So many travelers stop at London, but the northern reaches of the UK have oh so much to offer. Scotland might be lined with imposing, craggy cliffs, the heart of the country extends Gaelic tradition, a big dose of medieval charm, and much more modern culture than you might imagine. In fact, this little rocky outcrop holds a harmony of breathtaking wilderness and social artifact that few other countries can match, with a famously warm hospitality to top it off. If you have a few days to make your way around the country, try to include these seven sites for a rich and authentic Scottish experience.
You likely won’t have to go far to hit Edinburgh – especially if you’re flying a budget airline into the airport – but even if you did, it would be well worth the effort. The well-kept stone facades and narrow cobbled alleyways lend a medieval texture to the city, and you never quite know what you’ll see around the next corner. Tartan shops and traditional pubs dot the streets, and if you like jacket potatoes with all the trimmings, you can eat very well for very little. Edinburgh castle is undoubtedly the highlight of the city: it’s incredibly well-preserved, and walking up to the fortress and through the inner courtyards and towers will transport you back in time.