One of the best things about traveling to another country is being able to challenge preconceptions you may have had about the place in question. Case in point—Scotland. For many people, Scotland can seem like a curious and not always fairly-depicted country. Despite what Hollywood might have told you, there’s a lot more to Scotland than Braveheart and bagpipes.

In fact, Scotland is a place with its own rich history and culture, and it’s a place well worth visiting in person. From famed sites to pleasant surprises and everything in between, here are a few hotspots you’ll want to keep an eye on when looking to book the best walking holidays in Scotland.

Literary Hotspots

When it comes to reputation among international readerships, England and Ireland are two of the biggest literary forces on the planet. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Austen, and Dickens rank among the greatest authors not just in England’s literary canon but that of world literature at large. Ireland’s no slouch either, boasting the likes of Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, and William Butler Yeats, to name a few. That being said, for as many great writers and literary sites as England and Ireland can boast, Scotland has quite a few to its credit as well.

For one thing, it’s Scotland, not England, that is home to one of the great holy grails for all Shakespeare fans – Dunsinane, the site of Macbeth. The Isle of Skye is often seen as being connected to the events in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Muriel Spark rank among the greatest of Scotland’s authors, and their homes remain popular tourist attractions today. For more recent literary fare, you’ll want to check out Doune Castle – or, as you might know it, Winterfell from the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.

Lammermuir Hills

This is a special treat for fans of Romantic literature and opera alike. Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor is a romanticised legend of deposed Scottish nobility and forbidden love in seventeenth-century Scotland. The Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti later adapted the work as his famed opera Lucia di Lammermoor, which boasts some of the most intriguing and challenging vocal roles for opera sopranos in the standard repertoire today. Visiting the area via a walking tour can thus make for an interesting opportunity to tour one of the great bastions of Scottish natural beauty, and a site which has inspired so much romanticism, legend, and lore.

Liking the Lochs

Last but not least, you’ll certainly want to take a stroll by one of Scotland’s world-famous lochs. If you’re a nature lover, visiting these lochs is sure to be an experience you won’t soon forget. They are some of the most expansive and famed sites of natural beauty in all the British Isles. What’s more, these lochs have been inspired everything from songs to paintings, making them yet another great walking tour site for art lovers.

Visit Scotland’s natural beauty and cultural treasures with a fantastic walking tour today.