Scotland would without doubt have to be one of the most beautiful countries in all of Europe, from the Highland region with sweeping mountain plains and its loch after loch, to the Lowlands where fog is often covering the dense forests and castles giving it a mysterious atmosphere, just adding truth to the many tales that surround this wondrous country. To really grasp the beauty of Scotland you need to venture out of the cities, away from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh and go into the wild, and one of the most enjoyable and easy ways to do this is by joining a tour. Haggis Adventures is a company run by true Scots that absolutely love their country and are proud to call themselves Scottish, showing patriotic spirit through the forms of kilts and the usage of just a few wee slang words. Offering tours ranging from 1-10 days, you are guaranteed to find one that will fulfil all of your Scottish dreams. I got the chance to explore the breathtaking Highlands and the mythical Isle of Skye on their 2-day Sky High tour and had a blast meeting the awesome guides, Jaime and Yvonne, and hanging out with some fellow travellers as we travelled through some of the most impressive scenery that I have ever seen.
This dynamic tour company has been up and running since 1993, and has always had a top priority of creating a fun and energetic environment where you are guaranteed an amazing time, so all you have to worry about is sitting back and enjoying Scotland from the view of a local. However, it’s best if you don’t get too comfortable, because within the first few minutes an initiation ritual is often compulsory to all new travellers… Though don’t be too frightened, it is not as scary as those scenarios you see happen in American colleges, it is only a quirky little introductory game to get to know your Haggis family that you’ll be with over the next few days, and before you know it you will be up and exploring your first stop of the day anyway. That is one of the many pluses of these tours, you will never be sitting on a coach all day! Though when you do have those longer stretches of driving it is easy to forget that you are trapped inside a bus because of how incredible the scenery is outside, I could even go as far as to say that some of the driving periods were even more amazing than the stops just because of how breathtaking the Scottish landscapes are.
Mythical legends, historic tales, daring stories, your guides will undoubtedly have a fable to share at every place that you visit, and you can be sure to expect to hear all about giants, fairies, and unicorns (the national animal of Scotland by the way, how cool is that?) as you drive through some of the most gorgeous places on earth. But the Isle of Skye is where the true magic happens. This is the island that is perhaps the most magical of them all. Be prepared to partake in a few re-enactments on this day of the tour, where you will be given the opportunity to achieve eternal youth and beauty, be granted a wish and even hang off a cliff or two, activities that are only for the brave and daring though, but hey you’re in the land of the legendary Braveheart it’s necessary to be a bit adventurous here.
After experiencing what natural beauty Scotland has to offer during the day, it is obvious that you may need a bit of a rest at night, but I would highly recommend you push through, shot back a few glasses of Scottish whiskey, try some of the delicacies on offer, obviously Haggis is a must, grab a partner and hit the floor to learn some traditional dances from this very unique country. Strip the Willow and the Highland Fling are just a few routines that you’ll have the opportunity to partake in, but make sure you’ve got some sturdy shoes on because these dances tend to always involve you getting flung around in some way or another. But I can promise that you will have crazy amounts of fun spinning and twirling around.
One of the true highlights of any of the Haggis tours is the stop in Glencoe, which is usually visited on the last day on the way back to Edinburgh. Glencoe Valley would have to be the most spectacular, indescribably beautiful place in Scotland. Used in many films over the years, including Harry Potter, wandering in this area you’ll feel as if you have been transported into another world. It is utterly breathtaking, and luckily Haggis doesn’t just let you have a photo stop on the side of the road like a lot of other companies, you get the chance to actually hike through this amazing place. Any time of the year you will be able to enjoy Glencoe, blossoming in a field of flowers in the spring, covered in a layer of snow in winter, or submerged in fog that is perhaps the most endearing condition. Maybe you’ll even spot a glimpse of Hogwarts off in the distance, or the mouldering old ruin that it appears as to us mere muggles.
If you are considering a trip to Scotland I would strongly suggest you look into booking a tour with Haggis, so you can experience not only the beauty of Scotland but also experience an adventure that I promise you won’t be forgetting for a very long time. With a wide variety of tours on offer there is something for every sort of itinerary, or if you are after something truly special consider embarking on one of their Christmas or New Year’s journeys. Scotland is a must see for anyone who loves the idea that magic and all the legends of childhood stories and fables could be real, because you are sure to leave believing in the unbelievable, or even if you are just wanting to sit back and take in all the splendour that Scotland’s scenery offers you can’t go wrong with a Haggis tour.
Oh and one more thing… don’t believe everything that your guides tell you. They do enjoy trying to trick you as much as possible, so keep that in mind when they start yet another one of their tales.