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Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city, renowned for its heritage, culture and festivals.
Take a long walk around the centre to explore the World Heritage Sites of the Old Town and New Town, as well as all the area’s museums and galleries. Then stop for a delicious meal made from fresh Scottish produce before heading out to take in one of Edinburgh’s many events — including the famous summer festivals of culture, or the Winter Festivals of music, light and ceilidhs.
A jumping-off point for ferries to the Hebridean Islands, the port town of Oban offers a picturesque bayside setting. It's worth catching a later boat to take in the town's stately Victorian architecture, bounty of seafood restaurants, and good pubs.
Highland Perthshire places some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery within easy reach of both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and Pitlochry is the most geared-up base from which to enjoy it. It’s been a bustling mountain resort since the railways arrived in 1863, and these days manages to be both a cozy favourite for tourists who enjoy browsing in its woolen mills and taking in the repertory of plays at its famous Festival Theatre, and a magnet for adrenalin junkies in search of bungee jumping, canyoning, tubing and white water rafting adventures. Visitors of any age will be intrigued by the Pictish carvings on the huge Dunfallandy stone at nearby Ballinluig and, after a bracing mountain walk or visit to the famous salmon ladder, adults can enjoy a warming dram of malt whiskey after a tour at one of the two local distilleries, Edradour and Blair Athol.
A short distance from Edinburgh is a landscape strewn with sturdy hill forts, ancient castles and ruined abbeys that hints at the tumult of the past. It's quite at odds with the picturesque rolling, if windswept, sheep-studded hills and quiet valleys that make all seem agreeably placid to today’s visitor. At its heart are the ruins of four medieval abbeys with Jedburgh, the most complete, the best to visit first for its insights into monastic life. Of the others, Melrose is both the pick of the bunch, and also close to Abbotsford, the sometime home of the Romantic novelist Sir Walter Scott, and a splendid receptacle for his engrossing collection of historical curios. There are fine country houses to visit, notably Mellerstain for its exquisite Robert Adam interiors, and Manderston, the enjoyable swan song of the Edwardian Country House. Anglers should note that the River Tweed is also one of Scotland’s finest salmon-fishing rivers.
Known as the Home of Golf, pretty St. Andrews appeals to even those with no interest in the game. Set on a wide bay, the town is dotted with medieval ruins, stately architecture, and—thanks to its large student population—plenty of cozy pubs.
Known as the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Fort William is at the heart of a wide range of exciting activity centres. Visitors enjoy easy access to exhilarating hillwalking, mountain climbing, snow sports and water sports — as well as the gentler pleasures of a refreshing day spent fishing, walking in the country or cycling. Capture the spirit of the Scottish Highlands by taking in its stunning landscapes, tasting the area’s authentic whiskies and ales, and exploring its fascinating museums.
Amsterdam is truly a biker’s city, although pedaling along the labyrinthine streets can get a little chaotic. Stick to walking and you won’t be disappointed. The gentle canals make a perfect backdrop for exploring the Jordaan and Rembrandtplein square. Pop into the Red Light District if you must—if only so you can say you’ve been there. The Anne Frank House is one of the most moving experiences a traveller can have, and the Van Gogh Museum boasts a sensational collection of works.
Attracting visitors from all parts of the world, Majorca is a dreamy island destination in the Mediterranean Sea, just off the southeast coast of Spain. There's something for every taste—beaches and coves, a spectacular mountain range, romantic fishing villages and a rustic countryside dotted with almond and olive groves.