Hot on the heels of being awarded the accolade of most beautiful country in the world, Scotland is now officially the most welcoming country in the world, according to Rough Guides.* Scotland has natural beauty in spades, munros, lochs, stunning isles and more, with a personality to match; consider everything from ceilidh-ing with strangers to chats with Glaswegian taxi drivers!
As Rough Guides states, “Whether you’re propping up a bar in Edinburgh or trekking the hills of Glen Coe, you’re sure to feel a warm Scottish welcome from whomever you meet.”
Here are some of the braw reasons Scotland is the warmest, friendliest and most welcoming place in the world!
Get in the party spirit!
Towns and villages across Scotland play host to over 200 festivals each year, offering something for everyone. The winter months are especially lively; between raising the roof on St Andrew’s Day (30 November) for Scotland’s patron saint, and raising a dram in honour of Robert Burns, our national Bard on Burns Night (25 January) - with the world-famous Hogmanay celebrations in between - it’s fair to say that Scotland does a celebration well. Revellers are invited to get into the festive spirit and join Scotland’s Winter Festivals.
Inclusive and progressive, everyone is welcome
In both 2015 and 2016, Scotland was recognised as the "best country in Europe for LGBTI legal equality” by The Equality Network. Scotland hosts a wide variety of nationalities, including welcoming a third of the Syrian refugees settling in the UK** and also boasting the highest percentage (22%) of international and EU students of the four UK nations***, for whom an official airport welcome is organised at the start of the semester. Scotland is also leading the way in terms of accessible tourism, working in partnership with the likes of the Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh. The Royal Yacht Britannia is entirely wheelchair accessible with ramps and lifts throughout. Staff also go out of their way to help those with sensory and learning impairments.
Whether having a chat with locals at The Bow Bar, Edinburgh (voted Scotland’s pub of the year) or enjoying a delicious breakfast at Ballintaggart Farm, Perthshire (voted most hospitable B&B/ Guest House at VisitScotland’s Thistle Awards in central, Fife and Tayside), you’re guaranteed to feel the warmth of welcome in Scotland all over the country.
What’s in an accent?
The Scottish accent is often voted the friendliest, most trustworthy and most calming accent in Britain. It’s been voted the sexiest too!**** Think Sean Connery, Gerard Butler, Karen Gillan, Nicola Benedetti and Ewan McGregor. Another great reason to come and visit!
Getting up close and personal with the locals...
We know the people are great but have you thought about meeting some of the local wildlife too? The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre is Britain's only free-ranging herd of reindeer found in the Cairngorm mountains. These friendly guys are a joy to all who come and see them. Plucky and petit, puffins boast bags of charm and take the prize for being the most adorable of Scotland’s seabirds hands-down. See wild puffins from May to early August on the Isle of May with tours from the Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick.
For more information on Scotland, go to www.visitscotland.com
Image Credit: Visit Scotland - The Loony Dook on New Year's Day in South Queensferry
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