The Rough Guide to Scotland (Travel Guide eBook)
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461 pages

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The Rough Guide to Scotland

Make the most of your time on Earth with the ultimate travel guides.
World-renowned 'tell it like it is' travel guide.

Discover the Scotland with this comprehensive and entertaining travel guide, packed with practical information and honest and independent recommendations by our experts. Whether you plan to explore the Cairngorm Mountains, walk the West Highland Way, taste some local whisky or go downhill-cycling at Glentress, the Rough Guide to Scotland will help you discover the best places to explore, eat, drink, shop and sleep along the way.

Features of this travel guide to Scotland:
Detailed regional coverage: provides practical information for every kind of trip, from off-the-beaten-track adventures to chilled-out breaks in popular tourist areas
Honest and independent reviews: written with Rough Guides' trademark blend of humour, honesty and expertise, our writers will help you make the most from your trip to Scotland
Meticulous mapping: practical full-colour maps, with clearly numbered, colour-coded keys. Find your way around Islay, the Caledonian Forest and many more locations without needing to get online
Fabulous full-colour photography: features inspirational colour photography, including the stunning Cullin Range and the spectacular South Harris beaches
- Time-saving itineraries: carefully planned routes will help inspire and inform your on-the-road experiences
Things not to miss: Rough Guides' rundown of Tobermory, Iona, Ailsa Crag and the Knoydart Peninsula's best sights and top experiences
Travel tips and info: packed with essential pre-departure information including getting around, accommodation, food and drink, health, the media, festivals, sports and outdoor activities, culture and etiquette, shopping and more
Background information: comprehensive 'Contexts' chapter provides fascinating insights into Scotland, with coverage of history, religion, ethnic groups, environment, wildlife and books, plus a handy language section and glossary
Covers: Edinburgh and the Lothians; the Borders; Dumfries and Galloway; Ayrshire and Arran; Glasgow and the Clyde; Argyll and Bute; Stirling; Loch Lomond and the Trossachs; Fife; Perthshire; Northeast Scotland; the Great Glen and River Spey; the north and northwest Highlands; Skyes and the Small Isles; the Western Isles; Orkney and Shetland

You may also be interested in: The Rough Guide to the Scottish Highlands and IslandsPocket Rough Guide Edinburgh and The Rough Guide to Great Britain

About Rough Guides: Rough Guides have been inspiring travellers for over 35 years, with over 30 million copies sold globally. Synonymous with practical travel tips, quality writing and a trustworthy 'tell it like it is' ethos, the Rough Guides list includes more than 260 travel guides to 120+ destinations, gift-books and phrasebooks.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 mars 2020
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781789196610
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 20 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0034€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Where to go
When to go
Author picks
Things not to miss
Tailor-made trips
Getting there
Getting around
Food and drink
The media
Events and spectator sports
Outdoor activities
Travel essentials
1 Edinburgh and the Lothians
2 The Borders
3 Dumfries and Galloway
4 Ayrshire and Arran
5 Glasgow and the Clyde
6 Argyll and Bute
7 Stirling, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
8 Fife
9 Perthshire
10 Northeast Scotland
11 The Great Glen and River Spey
12 The north and northwest Highlands
13 Skye and the Small Isles
14 The Western Isles
15 Orkney
16 Shetland
Introduction to
Clichéd images of Scotland abound – postcards of wee Highland terriers, glittering lochs, infinite variations on tartan and whisky – and they drive many Scots apoplectic. Yet Scotland has a habit of delivering on its classic images. In some parts ruined castles really do perch on every other hilltop, in summer the glens do indeed turn purple with heather, and you’ll be unlucky not to catch sight of a breathless bagpiper while you’re up here. Sure, the roads can be wiggly and the drizzle can be oppressive. But there’s something intoxicating about these patriotic, Tolkien-esque lands that will have you yearning for more.
The complexity of Scotland can be hard to unravel: somewhere deep in its genes a generous dose of romantic Celtic hedonism blends (somehow) with stern Calvinist prudence. It’s a country where the losers of battles (and football games) are more romanticized than the winners. The country’s major contribution to medieval warfare was the chaotic charge of the half-naked Highlander, yet in modern times it has given the world steam power, the television and penicillin. Chefs throughout Europe rhapsodize over Scottish langoustine and Aberdeen Angus beef, while back at home there is still a solid market for deep-fried pizza.
Naturally, the tourist industry tends to play up the heritage, but beyond the nostalgia lies a modern, dynamic nation. Oil and nanotechnology now matter more to the Scottish economy than fishing or Harris tweed, and the video gaming industry continues to prosper. Edinburgh still has its medieval Royal Mile, but just as many folk are drawn by its nightclubs and modern restaurants , while out in the Hebrides, the locals are more likely to be building websites than shearing sheep. Even the Highland huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ set are outnumbered these days by mountain bikers and wide-eyed whale-watchers. The ceilidh remains an important part of the Highlands social scene, although large-scale outdoor music festivals draw in revellers from around the world.
Scotland will never be able to cut its geographical and historic ties with the “auld enemy”, England, although relations between these two countries are as complicated as ever. In the 2014 independence referendum Scots voted to remain part of the United Kingdom by a margin of 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent. Despite this, the nationalist movement continued to build momentum, with the SNP recording a historic landslide victory in the 2015 UK general election , taking 56 of 59 seats, having won just four in 2010. At the 2017 UK general election however, the SNP vote was reduced to 35 seats.
In contrast, thanks to ancient links with Ireland, Scandinavia, France and the Netherlands, Scots are generally enthusiastic about the European Union , which – up until the 2016 EU membership referendum result – had poured large sums of money into infrastructure and cultural projects, particularly in the Highlands and Islands. While the UK as a whole defied pollsters by voting to leave the EU, 62 percent of the Scottish population and all 32 councils opted to remain. Whether this will lead to a second Scottish independence referendum, as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon desires, remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure: Scots are likely to continue to view matters south of the border with a mixture of exaggerated disdain and well-hidden envy. Open hostility is rare, but ask for a “full English breakfast” and you’ll quickly be put right.

