Unusual places to go and things to do in Scotland

Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye, Scotland [Image by Frank Winkler from Pixabay]

Scotland nestles on the top of the United Kingdom and borders with England to the southeast. Besides the land border, the country is surrounded by the Atlantic Sea.

Scotland is renowned for its beautiful and mountainous scenery, the famous tartan, haggis and, of course, malt whisky. While the country has striking cities, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, Scotland also has a stranger side. Read below to find some of the unusual things to do and places to go in Scotland.

1. Skara Brae – Neolithic settlement on the Bay of Skaill

This fascinating Neolithic settlement is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is estimated to have been built between 3100 and 2500 BCE. The site is located on the west coast of Orkney on the Bay of Skaill. Here you can visit the remains of ten clustered homes, constructed by stacking flat stones on top of each other, without the benefit of mortar.

Skara Brae
Skara Brae Neolithic settlement in Scotland [Image by Shadowgate/Flickr]
Furniture was built using stones, including various seats, dressers and cupboards. What makes the site even more fascinating is that it appears to be among the earliest settlements to feature a toilet and sewer system. It was clear to archaeologists that the waste from each home was carried via a central drainage system to the sea.

2. The Malt Whisky Trail in Speyside

Scotland is, of course, renowned for its malt whisky and for those who love the iconic drink, the Malt Whisky Trail is a definite must. The Malt Whisky Trail is one of a kind and can be found in the heart of Speyside, a beautiful area of Scotland. Seven working distilleries are dotted along the trail, along with one historic distillery and the famous Speyside Cooperage.

Scottish whisky
Cheers! [Image by Ira Lee Nesbitt from Pixabay]
Around 50 percent of the malt whisky distilleries are located in Speyside, making it the perfect place to learn more about the ancient art of whisky distillation. Along the route, you can visit The Glenlivet Distillery before heading along the River Spey to Knockando to visit the Cardhu Distillery. Head to Craigellachie to visit the Speyside Cooperage.

Glenfiddich whisky distillery
Glenfiddich whisky distillery [Image by Bernd Hildebrandt from Pixabay]
Head to Dufftown, which is considered to be the Malt Whisky Capital and visit Glenfiddich Distillery and Glen Grant Distillery, before visiting Strathisla Distillery. Your tour continues the next day in the town of Elgin where you will visit Glen Moray Distillery before heading to Forres, the Benromach Distillery and Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery.

Naturally, along the way, you get the chance to taste each malt whisky and purchase a couple of bottles to take home.

3. Titanic Memorial at the Scottish Opera

The Scottish Opera has a grand headquarters in Glasgow. The building was formerly the headquarters of the Scottish professional engineers. Housed in the building is an ornamental marble plaque which lists the names of 35 men, topped by two angels who appear to be laying a wreath on the sea.

Titanic Memorial
Memorial to the brave engineers of the RMS Titanic. [Image by R~P~M on Flickr]
The memorial bears witness to the 35 brave men who fought against the encroaching water in the fated RMS Titanic, dying while trying to keep the ship safe. Each year a solemn mass is held on the spot to commemorate their bravery.

The Scottish Opera
The Scottish Opera houses a memorial to the engineers of RMS Titanic. [Image by jtweedie1976 on Flickr]
Sculptor Kellock Brown built the Titanic Memorial and it was unveiled on the second anniversary of the Titanic disaster in 1914. The plaque has a message which reads: “To keep alive the memory of the engineers of the Titanic who all died at their duty on the Fifteenth day of April 1912, when the ship was lost in mid Atlantic. This tablet was erected by the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland.”

Scotland has many other attractions to explore. Make a plan to visit the country, enjoying the many sights and ending the day with a glass of the best whisky!