13 Hidden Gems: Non-Touristy Things To Do In Scotland

non touristy things to do in scotland

Welcome to Scotland, the land of tartans, bagpipes, whisky, and stunning natural landscapes. While the country is famous for its tourist attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, Loch Ness, and the Isle of Skye, there is a plethora of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. From an enchanted forest and a secret beach to a haunted mansion and a quirky museum, these non-touristy things to do in Scotland will give you a fresh perspective on this enchanting country. So, strap on your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and let's explore!

Activity Description
Munro Bagging Climbing one of Scotland's 282 mountains over 3,000 feet
Ceilidh Dancing Participating in traditional Scottish dancing at a local event or pub
Whisky Tasting Sampling a variety of Scotland's famous whisky at a local distillery
Island Hopping Exploring Scotland's many islands, such as Skye, Islay, and Mull
Fishing Trying your hand at fly fishing in one of Scotland's many rivers and lochs
Traditional Music Session Listening to live traditional music performances in a local pub
Wildlife Watching Spotting diverse wildlife including red squirrels, otters, and golden eagles
Local Food and Drink Trying authentic Scottish dishes, such as haggis and venison, and local beers and ales
Artisan Shopping Browsing locally-made crafts, textiles, and jewelry at small shops and galleries
Golfing Playing on Scotland's famous and historic golf courses, such as St. Andrews and Carnoustie


Hike the North Coast 500

Source: www.scotsman.com

When it comes to exploring Scotland, most people envision a crowded Edinburgh Castle or a leisurely stroll through Loch Ness. But if you're looking to avoid the tourist crowds and experience the raw beauty that Scotland has to offer, look no further than the North Coast 500.

The North Coast 500, also known as Scotland's Route 66, is a 500-mile scenic drive that takes travelers through the rugged Highlands of Scotland. But, who says you have to explore it by car? Hiking the North Coast 500 can be an exhilarating and unique way to experience Scotland's stunning landscapes.

The North Coast 500 offers a variety of hiking opportunities for both novice and experienced hikers. The route passes through some of Scotland's most scenic areas, including the Torridon Mountains, the remote beaches of Sutherland, and the rugged cliffs of Caithness.

One of the most popular hiking trails on the North Coast 500 is the Assynt Circuit. It's a 23-mile loop that takes hikers through the stunning geological landscape of the Assynt region. The trail is classified as moderate and takes around three days to complete. During the hike, you'll witness some of the most iconic rock formations in Scotland, including Suilven and Stac Pollaidh.

Another popular hiking trail is the Sandwood Bay Trail. It's an 8-mile round trip hike that takes you to one of the most spectacular beaches in Scotland. Getting to Sandwood Bay requires a bit of effort, as you'll need to trek through some rough terrain, but the effort is well worth it. The isolated beach boasts crystal clear waters, dramatic dunes, and a sense of tranquility that's hard to find in other parts of Scotland.

Hiking the North Coast 500 allows travelers to experience Scotland's natural beauty at their own pace, without having to worry about tour buses or tourist crowds. The trails are well-marked, and there are plenty of hidden gems scattered along the way. So, why not trade in the tourist hotspots for a hiking adventure on the North Coast 500? Your feet will thank you, and you'll leave Scotland with memories you'll never forget.

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Visit the National Museum of Rural Life

Source: www.nms.ac.uk
Characteristic Description
NameNational Museum of Rural Life
TypeMuseum in East Kilbride, Scotland
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.5 / 967
AddressWester Kittochside Philipshill Road East Kilbride, Glasgow G76 9HR, United Kingdom
Phone+44 300 123 6789

If you're looking to experience Scotland beyond its popular tourist destinations, then a visit to the National Museum of Rural Life should certainly be on your itinerary. Located in the small village of East Kilbride, just a short drive from Glasgow, this museum is dedicated to showcasing Scotland's farming and rural heritage.

As soon as you enter the museum, you'll be transported to Scotland's rural past. The museum's sprawling 44-acre site features a historic working farm, complete with livestock, crops, and traditional farm buildings. This is a place where you can learn about Scotland's agricultural history, see working tractors and equipment from the past and present, and get up close and personal with farm animals.

One of the highlights of the museum is the chance to explore the historic farmhouses. The main farmhouse dates back to the early 1700s and has been carefully restored to show what life was like for Scottish farming families over the centuries. Visitors can see traditional furniture, cooking utensils, and even clothing, providing an immersive insight into life in rural Scotland.

