In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been left feeling disappointed that they can no longer go on the holidays they spent weeks or months planning. Fortunately, you don’t need to leave home if you still want to experience all things Scottish.
Music, history, food and dance are all a strong part of everything that makes Scotland what it is. If these are just some of the things you were looking forward to, know that it’s possible to experience everything from the comfort and safety of your home.
You can enjoy a night at the theatre, see a historical attraction or enjoy traditional Scottish cuisine right from your couch.
The Easy Way to Experience All Things Scottish
Turn on Some Traditional Melodies
There’s nothing quite like the sound of traditional Scottish music and there are more ways to enjoy it than you might realise. Live at Five happens every night at MacGregor’s bar in Inverness. Join music lovers from around the world for a toe-tapping live-streamed event that features a number of talented artists. Search for #COVIDCeilidh on social media to have a look at what’s happening. You can also keep an eye on The Social Distancing Festival website to find out about other upcoming events in Scotland.
Explore Top Scottish Attractions
What’s a holiday without a little sightseeing? Many of Scotland’s top attractions now offer virtual tours. Some of the sites that you can look forward to exploring includes the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the National Museum of Scotland, Rosslyn Chapel and the National Library of Scotland. All you need is the Google Arts and Culture app.
Bring Scotland to Your Living Room
There are so many great streaming services that you can use to bring a little piece of Scotland into your living room – Netflix, Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer are some of them. If you have little ones at home, Disney’s Brave is a must-see. A few other classics that have been set in Scotland include Gregory’s Girl, What We Did On Our Holiday (ironically enough), Skyfall and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
Enjoy a Festival (Virtually, Of Course)
A number of Scottish festivals are set to take place later in 2020 but instead of cancelling them completely, some of Scotland’s art companies, performers and venues have decided to live stream the activities anyway. Here are a few ways that you can join some of Scotland’s upcoming events and festivals:
- Join the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as their members perform in isolation
- Makar to Makar takes place every Thursday at 7pm and features a selection of conversations around music and poetry from Scotland and abroad
- Nevis Ensemble is putting together Musical Postcards, which are inspired and influenced by Scottish landscape photography
- The Gilded Balloon’s Sofa Set List is a weekly online variety show that features some of Scotland’s best comedians
- Immerse yourself in a beautiful production from the Scottish Ballet
- The Pitlochry Festival Theatre is running an online series for children that features storytelling and music
- The National Theatre of Scotland is also running a number of events that you can find out about on their website
If you want to find out more about upcoming virtual events and festivals, The List is a good website to consult.
Have a Wildlife Experience
Wildlife hasn’t gone anywhere and even though you can’t go out and explore doesn’t mean you can’t bring the wildlife to you. The Scottish Wildlife series brings natural encounters right to your living room. If landscapes are more your thing, you might want to have a look at the Scotland from Above YouTube channel. Using the Shetland’s wildlife cams, you can enjoy visiting Puffins right in their natural habitat. There’s even a live cam of Loch Ness. Blair Drummond Safari Park is also streaming weekly Facebook Live sessions on a Thursday at 12pm.
Learn the Dialect
Got some extra time? Why not learn Gaelic on Duolingo? This app is so easy to use and the entire family will enjoy the experience. If you wanted to take it a step further, you could always sign up for a free course on Old Scots language and culture with the Open University.
Get Busy in the Kitchen
Since food is such an important part of Scottish traditions, it’s only right that you try out a few traditional recipes at home. Some of the most popular dishes include potato scones, beer battered fish, haggis, Scottish porridge, rumbledethumps, shortbread and more. You can find some of these recipes on Christina’s Cucina and Farmersgirl Kitchen.
A Sip of Whisky
Scotland produces some of the finest whisky in the world. If you’ve always wanted to take a tour of a distillery, here’s your chance. Laphroaig, Glenturret and Talisker are all offering virtual tours. If you want something a little more exclusive, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society has launched an Online Member’s Room.
Join a Ceilidh
Ceilidh is the Gaelic word for gathering or party. The Real Ceilidh is an interactive class that will teach you a few Scottish dance moves before everyone takes to the dancefloor. This is something fun that you can turn into an event right at home.
Enjoy the Stars from Your Garden
Join Astronomer, Steve Owens, as he guides you on how you can enjoy stars and constellations right from your garden. A new episode is posted daily and since we’re heading into Summer, there’s no better time to spend more time outdoors with your family.
Learn at Home with Your Kids
If you need new ways to keep your kids busy, explore the learning section on the Historic Environment Scotland website. Kids can spend time drawing, investigating, exploring, creating and playing. What’s more, it’s absolutely free and centred around all things Scottish.
You might be counting down the days until you can venture out and enjoy all that Scotland has to offer, but this doesn’t mean you can’t find alternatives in the meantime. So many organisations and brands are coming together to do what they can to thrive and still provide families with unique experiences that they can enjoy together. This is the chance to support these people, brands and organisations, while still enjoying some quality time with the people you love. Plus, it will get you that more excited about your upcoming holiday.
Once Coastal Kippford is open again, we can all enjoy immersing ourselves in everything that Scotland has to offer. We look forward to welcoming you soon.