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First Time To Scotland

Hello, I am bringing my parents to Scotland next May. We want to be more in the highlands to see more rural areas, castles, unique artist shops, quaint pubs etc. We want to experiene the real Scotland not so much the touristy area. So far I have planned to get a train to Glasgow, hire a car and stay near Loch Lomond. This is all preliminary. Any suggestions of places to go or stay with our preferences would be much appreciated. Thak you    


  • VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @Roni! Welcome to the community.

    Heading into the Highlands with a hire car is a great idea. If you're lucky you'll spot some deer in Glen Coe which is always pretty special, as well as our fluffy coos. If you're going as far as Glen Coe then it's definitely worth continuing on into the Highlands and exploring the Aviemore area as well. 

    If you use Instagram I highly recommend following us on there as it's a great way to get travel inspiration and save ideas for what you'd like to see and do.

    Another great castle that's about an hour from where you'll be staying is Stirling Castle.

    Hope this helps as a starting point! I'm sure other community members will chime in with more ideas too :) 
    Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
  • ArtravelistArtravelist Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @Roni

    The Isle of Arran will be interesting for you as it has all the scenery you are looking for as well as a vibrant local artist community. It lies of the west coast of Scotland and is a short ferry trip from Ardrossan (easy to get to from Glasgow).

    The Arran Art Trail invites visitors and locals to tour around and visit the studios of local artists. 
  • If you're thinking Loch Lomond I'd be inclined to stay somewhere like Stirling to give you a more central base to explore. This is still reasonably handy for Loch Lomond but gives you options to explore North into the Highlands and South towards Edinburgh and Glasgow. Doune Castle (Outlander and Monty Python's Holy Grail film location) is close to Stirling and is still very unspoilt. Doune itself is a nice village to explore and you're close to the Trossachs if you want to get outside and stretch your legs. 

  • VisitScotlandLiamVisitScotlandLiam Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    @Roni @LochNessPhotography Totally agree!  Stirling is a lovely wee place with a beautiful High Street, whas there last Thursday myself. :) 
    Lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist for The Bright SkiesSpotify, Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, YouTube.
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