20 best things about Scotland (for when you can visit!)

things to do Ardnamurchan

The 20 best things about moving to Scotland

Scotland is consistently voted one of the best places to visit in the world. But how about living here? Moving to Scotland I knew very little about the country – and now I have truly made it my home. As I am absolutely head over heels in love with Scotland here are my best things about living in Scotland.

1. Scotland might be a tiny country, but it has a very big heart

We beat our climate change promise 6 years early, voted for gay marriage, fight for multicultural social inclusion and respect our strong female leaders. Scotland has some of the most progressive politics, rights and laws in the world – and it makes me very proud.

2. The national dress is actually rather good

Whether you are a Skinny Malinky long legs or knobbly of the knee, the kilt turns a Scot into a ScotsMAN and it really does turn every lady slightly wobbly.

3. Scotland’s history drives its present

– and with the Scots’ proud and slightly obsessive wearing of the national dress at every available opportunity, it is celebrated too.

4. You get used to the Scottish weather

It’s either Taps Oan or Taps off. Mostly Taps Oan if I’m honest.

moving to scotland

5. You will have more fun at a Glasgow funeral than an Edinburgh wedding

The Scots love a party and if you have been to a Scottish wedding then you will know just how exceptionally crazy they can be.

6. Scotland’s natural history is utterly mind-blowing

From the highlands to the islands you can’t help being caught up in the drama of the landscape. Moving to Scotland means you will discover a photographer’s dream.

how to plan a road trip in Scotland

moving to scotland

7. You will love both the Scottish lilt and the labhairt

From the road signs to the way we name our mountains, the language is a huge part of what makes Scotland. There is even a day celebrating Scotland’s national poet – despite (although probably because of) Burns’ poetry was often about what he got up to in the bedroom.

8. The Scots have hundreds of words to describe being drunk

…blootered, stoating, steamin, jaked, trousered… ahem. Not that you will ever get stottin after moving to Scotland. Honest.

9. You know where you stand with a Scot

Everything and I mean, everything, shows right there on their faces.  There is no hiding their feelings, especially the bar staff if you are a wee bit pissed.

10. Scotland is a proud country – and so it should be

Wherever you go in Scotland, you will discover warmth and welcome – the Scots have such a passion for their country. I fell in love with the #scotspirit so much that I married one.

moving to scotland

11. Telling stories is in Scotland’s heart

From water nymphs to the Kelpies, to stone circles to the Fairy Flag of Dunvegan, and of course, Nessie – Scottish history is told through tales passed down through generations.

12. There is no way to prevent a midgie bite (if they like you)

There are a 101 ways to kill the wee beasties. Just choose your favourite, no one loves a midgie. I’d go for a flamethrower.

13. You can keep fit just by stepping outside

With two national parks, 282 Munros to climb, 30 long range walks, including the famous West Highland Way, you really don’t have any excuse.

Read more how to: climb a Munro

moving to scotland

14. Scottish food is weird but delicious

Scotland might produce some of the best food in the world from its seas, lochs and fields, but it is that orange hangover cure, square sausage, haggis, and deep-fried anything, that is really our favourite.

15. The beaches are out of this world

Forget the Caribbean instead Scotland has the world beating Sanna Bay, Sands Beach, Luskentyre and Sandwood Bay Beach. You can take your pick.

moving to scotland

16. Scotland has the best festivals

The Edinburgh Festival and its fringe might be famous worldwide, but Scotland’s festivals celebrate traditional music, its food and drink and even knitting! Most of them end up as a stramash. Even the knitting.

17. There are four national drinks

With over 300 whisky distilleries, 130 breweries and a plethora of gin producers, oh and Irn Bru. Whatever your tipple, you are sure of a fine hangover.

moving to scotland

18. The Scottish sense of humour goes way beyond banter and sarcasm.

I shall point you in the direction of hurricane bawbag… plus all this happened in Scotland and all this.

19. Scotland’s Highland Coos are the cutest

(even if like me, you are petrified of cows)

…and finally, let’s just admit it. Number 20. of the best things about Scotland?

20. It really is the perfect small country to make your home. 

Lots and lots of love, from Scotland x

Are you thinking of moving to Scotland? what are your favourite things about living in Scotland?

47 thoughts on “20 best things about Scotland (for when you can visit!)”

