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8 Unexpected (But) Unforgettable Scottish Experiences for Adventurous Australian Explorers

June 22, 2017 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

A holidaying paradise, Scotland has plenty to offer discerning travellers who seek experiences far beyond the well known. VisitScotland has put together a list of unexpected, but unforgettable experiences for the more adventurous Aussie explorers.  

Visiting a Buddhist retreat: Aussie travellers don’t need to go east for meditation.  Scotland is home to Samye Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery which runs courses in mindfulness meditation, set within the remote valley by the river Esk and was the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre to have been established in the West.

Bagging a Munro: Scotland has 282 Munros (mountains which measure over 3000ft) It is not clear when these mountains became known as Munros, but the popularisation of “Munro-bagging” (which effectively means conquering) seems to have started with the publication of a book by Hamish Brown, Hamish’s Mountain Walk , in 1974,. It documented his four month self-propelled journey (apart from some ferry crossings) round all the Munros.

Completing the North Coast 500: Billed as ‘Scotland’s answer to Route 66’, the route covers 500 miles of the coast of the northern Highlands, which stunning beaches, idyllic coastline views and delicious food & drink stops (such as Cocoa Mountain in Durness).  Aussie road trippers can get their best pals together for the ultimate Scottish road trip.

Taking  a plane to Barra….. and landing on the beach: It sounds like something out of Indiana Jones, but it’s true.  Loganair operates flights from Glasgow and Benbecula to Barra; Traigh Mhor, a two mile cockle shell strand, serves as the island’s runway, and as such, flights work to a flexible timetable as the runway disappears twice a day under the incoming tide.

Going wild swimming: There are various places in Scotland where it is perfectly acceptable to go wild swimming (given levels of bravery) including across the Corryvreckan Whirlpool in Argyll & The Isles or the Fairy Pools in Skye.

Visiting a ‘haunted’ castle: Scotland is the home of myths, legends and spooky stories and what could be more hair-raising than visiting a rumoured haunted castle to see if the stories are true.  Glamis Castle is believed to be one of the haunted castles in Scotland with stories of a ‘white lady’ roaming the corridors….

Dancing with a Scot at a Ceilidh: Anyone looking to meet the woman (or man) of their dreams might want to get up close to a Scot at a ceilidh.  Dances include Strip the Willow, which involves couples standing in two lines, each couple linking arms to spin together then working their way down the line to dance with each couple in turn.

Seeing nature at its most stunning…. Witnessing the Northern Lights: Lying on the same latitude as Stavenger in Norway and Nunivak Island in Alaska means visitors are very likely to see the Northern Lights (also called the Aurora Borealis) and feel very small (but equally awe-struck).  Some of the best places in Scotland to see them include Wick in Caithness and Galloway Forest Park, the only Dark Sky Park in Scotland during the autumn and winter months on clear nights.

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