Introducing the United Kingdom: Scotland

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Scotland is an incredible experience. It is rich in culture and dramatic scenery. There are charming small towns and bustling cities full of history. Pristine beaches, ancient ruins, national parks and natural beauty – its a must for anyone who loves the outdoors!

Bella Vita Travels has expanded beyond the Mediterranean for quite some time now. Our almost 20 years of experience planning tailor made holidays extends around the world.

The United Kingdom is a country that is very close to our hearts. Scotland is one of its most special parts – a dramatically beautiful country that is more than worth a visit.

Bella Vita has partnered with the illustrious Travel Experts, a Virtuoso member since earlier this summer. This offers new travel perks and benefits to our clients in the countries we can help you discover. Just like in beautiful Scotland!

This month, we would like to introduce you to the United Kingdom. We will be sharing tips, advice and recommendations about Scotland this week. As always, all of our trips are completely tailor made.

Travel is exciting–even life-changing–but it is also deeply personal.  That is why every custom Mediterranean vacation experience designed by Bella Vita Travels starts with you.

Getting to know Scotland

Scotland occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It is bounded by England in the south and on the other three sides by water: by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and north and by the North Sea on the east. Scotland is divided into three physical regions—the Highlands; the Central Lowlands, containing two-thirds of the population; and the Southern Uplands. The western Highland coast is intersected throughout by long, narrow sea lochs, or fjords. Scotland also includes the Outer and Inner Hebrides and other islands off the west coast and the Orkney and Shetland Islands off the north coast.

England and Scotland have shared a monarch since 1603 and a parliament since 1707, but in May 1999, Scotland elected its own parliament for the first time in three centuries.

When to visit and getting around

The best time to visit Scotland is during spring (late March to May), summer (June to August) and fall (September to November). Temperatures are warmer by spring, with averages of 43°F to 59°F, although there will still be snow in the mountains of the Highlands and the Cairngorms. Summer affords warmth and long days that allows for plenty of time out in the fresh air.  It’s the perfect time of year to plan a road trip, coastal holiday or maybe an island adventure!

If you’ve got an international driving license then you’re able to drive in Scotland. This is especially good news when you realize the amount of jaw-dropping, scenic road trips you can soak up during your visit.

Tailor made tours in Scotland

Private cooking class

Enjoy a foodie experience in the wild Scottish hills. From foraging to cooking, you’ll be creating unique exquisite dishes to enjoy. With views to the hills and a kitchen full of color, traditional culinary utensils and spices from Istanbul, these workshops are unique and hands-on. There are no fancy gadgets, precise measurements or complicated recipes, just sharp knives, mortar and pestles, and lots of chopping, pounding, tasting, laughter and good banter. Enjoy sharing stories, learning about spices and cultures, and tucking into a feast with a bottle of wine.

Gardens and castles in Fife and Pertshire

Enjoy a private guided tour with the Head Gardener of the Gardens at Teasses Estate, an extensive labyrinth of beautifully kept spaces each full of character and style. The gardens extend to sixty acres and comprise of formal gardens surround the Mansion House together with intimate woodland gardens and a restored Victorian Walled Garden which provides organically grown fresh produce for the House. Enjoy an an exquisite lunch in the walled garden before continuing your journey into the Highlands.

In the afternoon visit Glamis Castle to learn about the royal history of Scotland. Glamis Castle has been the ancestral seat to the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne since 1372, inspiration for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret.

Edinburgh in a day

Discover Scotland’s beautiful capital city, Edinburgh, with our friendly Blue Badge guide, who will show you all the iconic sites as well as some lesser-known haunts. Edinburgh offers something for everyone, from its rich historic legacy to the latest in modern architecture and design. Explore Edinburgh Old Town and visit the Castle at the top of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s historical and cultural high-street.

In the afternoon, your guide will take you on an afternoon foodie tour of the city. You will learn about traditional Scottish food and drink and sample various items from local, artisan suppliers. On this food and drink experience you’ll discover some of Edinburgh’s hidden food and drink gems.

In the evening enjoy a 5 regions of Scotland whisky tasting for an introduction of the different whisky producing areas in Scotland.

Outlander lovers Scotland (from Inverness)

Today before leaving your hotel remember to find the bench with dedicated to Diana Gabaldon from the Ladies of Lallybroch.

Once you leave the hotel you will visit the actual atmospheric site of the Battle of Culloden, Culloden Moor which on the 16th of April 1746 was the battle that ended the Jacobite uprising and where the last battle was fought on British soil.

Continuing south through the heart of Scotland and the Cairngorm Mountains. In this area is Tulloch Ghru and the Highland Folk Museum which gives a good insight into the lifestyle of the time. There is also Kinloch Rannoch which is where the factious Craigh na Dun Standing Stones where filmed.

Where to stay in Scotland

The Balmoral, Rocco Forte

The Balmoral may just be the city’s premier address – it’s a luxury hotel that pampers its guests. Many of the opulent rooms and suites look out on Edinburgh Castle, the Old Town, and Arthur’s Seat, capturing the beauty and mood of the Scottish countryside. Pampering starts in the award-winning spa, a sanctuary of highly personalized service. Indulgence continues at Michelin-starred restaurant Number One, serving dishes which fuse modern Scottish cuisine with international flair. Have Afternoon Tea at Palm Court, the finest whiskies at the SCOTCH whisky bar, and try out the fashionable Brasserie Prince.

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel

Far from Edinburgh’s crowded streets (and overlooking the city’s most beautiful private garden squares) is Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel. Comprised of seven interconnected Georgian townhouses, the newly renovated hotel employs rich woods, plush fabrics, and pops of color – including a smart use of tartan plaid to create a sophisticated, yet comfortable appeal. Step into the glass-topped courtyard for afternoon tea or unwind with a bespoke cocktail in Aizle before tucking into a six-course meal. For smaller group travel, enjoy the exclusivity of the No.33 Townhouse – a 12 guest room Georgian Townhouse.

Inverlochy Castle Hotel

You will find regal respite at Inverlochy Castle Hotel, managed by ICMI, set within Scotland’s foothills of Ben Nevis. Built in 1863, the castle was a private home for 100 years before being converted to a celebrated country-house hotel. Your bedroom is one of 18; each has a unique design, private bathroom, and amenities that include a flat-screen mirror television and Bang & Olufsen sound system. Outdoor activities include fishing for wild brown trout and hunting grouse or stags. Dine at Albert and Michel Roux Jr at Inverlochy Castle, savoring the finest dishes offered by the legendary father and son, using local produce.

Cameron House on Loch Lomond

Standing on the peaceful southern shores of Loch Lomond occupying over 400 acres of magnificent woodland, Cameron House is an 17th century baronial mansion offering deluxe accommodation, award winning cuisine, superb leisure and outdoor pursuits. In addition, our championship golf course “Carrick on Loch Lomond” and exclusive spa provides an inspirational setting. With interiors that are almost as dramatic as the exterior of the manor, our stunning residence evokes character and comfort at every turn; we’re sure you will adore our impressive setting and the elegance that spans centuries.

New destinations, still your Bella Vita

We hope that this introduction to Scotland gave you some travel inspiration. We have so many new experiences and destinations we cannot wait to share with you.

For more information on a tailor made trip to Scotland, please contact Megan or Kate to learn more!

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