- Bagging a Munro: A “Munro,” as designated by Sir Hugh Munro in the 1890s, is a Scottish mountain more than 900m (3,000 ft., more or less) high. The grand prize for Munro baggers is Ben Nevis, at 1,342m (4,403 ft.) the tallest mountain in the British Isles. That ascent might be a bit ambitious for non-mountaineers, but many other Munros are more approachable. For example, for Ben More on Mull, it’s a relatively easy 3 hours up and 2 hours down—or so we’ve heard.
- Making the hike up to Grey Mare’s Tail: Outside Moffat, one of the U.K.’s tallest waterfalls plunges down a mountainside from Loch Sheen amid moors and stark cliffs and tumbles into the Tail Burn, a swift-moving stream. A 2.5-mile trail leads up the valley past the falls to the loch—look out for nesting peregrine falcons along the way. All you’ll pay to witness the spectacle is small fee in the car park at the foot of the trail.
- Traipsing around Kelso Abbey: The oldest and largest of the Border abbeys, founded in 1128, was also one of the richest, and enough remains of the massive towers, turrets, and buttresses to suggest all this onetime might. Unlike other ruined abbeys in the Borders region, Kelso is free to enter, and among visitors who found the old stones inspiring was aspiring wordsmith Walter Scott, who attended grammar school down the lane.
- Getting to know Robert Burns in Dumfries: Scotland’s national poet, who penned some of the most memorable lines in the English language, lived and worked in Dumfries from 1791 to 1796. The Robert Burns Centre, in a converted 18th-century water mill, honors the poet with manuscripts and other paraphernalia. His modest but comfortable house nearby contains many personal relics and mementos as well as much of the original furniture used by Burns during his creative years—including the chair he sat on to write the last of his poems. Admission to both is free.
- Escaping into Edinburgh’s greenery: The capital is laced with parks, and you don’t need to wander far off the beaten path to enjoy them. A climb up the grassy slopes of Arthur’s Seat comes with views over the city from the top, while the Royal Botanic Garden is a haven of tranquility with a rock garden, Chinese plantings, and a steamy Victorian Palm House (the garden is free, but you must pay a fee to enjoy this glass-roofed paradise).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.