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.
The first time driving in any new country is daunting. Even the thought, in the lead up to the first drive, can be scary. Driving in Scotland doesn’t need to be intimidating though. In this article, I hope to put your mind at ease with all the information you’ll need. Hiring a car and driving in Scotland means you can get off the beaten track, explore areas which, if you travel by public transport, you wouldn’t be able to reach. It gives you greater flexibility and allows you to stop off for a pretty view, a toilet break or a cuppa whenever you want.
Over the years I’ve been asked so many questions about driving in Scotland and I’ll answer them below, so when you arrive in this gorgeous country you are equipped with all the knowledge you need to really enjoy exploring by car.
Quick (but important) note - There is no point hiring a car while you are in Edinburgh or Glasgow. The streets are busy and parking is expensive, that's if you can find a space. Think about hiring a car when you are leaving the city instead.
Burntisland is a small town on the coast of Fife, in between Kinghorn and Aberdour, and it’s a town that’s doing something pretty special.
It’s a town which I’ve visited practically every summer for as long as I can remember, mainly for the Fairground that comes for the entire school summer holidays. Mum used to take us when we were kids, I went with friends when we were teenagers, I took Taylor when she was wee and now I get to take my gorgeous little nephew, Declan. I have many fond memories of the town of Burntisland. Fife has lots of amazing towns but Burntisland is one that locals seem to be drawn to. It is a tourist town but not one that ever gets a lot of tourists from abroad, it tends to be Scots that head here and it’s been like that since I was young.
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Scotland's capital has a massive amount of things to see, do, eat and drink, you could easily spend a week here but sometimes time is limited. Do you only have one day in Edinburgh? Can you see everything you want to in Edinburgh in a day? Whether you want to see the main attractions, like Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, or you are a lover of history, shopping or food this Edinburgh one day itinerary will mean you don't miss a thing. Living only 30 minutes from Edinburgh and spending a whole lot of time there over the years I know what a fantastic city this is and I want to ensure you have the best possible day, 24 hours in Edinburgh is enough to explore all the highlights, eat some gorgeous traditionally Scottish food, have a wee dram of whisky and leave feeling satisfied.
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This itinerary is dependant on the weather, of course, as Scottish weather is famously unpredictable. I have added a rainy day alternative to any outdoor activities. Also, during festivals restaurants can fill up fast so I'd advise booking in advance if the restaurant permits. My biggest advice? Take the day at your own pace. You will enjoy the day more, and remember it more clearly, if you take your time and savour your time in the city, instead of rushing to tick items off a list.
The TV series Outlander whisks you away to the romantic Scottish Highlands, into the wild and treacherous 17th century, and follows the love story between Jamie Fraser and English nurse Claire Randall. Visiting Outlander filming locations in Scotland is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the story, learn more about Scotland’s history, meet fellow fans and fall in love with this beautiful country. Where is Outlander filmed? Most of the Outlander filming took place in Scotland's central belt so if you are basing yourself in Edinburgh or Glasgow you are in the ideal place.
Outlander was a series of books before it ever became a TV series. The series of books by author Diana Gabaldon has its fair share of fans from all over the world. The first book, Outlander, or Cross stitch in the U.K., was released in 1991 and Gabaldon has since wrote another 7 books. The ninth, Go tell the bees that I’m gone, is due for release soon. There are also several short stories, novellas and graphic novels to accompany the main stories. The legions of book fans I have spoke to over the years have long known about the draw they feel to Scotland and the country has seen a large increase in tourism since the TV series began.
When the first season of Outlander, the TV series, was released in August 2014 these wonderful stories won over a whole new army of fans. Fans who visit the Outlander filming locations, who plan their trips to Scotland with a list of locations they want to see, who book Outlander tours with the many companies here that now offer them and who take away memories of Scotland they cherish and will never forget.
Scotland is a special country (I may be biased), Lonely Planet has just named it the most beautiful country in the world and I have to agree. If you have a nosy around my Scotland travel blog you’ll see why I love it so much and by exploring these filming locations I hope you begin to love it as much as I do.
You can visit the majority of the filming locations by basing yourself in Edinburgh and Glasgow and taking day trips to the locations. I would recommend hiring a car as this will make it far easier to go exactly where you want to go but it is possible to visit most by train or bus. If you don't want to hire a car buses and trains are regular, affordable and reliable. A great app to plan your journey beforehand, and while you are in Scotland is TravelLine Scotland.
Tucked away in what seems like the middle of nowhere Morton of Pitmilly is surrounded by acres of lush green fields and picturesque forest, with views of the sea never far away. You may feel like there is nothing around you, and I relished that feeling for I was in need of a little peace and quiet, but the site is actually perfectly placed between the wonderful town of St Andrews and the cute little villages of the East Neuk. The subtle signs at the end of the long and winding single track road which leads to Pitmilly don't give away the gem that awaits you when you arrive. The adorable stone building which houses the reception, the pantry and the original cottages were surrounded by beautiful flowers in full bloom when we arrived, which made for some pretty photos before we had even stepped inside.
I was invited along to Morton of Pitmilly to review the lodges but all opinions, as always, are my own
The fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife have always been a favourite of mine in terms of places to visit, for a chippy tea at the famous Anstruther Fish Bar, to walk a section of the coastal path or to attend a festival, such as the Pittenweem Arts Festival. I’ve even spent the night there once or twice, but this week I stayed for 4 glorious nights, half way between Elie and St Monans, at the newly opened Catchpenny Safari Lodges. After a busy few weeks it was exactly what I needed, the opportunity to relax and forget about my hectic life for a few days. We were lucky enough to experience 4 of the hottest days of the year so far too so it was pretty fantastic.
Catchpenny Safari Lodges are luxury tents right on the edge of the Fife coastal path with awe inspiring views over the Firth of Forth. From the decking outside our tent we had clear views of the Bass Rock, the Isle of May, Berwick Law and Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. We fell asleep to the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore below and watched lobster and prawn boats collecting their catch in the morning. We lit the fire pit at night and toasted marshmallows and spent mornings on the beach with Crusoe. We ate giant meringues and fresh strawberries from Ardross Farm Shop, watched the beautiful pastel purples and pinks transform the sky at sunrise and read books by the light of our lanterns. It was a much needed and appreciated break.