But the National Museum of Rural Life is not just about the past. The museum also provides a fascinating insight into Scotland's modern farming industry, showcasing the country's innovative approach to agriculture and the techniques that are used to produce the country's world-renowned produce, such as whisky, cheese, and salmon.

Visitors can also learn about the different types of Scottish landscapes, the wildlife that calls them home, and how farmers work to protect them. There's even a dedicated exhibition on the importance of the Scottish honeybee!

Overall, a visit to the National Museum of Rural Life is a fascinating way to learn about Scotland beyond its popular tourist destinations. It's an excellent place for families and anyone interested in Scottish history, agriculture, and rural life. Whether you're a local or a visitor from afar, this museum is a must-see when exploring non-touristy Scotland.

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Explore the ruins of Dunnottar Castle

Source: www.tripadvisor.com

If you're looking to explore Scotland off the beaten path, Dunnottar Castle is a must-visit destination. Located just two miles south of Stonehaven, this stunning ruin sits atop a rocky cliff overlooking the North Sea. With its dramatic history and stunning views, it's no wonder that Dunnottar Castle is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

To get to Dunnottar Castle, you'll need to walk from the small town of Stonehaven. The path to the castle takes you past rolling hills and picturesque farmland, before leading you to the dramatic coastline. As you approach the castle, you'll be struck by its imposing presence – set high on a rocky outcrop, it's easy to see why Dunnottar has long been an important stronghold in Scotland's history.

The castle itself dates back to the 14th century, although there is evidence of earlier structures on the site. Over the centuries, Dunnottar has been home to many notable figures, including the Earls Marischal – one of the most powerful families in Scotland. However, the castle is perhaps most famous for its role in the Scottish Wars of Independence. In 1297, William Wallace famously burned down a church in the nearby town of Kinneff, prompting the English garrison at Dunnottar to retaliate by burning the castle. Despite this setback, Dunnottar remained an important stronghold for the Scottish resistance for many years.

Today, Dunnottar Castle is a hauntingly beautiful ruin, with crumbling walls and a sense of history that will send shivers down your spine. Visitors can wander through the castle's many battlements and towers, marveling at the stunning views out to sea. Highlights include the impressive gatehouse, which dates back to the 16th century, and the Inner Ward – a rocky plateau that was once home to the Earl of Marischal's chapel and great hall.

While Dunnottar Castle may not be as well-known as some of Scotland's more touristy destinations, it's undoubtedly one of the country's most spectacular sights. Whether you're a history buff or simply looking for a stunning coastal walk, a visit to this hauntingly beautiful ruin is an absolute must.

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Take a boat tour of the Orkney Isles

Source: corkwing.co.uk

If you're an adventurous traveler looking for off-the-beaten-track experiences, then a boat tour of the Orkney Isles in Scotland might just be the perfect activity for you. The Orkneys are a group of around 70 islands, located off the northeastern coast of Scotland, that are known for their rich history, beautiful landscapes, and unique wildlife.

A boat tour of the Orkney Isles is an opportunity to discover some of the most stunning and remote parts of Scotland, away from the well-trodden tourist paths. The first thing to know is that there are several boat tours available, all with their own schedules, routes, and prices. Some tours focus on wildlife spotting, others on island hopping, while others offer a blend of both.

Regardless of which tour you choose, you are guaranteed to witness some incredible scenery and wildlife. The islands are home to a variety of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, and fulmars, as well as seals and porpoises. Some tours also promise whale-watching opportunities, though these tend to be much less reliable.

One particularly popular tour brings visitors to the uninhabited island of Stroma, located in the Pentland Firth, and famed for its rugged beauty and turbulent waters. You can also take a trip to the Old Man of Hoy, a 449-foot sea stack, considered one of the tallest in the world.

Aside from the natural beauty, the Orkney Isles have a fascinating history that is well worth exploring. There are many archeological sites dotted around the islands, such as the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae, the Standing Stones of Stenness, and the Ring of Brodgar. Other historical highlights include the Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war during World War II, and the 12th-century St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.

Overall, a boat tour of the Orkney Isles is a fantastic way to explore Scotland's wild and remote coast. With plenty of stunning landscapes, unique wildlife, and fascinating history, there's something here for everyone, whether you're a nature lover, history buff, or simply looking for an adventure in a lesser-known part of Scotland.

