The historic county of Midlothian seems to be permanently out of favour with visiting tourists – mainly due to the fact that it borders Edinburgh and most sightseers have already got their hands full trying to fit in as many city attractions as possible before hopping on the coach to their next destination.
It was with great pleasure that I happened to stumble upon Jupiter Artland recently, a contemporary sculpture park near Edinburgh that gave me one of the biggest surprises I’ve had in a long time.
Ah, Scotland in summer. Swathes of purple heather on serene grassy hills. Sun glinting off mirror-faced lochs. Golden beaches on secluded islands, and Highland glens bathed in the gentle hues of the evening sun.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Glasgow? The River Clyde perhaps, or maybe shipbuilding, Billy Connolly and summer festivals.
Glasgow is well known for the number of inner-city green spaces it has compared to other British cities and in fact it’s second only to Edinburgh for its parks, gardens and other outdoor areas that allow its residents to enjoy the great outdoors.
I’m going to start this guide with a confession. The first time I visited Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum I left without visiting the park. Not because I didn’t have time but because I didn’t even know it was there.
The gardens showcase a huge variety of plant species from across the globe and amongst the immaculately manicured lawns you’ll find great swathes of flower beds, herbs, tropical fauna, and ornamental plants, all surrounded by hundreds of trees and ferns in a setting that begs to be explored.
There’s a huge number of things to do in Edinburgh which offer locals and visitors alike a great time, whether it’s climbing to the top of an extinct volcano, wandering down the atmospheric medieval streets that join the Royal Mile or exploring the grandest castle in Europe, all in a compact city that’s easy to navigate and oozes culture and history from every nook and cranny.
I don’t know about you, but when I’ve got a day off work I just love getting outside and exploring Scotland, especially if it’s a sunny day and there’s a visitor attraction I’ve been itching to check out for a while.
Dunrobin Castle is one of the grandest stately homes in Scotland, and a venue that should be at the top of the list of destinations for any visitor to the Highlands.
One of the best botanic gardens in the UK is located in Edinburgh, and a short bus ride from the city centre will allow you to explore over 13,000 different plant species in the most beautifully landscaped and manicured grounds you’re ever likely to see.
Dirleton Castle is a medieval fortress in East Lothian that you’ve probably never heard of, and yet it offers a fascinating glimpse into Scotland’s past that’s certainly worthy of a visit if you’ve got any interest in historic sites.