There’s no shortage of things to do and see in Scotland. It’s a varied country with so much happening – plenty of events, festivals and, of course, all of the natural beauty. Here’s my collection of things to do in Scotland in 2018…

1. Celtic Connections, Glasgow 

Celtic Connections has already begun, but if you’re quick it’s on until the 4th February! Throughout the festival there are more than 300 concerts and events celebrating the roots of traditional Scottish music.

2. GinFall Festival, Glasgow 

A festival all about gin. What could be better? GinFall takes place in Glasgow on Saturday 3rd March in Pollockshields Burgh Hall – a building that looks absolutely beautiful. There’ll be gin cocktails, samples and masterclasses from various different gin companies.

3. Edinburgh Festival Fringe

things to do scotland 2018
Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival is the largest festival in Scotland and this year takes place from 3rd to 27th August. There were more than 53 THOUSAND performances at the festival in 2017 and 2018 is set to be bigger and better. There’s theatre, comedy, dance, music, circus, cabaret and so much more. Best of all is that many of the performances are free or relatively inexpensive. If you do one thing in Scotland this year, make it this!

4. Visit an island 

Scotland has more than 700 islands surrounding it and many of them are incredibly beautiful. Many of the islands are easily accessible by regular ferry services. Take a day trip to one of them and see what you can discover.

5. Edinburgh Military Tattoo 

I have ALWAYS wanted to go to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo – it looks so amazing! It’s performed every year and in 2018 will be on from the 3rd to the 25th August. It’s performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and inernational military bands and artistic performance teams. The location right next to Edinburgh Castle is dramatic and this is something you’ll always remember.

6. Drive the North Coast 500 

things to do scotland 2018
The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s answer to Route 66. It’s a 500 mile round journey that begins and ends in Inverness. It involves driving on some dramatic and gorgeous roads, seeing plenty of incredible views and visiting some of the more remote parts of the country. The scenery is absolutely unforgettable and it’s something I recommend everyone (visitor or local!) to do.

7. Check out some museums 

Scotland has some really superb museums and they’re the perfect places to go when the weather is dreary outside. Get indoors and learn more about art, history, the world around us and more. One of the best things about the majority of Scotland’s museums is that they’re either free or very inexpensive.

My favourite museums in Scotland are Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the National Musuem of Scotland. At some point this year I’ll also visit the National Musuem of Flight which I’m really looking forward to.

8. Take a hike

things to do scotland 2018
Scotland has some of the very best natural landscapes in the world. Why not take the time to fully appreciate them by getting out in nature on a hike or walk? You’ll get a good work out, enjoy the fresh air and see some of the magical scenery that Scotland is so famous for.

If you’re feeling adventurous why not resolve to bag a munro? A munro is a Scottish mountain that stands over 3,000 feet high and there are 282 of them across the country. Start ‘munro bagging’ and scale as many as you can!

Or, for something a little different, why not walk all or part of The West Highland Way. It’s 96 miles long and can be done at your own pace, with plenty stop offs along the way. 

9. Visit (or stay in!) a castle 

Scotland has castles in abundance. Some are in pristine condition, others are ruins. Some are magnificent and grand whilst others are falling apart. There are some that have been transformed into visitor attractions while others are luxury hotels. Two of the best to visit are Edinburgh Castle and Stirling castle for great days out.

If you fancy staying in a castle and pretending to be a prince or princess for the night check out Glenapp Castle, Fonab Castle or Inverlochy Castle. These are some of the most popular in the country (Glenapp is definitely my fav!).

10. Visit the most northerly points in mainland Scotland

things to do scotland 2018

Last year I visited the two most northerly points (inhabited and uninhabited) in the Scottish mainland – John O’Groats and Dunnet Head. I saw some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen in Scotland. The sky was blue, the water was a dazzling deep blue shade and the coastline was superb.

It made me appreciate Scotland even more than I already do for its incredible natural beauty. I’m very lucky to call this country home.

11. Take the train

I don’t mean hop on a train the short distance to the nearest city! I mean take a real train journey and enjoy the scenery as you do. 

Last year I travelled from Glasgow to the very north of Scotland by train and loved the ease of whizzing through the country whilst being able to enjoy all the views around me. The views over the land and sea were some of the best I’d ever seen and it was one of the highlights of my trip to the north of Scotland. 

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, why not take a train that passes through the Glenfinnan Viaduct – a spot you’ll definitely recognise from the films! 

12. Visit a loch

There are more than 30 thousand lochs and lochans in Scotland, peppered throughout the country. Why not visit at least one of them (if you’re a local why not head to one you’ve never visited before) and enjoy the beauty of these freshwater spots. 

Of course, the most well-known loch is Loch Ness and if you fancy searching for the Loch Ness Monster you should definitely begin there. Another famous loch is Loch Lomond, a personal favourite of mine as it’s just 30 minutes from my home and is so peaceful and tranquil. 

13. Visit one of the best beaches 

Did you know Scotland has some of the best beaches in the world? There are several beaches dotted around the coastline that are consistently voted as some of the most beautiful. Probably not what you would expect from a country so far north.

Some of the best are Sandwood Bay, Luce Bay, West Sand, Machir Bay, Redpoint Beaches and many more. Definitely make visiting at least once of these a priority in Scotland in 2018. You probably won’t believe you’re still in Scotland!

14. Go stargazing 

things to do scotland 2018
Want to look at the stars without all the light pollution getting in the way? Then head to Scotland’s Dark Sky Park in Galloway Forest Park in Dumfries and Galloway. It’s the UK’s first designated dark sky park, as it’s considered to be one of the very best spots to see the stars. I visited there last year and it was absolutely magical to see how many stars are twinkling above us that aren’t usually visible because of town and city lights. There’s even the chance to see The Northern Lights at certain times of year!

I visited there last year and it was absolutely magical to see how many stars are twinkling above us that aren’t usually visible because of town and city lights. There’s even the chance to see The Northern Lights at certain times of year!

15. Hogmanay! 

Hogmanay is the Scottish term for new years eve and Scotland is definitely one of the best places in the world to ring in a brand new year.

Whether you celebrate in Edinburgh at the world-famous street party or head to one of the many celebrations around the country, you’re sure to have an amazing time. Us Scots are a friendly lot and we absolutely know how to party and have fun.