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Visit the Isle of Skye Fairy Pools

Source: en.wikipedia.org

If you're looking for a non-touristy destination in Scotland, then look no further than the Isle of Skye. One place you must visit while on Skye is the Fairy Pools. A series of crystal clear pools and waterfalls set against the backdrop of the Cuillin Mountains, the Fairy Pools are a true wonder of nature.

To reach the Fairy Pools, you'll need to take a short hike from the nearby village of Glenbrittle. The trail is well-marked and should take around 45 minutes each way. Once you reach the Fairy Pools, you'll immediately be struck by the beauty of the glistening clear water.

The pools themselves are perfect for a refreshing dip on a warm day, and there are plenty of rocks and small waterfalls to explore. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even jump from the rocks into the pools, but be careful and make sure you check the depth of the water first.

One of the best things about the Fairy Pools is that they are relatively unknown to tourists, so you can enjoy the stunning scenery without the crowds. However, this also means that there are no facilities nearby, so be sure to bring everything you need, including food, water, and appropriate clothing.

If you're lucky, you may spot some fairies dancing around the pools. According to local legend, these magical creatures inhabit the area and can sometimes be seen frolicking in the mist. While you may not actually see any fairies, the ethereal beauty of the Fairy Pools will leave you feeling like you've been transported to a different realm.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a non-touristy destination in Scotland, then a trip to the Isle of Skye and the Fairy Pools should be at the top of your list. The stunning natural beauty and peaceful surroundings make it a perfect getaway for anyone looking to escape the crowds and reconnect with nature.


Walk on the beaches of the Isle of Harris

Source: www.tripadvisor.com

Scotland is a land of diverse landscapes and picturesque destinations that attract tourists from around the world. While popular tourist spots like Edinburgh, the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness are incredibly beautiful, they can get quite crowded and touristy. If you are looking for a non-touristy Scotland experience, then head to the Isle of Harris.

Located in the Outer Hebrides, the Isle of Harris is one of the most stunning islands in Scotland. With unspoiled beaches, turquoise waters, and breathtaking landscapes, it is a paradise for nature lovers and those seeking solitude. Walking on the beaches of the Isle of Harris is one of the best ways to experience this natural wonder.

The beaches on the Isle of Harris are some of the most beautiful in the world. The sand is pure white, and the water is crystal clear and reflects stunning shades of blue and green. The beaches are also quite quiet and uncrowded, making them perfect for a peaceful walk.

The Luskentyre Beach, located on the west coast of the island, is a prime example of the beauty of the beaches on the Isle of Harris. With views of the nearby mountains on one side and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean on the other, it is a perfect place to stroll and take in the serene surroundings. Similarly, the Seilebost Beach and the Scarista Beach are also great options for a quiet and calming walk.

Apart from the stunning scenery, walking on the beaches of the Isle of Harris provides a unique opportunity to spot some rare wildlife. You can witness seals lounging on the rocks, otters playing in the water, and even dolphins swimming in the sea. The island is also home to many bird species, including rare sea eagles, providing an excellent chance for birdwatching.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a non-touristy Scotland experience, then the Isle of Harris is the perfect destination. The beautiful beaches on the island provide an unparalleled sense of peace and tranquillity. Walking on the beaches of the Isle of Harris is an excellent way to explore its natural beauty and spot some rare wildlife. So, pack your bags and head to the Isle of Harris for a unique and unforgettable Scottish experience.

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Go dolphin watching at Chanonry Point

Source: www.northcoast500.com

If you're looking for offbeat and unexplored destinations in Scotland, why not consider dolphin watching at Chanonry Point? Positioned on the Black Isle Peninsula, Chanonry Point is a famous spot for watching bottlenose dolphins, and offers you the chance to experience something a little different on your travels.

The shallow waters at Chanonry Point make it a great breeding ground for dolphins, making it an excellent location to watch these majestic creatures play in their natural habitat. Only a short distance from Inverness, this spot is easy to reach from anywhere in Scotland.

When is the best time to visit Chanonry Point for dolphin watching? The prime season to observe bottlenose dolphins at Chanonry Point is between late April and early October. However, you may still get lucky and spot the occasional dolphin even during the off-season months.

You can watch these incredible creatures from the shoreline, but if you want to get even closer to the action, you can take a dolphin-watching boat tour operated by local tour guides. While on tour, you'll hear informative talks about the habits and habitats of bottlenose dolphins, as well as interesting facts about the area's wildlife.

Aside from the dolphins, the stunning views from Chanonry Point are breathtaking, offering you some of the most stunning sceneries and sunsets against the backdrop of the Kessock Bridge and the Inverness skyline.

