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Scotland's visitor attractions - what's your favourite?

Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
edited February 15 in General Discussion
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love nothing better than being surrounded by remote Scottish scenery.  I'm an Edinburgher to the core though, which means I'm lucky enough to have some of Scotland's best visitor attractions right on my doorstep.  

This comes in handy on the very rare occasion that the Scottish weather clips my wings and sends me out looking for somewhere to stay amused and dry! 

So here are a few of my favourite local attractions:


Britannia probably won't turn out to be anything like you expect, but in a good way.  You don't need to love boats or be a fan of the royal family to visit and enjoy it. 

I spent a morning exploring Britannia's 5 decks recently and had a great time - there's so much to see, and some unexpected surprises too.  I wasn't prepared for how much space the naval crew took up on board, or how modest the royal sleeping quarters would be.  I didn't expect to see an operating theatre, or a wee pub where I could dress up in natty hats and pull pretend pints!

I loved the Royal Tea Deck best of all, and felt 'gey posh' enjoying a scone and coffee there.  I'm a wee bit partial to a cheese scone, and the one I had on Britannia was delicious. 

Britannia really surprised me.  If truth be told I wasn't sure it would be quite my thing - it turned out to be absolutely my thing, and I'd recommend it without hesitation to anyone visiting Edinburgh. 




I visited Camera Obscura last weekend, after a very long absence - 29 years to be precise!  I remember loving it back then, but it was even better this time round. 

It's a fantastic interactive experience for all ages.  I charged about like a 5-year old who'd just swallowed a handful of blue smarties.  I frequently shouted 'look', 'try this', 'come and see this' to my Husband who was every bit as hyper as I was.  We danced up and down musical stairs in top hats, stumbled around in the disorientating mirror maze and felt queasy in the vortex tunnel. 

The Camera Obscura itself is an Edinburgh attraction which has drawn visitors since 1853.  Despite the simple concept behind it, and its age, it's still fascinating in this era of cutting edge technology.  

A great place to while away a few rainy hours. 




This is probably my favourite visitor attraction in Scotland.  I visited last weekend and took the silver tour which lasts 50 minutes.  You don't need to be a whisky buff, or even like whisky to enjoy the tour.  

The tour started with a ride in a whisky barrel, which took us through the process of making whisky.  It was great fun and our ghostly guide was a hoot. 

Afterwards we watched a lovely short film to find out about about the different whisky regions of Scotland, and the regional characteristics of their whiskies.  I could feel my eyes welling up as I watched the stunning scenery on the film.  It made me feel so privileged to be able to explore such a beautiful country.  It also made me long to return to Islay. 

Next, we were taken through the process for making blended whiskies in a room that wouldn't have looked out of place in Hogwarts.  We got to choose a whisky from one of the 5 Scottish whisky regions.  I chose a peaty Ardbeg from Islay. 

Then came the icing on the cake, the tasting which took place inside the most amazing shrine to Scotch whisky ever.  The Diageo Claive Vidiz Whisky Collection - almost 3,500 bottles glowing like amber in a beautifully lit room - amazing. 

Definitely a not to be missed visitor attraction. 




Have you been to any visitor attractions in Scotland, and if so what are your favourites? 

I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




Comments

  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Great suggestions - I do love a wee day trip to Glasgow.  The Kelvingrove and Transport Museums are wonderful.  The cafe at the transport museum is great for lunch too.

    Cruachan gives me the creeps so I've not braved it inside yet but I survived the wonderful Lead mine attraction at Wanlockhead and lived to tell the tale so I'll brave it into Cruachan next time I pass. 

    Blue skies in Orkney too - perfect.  @Scathach
    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • FofomaFofoma Member ✭✭✭
    I recently visited the brand new  Pitlochry Dam and Visitor Centre. It's a funky building overlooking the famous dam and the Salmon Ladder. Inside you have an exhibition of how Hydro Electric Schemes work plus lots of interactive activities for young and old and a film celebrating the 'Tunnel Tigers' hard work. There is a shop on site and a cafe and I bet the outside terrace will be a great place to sit in the summer with a coffee. The best thing is that it's totally free...
  • MogMJMRMogMJMR Member ✭✭
    Some of my favourites include:

    The Hill House (Helensburgh)

    http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/The-Hill-House/

    This Domestic House designed by Rennie MacKintosh, I felt unlike many "historic houses" has a real feeling of a loved, family home. A great insight into not only design, but in to society in Scotland at the time - it was built for Glasgow Publisher Blackie. I found it really interesting to learn too, that many houses in Helensburgh (which is beautiful, by the way!) were built by notable architects for some of Glasgow's well to do at the time. Back in the early 1900s this house was no more special than the others around it.
    https://thelochsidepress.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/architectural-trail-march-2016.jpg

    The Lighthouse (Glasgow)

    Scotland's home of design, located in the former Glasgow Herald Buildings.
    Great place for an unusual view of the city, and great touring shows which have included the likes of Paul Smith.
     http://www.thelighthouse.co.uk/

    I also love some of the more "popular" attractions:
    The Kelpies is a current favourite  and ongoing Crathes  Castle or Castle Fraser - where you get to stand on the roof! 

    Hope this is some food for thought :)

    Mogmjmr
    Based in the Scottish Borders, Aberdeenshire has a special place in my heart.
  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @MogMJMR I love the view from The Lighthouse.  
    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • MichaelGMichaelG Member ✭✭
    Abbotsford House in the Borders is up there for me. The audio tour is great and the surrounding gardens make for a lovely walk.


    Wouldn't mind calling this place home.  :) 


    Looking back up at the house from the banks of the Tweed.

  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 31
    Me too @MichaelG it's beautiful.  We can dream.  Great photos and suggestion.  :) 
    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




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