Why You Should Go to Scotland This Year2 min read
While you could argue that Scotland is a beautiful destination to visit every year, 2014 is a special one for three reasons: The opening of The John Muir Way, the Commonwealth Games, and the Ryder Cup.
So what’s the big deal about a trail?
John Muir, a famous naturalist during the 19th century, was a pioneer in the natural conservation movement in both the United States and in Scotland. In fact, thanks to Muir, there are over 47 National Nature Reserves and 26 different trails in Scotland alone. Now this April, a trail will open in Muir’s honor on the 100th anniversary of his death, stretching from his birthplace in Dunbar to the coast of Helensburgh. The 45-mile trail will feature incredible landscapes and city attractions in central Scotland, making it a must-see for nature-enthusiasts and backpackers from all over the world. Travelers can even take advantage of the hike and spend a few nights touring the city and surrounding suburbs, as well as the city’s capital, Blackness Castle, and even the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. If you visit during the opening in April, you can also attend The John Muir Festival and Homecoming Scotland 2014, a series of events that celebrates the history and future of Scotland.
And then there are the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which are to be held this July and August in the city of Glasgow. Similar to the Olympics, but limited to athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations, this multi-sport event lasts 11 days and is held every four years in a different country. Among the 17 different sports, athletes will compete for medals in events such as gymnastics, hockey, netball, rugby, squash, swimming, boxing, and more. So if the Sochi Winter Olympics don’t satisfy your need for competitive sports, check out this year’s Commonwealth Games. You can even do both the trail and Games in one trip if you plan accordingly!
Unless, of course, you’re a big golf fanatic.
The Ryder Cup, a match-play golf competition between teams in the United States and Europe, will also take place in Scotland this September. Watch the pros play and get in a few rounds of golf yourself—Scotland is, after all, the “Home of Golf.”
So whether you hike along one of the country’s many nature trails, watch top athletes compete for the gold, or play a round of golf, you won’t be disappointed.
Photo from Homecoming Scotland Blog.