When you come to visit Scotland, what are you looking to see? The unspoilt countryside, the hills and glens? The castles and crofts that take you back to a bygone age?
For many visitors coming from busy metropolitan areas it is the idea of Scotland that brings them here. The idyll of rural living, communities working together and friendly people visiting local shops where they are known and looked after.
For myself it is my local ironmonger, I was at school with the owner and we have an understanding. I go in and tell her what is wrong or what needs fixed, she listens and goes and gets me what I need. There is no hard sell, there doesn’t need to be as she knows I will be back the next time something needs fixed.
Then there are the local cafes who know just how you take your eggs for breakfast and if you are a visitor, they care enough to ask. The bakery that knows just what you need for your picnic because you go there every time and if you warn them in advance they will make sure to have all your favourites freshly made that day.
This is the Scotland that thousands of people visit every year. Yes, they go to the cities but the Scotland of their dreams is the countryside and the communities. They are not looking for some guy dressed up in a kilt charging £10 a time to take pictures, they are looking for that Scottish wedding where all the men are in kilts because that’s what we do. Weddings, New Year, Birthdays, Burns night, our men are in the kilt and we love them for it.
So when you are planning to visit Scotland why not visit the real Scotland? The communities and people who make Scotland that place you want to be part of, even if just for a short while. You know you will be welcome.