Creative Content Writer & former Tour Guide at HAGGiS Adventures. Scottish travel blogger and adventure lover. Kay enjoys travelling Scotland solo, and has visited 42 Scottish Islands. She loves to live up to stereotypes by dying her hair ginger, and regularly consuming haggis and whisky. A Scottish history geek and all-around chatterbox, she can literally talk for Scotland.
SCOTLAND FROM HOME
So, you’ve been pining for Scotland have ye? We know the feeling. When everything’s a bit crazy – you can’t travel, you don’t know what day of the week it is and you’re always thinking about your next meal – you need a wee bit of Scotland in your life.
Whether you’ve already experienced the #DeepScottishLove, or you can’t wait to visit one day, we want you to keep Scotland in your head and your (tartan) heart. Even if you can’t be here right now, there are ways you can feel closer to Scotland, from the comfort of your home.
Films, movies, books, music, comedy, recipes. Take yer pick and bring on the Scottishness!
1) Watch a Scottish Film or TV series
Grab a bag of haggis flavoured popcorn (not a thing, but it should be) and sort yourself out with some Scottish viewing entertainment. We have quite the selection of famous movies which are set or filmed in Scotland, from comical cult classics to epic historic tales.
The tour guides in us will obviously suggest Outlaw King, Mary Queen of Scots, and Rob Roy so that you can learn about some of our favourite characters throughout history. For something a bit more on the edgy side – and with an awesome soundtrack – check out Trainspotting, and the 20-years-later sequel, T2 Trainspotting. For more inspiration, check out this blog post by Sonja from Migrating Miss on movies set in Scotland.
If you don’t have a chuckle at the Angel’s Share or feel a wee fire in your belly/tears in your eyes at Braveheart, you must be looking the other way!
If you’re more of a "I like to binge watch a whole series in one sitting" kinda viewer, why not get stuck into Outlander? Spoiler: there are no records of anyone ever being able to travel back in time through standing stones, so we think this part might be fictional (wink wink).
Aside from that, the story is very much inspired by real events in our history; including the Jacobite Uprisings and the Battle of Culloden.
If Jamie and Claire’s romantic misadventures aren’t your thing, perhaps it’s about time you were introduced to Jack and Victor in Still Game. Scottish humour at its very best! About that…
2) Belly laugh at Scottish comedy
Scottish humour is everything; it’s cheeky, sarcastic, and laugh-out-loud funny. When you need a wee pick-me-up, some silly Scottish antics and banter are bound to do the trick: the accent alone will have you smiling straight away. Fall down a rabbit hole of classic Scottish hilarity on YouTube. There are hours of entertain to be had, and here are two of our favourite comedians to get you started.
Billy Connolly - AKA ‘the big yin’ - is a national treasure and possibly the most hilarious man on the planet. Check out his sketch about the attempted terrorist attack at Glasgow Airport. If you’re easily offended by swearing, ye better cover your ears!
Another great talent from Glasgow is Kevin Bridges – a true comedian of the people. His shows are always sell-outs, and for good reason! He’s witty, down-to-earth, and will have you in hysterics, whether he’s talking about the perfect diet plan or learning Spanish.
3) Listen to a playlist of Scottish Music
Scottish music will have you foot-tapping and flash-backing to sing-a-longs on the bus and crazy dancing in the bar at Morag’s Lodge. We love everything from traditional tunes and songs from movie soundtracks, to indie bands and modern electronic Gaelic music; Amy MacDonald, Runrig, Niteworks, Lewis Capaldi, Skippinish, The Proclaimers, and Paolo Nutini, to name a few!
If only there was a playlist with all these awesome artists in one place, lifted straight from the speakers on our tour buses. Oh wait…
Check out our HAGGiS Bus Classics for nearly 12 hours of awesome tunes, handpicked by our grandmaster guides/homegrown DJs. Throw a conference call ceilidh with your pals or create a simulated tour bus in your own living room. Failing that, you just stick it on and go about your daily tasks like a normal person. Whatever works for you.
4) Take a virtual tour
You can still explore Scotland, even if you can’t be here. Once again, YouTube is your best friend when it comes to videos of epic Scottish scenery. This insanely beautiful drone footage by Stefan Zimmerman is enough to send you into a meditative state and make your tartan heart skip a beat. Warning: depending on how much you’re pining for Scotland, it might make you feel a wee bit emotional.
For something totally different, which will appeal to all you culture vultures, why not take a walk through the National Museum of Scotland? Edinburgh’s best-loved museum is on Google Street View along with 20,000 of the objects that are on display there. Find out more here.
Finally, if you want a glimpse into what it’s like on tour, check out the ‘On the Road’ Highlight on our Instagram page. These wee Stories and video clips are courtesy of our awesome passengers and legendary guides, so they are the real deal. Expect ceilidh dancing, lots of posing, and one of the crew singing along to Miley Cyrus – Party in the USA.
Disclaimer: HAGGiS Adventures takes no responsibility for the behaviour and questionable music choices made by this person.
5) Read books about Scotland
When you have some spare time at home, this is the perfect opportunity to get your nose into a good book, and travel vicariously through the author, characters and travel guides. Whether you’re into history, crime fiction, random facts, the outdoors, romance, or real-life accounts of the wilderness, there will be something to give you that all-important escape from reality.
Check out this blog post from Yvette at Wayfaring Kiwi featuring 22 Scottish book recommendations. Pick up one of these books, and you’ll be imagining you’re in Scotland in no time.
6) Try out some Scottish Recipes
Once you’ve watched the films and comedians, listened to the music, read the books and taken a virtual hour, it’s time to channel your love for Scotland into your kitchen skills.
If you’re a fiend for haggis – and you can get your hands on some – why not create a Scottish dish with a twist? Our favourites are haggis nachos, haggis and cheese twists, and a haggis, neeps and tatties pie. Perhaps you’re more of a sweet tooth?
Whether you've already experienced the sugary joys of Scottish tablet or you're yet to indulge, it's time to bring a wee bit of Scotland to you by attempting your own version at home. If you're scratching your head and licking your lips wondering what it is, how much sugar it involves, and whether it's difficult to make, check out this recipe by Scottish Scran. Oh, and you should probably try their delicious buttery shortbread recipe too!