In summary, if you're looking for a non-touristy activity that will put you in touch with Scotland's stunning wildlife and nature, then watching dolphins at Chanonry Point is a must-do experience. So, pack your bags, book your tickets and get ready to witness spectacular dolphin displays in this beautiful part of Scotland.


Cycle the Lochs and Glens Way

Source: www.urbanabroad.com

If you're looking for a non-touristy way to experience Scotland's stunning natural beauty, consider cycling the Lochs and Glens Way. This 215-mile route takes you through some of the country's most picturesque landscapes, from the tranquil shores of Loch Lomond to the rugged peaks of the Cairngorms.

The Lochs and Glens Way is divided into two main sections: the first runs from Glasgow to Inverness, while the second connects Inverness to the coastal town of Kincardine. Both sections offer breathtaking views and challenging terrain, making for an unforgettable cycling adventure.

Starting in Glasgow, you'll follow the River Clyde out of the city and into the rolling hills of the Trossachs National Park. As you ride through this picturesque landscape of lochs, forests, and peaks, you'll see why it's often referred to as Scotland in miniature.

One of the highlights of the first section is Loch Katrine, a serene body of water that inspired Sir Walter Scott's poem The Lady of the Lake. From here, you'll climb up over the Duke's Pass and through the wild and rugged scenery of the Cairngorms, a vast mountain range that's home to Scotland's highest peak, Ben Nevis.

After reaching Inverness, the second section of the Lochs and Glens Way takes you northward through the spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands. Along the way, you'll pass through charming towns and villages, including the historic town of Dunkeld and the picturesque coastal village of Cromarty.

Perhaps the most breathtaking part of the second section is the stretch along the banks of Loch Ness, the legendary home of the Loch Ness Monster. Cycle past the ruins of Urquhart Castle and keep an eye out for Nessie as you follow the loch to the end of the route at Kincardine.

Throughout your journey, you'll encounter some of Scotland's friendliest people and get a taste of the country's rich history and vibrant culture. And best of all, because the Lochs and Glens Way is a relatively unknown and undeveloped route, you'll experience Scotland's natural wonders without the crowds of tourists that flock to more popular destinations.

So whether you're an experienced cyclist or just looking for a unique way to explore Scotland, the Lochs and Glens Way is an adventure you won't forget.


Attend a traditional Scottish ceilidh

Source: ceilidhtree.co.uk

If you want to experience authentic Scottish culture, attending a traditional Scottish ceilidh is a must. A ceilidh is a social event that involves traditional Scottish music, live dance performances, and communal dancing.

Unlike other touristy events, attending a ceilidh will give you an opportunity to interact with locals and experience Scotland's rich heritage firsthand. Here are a few tips on how to attend a Scottish ceilidh like a local:

  • Dress appropriately: A ceilidh is a social event, and how you dress will make an impression. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that allow you to move with ease. A traditional Scottish outfit, such as a kilt, will make you blend in perfectly too.
  • Learn the basic dance steps: Ceilidh dancing is an essential part of the event. While you can learn the basics on the night, familiarizing yourself with the basic steps beforehand will let you enjoy the evening without tripping yourself and others around you!
  • Respect the traditions: A ceilidh is a festive event that celebrates traditional Scottish culture. Respect the traditions by following the lead of the locals and treating the event with respect.
  • Be social: Ceilidhs are a communal event where everyone is expected to participate. Socialize with the locals and bond over traditional Scottish music and dance, and be sure to strike up a conversation over the history of the Ceilidh.
  • Enjoy yourself: A ceilidh is a lively event that will give you a taste of Scottish life. Let loose and enjoy yourself, it doesn't matter whether you are a professional dancer or just a beginner!

In conclusion, attending a traditional Scottish ceilidh is a wonderful way to experience Scottish culture. Follow our tips, and you will have a wonderful time, gain unforgettable memories and make lasting connections with locals.


Visit the Scottish Crannog Centre

Source: lochtay.co.uk
Characteristic Description
NameThe Scottish Crannog Centre
TypeOpen air museum in Scotland
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.7 / 1,198
AddressKenmore PH15 2HY, United Kingdom
Phone+44 1887 830583
HoursTuesday - 10 AM–5 PM
Wednesday - 10 AM–5 PM
Thursday - 10 AM–5 PM
Friday - 10 AM–5 PM
Saturday - 10 AM–5 PM
Sunday - 10 AM–5 PM
Monday(Spring Bank Holiday) - 10 AM–5 PM

Scotland is a beautiful country with a rich history and culture. While many people flock to the popular tourist spots, there are also plenty of things to see and do that are off the beaten path. One such attraction is the Scottish Crannog Centre, located on the shores of Loch Tay.