T in The Park
Where to go
Even if you’re planning a short visit, it’s perfectly possible to combine a stay in either Edinburgh or Glasgow with a brief foray into the Highlands. With more time, a greater variety of landscapes in Scotland is available, but there’s no escaping the fact that travel in the more remote regions of Scotland takes time and money, even with your own transport. If you plan to spend most of your time in the countryside, concentrate on just one or two areas for a more rewarding visit.
The initial focus for many visitors to Scotland is the capital, Edinburgh , a dramatically handsome and engaging city famous for its castle and historic Old Town. Come in August and you’ll find the city transformed by the Edinburgh Festival, the largest arts festival in the world. An hour’s travel to the west, the country’s biggest city, Glasgow , is quite different in character. Once a sprawling industrial metropolis, it now has a lively social and cultural life to match its impressive architectural heritage. Other urban centres are inevitably overshadowed by the big two, although the transformation from industrial grey to cultural colour is injecting life into Dundee , while there’s a defiant separateness to Aberdeen , with its silvery granite architecture and port. Other centres serve more as transport or service hubs to the emptier landscapes beyond, though some contain compelling attractions such as the wonderful castle in Stirling or the Burns’ monuments in Ayr .

Fact file Scotland contains over 31,460 lochs , and of its 790 islands , 130 are inhabited. The national animal of Scotland is not sheep, Highland cattle, or even a loch-dwelling monster. It is in fact the unicorn, and has been since the twelfth century. Scotland itself has a population of around 5.4 million. However, nearly 28 million Americans define themselves as having Scottish ancestry. Famous names with Scots blood include Ben Affleck, Jack Daniel (of whisky fame), Kim Kardashian, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Phelps. The shortest scheduled flight in the world links Westray to Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands. At just one-and-a-half miles in length, the flight can take under two minutes with a tailwind. Never mind Nessie, midges are the real monsters of the Highlands. These tiny summer blood-suckers bite hardest from mid-May to August in calm cloudy conditions, especially at dawn and dusk. There’s even a Midge Forecast ( ).
You don’t have to travel far north of the Glasgow–Edinburgh axis to find the first hints of Highland landscape, a divide marked by the Highland Boundary Fault, which cuts across central Scotland. The lochs, hills and wooded glens of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond are the most easily reached and correspondingly busier. Further north, Perthshire and the Grampian hills of Angus and Deeside show the Scottish countryside at its richest, with colourful woodlands and long glens rising up to distinctive mountain peaks. South of Inverness the Cairngorm massif hints at the raw wilderness Scotland still provides, which is at its most spectacular in the north and western Highlands. To get to the far north you’ll have to cross the Great Glen , an ancient geological fissure which cuts right across the country from Ben Nevis to Loch Ness , a moody stretch of water rather choked with tourists hoping for a glimpse of its monster. Arguably, Scotland’s most memorable scenery is to be found on the jagged west coast, stretching from Argyll all the way north to Wester Ross and the sugarloaf hills of Assynt .

Getty Images
Eileen Donan Castle on Loch Duich
Not all of central and northern Scotland is rugged Highlands, however. The east coast in particular mixes fertile farmland with pretty stone-built fishing villages and golf courses – none more famous than that at the university town of St Andrews , the spiritual home of the game. Elsewhere, the whisky trail of Speyside and the castles and Pictish stones of the northeast provide themes for exploration, while in the southern part of the country, the rolling hills and ruined abbeys of the Borders offer a refreshingly untouristy vision of rural Scotland.
The splendour of the Highlands would be bare without the islands off the west and north coasts. Assorted in size, flavour and accessibility, the long chain of rocky Hebrides which necklace Scotland’s Atlantic shoreline includes Mull and its nearby pilgrimage centre of Iona; Islay and Jura , famous for their wildlife and whisky; Skye , the most visited of the Hebrides, where the snow-tipped peaks of the Cuillin rise above deep sea lochs; and the Western Isles , an elongated archipelago that is the country’s last bastion of Gaelic language and culture. Off the north coast, Orkney and Shetland , both with a rich Norse heritage, differ both from each other and quite distinctly from mainland Scotland in dialect and culture – far-flung islands buffeted by wind and sea that offer some of the country’s wildest scenery, finest birdwatching and best archeological sites.

As the Inuit have dozens of words for snow, so a hill is rarely just a hill in Scotland. Depending on where you are, what it’s shaped like and how high

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