Scotland has some seriously impressive highlights such as the mountain ranges, the islands and the road trips but I do love to find little colourful and quirky towns and villages. Here is our pick of the cutest villages and towns in Scotland. They are often an excellent place to base yourself while you explore, as the accommodation is nearly always quaint and cosy. One of my favourite moments of a road trip is stumbling upon a tiny village, the little worn place name sitting squint by the side of the road welcoming passers-bys. The houses painted in an array of colours which you would usually never put together but somehow just work. The wee shops with handmade tablet and locally produced marmalade and a chatty local behind the till. Local artists displaying their work in the community centre, flower baskets hanging outside the village museum which tell stories of the homes and jobs of families long gone. I love wandering the lanes, admiring the doorways and gardens, poking about in the shops and treating myself to a second-hand book and a fridge magnet (always!). Finding a cute little cafe with a window seat so I can enjoy a cup of tea and watch the locals go about their day. Scotland has some fantastic towns and villages and I encourage you to spend time in some, it’s a lovely way to immerse yourself in the Scottish way of life.
This list is some of my favourite towns and villages I’ve discovered on my travels around Scotland but I’m nowhere near finished so I’ll be adding more as I find them.
Cutest towns and villages in Scotland
Portpatrick, Dumfries and Galloway
You don’t have to visit the north-west for outstanding coastal views, Portpatrick sits on the west coast of the Rhins of Galloway peninsula and the scenery rivals any that can be found up north. This town is cute as a button, the pastel-coloured houses surround a small bay with beautiful clear water and are backed by impressive cliffs.
If you like the idea of camping but don’t want to be pitched next to other people, or you fancy wandering off into the mountains with everything you need for a night of wild camping, you are in the right place.
This post will give you an overview of wild camping in the Lake District, where you can do it and things to pack and consider. By the end, I hope you will be inspired to give wild camping a go for yourself.
This post contains affiliate links, which I may make a commission from.
Why wild camp?
Wild camping offers an escape from civilisation and if you are searching for solitude, you are likely to find it. Uninterrupted views, peaceful sunsets and unreal sunrises.
Popular wild camping spots, by design, are quiet and tranquil. If you wanted to be surrounded by other people, you would book a spot on a camp site. The back-to-basics approach to wild camping allows you to reconnect with nature.
When talking about tourism and holiday locations in the UK, Blackpool is always near the top of the list, and for good reason. Blackpool is one of the most central cities in the UK, and despite having a relatively small population compared to other cities, it’s one of the most lively too. This is because there’s just so much things to do in Blackpool. If you’re looking for somewhere to visit in the UK, or have already decided on Blackpool and are looking for some things to do, there’s definitely something here for you.
Blackpool is a city unlike any other, in that as much as it is a very kid-friendly city, there’s also plenty of things to do in Blackpool for couples, there are plenty of options in the evening and attractions for people without kids so no matter who you decide to bring you'll find lots of fun things to do.
Not only is this town situated between Edinburgh and Glasgow in the central belt of Scotland, and on the train route between the two, it also has fantastic travel links with the rest of Scotland making it easy peasy to hop on a train and head up north. A very attractive town, the houses that line the high street date from the 1800’s and there is a distinct oldy worldy feel. There are many things to do in Linlithgow, cute little independent retailers line the main street as well as local bakers, butchers, and sweetie makers meaning while you are staying there you can treat yourself to some authentic local food. There is fascinating history in the town and lots of lovely places to walk and explore. Situated in West Lothian, near the border with Stirlingshire, there are lots of big attractions nearby which makes it an ideal base to stay while you explore.
Everyone has heard of Christmas, and even if you don’t celebrate it, it has no doubt been a huge part of your life for a long time. Today, we’ll be looking at Christmas in the UK; the old and new customs, and how it differs from other countries. Christmas has been celebrated for just over 2,000 years now, so needless to say it’s been a long ride, not just for the UK of course. This article will show you our traditions, what makes the day so special and how we make it such an important celebration.
So what does a typical Christmas in the UK look like?
Christmas is usually spent spending time with family, and often extended family as well, meaning parents and children will usually spend Christmas together, and often aunts and uncles or grandmas and grandpas will also join in the fun. People will often talk of the elusive “White Christmas”, but actually the UK only gets a single snowflake falling roughly once every 4 or 5 years, and real snow is even rarer, and it usually happens in Scotland.
If you’re looking for gigs in Manchester, then you’re in luck, because there’s a tonne of them every night, everywhere you look. Even better than that, though, all of them are in more or less the same place; that’s not to say the same venue, quite the contrary. In fact, there’s probably about 50-70 gig venues in the same 3-mile radius. This “Gig District” is, of course, the Northern Quarter-Oxford Road area of Manchester. Contained inside of this small district in the centre of the large city, is pretty much every type of music under the sun, pretty much every night.