    1. James Horner

      Im an american an i met this girl on fb ever since we been talking im going to glasgow to meet an live with her she is a beautiful strong willed lady

  1. Giggling and nodding my head at this! (just for clarification, I’m a weegie now living in Edinburgh so I’m not THAT biased!) ‘You will have more fun at a Glasgow funeral than an Edinburgh wedding’ hahaha xx

  2. Darrell Harper

    Just discovered your Blog on Facebook and immediately subscribed. We are Canadians with strong Scottish ties to both the Buchanan (myself) and Donald (my good wife Lisa) Clans. Love your 20 best things about Scotland and do hope to ‘drop in’ in 2017 or 2018 when the “exchange rate” becomes a wee bit more reasonable. Will follow your Blog with earnest. Thank you for sharing.

  3. This is my plan! And I hope to live there for 20+ years and be able to look back as you have…
    I love Scotland..can not wait to return..felt homesick as soon as the plane took off from the Glasgow Airport runway. I get all misty eyed when I hear the pipes or look at photographs of this proud country!
    “Go Gently, and Haste Ye Back”…can not get back fast enough!

  4. Cliodhna Ryan

    I always feel a weird loyalty to Scotland despite only being there once. I think it’s an Irish thing Great post. I have definitely enjoyed the Scottish humour while travelling with people from there.

  5. internationalcaty

    I would have never thought of Scotland. I will definitely add it to my Travel list

  6. Claire Monaghan

    I’ve just turned 20 and I’ve lived in Scotland all of my life. I agree with everything you’ve said here! I love my country and, although I want to move abroad when older, it will always have a special place in my heart.

    1. Albert Ntumi Agbedozah

      Well said dear.. you country is a nice place to be… I can’t wait to visit Scotland….

  7. The Soul of Seoul

    This is a great list. I love those words for being drunk.. just so many. And, I like that they’re called midgies.. I mean I hate them, but it’s funny. In Korea, they’re called mogies. Numerous beaches.. when can you swim in them? I’d gather it’s a wee bit nippy most of the year.

  8. Great post! I will love to get to know a lot more about Scotland! Lets see if Im able to visit someday!

  9. happycoconutstravelblog

    Scotland is at the top of my lifetime bucket list!! I can’t wait to see it in person and hopefully someday soon!

  10. Dash the Map

    Kate, thank you for the tips! I will be visiting Scotland in the fall and actually didn’t know what to do there. Now I have so much to choose from.

  11. Scotland is indeed a charming place. I find the place very romantic and at the same time intriguing. The country is enveloped in a rich aura of it its history and unique culture.

  12. Soumya Nambiar

    I would love to go to Scotland one day. I learnt so many new terms from your post today. Didn’t realise there were so many names for being drunk. That cow is so huge.

  13. Amandas_Wanderlust

    Haha I love this post (especially your solution to midges lol). I particularly agree with no 1 (infact it’s one of the reasons I have considered moving to Scotland, especially since the EU Referendum) and no 6 ( Scotland really does have the best natural history). There is so much of Scotland left for me to see.

  14. I love my country, Portugal, but after living in the UK, at the I really wish to have a change to work and live in Scotland xx

  15. Katie @ The Budget Backpack

    I’ve taken notice in recent years of the intense Scottish pride, and ever people who have lived there for a short stint seem to feel very connected. I love visiting places where there is a strong sense of national pride because you wind up encountering so many people who just want to share their culture and customs with you. I’m headed to the UK in the fall, and definitely more motivated to get myself up to Scotland!

  16. WyldfamilyTravel (@wyldfamtravel)

    We would love to come and visit some of the castles in Scotland. Big Highlander fan so Connor Macleod from the clan McLeod lived in one of these castles lol. No seriously Scotland looks amazing

  17. I love Scotland for its dramatic landscapes and friendly, down to earth people! Honestly one of the best countries in the world 🙂 Awesome write up.

  18. Sabrina Andrea Sachs

    can you believe I lived in London for 6 years and I only came up to Scotland once? I am really ashamed! but I promised myself I will definitely explore more once I come back to Europe!

  19. I love Scotland! It is such a beautiful place. I haven’t spent half as much time as I want to though. But there is always next time. I do love the history and have a family history here so I love hearing all the stories.

