The Student's Guide To Exploring Scotland
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The Student's Guide To Exploring Scotland

Some highlights of my wild adventure across the pond.

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The Student's Guide To Exploring Scotland
Amber Foote

I traveled to Scotland over my winter break and simply can not get over how in love I fell with the place! I explored many cities with my friends while I was across pond, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, and St. Andrews. Some of my favorite spots include . . .

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Princes Street Gardens Christmas Markets - These were definitely considered the main attraction during the timeframe of my trip. The festive entertainment located in the heart of the Edinburgh features delicious food and drink, as well as traditional crafts, unique gifts, and even a “Santa land” for the younger crowd. Several rides, including a carousel and ferris wheel were set up along the main road as well. These Christmas markets absolutely lit up the city’s skyline every night.

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Edinburgh Castle - Open to the public, the Edinburgh Castle sits proudly on a hilltop in the centre of the city, a shining beacon seen by all, no matter where you are. Although I did not get a chance to explore the castle itself, even admiring it from afar felt extremely special. It is on the top of my priorities list to check out the next time I visit!

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Arthur’s Seat - As the main mountain of Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat forms most of Holyrood Park. Featuring several different ways to actually ascend to the peak, anyone ranging from beginners to professional hikers would enjoy this experience immensely. One of my favorite memories of my trip was sitting on top of Arthur’s Seat and looking out at all of Edinburgh. The extremely high winds experienced at the top definitely add a slight edge of danger to it.

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South Queensferry bridges - Nearly ten miles west of Edinburgh’s center, these bridges connect North Queensferry to South Queensferry. While many treat this area like those from Massachusetts would treat Cape Cod - a summer home-type of place - travel over the bridges was not too busy when I was there during the wintertime. The Forth Bridge serves as both a railway bridge and a UNESCO World Heritage site, making it an iconic, symbolic structure of Scotland.

Highland cows - Highland cattle are a specifically Scottish breed with long horns and wavy coats with colors ranging from black to yellow. They are quite literally just about everywhere you look! Scotland is very well-known for these creatures and they definitely have an overwhelming presence.

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University of St Andrews - As one of the four ancient universities of Scotland, The University of St Andrews is a public research university on the Eastern coast. It is located in a very “American” town that is extremely popular for their golf lifestyle. I walked by a coffee shop on campus with a sign noting that it was where Prince William and Kate Middleton had actually met!

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Glasgow Science Centre - This is one of the places that my Scottish friends have the fondest childhood memories of. Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in June of 2001, the Glasgow Science Centre attracts a wide variety of people to the Clyde Waterfront Regeneration area for days filled with learning about the human body, physics, problem-solving, how to “play” with light, among many other interesting activities. They recently revamped their planetarium as well.

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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - Very unsimilar to any art museum I had ever been in before, Kelvingrove definitely surprised me. It felt like a perfect mix between an art museum and a history/animal gallery. After its three-year refurbishment about a decade ago, it has become one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions. Its location right by Glasgow University definitely helps its popularity to grow as well.


Overall, my time exploring Scotland with my friends (who are from there) proved to me that we often don’t appreciate what we take for granted right in front of ourselves every day. Sometimes it takes showing another person all of the beautiful, wonderful things that you see without even thinking twice about it to truly recognize how fortunate we are for where we have grown up.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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