"Scotland tour secrets to add that 'little extra' to your trip"

If you're planning your first Scotland tour, chances are you intend sticking pretty much to the typical "icons" propagated by the mainstream travel industry and guide books.

Your Scotland tour is likely to be undertaken as either a bus tour with fixed accommodation, or in a rental car, in which case you can either go as you please, or pre-book accommodation along a predetermined route.

You might even plan your tour around the Scottish railway system – Scotland has some of the most beautiful train tour routes in the world.

In either case, it is my intention to give you a number of tips to make your Scotland trip that little bit more enjoyable.

If you do follow the "typical" Scotland vacation routes, you are likely to visit the capital Edinburgh, with its Castle, Royal Mile and Holyrood Palace – and more recently the new Scottish Parliament.

You will also probably touch on romantic Loch Lomond, head for the "Highlands and Islands" in the west, Inverness and the ever-famous Loch Ness in the north, and perhaps the famous whisky and fly fishing areas in the northeast and east of Scotland, i.e. Speyside and Tayside.

Your Scotland tour might also take in Perth, Dundee or Stirling – with its impressive castle and nearby Wallace Monument – and perhaps even Glasgow, the former European Cultural Capital (1990) for a little shopping. (If you like curry, you will definitely visit Glasgow!)

Now if you take a closer look at a map of Scotland, you might notice something – like, there is a great chunk of Scotland north of Inverness.

And an even bigger chunk south of the line running just below Glasgow in the West and Edinburgh in the East.

Unfortunately the latter in particular tends to get completely left out of Scotland tour itineraries and in fact, to a large extent, even the promotion of Scotland internationally as a vacation destination.

Notable exceptions are perhaps specialist promotions e.g. to golfers of famous courses such as Turnberry in Ayrshire to the South-West.

So I'm going to let you in on a few secrets that you might like to add to your first Scotland tour that will give you the edge on everyone else you know who has been to Scotland, if you have the flexibility to do so. Or to your second, third, fourth visit – or whichever your next Scotland trip will be.

So take a look at e.g.:

  • Scotland's South-West – Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire, home of King Robert the Bruce
  • The Scottish Borders – with their Common Ridings
  • East Lothian to the East of Edinburgh
  • Caithness in the far north of Scotland

    Let's spend a little time together exploring some of the parts of Scotland that even most Scots don't know much about – if anything – when planning their own Scotland tour.

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