Yellow flowers blooming on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland
Cruise Scotland's famous lake, Loch Ness, with camera at the ready to see if its legendary monster, Nessie, will finally make a definitive appearance. Or cast your eyes wide over the lake from the ruins of Urquhart Castle.
View of Dunrobin Castle from a garden
The Scottish Highlands have several castles to explore. Dunrobin Castle has a museum, a falconry and gardens inspired by those at France's Palace of Versailles. Check out Cawdor Castle's tower and legendary thorn tree, where Shakespeare set one of the (many) murder scenes from "Macbeth."
No trip to Scotland would be complete without sampling some fine single-malt Scotch whisky, with its distinctive smoky, peaty quality. There's no "e" in the Scottish spelling; "whiskey" is for the Irish and American versions. Learn about the whisky-making process at the award-winning distillery Glenmorangie.
Fans of Boston clam chowder should try cullen skink, a similarly rich fish soup made with potatoes and smoked haddock. For dessert, cranachan is the Scottish version of parfait, with raspberries, cream, toasted oatmeal — and a little Scotch whisky, of course. As you wander the streets of Inverness, the scents wafting from the local chippy will make it hard to pass by without ordering some fish and chips.
Scottish sweets like shortbread, toffees, caramels and Edinburgh rock make an ideal gift — if you can prevent yourself from eating them before you get home. Cruise to Loch Ness and pick up a bottle of the favorite single-malt you sample from one of the local distilleries. You'll find many products made in tartan patterns, a type of plaid associated with specific Scottish clans.
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