£Fifty Reasons for hitting the Road

So Freshers is now well and truly over and you’re going to have to conjure up some weekend trip ideas on the cheap. Tried and tested’s always best so why don’t you check out Student Rag’s review of the best places to visit in Scotland that will still leave you change from a £50…..Gemma Clark’s toured the length and breadth of the country before she sent across her travel report……. (okay, slight exaggeration cos we’re on a budget too!)

Isle of Skye

Skye is one of those magical places that seems to be a world in itself. It’s picturesque, it’s peaceful and it’s utterly unique.
Time slows down up north. It reels you in, makes you feel like a part of its comfy little bubble. You’ll be there a week and it’ll feel like a month and that month will never be enough for you.
If you are stressed out, if you need a break from city life and just want to go to a place where everything is as it seems and life is simple and kind, Skye is the place to go.
It has quaint old men’s pubs galore and there is a seafood restaurant that is legit, on the sea. It looks like a boat and floats off the side of the harbour.
The fish is so fresh that it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the chef casting his line for it over the side of the restaurant.
And don’t even get me started on the Fairy Pools (left)…

Cost: Time your journey right and you can get a bus for around £30.

Edinburgh Grassmarket

edinburgh-grassmarket

The Grassmarket is a great place to start if you are new to Edinburgh.
Located near historic Edinburgh University, it has all the lures that a student-saturated area should have, from clubs and pubs, to shopping, food and drink or even something a little different; cat café, anyone?
Maison de Moggy is a “paradise for cats” and you can stroke a plethora of fluff balls while sipping tea and munching artisan cakes. A perfect afternoon!
Once you’re done hugging kitties, why not check out some of the other places of interest? How about the café Harry Potter was penned in, at The Elephant House? Or the Little Ox Art Gallery? There’s also a weekly market if you visit at the weekend.
If you love your vintage clothing then check out Armstrong’s and Godiva. They are famous for their unique pieces, amazing décor and their ability to transport you back in time.
At night, try one of the witchy ghost tours through the Old Town. Major creep factor and you’ll learn tonnes about the history of Edinburgh as well as about the myths and legends of Scotland’s capital.

Cost: Get the megabus for a quid and spend the rest on adventure!

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

loch-lomond
There is an endless number of things to do in Loch Lomond and it’s definitely worth a visit.
Not too far from Stirling, it has all sorts of things to keep you amused, whether you’re an outdoorsy kind of person or more land oriented.
Loch Lomond has everything you could want for a fun day out. You can hire boats and canoes and pedaloes, or you can take a bike and ride around the mountains and hills.
There are fantastic viewing points and it’s arguable that they are better to see when it’s not roasting hot in the summer.
Because really, who wants to cycle up a massive hill, only to be too hot and sweaty at the top to appreciate it?
Also pay a visit to the Falls of Falloch.
They are great for mini cliff diving and nature walks. Conic Hill is great for a walk.

Cost: Petrol and water sports.

Cairngorms

cairngorm_park_2400px

The Cairngorms are one of the best natural sites in Scotland.
National Geographic voted it one of the top 20 places to visit in the world! It’s great for hill walking, climbing, snowboarding and skiing – if you can do it outside, you can do it at the Cairngorms.
Plus, it’s right next to Aviemore, which has one of the best chippies in Scotland (Smithys).
So once you’re done being all healthy, you can load up on locally caught fish and a big, greasy portion of chips! It’s beautiful, snow covered for most of the year and easily accessible.

Cost: For 2 hours ski/snowboarding tuition, £50, guided walks, £6-£20 (or you can just wander along yourself)

Loch Long

loch-long1

Scotland has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and just because the weather is getting a little nippy, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy it.
The Arrochar Alps are at the far end of Loch Long and offer great climbing and good parking at Arrochar.
The town itself is small but has a few decent places to eat.
The three most famous peaks (the Cobbler, Beinn Narnain, and Beinn Ìme) can be done in a day by fairly inexperienced hill walkers.
But if that’s too much of a trek for you, the loch has so much to offer, you can stop just about anywhere and find a good hill to climb and breathe in some of that fresh Scottish air.
It’s not far from Glasgow or the rest of the west and if you pack a picnic, you can have lunch on one of the peaks and it’ll only cost you the petrol!

Cost: However much it costs you in petrol and your lunch!

Glasgow’s West End

ashton-lane-near-byres-road-in-glasgow-west-end-scotland-wit-1

IF you’re not wanting to leave the city Glasgow’s West End is the place to go.
More sophisticated than a night at the Garage or the ABC, go West instead! Soak up the bohemian vibe and explore.
There is no point recommending any places to eat and drink in particular – half the fun is finding your own little spot to chill out and watch the world go by.
Since there are so many universities and colleges in Glasgow, most of them within walking or subway distance of the West End, there is a fantastic collection of bars and restaurants to choose from as well as art galleries, museums and shops.
It’s impossible to get bored. The Botanic Gardens are gorgeous in the autumn.
Culture ‘n that.

Cost: The night and day are what you make it. You won’t even come close to £50 unless you’re seriously making it rain. Great thing about Scotland –
culture is free!

Aberfoyle

aberfoyle-scotland

Aberfoyle is one of the best places to go camping though you might not want to go there in the winter.
It has walks aplenty and an Owl Centre where you can have pictures taken with the birds.
They have an owl there that’s the size of a teacup and one that’s so big it needs two people to hold it!
The town is lovely and there is plenty to see when you get there. There are usually loads of young people there too so the chances are you won’t be alone at your camp fire!
Fairy Knoll is a great one to visit. It’s basically a massive hill with a tall tree that you can see poking up from the top.
When you get to that tree you are meant to tie a piece of fabric with a wish on it to one of the branches and the fairies will grant that wish.
It’s a truly magical place to visit as the entire glen is covered in wishes from people that have been there before you.
The walk is beautiful and the entire place is awash with bunnies!

Cost: Petrol money