Image credit: Blown Away

Scotland may be known for its landscapes, which seem to jut out of a fantasy novel, myriad historic castles, traditional whisky distilleries and tartan kilted bagpipers, but actually there’s more than meets the eye about this tiny nation in the United Kingdom. Quotient explores Scotland’s little-known facets to present five unique experiences to try during your holiday!

Winter Views At Aviemore

Views to the Cairngorm Mountains over Loch Morloch with snow covering the lced lake.

Go husky sledding around the forest trails of Cairngorms
The pristine forests of Cairngorms mountain range in the eastern Highlands are known for their awe-inspiring panoramic routes and rich wildlife, creating the ideal backdrop for an adrenaline-packed husky sled ride you can experience here. Located in Aviemore, at the foot of the mountains, the family-run dog sledding centre offers thrilling rides during summer and winter (in summer, your sled will be replaced with wheels!), allowing you to get up-close and personal with the gorgeous Scottish surroundings.

St Kilda archipelago in Scotland

St. Kilda archipelago boasts rugged landscapes. Image credit: CC BY 2.0 (CaptainOates, 2009)

Visit the most remote spot in Britain
The tiny volcanic St. Kilda archipelago located off the coast of the Hebrides is known to be one of the most remote spots in Britain, making it a destination with plenty bragging rights. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the archipelago is visually breathtaking and boasts some of the highest cliffs in Europe and the most important sea bird breeding station in north-west Europe. There are more than one million birds here, making it a very special spot for wildlife lovers.

Small Plane On The Sandy Runway Of Barra Airport

Barra International Airport in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland is the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as the runway.

Try power-kiting above the UK’s only beach airstrip
For your own kind of ‘barradise’, pop by the tranquil Isle of Barra, which takes pride in being home to the only airport where scheduled flights arrive at Cockle Strand in between tide as the runway is an actual beach. To take in this unique sight, have a go at power kiting (you will use a large kite designed to provide significant pull) and you will be sure to get a good bird’s-eye view of the vast space beneath you.

Spot UK’s very own Big Five
Scotland is blessed with ancient pine forests, deep glens and peculiar mountains and hills, so there’s no better place to have some wild encounters with unique animal species in their natural habitat.

Golden Eagle, the king of the skies.

These birds of prey fly at great heights and distances with acute eyesight for homing in on prey.

Perhaps the term “Big Five” conjures images of vast savannahs and exotic animals of significant proportions, but in Scotland, the phrase takes a gentler approach. Think iconic species such as red squirrel, red deer, harbour seal, otter, and golden eagle. On the scenic Isle of Arran, travellers can find all these wild creatures as the locale is often described as “Scotland in miniature”, providing everything from woodland to moorland to coastline.

BlownAwayLandyachting

Land yachting on West Sands Beach in the historic St. Andrews town. Image credit: Blown Away

Race in a land-yacht in the historic town of St. Andrews
The historic town of St. Andrews is known as one of the finest towns in the country, boasting a long-standing reputation as a golf destination. But the town also takes pride in injecting some adrenaline in travellers looking to do something different. On the West Sands Beach, intrepid travellers can try thrilling activities such as land-yachting, which involves racing your friends across the beach in a vehicle that melds sailing and motor racing.