Study reveals most beautiful Scottish locations for a summer staycation


LUXURY Scottish retailer House of Bruar have analysed Scottish locations posted on Instagram, including castles, towns, villages, nature reserves, country estates, and hotels. Using hashtag data, they were able to identify which destinations were the most picturesque and highly visited by tourists. The study focused mostly on the smaller, rural settlements in Scotland.

Inverness was found to Scotland’s most picturesque location overall, with almost 730,000 unique hashtags. But it’s not just social media that can attest to the city’s splendour. Renowned travel publication Time Out has listed Inverness as the 3rd best city break in the United Kingdom for 2023, citing its historic Culloden Battlefield and Urquhart Castle as key attractions.

Other Scottish towns that were among the most Instagrammable locations included Falkirk, which had over 170,000 hashtags, Aviemore, which had over 160,000, and Pitlochry, which had over 114,000 hashtags in total.

Scotland’s most Instagrammable hotel was The Balmoral in Edinburgh, which had over 16,600 hashtags.

Those looking for beautiful walking routes should head to The West Highland Way, which was by far Scotland’s most photographed walking trail, and had over 135,700 hashtags recorded on Instagram. It was followed in popularity by the Fife Coastal Path, which had over 80,000 hashtags. 

Scotland’s most beautiful castles to visit were: Edinburgh Castle (663,000 hashtags), Eilean Donan Castle (126,844 hashtags), Stirling Castle (98,480 hashtags) and Duntottar Castle (61,630 hashtags).

Other destinations that had a lot of popularity online included: Holyrood Park, Edinburgh (58,000 hashtags), the sculpture park Jupiter Arland, Edinburgh (20,670 hashtags) and Scone Palace, Perthshire (19,100 hashtags).

When heading into the Great Scottish Outdoors, it’s important that you take the right precautions as the landscapes and weather are infamously unpredictable. Tom Birbeck, Buying Director at House of Bruar has weighed in on the campaign’s findings and how to ensure you stay safe by choosing the right protective gear. He commented: 

“The data illuminates that it isn’t just urban Scottish areas like Edinburgh and Glasgow that people are posting about online – the natural beauty of Scotland’s more rural areas is attracting a huge amount of visitors, too.

But if you are planning on heading out into the Scottish countryside, you need to be dressed appropriately. While it can be tempting to opt for lower-priced, mass-produced outdoor wear – especially amid the current cost of living crisis, choosing premium-quality garments designed by experts in outdoor pursuits is the best way to equip yourself for the Scottish outdoors. Having the right clothing and equipment is crucial to ensure safety and minimise injury.”

“Selected fabrics and designs are specifically chosen as they can stand up to blustery and wet conditions. Brands like The North Face, Patagonia, and Jack Wolfskin are leaders in premium outdoor gear thanks to their use of things like WindWall™ technology, GORE-TEX® fabric, and PrimaLoft Gold insulation – all things to look out for when shopping for outdoor clothing.” 

“You should also think about which fabric will be most suitable for your activities: waterproof outer layers are a must if you’re going to be exposed to changing weather, while cotton base layers will help to regulate your body temperature and wick perspiration from the skin as you walk.”

The full study can be found here:

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