shetland

By Linda Tancs

The perils and adventures of lighthouse building no doubt influenced Robert Louis Stevenson, whose father and uncle designed some 30 lighthouses around Scotland’s coasts. One such lighthouse, Muckle Flugga, is the U.K.’s northernmost light, located on a rocky outcrop off the northern tip of Unst in the Shetland Islands. The island’s remote location is cited as inspiration for Robert’s novel, Treasure Island. These days Unst is conveniently linked with the rest of the Shetlands by a bus and ferry system, giving you the chance to experience the island’s treasured grasslands and coastal cliffs for yourself.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Landmark in Stirling

By Linda Tancs

Sir William Wallace is a national hero of Scotland, leading the nation in victorious battle in 1297 in its quest for independence from English rule at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Tried and sentenced for treason, his patriotism nonetheless paved the way for a later, decisive victory in the war for independence by Robert the Bruce. His courage and martyrdom are commemorated at the National Wallace Monument, standing on the Abbey Craig overlooking the city of Stirling. In the Hall of Arms inside the monument you’ll find Wallace’s sword and learn about Scotland’s most famous heroes. Take the 220-foot climb to the top of the monument for breathtaking views.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Road to the Isles

By Linda Tancs

The A830, popularly known as the Road to the Isles, is one of the most famous roads in the United Kingdom. It connects the town of Fort William to the port of Mallaig, where the West Highland railway line terminates. Sporting some of the nation’s best scenic views, it’s abounding in woodlands, moors, sandy beaches and sea views. And just a ferry ride away (year round) are the Small Isles (Eigg, Canna, Muck and Rum), one of 40 National Scenic Areas in Scotland, where local food, wildlife, archaeological sites and amazing sunsets await you.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters

By Linda Tancs

This year marks Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. There’s so much to see, loch to loch and everything in between. If you’d like to experience the most in one touring route, then consider the North Coast 500, an epic, 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland. Starting and ending at Inverness Castle, it’s the nation’s version of U.S. Route 66. Pursue the trek counterclockwise, traveling the east coast and then venturing into the northwest to Applecross, followed by Torridon and Ullapool. From there you’ll see some of the most northerly points, like Caithness and its village, John o’Groats. But don’t stop there. The northernmost point of the mainland is Dunnet Head, a few miles further west.

Scotland’s Oldest Museum

By Linda Tancs

Elgin Museum is Scotland’s oldest independent museum. Although there’s a special emphasis on the history of its locale along the Moray Firth, it features everything from fish fossils dating back over 450 million years to a 21st century, energy-saving light bulb. If you need another reason to visit Elgin, then consider that it’s nestled in a world-famous whisky region. A number of local distilleries, including Glen Moray, Gordon & MacPhail and Glen Elgin, have open days for the public and whisky trails.

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