Scotland The Place to Visit in 2021

STORY BY Patrick 10th December 2020

Visiting Scotland in 2021 will continue to look a little different. As tourism businesses across Scotland began to reopen their doors last summer after the first lockdown, many were putting in place protocols to adhere to health and safety guidelines, as well as creating new products and job roles to ensure guests and staff felt comfortable in their surroundings.

“Now is the time to look ahead to 2021 and discover how Scottish tourism businesses are embracing life as we know it for their guests and the communities they belong to, whilst continuing to offer the warm welcome Scotland is renowned for,” a spokesperson for Visit Scotland said.


Clean air, stunning vistas and magical moments in nature – travellers are appreciating the health benefits of spending time in the Great Outdoors more than ever before. In Scotland, it could not be easier to follow the call of the wild…

Wild swimming – Why not take the plunge in Scotland?  For a small country, Scotland boasts some of the wildest places to swim, from deep lochs to roaring waterfalls and vast sandy beaches.  For beginners, guided wild swimming adventures can be a great option to get started (offered by a number of providers across the country, for example Soak Up Skye on the Isle of Skye, SwimWild in the Highlands and Immerse Hebrides in the Outer Hebrides).

Foraging – Scotland’s natural larder is truly bountiful and delicious. From berries to wild mushrooms and coastal delights – visitors cans find for themselves the ingredients inspiring the menus at some of Scotland’s top restaurants by joining foraging experts for an unforgettable culinary adventure. Workshops can be booked with a number of providers, for example Galloway Wild Foods in Dumfries & Galloway and Wildwood Bushcraft in the Highlands.

Stargazing – While Scotland waits for its famous nightlife to return when the time is right, it’s time to look to the skies as they put on a spectacular nightly show (weather permitting). Scotland boasts some of the darkest places in Europe, which makes it perfect for stargazing –wrap up warm, look up and enjoy! Find out more about stargazing in Scotland, including the best spots, here.

Pop-Up Pods

While outdoor dining became the trend of summer 2020, hospitality businesses in Scotland wouldn’t let the notoriously unpredictable Scottish weather prevent their guests from tucking in al fresco. Dining pods and marquees have been popping up across the country to ensure guests stay warm, dry and feel safe whilst enjoying a meal with loved ones.


Meldrum House in Aberdeenshire has launched the Under The Stars Experience, where guests can dine in atmospheric domes and enjoy a romantic evening admiring Scotland’s dark skies. Fonab Castle in Perthshire also introduced Pod Dining with a series of Pods situated in the grounds of the estate with stunning views over Loch Faskally. Each pod provides a relaxing space for eating and drinking with friends and family.

Agritourism has gone from strength to strength with holidymakers looking to get their hands dirty down on the farm. Guests at Arnprior Farm near Stirling or Newton Farm Holidays in Angus can enjoy the freshest produce, from field to fork, experience farming life first-hand and, during lambing season, even help welcome the new arrivals – all while staying in luxurious, modern accommodation.

Responsible Tourism

2021 is the year of renewed tourism, as travellers embrace a new world view. Both visitors and locals love Scotland’s stunning natural environments and want to preserve its beauty for generations to come. Everyone can enjoy Scotland responsibly, by spending more time in one destination, using public transport where possible, choosing to stay in environmentally friendly accommodation, visiting off-season and committing to one simple rule: “Leave no trace.” Read here how to become a responsible tourist in 10 easy steps.

All those who actively seek to make a positive contribution to the environment while on holiday should consider a range of volunteering opportunities in Scotland. Trees for Life offer Conservation Weeks which allow participants to play their part in restoring the ancient Caledonian Forest. And working holidays with The National Trust for Scotland offer the chance to live and work in some of the most remote places of Scotland while making a real difference to the country’s natural heritage.

Celebrations for Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters continue into 2021. From the country’s beautiful natural features, including coasts, lochs and rivers to the industrial heritage of the canals and mills, Scotland’s culture, stories and way of life have been shaped by its coasts and waters.

With the various coronavirus vaccines being rolled out, its hoped that summer 2021 will be much closer to the old normal of 2019 and before, rather than the ‘new normal’ but in the meantime   , when travelling around Scotland, visitors should now look out for the Good to Go logo which highlights the tourism businesses working hard to adhere to government and public health guidance in order to reopen safely.

Find out more about the innovative ways Scotland’s tourism businesses are reopening here.

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