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Nicola’s guide to Scotland

If you are planning a trip to Scotland, be sure to check out this article first. Here, our Scottish colleague Nicola McRae-Bøgeskov gives us her best travel advice when visiting her home country. Get ready for extraordinary nature experiences, historic sights … and whisky, of course.

What places are a must-see?

First of all, you don’t visit Scotland for the weather!!! But there is something for everyone; the nature lover, the city break, the historian, the athlete, the shopper, the Harry Potter fan, the whisky drinker.

If you’re looking for hiking and trekking, then I suggest that you do some Munro bagging (Climbing mountains over 3,000 feet).

For a city break, Edinburgh has it all; castles, distilleries, underground cities, great shopping, amazing restaurants, a palace, a volcanic rock, Harry Potter tours. If you visit in August then you have the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Military Tattoo! And if you wait until later in the year, you can experience the Christmas markets and our biggest party of the year on the 31 December, Hogmanay!!!!!

If you’re looking to head out of the city, I suggest Speyside which is home to around half the whisky distilleries in Scotland, fishing, hiking, historic buildings and castles, hunting lodges. It’s a bit trickier to get around this area using public transport, so I suggest a rental car, and remember that we drive on the ‘other’ side of the road!

Isle of Skye one of the Inner Hebrides, is well worth a visit and give yourself plenty of time to drive there and spend a couple of days exploring this magical isle!

There is plenty to see and do – just remember to take the time and enjoy it!

Where to go if I want to take swim?

Hmmm, this is a tough one!

Wild swimming is becoming more popular in Scotland. Loch Lomond would be a good place to try and also Portobello Beach near Edinburgh.

If wild swimming is not your thing and you want a bit more luxury, try out the pool and spa at Dalhousie Castle Hotel!

Which dishes should I try?

You must try haggis, neeps ‘n’ tatties. We don’t eat this every week, but always for a Burns Supper and St Andrew’s Day.

I also recommend locally caught fish and eating your fish ‘n’ chips or fish supper, at the seaside or harbor.

We also have amazing Indian restaurants, and you can get an amazing curry in Scotland, especially in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

In the northeast of Scotland you can get a buttery for breakfast (this is a pastry type thing made with lard!) They are also called Rowies or Aberdeen Rolls and were originally made for fishermen in the northeast of Scotland as alternative to a bread roll.

If you have a sweet tooth, then check out shortbread.

And no trip to Scotland is complete without a cup of tea, a dram of whisky and a can of Irn Bru!

You don’t visit Scotland for the weather!!! But there is something for everyone.

Which phrase to learn?

Slàinte Mhath - this is the Scottish Gaelic version of cheers and means to your good health. Always say this before your dram of whisky.

Always say football and never soccer ;)

I’m from the northeast of Scotland and we have our own particular dialect called Doric.

So, of you are visiting Aberdeenshire, instead of saying hello as a greeting, you would say “Fit like?”

Instead of ladies and gentlemen, we say quines and loons – I think the Doric for female, quine, is not too dissimilar to the Danish word, kvinde.

And if someone asks you what you want for your tea, they are not offering you a cup of tea, but are asking what you would like for your dinner. And many people refer to lunch as dinner.