VisitScotland Travel Trade... Surprise Yourself!

Date Posted: 01/02/2013

Pictured: Edinburgh Castle, City of Edinburgh.

Castles, distilleries, stately homes, shopping, architecture, scenery - whatever your clients' interests, Scotland offers something for every group traveller. Join VisitScotland during the Year of Natural Scotland 2013!

To help inspire that perfect, memorable break for your groups, here are a few facts you may not have known about Scotland:

  • You can find over 300 castles in Aberdeenshire alone, including those said to have inspired Walt Disney and Bram Stoker’s notorious Dracula!
  • Scotland is home to the world’s only malt whisky trail - visitors can discover (and sample!) Scotland's national tipple across seven working distilleries throughout the beautiful region of Speyside.
  • Edinburgh possesses more listed buildings that any other city in the world, but did you know what hides beneath? Discover infamous underground streets that veil Edinburgh’s more sinister history, including that of witchcraft and murder.
  • Dumfries and Ayrshire (approx one-hour drive between) boasts many associations to the life of national bard, poet Robert Burns. For example, the Globe Inn, est. in 1610, was Burn’s local watering hole and is still open to this day. The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum houses many important collections of his work including manuscript copies of his iconic Auld Lang Syne.

Historic, cosmopolitan and cultured, Edinburgh is one of the most popular destinations for groups in the UK due to the diversity of its attractions. For example, every August thousands flock to the city, with many theatres abuzz with excitement during our international art festival - the Fringe. Edinburgh is surely one of the most unique cities in the world. After all, how many other cities boast an extinct volcano and the supposed secret hiding place of the Holy Grail?

In the west lies the metropolis of Glasgow - Scotland’s largest city. Host of the next Commonwealth Games in 2014, Glasgow is one of Europe’s most energetic destinations. From its impressive cultural scene and vibrant shopping hub (the UK’s second largest after London), to its incredible green spaces, boasting 90 parks/gardens - it truly offers something for every interest.

Inverary Castle (approx 1.5 hour drive from Glasgow) in Argyll is a striking attraction that Downton Abbey fans will love - they may know it better as the fictional Duneagle Castle of Lord and Lady Grantham!

If your group enjoys the majesty of stately homes, then the beautiful Scottish Borders offers some of the finest. This includes Manderston House, boasting an abundance of grandeur including the world’s only silver staircase. 

If you are travelling from the south, Gretna Green is the perfect pit stop once you have crossed the border - found just off the main motorway route into Scotland.  Not only is the coach friendly attraction a fascinating discovery of romantic historical interest, it also features great shopping opportunities and is a superb place for a spot of lunch.

Another great stop off when travelling further north is the House of Bruar. It’s the perfect place for coach parties to stop for some retail therapy while exploring the beauty of Highland Perthshire.

A unique attraction not to be missed during trips to the north is the fantastic Scottish Dolphin Centre, on the Moray Firth - which offers free admission where visitors can spot wild dolphins and whales feeding in their natural environment.

Feeling inspired? Then why not find out more and join us at our annual travel trade show. Expo 2013 is a one stop shop to discover everything you need to know as a group travel operator visiting Scotland. There are over 240 Scottish tourism suppliers to meet from hotels to visitor attractions. Hosted in Glasgow, from 17th - 18th April, click here to register.

For the latest information for group tours to Scotland, visit or e-mail us at

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