Starting Out Exploring
Towards the end of my time in Edinburgh, I decided to sample some of the parts of Scotland beyond its limits. That took me out onto the web rather than into a book store and there were plenty of places to look for visitor information, a veritable cornucopia in fact. Being a student at the time meant that the web option was preferred on cost grounds and Scotland seemed to have more internet information than many other places. Whether this was down to national pride or forward thinking remains an open question but I learnt a lot and that helped me to get the most from those early forays. Some of what I found back then is still with us today and gets feature in the list compiled here. If you haven't been to Scotland, I hope that it gets you going. However, I have to warn you that one visit might result in many a return; it certainly has for me.
The websites of the Scottish tourist promotion agency are good sources of visiting and accommodation ideas, so making good places to start planning any trips to the place.
A very useful site providing information on Scotland's together with information regarding where to stay and what to do. It used to feature an amusing cartoon character called Hamish that sucked in the site title when your mouse is placed over the headline graphic: I found this by accident, honest! These days, that has disappeared following a site update.
In spite of the name, this is another useful resource for those planning a visit. Accommodation seems to be the main focus but other subject areas are covered as well.
Not an internet directory but a guide to Scotland with an accommodation section biased towards the top end of the market and a shopping mall selling Scottish gifts.
Cleverly designed site with links to other sites searchable using an interactive map. A few tweaks could make it more user friendly, though.
This is allegedly maintained entirely by just one person, a certain Joanne Mackenzie-Winters, although its expanse would appear to belie this.
Part directory and part general introduction, this website gently introduces outsiders to the place. However, I don't understand why it lists The Irish Times as a Scottish newspaper. (It is published in Dublin, Republic of Ireland!)
When I first visited this site, its main focus is the Highlands and Islands but this has now extended to all of Scotland.
Professionally designed website containing much useful information on Scotland. Part of a much wider network of directories introducing different countries.
The website of a charity that conserves Scottish countryside, coastlines, monuments and buildings for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
Scottish government agency that looks after historic buildings such as Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Urquhart Castle and Jedburgh Abbey.
Both of these companies offer backpacker tours of Scotland. The first of these is a company, based in Edinburgh, that added following a recommendation by a colleague of mine, although I have never used their services.
Two useful sites maintained by the Department of Geography at the University of Edinburgh, the former of which is looking a little dated in appearance while the latter would benefit from an improved navigation system. Regarding the latter. donations are appreciated for its upkeep and expansion.
Taking its name from one of insignia of Scotland, the Lion Rampant, this directory allows a rounded introduction to the country for someone who hasn't been there before.
This directory has genealogical basis but has branched into catering for those wanting tourism and historical information. Strangely, sections devoted to places in Ireland also feature!
Both of these are maintained by the same people are essentially yet another directory of visitor attractions though it has to be said that they have their place when it comes to figuring what to see and do. When plotting what you are going to be doing on visiting somewhere, resources like these are bound to have their place.