Scotland: A pocket guide

The land of William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Sean Connery, and Billy Connolly is how many people view Scotland, and of course these are a few of the famous Scots, but the country has layers of history to explore and some of Europe’s last great wildernesses. Indeed, the cities of Scotland outside of Edinburgh and possibly Glasgow are not why people visit, and few of our towns and villages are particularly attractive when compared with other parts of Europe, but our majestic landscape is amongst the continent’s finest. Dotted throughout are fabulous castles, historic homes, glorious gardens, and lots of famous estates which have remained in the same hands for centuries. Scotland is an old-fashioned country, fast changing like everywhere and with a lot of new enterprise and energy, but at its core it retains an old-fashioned feel and a sense of how things used to be. There is a gentleness to the people and a warm welcome awaits. The capital has of course some of the finest Georgian architecture on the planet, brought to us by Robert Adam and combined with cobbled streets and the castle sitting up high overlooking the city. There is a lot to enjoy in this historic city, not least the highest density of pubs in Europe, and some are really charming old drinking holes.

Glasgow has some fine museums, wonderful examples of Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture and other fine buildings along the Clyde, but it’s when you venture north to the lochs that you start to really feel the beauty of the glens and the history. Clan battles and ancient rivalries between the noblemen was the backdrop to these mountainous areas and the history of these times can still be felt. The castles were built originally to ward off enemies and then in the age of enlightenment for more decorative purposes, with Culzean and Inveraray being fine examples of this. Sir Walter Scott was a leading figure of this time and helped shape Scotland as a more cultured place, which was further enhanced by the arrival of Queen Victoria, who lived at Balmoral for many years in mourning after the death of her Prince Regent Albert. The outer isles of the west coast are amazingly beautiful with white beaches you would expect to find on a far- away island and wonderful birds and sea life, flora and fauna. The culinary standards have improved hugely over the last 25 years, and Scotland now has many award-winning restaurants, seafood inns, and five-star country house hotels. Combine excellent food with the local water (whisky) and lots of wonderful Scottish beers and you will not be disappointed. There are many distilleries to visit, with Edradour, Scotland’s smallest, being many people’s favorite.

Scotland is a country for anyone who loves the great outdoors and who appreciates the dramatic landscapes. However, whatever your interest, there is now a lot on offer. Even for the more pampered traveler, we can now arrange a stay in one of our magnificent private houses or castles, which vary in size and architectural style but which all offer twenty-first-century comfort and modern-day facilities. This is the era of wonderful private house rentals, and Scotland has some of the finest (and largest) on offer, from border keeps to highland lodges, golfing homes near Saint Andrews to castles on the west coast, Edinburgh Georgian homes to Perthshire fortified tower houses. Whatever your taste, we can find the perfect rental villa for your needs. Where better to gather with family and friends for a fun-filled week of golf, sightseeing, and outdoor activities. Coastal boat rides, clay pigeon shooting on the lawn, antique shopping in local villages, salmon fishing on one of Scotland’s famous rivers—the opportunities are endless. All you need to do is arrive and UV villa specialists will take care of every facet of your Scottish adventure.

Meet the Experts for Scotland