A crannog is an ancient type of dwelling that was built on stilts in lakes and marshes. These structures date back to the Bronze Age and were used for both residential and defensive purposes. The Crannog Centre is a museum that has recreated a crannog to give visitors a sense of what life was like for the people who lived in them.

To reach the Crannog Centre, you will need to take a short boat ride from the nearby town of Kenmore. Once you arrive, you will be transported back in time to experience what life was like in ancient Scotland. You can explore the reconstructed crannog and see how the people who lived there would have cooked, slept, and worked.

The museum also has a variety of exhibits that explore the history of the crannogs and the people who lived in them. You can learn about the technology and tools that were used to build and maintain the structures, as well as the daily life of the people who called them home.

One of the highlights of the Crannog Centre is the demonstrations that take place throughout the day. You can watch as skilled craftsmen and women recreate ancient skills such as weaving, wood carving, and metalworking. These demonstrations give visitors a glimpse into the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the people who lived in the crannogs.

The Scottish Crannog Centre is an excellent choice for anyone looking to experience a piece of Scotland's ancient past. It is a fascinating and educational attraction that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the people who lived in this beautiful country. So if you want to experience something truly off the beaten path, be sure to add a visit to the Scottish Crannog Centre to your itinerary!


Source: www.withoutshapewithoutform.com
Characteristic Description
NameKelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
TypeMuseum in Glasgow, Scotland
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.7 / 17,181
AddressArgyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG, United Kingdom
Phone+44 141 276 9599

When most people think of Scotland, they may immediately picture the rolling hills of the Highlands or the bustling streets of Edinburgh. However, there are plenty of hidden gems to explore away from the well-trod tourist paths. One such place is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, located in Glasgow.

First opened in 1901, this impressive building is not just a museum but also a work of art in itself, boasting a striking Spanish Baroque style architecture. Inside, visitors will find a wealth of exhibits and collections covering everything from natural history to fine art.

One highlight is the museum's collection of works by the Glasgow Boys, a group of artists active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who were known for their innovative use of colour and composition. The museum also has a strong collection of Scottish contemporary art, as well as pieces from European masters such as Botticelli, Van Gogh, and Monet.

Another must-see is the Natural History Gallery, which features a host of fascinating specimens from Scotland and around the world, including a life-size model of a Tyrannosaurus rex. The museum also has a dedicated area for ancient Egypt lovers, displaying artefacts such as mummies, ancient jewellery and pottery.

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is not just about the exhibits, though. The building itself is filled with intricate architectural details and stunning stained glass windows that are worth admiring on their own. Visitors can also enjoy a coffee or lunch at the museum's cafe, or browse the souvenir shop for unique gifts.

The best part about a visit to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is that it doesn't feel like a typical tourist attraction. While the collection is impressive and the building is beautiful, there are no crowds of tourists fighting for a glimpse of the Mona Lisa or the Rosetta Stone. Instead, you can take your time, admire the artwork, and really soak in the atmosphere without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

In summary, if you're looking to experience a more authentic side of Scotland, a visit to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is definitely worth adding to your itinerary. With its impressive collection, stunning architecture, and serene ambiance, this museum is a true hidden treasure that shouldn't be missed.


Explore the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve

Source: scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

Scotland is a delight for tourists, with its breathtaking landscapes, age-old architecture, and rich culture. However, if you're looking for hidden gems and lesser-known destinations that are off the beaten path, the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve is a perfect spot to explore.

Tucked away in a serene corner of southwestern Scotland, the Falls of Clyde are a series of four waterfalls that cascade over 200 feet into the River Clyde. The spectacular falls are surrounded by lush forests and wildlife habitats, which offer visitors a unique and immersive experience. The reserve is situated in the picturesque town of New Lanark, which dates back to the 18th century and was once a thriving center of cotton manufacturing.

The reserve is a haven for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts, as it is home to numerous species of birds, mammals, and plants. Keep an eye out for the unmistakable flash of blue and green as kingfishers flit along the river, or listen out for the calls of wildfowl. You may even spot a rare mammal such as an otter or bat swooping across the water.

