Our friends at Visit Scotland are gearing up for 2021 with a renewed focus on public health and visitor safety. Visitors should look out for the Good to Go logo which highlights the tourism businesses working hard to adhere to government and public health guidance in order to reopen safely.

Some things will never change: the vibrancy of Scotland’s cities, the beauty of the countryside and the very warmest of welcomes.

Extending the personal touch.

Edinburgh’s very own luxury floating hotel, Fingal, reopened with its first Wellbeing Manager. The role was established to ensure that overnight guests and local diners continued to enjoy a unique, luxurious and seamless experience onboard the five-star hotel. 

As cities across the UK continue to move through varying restrictions, The Balmoral has introduced The Curfew Club, an exclusive series of new in-room, after 10pm experiences, to curb guests’ cravings for the well-loved Edinburgh nightlife. From a virtual whisky tasting with the hotel’s very own SCOTCH ambassador, to a complimentary movie night accompanied by an indulgent cinematic inspired menu, there is an option for everyone.

Corgarff Castle, situated in stunning scenery with magnificent views, this tower house is thought to have been built in 1550 before being converted in to a barracks for government troops in 1748. The castle’s last military use was to control the smuggling of illicit whisky between 1827 and 1831. Today the site is still complete with its 18th century star-shaped fortification.

Nestled in The Cairngorms National Park, The Fife Arms offers the perfect rural retreat. In response to Covid-19, the hotel has implemented a series of changes designed to give guests peace of mind whilst embracing the hotel’s distinctive setting.

Pop-Up Pods.

While outdoor dining became the trend of summer 2020, hospitality businesses in Scotland wouldn’t let the notoriously unpredictable Scottish weather prevent their guests from tucking in al fresco. Dining pods and marquees have been popping up across the country to ensure guests stay warm, dry and feel safe whilst enjoying a meal with loved ones.

Meldrum House in Aberdeenshire has launched the Under The Stars Experience, where guests can dine in atmospheric domes and enjoy a romantic evening admiring Scotland’s dark skies.

Fonab Castle in Perthshire also introduced Pod Dining with a series of Pods situated in the grounds of the estate with stunning views over Loch Faskally. Each pod provides a relaxing space for eating and drinking with friends and family.

Kenmore is a small village in Perthshire, which is a popular centre for activities on Loch Tay. This beautiful village is at the northern end of the14-mile long Loch Tay. It’s great for activities on and around the Loch itself, such as sailing, canoeing, water-skiing, jet-biking, or for the more leisurely, fishing or golfing! There’s a couple of local Hotels and The Courtyard restaurant, so plenty choice for eating out.

Back to Nature.

Clean air, stunning vistas and magical moments in nature – travellers are appreciating the health benefits of spending time in the Great Outdoors more than ever before. In Scotland, it could not be easier to follow the call of the wild.  

For a small country, Scotland boasts some of the wildest places to swim, from deep lochs to roaring waterfalls and vast sandy beaches.  For beginners, guided wild swimming adventures can be a great option to get started (offered by a number of providers across the country, for example Soak Up Skye on the Isle of Skye, SwimWild in the Highlands and Immerse Hebrides in the Outer Hebrides).

Live Like a Local.

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art was first opened in 1960 and now boasts two galleries

In cities, 2021 is the year to discover the local favourites from quirky neighbourhoods like Stockbridge in Edinburgh and Finnieston in Glasgow, to stand-alone eateries and independently-owned boutiques in Dundee and Inverness. Now is the time to see the city from a local’s perspective, be it the gardens perfect for a picnic in Aberdeen, the family-run record store in Perth or the go-to coffee shop for a morning flat white in Stirling.

Take to the water.

Celebrations for Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters continue into 2021. From the country’s beautiful natural features, including coasts, lochs and rivers to the industrial heritage of the canals and mills, Scotland’s culture, stories and way of life have been shaped by its coasts and waters.

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