Wednesday, January 27

6 Epic, Non-Touristy Things to Do in Scotland with Angus and Vivian Adventures

Hi, we’re Angus and Vivian. This is our second time writing for Scot Bloggers, and we're excited as ever to talk to you about our favorite non-touristy things to do in Scotland. On our first guest post, we talked about jumping off hidden cliffs on the west coast and chillin' (or should we say steamin'?) in homemade hot tubs. We thought we would keep the theme of adventure and travel going and telling you of the secret places that we know and love about Scotland. Because, let's face it. You only really get to know a country's culture when you explore hidden, non-touristy places, meet the locals and adventure on your own, without the surplus of tourist traps.

6 Epic, Non-Touristy Things to Do in Scotland:

1. Camp in the Isle of Tiree. Bring your power kite!

From the mainland, hop onto a CalMac Ferry and make your way to the Isle of Tiree, known for being one of the sunniest and windiest places in Britain. Only 10 miles long and 5 miles wide, it's small enough to rent a bicycle and cycle your way around the entire island. Not to mention, its abundance of wind keep the midges away, so you can camp to your heart's content without worrying about getting bitten every umpteenth second. Trust us, the lack of midges makes a huge difference for Scottish camping experiences. Use the wind to your advantage and bring a power kite; you'll have loads of fun just trying to keep yourself from flying about! It's the perfect getaway in the Scottish Isles, filled with friendly locals, Scottish culture and beautiful beaches. 

2. Kayak your guns off in the Fairy Isles

Don't get this mixed up with the Fairy Pools in the Isle of Skye, the Fairy Isles by the head of Loch Sween in Argyll, west coast of Scotland, is far from touristy. It's a part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve due to its copious amounts of coastal birds, seals, otters and plants. It's the coolest, non-touristy out door place to escape to. Rent a kayak and take a day trip out to the Fairy Isles, breathe in the fresh, crisp air and keep an eye out for the occasional curious seal that wants to play. 

3. Breathe in the fresh air at the Isle of Bute

If getting to Tiree is too far, take a short weekend or day trip to the Isle of Bute. Only 33 miles from Glasgow with a short ferry trip ride, it's an accessible island with plenty of things to see, eat and do. There, the grass is lush and green and the beaches are shallow and perfect for dipping your feet into. It's the perfect place for families and anyone looking for a relaxed holiday with a Scottish vibe. 

4. Get your spook on and visit Poltalloch House... at night

Built in 1849 by William Burn and formally the seat of Malcolms of Poltalloch. Once a large Victorian mansion, Poltalloch House is situated in Lochgilphead and is now catagorised as a ruin. Its roof removed back in 1957, its easily one of the coolest urban adventures we have even been in. It's not categorized as an attraction, so you never see tourists and it's completely free for you to explore. You still see the remnants of old wine bottles and furniture underneath the mass of moss and lichen, so you get that eerie feel of being in a slightly haunted house. Give it a go at night, when the house feels 10 times creepier, maybe 100 times if you're down in the dungeon/cellar/basement area. 

5. Dip your feet in the clear seawater


Yup. That's my feet in the water. You can't even tell that my feet are submersed because it's so clear!

Hit the road east or west of Scotland and you will eventually hit the coast, where you have an endless playground to explore. If you're feeling extra adventurous, you can do what we normally do every time we explore a new place off the coast of Scotland: take a dip in the sea. Put on a wet suit or do without one, and just jump in. You can swim almost anywhere that isn't in a big boat pier, and although it's not necessarily warm, it's a great way to awaken your senses. Who knows, you may find some sea urchins or starfish along the way! 

6. Hike in Loch Carron

Loch Carron is situation about a 45 minute drive from Isle of Skye, so it's not the closest place from any of the main cities. However, the distance from the cities is what makes Loch Carron beautiful. It's a small town with friendly locals and is surrounded by mountains and lochs. Head out here and take yourself out to a 9 mile hike just off the town. You'll be rewarded with amazing views like the one above. Trust me, it's well worth it.

If you're from this beautiful country, do you have any suggestions for non-touristy things to do in Scotland? If you're not, check any of these places out, we promise they won't disappoint!

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