Yes, this is a shameless puff on behalf of my beloved homeland – but it’s also a chance to pick up a beautiful and useful travel guide for zero cash, and to enjoy some superb state-of-the-art digital destination marketing. For VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organization, has just shared “The A to Z of Winter in Scotland,” a beautifully produced 76-page PDF guide to the best options in winter visiting to the land of Burns, Bruce, bairns, brains, and beauty – liberally sprinkled with hyperlinks to follow up the destination tips online (albeit mostly to its own site).
Burns Night, on January 25th, naturally features prominently under the Bs, inviting readers to “look out for Burns Suppers and ceilidhs at restaurants and attractions paying homage to Scotland’s favourite son all around the country, including the fantastic Burns Big Haggis Feast & Ceilidh at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, his hometown.” There’s also guides to pantomimes in Edinburgh and elsewhere, exhibition details for the Queen’s Gallery at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, music through Celtic Connections, and many other cultural and folkloric options, as well as the attractions of history and scenery.
If this is what VisitScotland can do with Scotland’s darkest season, you wonder what they can come up with for the rest of the year. In any case, it’s a great way to see how a small nation maximizes the riches that make it one of the most popular tourism destinations in the world. And in true Scottish fashion, you can be delighted that it won’t cost you a Scots penny.