  20. Visited Scotland last year for the first time and fell in love immediatly. Did the West-Highlandway in June and will return in September to Inverness. I can relate to you being proud of this wonderful country! I truly love it, its food, its landscape and of course its people. Still – I live in a beautiful country as well – Austria. In some parts very similar to Scotland.. 🙂

  21. Buddy The Traveling Monkey

    There is obvious pride in this post! I on;t spent a short time in Scotland but I quickly fell in love with it. I think my favorite things were the highlands and and the Edinburgh castle.

    1. A midgie is a nasty bitey fly. They breed in huge clouds and is our only horrible bug to avoid! Mostly found on Scotland’s West coast in summer.

  22. I’ve only been to Scotland once, but I absolutely fell in love! I can’t wait to get back and explore more.

  23. klipdrifters

    Absolutely love Scotland, most of Heather’s family is from Ayr, which we have managed to visit last year. We learn t the hard way about midgies while hiking to Steall falls, no one told us about these evil little creatures and we spent most of the way dancing on our hike.

  24. I’ve still got so much more of Scotland to see but I have loved where I’ve been so far. A lot of fun reading this list. When I worked in the UK I had a scottish boss and I remember only being able to understand 1 word in every 5 🙂

  25. What a fun post. I like Scotland for its castles and kilts. It has been awhile since I’ve been there though. Time for another visit soon!

  26. I left Scotland in 1992 and miss it dearly every day, you have captured our essence, really well done!

  27. Jessi (@2feet1world)

    Love this! For me, having not visited much, it has been the scenery and the humour of the people that have definitely won me over so far.

  28. WhereMonicaGoes

    Oh, you make me fall in love for Scotland! It is a must-visit for me. I see the photos and I just can’t wait to go. The sceneries are splendid! Of course, I would like to see those men in kilts and try to get drunk with Scottish beer!

    1. If you are thinking of visiting Edinburgh have a look at my guide to Scottish Beer (I love beer!)

  29. such a good post!!! I Love Scotland and I totally agree with point 1. If there’s a place where you feel welcome is Scotland, people are so honest and warm (I guess to contradict the weather). And the scenery? One of the most beautiful scenery in the world for sure!

  30. haha I love this and I love this country for all these reasons! I have 16 years to go to get to that point, but I’m glad you’re sharing your wisdom. I love Scotland, and also snatched me a Scot 🙂

  31. melchaddphotos

    Bloody brilliant post. I love Scotland (as you may have already grasped from my blog).
    We have lived in Perthshire for just over 12 months now and every single day something makes me smile.

  32. I have no Scottish roots, when my daughter was 5 she out of the blue said, I want to go to Scotland, 11 years later we were there celebrating her 16th bday, we both fell in love and are planning a return trip! I love the Kelpies, the people, the history and the beauty! Especially the Hairy Coos!

  33. Just got back from two weeks there. Have to say. The country and the people stole my heart. Never have I been amongst such lovely people who were so friendly and kind. No one is a stranger. We had an amazing time and I think I might be already looking forward to the next trip over. Thankfully we missed the midgies. But driving all over the highlands we saw very few coos but lots o sheep. Would’ve liked to see more coos. Loved Cullen Skink. That has to be some of the most delicious stuff ever. Haggis was OK. But got grossed out after I knew what I was eating. Although I’d eat it again because it is actually good. The whiskey was great but the landscape. Oh. My heart. It was gorgeous in autumn. The weather was rainy but not uncomfortable. And who cares with such beautiful places to visit. It rained so on our day on Loch Ness as well and wouldn’t you know it but the beastie wouldn’t come out to play that day!?! I see why people fall in love with the place and never want to leave. It’d be way too easy to do. Even for this patriotic American.

  34. haim_1952@walla.co.il

    helo kate….
    do you have,coupons or any ather cards,for tourists,for saving moeny,and lower all the
    i published you,in a big forom in israel,wich
    calld lametayel meaning the travelers,and so all yours articalls and pictuers,are seems,for
    alot off travelers,at least 100’000 readers.
    thanks for all your information .so we will keep in tuch.have agreat day friendly,haim
    from israel.

  35. I went to Edinburgh away with work and I absolutely loved exploring the city!

    I would love to visit more of Scotland but probably in the summer as I haaate the cold!

    Lovely post 🙂 x

    alicekatex – The life of Alice

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