Manchester has a very rich musical history, and we’ll be delving into that here, taking a look at artists who have historically played there, and where they played, as well as looking at the history of the places they played. Don’t worry, though, as we won’t just be living in the past, we’ll be looking at modern artists who have played at these venues, many big names you’ve no doubt heard, and, of course, we’ll only be covering venues which are still open today (we’re looking at you, Roadhouse!). We’ll also be looking at why some of these venues are still relevant today, and why you should check them all out, old and new alike.
Then we’ll be looking at some places you can eat in the Gig District, so that no matter what venue you find yourself at, and no matter what food is picking your taste today, you’ll know exactly where to go. There’s also not 1, but 3 main Manchester train stations in the area, with Picadilly and Victoria bordering the Northern Quarter, and Oxford Road Station being the centre of Oxford Road.
Preston is a city in the north-west of England, in Lancashire. At first glance, it may seem like a normal, run-down, moderately sized town, but if you look under the surface you’ll see one of the most historically rich cities in the whole country. Preston was founded as a town in 1179, and its central location made it a coveted location as a centre for both trade and travel, pretty much up until the construction of the second motorway in the UK (since the first motorway led to Preston). Preston isn’t just all about history though, if you’re looking to visit, or just looking for some things to do in Preston, then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re interested in sports, history, visiting with the family, or you’re a nightlife person, Preston offers plenty of activities for everyone.
Preston was made a city in 2002, despite the fact that there was no cathedral in the town. This changed, however, in 2015, when Pope Francis raised the St Ignatius church to cathedral status, making it one of only 3 Indian Catholic Churches in the world to become a cathedral.
Do you dream of getting married to the love of your life in Scotland? Many dream of a kilted piper playing Highland Cathedral on the bagpipes as they sashay down the aisle, in a fairytale dress, towards the one they are about to spend the rest of their lives with. A castle wedding in Scotland is downright romantic and there is lots of choices when it comes to location. Because you are allowed to get married almost anywhere you want in Scotland you can chose a derelict ruin, a castle with connections to your ancestors, in the grounds of a castle in a rustic folly or by a loch or you can go all out and get married in a 5 star exclusive use luxury castle with an owl to deliver your rings and full ceilidh in the evening.
Some facts about marriage in Scotland
In Scotland you can have a religious, civil, humanist or same-sex marriage, all are legally recognised.
If you are coming from outside the EU you will need a license and a Marriage Visitors Visa. You will then receive a Marriage Schedule which you will sign on your wedding day. Once you have the visa you can then apply to be married at the local registry office closest to where you will marry, you each complete a marriage notice form which has to be submitted no later than 29 days before the wedding.
If you are coming from the EU the process is the same, other than the Marriage Visitor Visa. You need to apply for a license which will allow you to get the marriage schedule which is signed on the day of the wedding and also apply to the local registry office closest to the venue and submit a marriage notice form no later than 29 days before the wedding.
Usually one, or both, of you will be required to pick up the marriage license from the office in the days leading up to the wedding and return it to the same office after the marriage. You will find out whether this is the case once you contact the office initially.
Scotland serves up some of the tastiest food in the world. Our natural larder has the freshest fruit and vegetables, fish and meat and talented chefs across the country create award winning dishes that rival the best in the world. Scottish snacks are often passed through the generations, taught by your grannie when you were wee. Other snacks are modern creations, experimental and loved by the locals. Recipes for snacks such as shortbread and tablet often vary slightly from family to family and competition is fierce when it comes to who’s is best. Regional snacks such as Arran Cheese and the Arbroath Smokie are only produced is the area in which they are named after. Although they are often sold across the country if you happen to be in the area they are made you are in for a real treat if you can watch them being made or take a tour. These Scottish snacks are a mixture of traditional and new and I encourage you to sample some while you are visiting Scotland. You won’t regret it, well perhaps the mars bar...
Soft, fluffy marshmallow encased in a delicate layer of milk chocolate, sitting on a crumbly biscuit base, Tunnocks teacakes are undoubtably one of Scotland's most popular sweet snacks. The Tunnocks family began business way back in 1890 and now have a wonderful factory in Uddingston, 7 miles south-east of Glasgow. You can book a tour of the factory but it's an extremely popular tour and is often booked out years in advance. Their website is fantastic, there is a fun range of merchandise and games you can play too.
Researching a trip is always a fun part of the planning process. Gathering information, learning the history and swatting up of must-visit attractions keeps the excitement alive during the long wait until you finally get to travel. These Scotland travel tips will help you with planning your perfect trip and ensure you get the best out of your visit to this beautiful country.
1. Scotland is a country and is part of the United Kingdom, along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
2. There are now almost 5.5 million people living in Scotland (2019), which is a record number
3. The official currency of Scotland is GBP (Great British Pound)
4. Scotland covers over 30,000 square miles.
5. Scotland's national animal is a unicorn. That's right, we are magic.
6. Scotland national dish is the haggis. I won't say what's in it. If you are a vegetarian or vegan there are some pretty delicious alternatives.
7. Scotland's national drink is none other than Whisky. Irn Bru is also pretty famous and I highly recommend trying it.