A Summer of Scottish Staycations

Tom Condy

Writer

13th April 2021

A Summer of Scottish Staycations

Holidays. A thing that everyone looks forward to every year- whether it summer, Christmas or easter. Holidays are a time to ‘let your hair down’ and have fun. These past years have been hard on everyone but hopefully this guide can help you have a great holiday if COVID prevents you from leaving Scotland.

Fort William

We’re starting with a fun one. Fort William is located at the foot of Ben Nevis and is known for walking and mountain biking trails. The obvious first activity is walking up Ben Nevis; on average walking up this amazing mountain usually takes three and half to five hours, with the descent being one and a half to two hours. The view from the top of Ben Nevis is remarkable. You can see rivers, mountains and lochs, as well as Fort William. As I mentioned earlier, Fort William is known nationwide for its incredible mountain biking trails; the trails range from beginner to the Witch’s World Champs track which is recommended for experienced mountain bikers.


Although these activities are great sadly in Scotland we cannot always rely on the weather and although Billy Connolly said “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing”- sometimes even the most fearless adventurer cannot face the rain; if you're unfortunate enough to catch the rain during your stay in Fort William, you can try and go on the Jacobite steam train (also known as the Hogwarts express.) While you’re on the train you can see some stunning

views like the Glenfinnan viaduct as well as the countless lochs and mountains. The trip finishes in Mallaig, a beautiful wee fishing village with lovely restaurants and some harry potter themed souvenir shops.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a great place to go for a city break and a family staycation as it’s filled with historical landmarks, great restaurants and fun activities. The most famous landmark in Edinburgh is Edinburgh castle; the castle usually takes a visitor two hours to tour the whole castle with an amazing informative tour. Another historic site is the Mary Queens close which is a one-hour long tour of the old city hidden beneath the royal mile. They talk about the lives of the people who lived there and also why people stopped living there.

However, if this is not exciting enough for your tastes, I recommend the Edinburgh dungeons. The tour takes place in a reconstruction of different sites in Edinburgh. The tour shows some of Edinburgh’s perhaps darker history. The tour is taken by actors who play different characters of Edinburgh’s past and if you are brave enough to venture into the dungeons prepare for some scares. If you’re feeling a bit restless on your trip to Edinburgh you can take a hike up Arthur’s Seat. Along with fresh air you will see some amazing views from the top of Arthur’s Seat and it is a great way to finish your trip to Edinburgh.


Aviemore

Finally, take a trip to the beautiful town of Aviemore where you can go for walks, go on an amazing zipline adventure or go and sail on the lochs. The first thing I would recommend is the Aviemore Zip Trek adventure park. This amazing adventure not only gets your heart racing but also gives you a unique view of Aviemore and the Scottish landscape. The instructor will fit you with a harness and helmet and guide you up to the first zipline, where they will stay with you the whole time. The entire zipline course usually takes about 2 hours.

Another thing to do in Aviemore are the loch Morlich Watersports. In a beautiful loch surrounded by forest and mountains you can learn to; sail, windsurf, kayak, paddle board and even mountain biking, with the help of knowledgeable instructors. And if you are already confident with any of these activities you can just rent equipment and enjoy your day.

These are only some of the fun activities that you can do with family or friends in Scotland, for a safe holiday at home.