There’s nowhere quite like Scotland. This epic land of mighty mountains, plunging glens and surging rivers offers a sweep of experiences that you just cannot find anywhere else.
If you’ve ever wanted to have your own kilt fitted, canoe down a river fuelled by a wee dram or hop on Europe’s only scheduled flight to land on an Atlantic beach, then read on…
Edinburgh tailors like Geoffrey Tailor offer the full service. Ideally, you want an eight-yard kilt made in full weight, 16/17oz worsted. They will measure you up, talk you through the tartans and let you know about all the add ons like a sporran or a sgian dhu (basically a lethal knife you stuff down your socks).
Once you’re down, you can even enjoy garlic cockles freshly picked from the runway. Surreal does not cover it.
We recommend the hot tubs at self-catering escapes like Roulotte Retreat, Mains of Taymouth and Kilfinan House.
Sir Hugh Munro is the man to blame for first putting together the list of peaks, which currently stands at 284. The record for completing them all is an improbable 40 days – good luck!
Dave Craig of Spirit of the Spey offers a unique Canadian canoe trip down a stretch of Scotland’s fastest-flowing river, the Spey, where distilleries dot the banks.
This is thirsty work, but luckily Dave is on hand to offer a wee dram midstream and then a private tasting by a roaring fire in his home afterwards.
To tick off sightings of all five, check out new small cruise operator Argyll Cruising, who offer wildlife cruises on their seven-berth ship, Splendour.
The epicentre of the action is Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, which goes on for days before and after the big night.
Elsewhere look out for the Comrie Flambeaux fire festival in Perthshire and the Stonehaven Fireballs Festival, both spectacular events that kick off the new year with a serious and uniquely Scottish bang.
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