Ten great things I love about Scotland

In Scotland, it’s very easy to be cynical or jaded about certain things in our country at times.

That’s why Scottish Field asked Swetha Akshita, a 21-year-old journalism student from India, to cast a pair of fresh eyes on living in Scotland, and to share her thoughts with us.

She is studying in Robert Gordon University and lives in Aberdeen. She has been  in Scotland for just a few months now and here are her top 10 favourite things about our country.

1. Weather

Call me crazy but I love the weather in Scotland. Coming from a sub tropical country near the equator, I have only experienced a standard warm weather throughout the year. In Scotland, I have had the opportunity experience all four seasons to its fullest. What I love in
particular, is the transitions between the seasons – from spring to summer to fall to winter – one can visually see the passing of seasons through the changing Scottish landscapes.

2. Ceilidhs

I went to my first Ceilidh just a few months ago and I was absolutely in love with it. It is a Scottish gathering where people come together and dance in repetitive steps to traditional music. It is an inclusive dance with steps that are easy to grasp and a great way to meet people and enjoy food and drinks. It is also good cardio – ten minutes in and you will break a sweat!

3. Castles by the sea

There is nothing more visually pleasing than the sight of a Scottish castle by the sea. I have visited three castles – the Edinburgh Castle, the St Andrews Castle and the Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven and each one has a beauty of its own. The earthy smell inside a castle, the sound of waves crashing against the fort walls, the quiet in the chambers, the historical artefacts – visit a Scottish castle to have the best kind of medieval experience.

4. Street buskers

The best part about the busy streets in Scotland is that they are usually brightened up by street buskers playing bagpipes, guitars or performing wacky magic tricks. They truly contribute to the artistic vibe and aestheticism of the country. There is so much talent in the
streets of Scotland; it always puts a smile on my face.

5. Travelling

Scotland has so much to offer – beaches, mountains, highlands, castles, lochs and so much more. Travel prospects are endless and it comes at an extremely cheap cost. It is so easy to do one day trips in Scotland because trains and buses are fast, accessible and affordable. The roads are great and you even have ferry options in some cities. Anywhere you go in Scotland, chances are you will see something new and beautiful.

6. People

The Scottish are some of the friendliest I have ever met; they are extremely warm and welcoming towards everyone. It did not take me too long to feel at home in Scotland because of people’s hospitality. They are open, kind and considerate and have no cultural and racial bias.

7. Theatre and Literature

Scotland is the home to many famous writers and poets and the country has inspired so many works of art. It is an exciting place for literature and theatre and continues to foster talents from the field. One of the things in my bucket list is to visit all of the Scottish locations mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth!

8. Food

There is much more to Scottish cuisine than just haggis. Scottish fish and chips, salmon, Angus steaks, whisky sauce, tablets, shortbread and a wide range of desserts are a few foods one must try in Scotland. The best part is that there is no specific famous eateries for each of these dishes; pop in to a traditional Scottish pub and you can enjoy authentic food and drinks.

9. Football

The Scottish and their love for football is unbelievable and so fun to watch. Regional football is a huge thing in Scotland and fans travel from one city to another to watch their favourite teams play and that kind of support is rare to see.

10. Alcohol

It goes without saying that you can taste the best whiskys of the world in Scotland. But apart from that you can also taste a variety of beers, gins and rum that is native to the country. My favourite is the gin that I tried at a Moray Gin distillery. Tennents and Scottish ale are some beers that you can enjoy during your time here.