Visitors can enjoy a walking trail that takes them through the heart of the reserve, with various viewpoints and picnic spots en route. The well-maintained paths allow for gentle strolls at any level of fitness and offer breathtaking views of the waterfalls. Cozy up to your partner and enjoy a romantic picnic, or embark on an adventure with your family and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Another spectacle not to be missed is the New Lanark World Heritage Site. Take in the history of this fascinating industrial village and its award-winning visitor attraction. Learn about the life of mill workers and their families who lived and worked here in the 19th century. Discover how the village was transformed from a socially deprived area to a leading living and working environment. Walk along the beautifully renovated dwellings, visit the mill museum, and experience how things were done so many years ago.

Lastly, there are various traditions and customs that one can take part in, such as Hogmanay, which is celebrated with much fanfare across Scotland. This is the Scottish way of welcoming the New Year — with a street party, fireworks, and a dram or two.

In conclusion, Scotland is a treasure trove of unique destinations, with one such gem being the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve. Whether you are an avid nature lover or are just looking for some R&R, this destination is sure to provide you with unforgettable memories.


Visit the Kelpies in Falkirk

Source: en.wikipedia.org
Characteristic Description
NameThe Kelpies
TypeSculpture by Andy Scott
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.7 / 19,824
AddressVisitor Centre The Helix, Falkirk FK2 7ZT, United Kingdom
Phone+44 1324 590600
HoursTuesday - 9:30 AM–4 PM
Wednesday - 9:30 AM–4 PM
Thursday - 9:30 AM–4 PM
Friday - 9:30 AM–4 PM
Saturday - 9:30 AM–4 PM
Sunday - 9:30 AM–4 PM
Monday(Spring Bank Holiday) - 9:30 AM–4 PM

Scotland is a country abundant in tourist destinations, but there are still many hidden gems that remain undiscovered by the average traveler. If you are looking for a non-touristy spot to visit in Scotland, you should definitely add the Kelpies in Falkirk to your itinerary. These magnificent sculptures are not only a great example of Scottish art but are also an important part of the country's folklore.

The Kelpies are the largest equine sculptures in the world, standing at 30 meters high. They were created by Scottish sculptor Andy Scott and erected in 2013 as part of The Helix, a parkland regeneration project in Falkirk. These mesmerizing structures represent mythical creatures from Scottish folklore, the Kelpies being shapeshifters that take the form of horses to lure humans into the water.

While the sculptures are stunning during the day, you should also try to visit them at night. The Kelpies are illuminated with LED lights that showcase the intricate details of the sculptures and create a magical atmosphere. The best thing about visiting the Kelpies is that it is entirely free, making it accessible to everyone who wants to witness Scotland's beauty.

Apart from admiring the sculptures, you can also explore the surrounding parkland of The Helix. The park features various walking and cycling trails, a splash play area, picnic spots, and a visitor center where you can learn more about the Kelpies and the park's history. The Helix is the perfect spot for a family day out or a peaceful stroll on your own.

In conclusion, visiting the Kelpies in Falkirk is an unforgettable experience that you should not miss. These magnificent sculptures are not only a testament to Andy Scott's sculpting skills but also to Scotland's rich folklore. The Helix parkland is also an excellent location for relaxation and exploration, making it an ideal spot for a non-touristy day trip in Scotland.

Frequently asked questions

- Some non-touristy outdoor activities to do in Scotland include hiking or trekking in the lesser-known mountain ranges like the Pentland Hills or the Cairngorms National Park. You could also go wild swimming in some of Scotland's natural pools, or try your hand at fly fishing in less popular spots.

- One lesser-known cultural experience is to visit Scotland's smaller towns and rural areas, where you can find local festivals and events like traditional ceilidhs (folk dance gatherings). You could also attend a traditional music session in a local pub, or explore some of Scotland's lesser-known museums such as the Shetland Museum and Archives.

- Some hidden gem locations to visit in Scotland include the small fishing village of Portsoy on the north coast, the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye, and the Seilebost beach on the Isle of Harris. You could also visit some of Scotland's lesser-known castles and ruins, like Dunstaffnage Castle in Argyll or the 15th-century ruins of Elcho Castle.

- Some non-touristy food and drink experiences include trying some of Scotland's lesser-known whiskies or visiting smaller distilleries like the Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown or Old Pulteney in Wick. You could also taste some of Scotland's regional delicacies like haggis pies or cullen skink soup in local cafes or farm shops.

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