SCOTLAND is gradually moving to a ‘new normal’.
After months of uncertainty during the coronavirus lockdown, our country’s hotels, pubs, restaurants and other sectors hace reopened – with the virus suppressed to low levels acoss Scotland.
To mark the news, we’ve pulled together ‘five of the best’ on a range of topics.
Here are five of the best man-made wonders for a day trip in Scotland:
The first is Melrose Abbey, often referred to as one of Scotland’s most beautiful buildings due to its sense of romance and charm.
Initially founded by King David I in 1136, the surviving remains of the church date back to the early 15th century and are rumoured to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart.
The Abbey sits in the Tweed Valley in the charming town of Melrose where visitors can admire the exterior’s hand-crafted decoration alongside objects that have been discovered during previous excavations.
Abbey Street, Melrose, Roxburghshire, TD6 9LG
BELL ROCK LIGHTHOUSE
Close to 200 years after it was built, the Bell Rock Lighthouse (also known as Stevenson’s Lighthouse) is still standing.
Located off Scotland’s east coast, the lighthouse sits atop a partially submerged reef and the stone tower is the world’s oldest surviving sea washed lighthouse.
Even more impressive than that, the lighthouse has not required a single repair or alteration to the stonework or design since the day it was built nearly two centuries ago.
Regarded as one of the most outstanding engineering achievements of the 19th century, this lighthouse is definitely one to visit on your post-lockdown staycation.
The Caledonian Canal was masterminded by great Scottish engineer Thomas Telford and is considered to be one of the greatest waterways in the world.
The canal stretches just over 60 miles from Inverness to Corpach (near Fort William) and slices through the length of the majestic Great Glen surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Highlands.
Interestingly only one third of the loch is man made, the rest is formed by various lochs.
Connecting the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Union Canal in central Scotland, this rotating boatlift is one of Scotland’s better known attractions and is the only construction of its kind in the world.
At one time the canals were essential for transportation, today the Falkirk Wheel stands as an iconic Scottish landmark and a reminder of the historical importance of Scotland’s waterways.
Cimb onto a boat and soar gracefully 35m in the air before smoothly landing on the Union Canal where visitors can stop by the recently revamped visitor centre to learn about the workings of the wheel – including interesting facts such as: it only takes the power of about eight toasters for the wheel to complete a full rotation.
Lime Road, Falkirk, FK1 4RS
The Kelpies, the largest pair of equine sculptures in the world, tower 100 feet above the Forth & Clyde Canal near Falkirk.
The sculptures are made of 300 tonnes of shimmering galvanised steel and situated just off the M9, marking the gateway to Scotland’s canals and paying tribute to the horse power heritage that was vital to the early industries of central Scotland.
To see something really special, visit at night when they’re lit up – you can even go inside to marvel at the engineering that went into making such fantastic pieces of art.
Visitor Centre, The Helix, FK2 7ZT