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Meeting Locals and Engaging with Community

Hello, I am planning a trip to Scotland in the summer to visit my friend. She is a university student, and we want to take the summer holiday to travel the highlands. I know there are landmarks and wonders that every visitor should see, but what I am really interested in is making connections with people who live there. I love traveling and learning about cultures and am interested in visiting a few small, friendly farm towns in the highlands. I am a small town person myself and feel most comfortable walking into a pub to talk to people about their livelihood and the histories. I would love any suggestions for great towns to visit, and a few tips for possibly getting to know the locals (tourist behaviors to avoid).


Comments

  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    In the UK generally, and in Scotland specifically, going to the pub is a surefire way of meeting the locals (something you already plan to do). I can give you many town / village suggestions but Scotland has it's attractions spread out geographically so its best for you to fix your route and then ask for recommendations.

    What makes Scotland unique is the music / Ceilidh evenings that are regular social events in a rural community. To find out about these, I literally sought out notice boards in village centres. Some schedules have moved online (such as Skye) but most haven't. 

    My personal favourite pub in Scotland is the Port Charlotte bar on Islay. Came in as a lone stranger, left feeling like a local (I actually dropped someone off at their home even though I don't live there!). The Applecross Inn is one of the most scenic. But there is no dearth of a craic filled evening.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkyeMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, Speyside)

  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @kp2018 From my travels around Scotland I’ve found that places like the Outer Hebrides, Orkney, Mull and the remoter parts of the mainland have exactly the kind of interaction with locals that you’re looking for.  Bars in those places tend to be inhabited by locals and tourists alike, and you’ll pretty much always receive a warm welcome.  Skye too when you get away from the tourist masses in Portree.  I recently spent a wonderful night at the Ferry Inn at Uig ln Skye, drinking whisky, listening to music and chatting to locals. 

    It’s not a bar but I got a wonderful oral account of life on Orkney at the Tomb of the Eagles on South Ronaldsay, and the staff at The Tarbat Discovery Centre in Portmahomack were also excellent, filling me in on the fascinating history of the area during WWII, as well as the Pictish past which the centre is dedicated to bringing to life. 




    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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