Guest Post: 7 Reasons To Holiday In Bonnie Scotland
Today we welcome back to the 7 Reasons sofa a man who hasn’t plumped up our cushions for quite a while. He’s a man some of you will know as Dr Beat. He’s a man others will know as Percy Jennifer. He’s a man the rest of us know put the ‘best’ into Gillette. That’s right. Ladies and gentleman the waiting is finally over. Back to the sofa, please welcome, Dr Simon Best.
Simon says: It is fast approaching the most popular holidaying month of the year (here in England anyway). Yep, it’s nearly August. Currently there’s a fashion for the ‘staycation’, many people are bored of the Balearics and fed up of Faliraki. For them then, the answer is simple. Go to Scotland. Here are seven reasons you should holiday there, especially if you live in England.
1. It Is Further From France. By sheer accident of geography England is closer to France than Scotland. This is clearly a huge point in Scotland’s favour. Regular readers of 7 reasons will know that the usual occupants of the sofa are no fans of France. One prefers Belgium and the other would prefer an open sewer – however he lives close enough to France that if he fell asleep on the 7 reasons sofa after one too many biscuits and was pushed out to sea he could float there in time for tea, as could most of Kent. This is clearly a danger to be avoided. If you holiday in Scotland you will be further from France.
2. Climate. Now you might raise an eyebrow at this as Scotland is not famed for its glorious weather and high temperatures. When I visited recently I saw sun for about two hours in an entire week, but in when you go on holiday certainty is important. You also need to be efficient in your packing and not take anything you won’t need. The Scottish climate helps no end with this. You can be certain that you won’t need shorts and you will always need a coat or if you wait until September, two coats. It is also always too windy for an umbrella which is a very good thing.
3. Scenery. Scottish scenery is quite simply breathtaking. It has everything you could want in a landscape: coastline, lochs, mountains, rolling lowlands. It is home to some wonderful wildlife: deer, beavers, eagles, wolves, bagpipers, men in kilts. Even in cities beautiful countryside is close at hand – with Arthurs seat in Edinburgh, and Pollock Country Park in Glasgow.
4. Cuisine. Scotland has a reputation as the home of unhealthy food. Chips, deep fried Mars bars, deep fried pizza, deep fried haggis, etc. This, however, is unfair. Firstly they deserve points for culinary innovation. Anyone can do a Heston Blumenthal and make egg and bacon ice cream, but taking a chocolate bar and deciding to fry it coated in a substance commonly used for battering fish requires a rare mind. Secondly, Scotland is also home to some fine produce. Salmon, Loch Fyne oysters, the finest Italian ice cream I’ve tasted outside of Rome. Okay, so you may gain weight, but if you can’t indulge when on holiday then when can you.
5. Money. One of the best things about going abroad on holiday is foreign currency. Getting funny coloured banknotes with odd people on them. It’s a trip highlight in itself. Obviously it does bring with it difficulties. Trying to do conversions in your head and accidentally tipping €50 for example. If you head to Scotland though, you get all the different colours, the different people, the odd foreign symbols, but none of the mathematical problems. Scotland is genius.
6. Midges. Scotland is famed for its midges – especially the West coast where they take over in summer in their millions. They like damp, overcast days, so no wonder they like Scotland in the summer. Visit the West of Scotland in July and you can see a lifetimes worth of midges in under a minute. Midges are horrible, bloodthirsty little creatures – literally. So why am I presenting it as a positive? Well, the main way to protect yourself from getting bitten (aside from walking round inside a net) is to drink lots of whisky and eat lots of marmite. Perfect. If you ever needed an excuse to drink industrial quantities of whisky and eat vast amounts of marmite then holidaying in Scotland is it.
7. Culture. Ever since the Scottish enlightenment (yes, it really did happen and no, it didn’t involve Billy Conolly and Rab C Nesbit), Scottish culture has led the way in Britain. While England was home to the Teletubbies, Scotland gave us the infinitely superior Balamory. When England was producing the Spice Girls, Scotland produced Belle and Sebastian. Look around the world of television, cinema, comedy, music and you see lots of brilliant, talented Scots. And Frankie Boyle.
Scotland also hosts the biggest cultural event anywhere in the United Kingdom: the Edinburgh Festivals (note the plural, there are seven of them). These are a showcase for authors, filmmakers, comedians and musicians. Okay, not all of the performers in Edinburgh are Scottish, but the diversity means that no matter where you’re on holiday from there will be something that reminds you of home. And Frankie Boyle.