Scotland, place of my ancestry, the place I feel most at home when I hear the dulcet tones of the bagpipes as I rise from Waverley Station in Edinburgh. I've been getting itchy feet of late, the ones that tell me it's time to pack a bag, grab my dog and get on a train, I think the promise of spring is almost too enticing and I know that it won't be long before I am planning a whole new season of travel.
With that in mind, here's some photos and my 7 reasons you should make one of the 7 Scottish cities your next short break or holiday destination this year.
- Visit the National Wallace Monument in Stirling and find out about William Wallace, pretend you are Braveheart and more importantly see the amazing views as you climb to the very top, when we were walking down last year we even saw a fawn in the woodlands only a few foot from us, it was rather shocked when it turned around and saw us!
- Search for the Nessie whilst you cruise Loch Ness on a Jacobite Cruise I did the 3 hour Reflection Cruise which sails from Tomnahurich bridge in Inverness, it then sails up the Caledonian canal and out into Loch Ness where it passes beautiful historic Urquhart Castle, it's the most relaxing reflective 3 hours I think I've ever had to myself, last year of course I didn't have Holly the beagle but looking at their website I see that they are dog friendly so guess where I'll be taking my favourite little beagle this year, I'm sure she'd love to find Nessie!
- Get with your science and other amazing museums in Glasgow, so OK, the Science museum is the only one you actually have to pay for and the other 13 are all completely free which I think is pretty staggering, if you are short of finances but want to be big on fun with the kids then why not go to Glasgow and visit some of it's fantastic museums. My children's favourite is the Glasgow science centre and I want to go back this year to actually go up the Glasgow tower which has been broken on every single visit so far! Hopefully this year I might finally be able to enjoy those amazing views of Glasgow though I have to say that they're pretty impressive from the huge windows in the Glasgow Science Centre
- Rev up your physical activity levels, there's nowhere quite like Scotland if you love the outdoors, you can walk and walk and walk, we did that just last year when we visited pretty wee city Perth, we spent the entire day there just walking, Looby and I enjoyed it so much and they have one of the best parks for children that I've ever been complete with trampolines!
- Adorn yourself in tartan from head to toe, a visit to Edinburgh means you'll never be short of shopping experiences and with just about every single shop on the royal mile selling tartan you'll find everything from hats to scarves to shoes and ever underwear in pretty much every tartan you can imagine. You can even buy earmuffs with Highland Coos on them.
- Find out about Scott of The Antarctic - yes, I know it's not your first thought about a visit to Scotland but if you visit Discovery Point in Dundee, you can do exactly that, also don't forget to take a trip up to the Dundee Law and admire the Tay bridge, a thing of great beauty, especially from up high.
- Marvel at the architecture, Scotland has it all when it comes to historical architecture and there's nowhere quite like the Scottish city of Aberdeen, I've been to a lot of cities and Aberdeen was just completely different to any other city, it has a beach, it has a teeny quaint Scottish fishing village, it has one of the oldest Churches in the country, The Cathedral Church of St Machar and it has of course got a massive oil industry, take a walk and admire the diverse architecture Aberdeen has to offer.
So with all of that and more that Scotland's 7 cities have to offer you really should make one of them your destination for your next short break holiday, quite simply, Visit Scotland.