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Kilts Flapping, LGBT Travelers Flock to Scotland

Scots boys in kilts
Interview by Ed Salvato with Ruth Cochrane; above guilt-free kilted queers, courtesy LoveScotland.com

Gay and lesbian travelers from London, the U.K., and throughout Europe have long enjoyed the queer side of the land of clans, kilts, and tartans. In-the-know American LGBT travelers are increasingly discovering the charms and quirks of this proud country. We spoke with gay Scotland expert Ruth Cochrane, founder of LoveScotland.com for a few suggestions for how to have a gay old time in the old country.

Edinburgh is the festival city, and with its stunning, picture postcard backdrop, it plays host to the largest arts festival in the world, which runs for the full month of August every year. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been the platform for launching the careers of some of the comedy world’s biggest stars, Ricky Gervais (The Office) and Hugh Laurie (House) both started here. 

Every year the Fringe, scheduled for August 6-30, draws huge gay audiences from around the globe, who  Image009
are attracted by a myriad of camp shows from Queer Cabaret to the London Gay Men’s Chorus and a tons of GLBT stand-ups. (Photo, right: kicking up their legs about the Fringe Festival). Gay-friendly boutique guesthouses and hotels are springing up all over the city (and the country for that matter). Try the ultra chic ‘21212’ Restaurant and Guesthouse housed in a lavishly converted Georgian Mansion, right next to the city’s thriving gay quarter, or the beautifully stylish ‘94DR,' a contemporary boutique guesthouse, where you will get a genuine Scottish welcome (and an amazing breakfast) from Paul and John (and their dog Molli). Be warned though, if you plan to come in August for the festival, book well in advance.

Monachyle Mhor The great thing about Scotland is that everything is so close together. Drive an hour out of Edinburgh and you’ll find yourself in the wide open spaces of the Scottish countryside. With world-class mountain biking, hiking, rafting, and sailing, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors, but if you like your remote retreats with a bit more luxury, you should check out the fabulous Monachyle Mhor, pictured at left.

Four miles down a single-track lane, set in its own wooded glen is a vibrant splash of pink against the surrounding mountains. This 18th-century farmhouse and steadings is now a cozy boutique hotel and restaurant, run by award-winning chef Tom, who cooks fresh food from the estate and welcomes guests in his own flamboyant fashion. You can even make your return journey to the city by catching a sea plane from the Loch on the hotel’s doorstep, over Scotland’s gorgeous western coastline. (Photo, right: Downtown Edinburgh, with the Balmoral Hotel, with the clock, in the foreground and Edinburgh Castle in the background.)Tour scotland

For more inspiration on gay Scotland check out VisitBritain's official guide to gay Edinburgh and Glasgow,  the Scottish tourist board’s gay fact sheet (PDF), or visit LoveScotland.com, an online tour company offering luxury, gay-friendly vacations in Scotland.

Scots boys in kilts
Interview by Ed Salvato with Ruth Cochrane; above guilt-free kilted queers, courtesy LoveScotland.com

Gay and lesbian travelers from London, the U.K., and throughout Europe have long enjoyed the queer side of the land of clans, kilts, and tartans. In-the-know American LGBT travelers are increasingly discovering the charms and quirks of this proud country. We spoke with gay Scotland expert Ruth Cochrane, founder of LoveScotland.com for a few suggestions for how to have a gay old time in the old country.

Edinburgh is the festival city, and with its stunning, picture postcard backdrop, it plays host to the largest arts festival in the world, which runs for the full month of August every year. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been the platform for launching the careers of some of the comedy world’s biggest stars, Ricky Gervais (The Office) and Hugh Laurie (House) both started here. 

Every year the Fringe, scheduled for August 6-30, draws huge gay audiences from around the globe, who  Image009
are attracted by a myriad of camp shows from Queer Cabaret to the London Gay Men’s Chorus and a tons of GLBT stand-ups. (Photo, right: kicking up their legs about the Fringe Festival). Gay-friendly boutique guesthouses and hotels are springing up all over the city (and the country for that matter). Try the ultra chic ‘21212’ Restaurant and Guesthouse housed in a lavishly converted Georgian Mansion, right next to the city’s thriving gay quarter, or the beautifully stylish ‘94DR,' a contemporary boutique guesthouse, where you will get a genuine Scottish welcome (and an amazing breakfast) from Paul and John (and their dog Molli). Be warned though, if you plan to come in August for the festival, book well in advance.

Monachyle Mhor The great thing about Scotland is that everything is so close together. Drive an hour out of Edinburgh and you’ll find yourself in the wide open spaces of the Scottish countryside. With world-class mountain biking, hiking, rafting, and sailing, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors, but if you like your remote retreats with a bit more luxury, you should check out the fabulous Monachyle Mhor, pictured at left.

Four miles down a single-track lane, set in its own wooded glen is a vibrant splash of pink against the surrounding mountains. This 18th-century farmhouse and steadings is now a cozy boutique hotel and restaurant, run by award-winning chef Tom, who cooks fresh food from the estate and welcomes guests in his own flamboyant fashion. You can even make your return journey to the city by catching a sea plane from the Loch on the hotel’s doorstep, over Scotland’s gorgeous western coastline. (Photo, right: Downtown Edinburgh, with the Balmoral Hotel, with the clock, in the foreground and Edinburgh Castle in the background.)Tour scotland

For more inspiration on gay Scotland check out VisitBritain's official guide to gay Edinburgh and Glasgow,  the Scottish tourist board’s gay fact sheet (PDF), or visit LoveScotland.com, an online tour company offering luxury, gay-friendly vacations in Scotland.


Interview by Ed Salvato with Ruth Cochrane; above guilt-free kilted queers, courtesy LoveScotland.com

Gay and lesbian travelers from London, the U.K., and throughout Europe have long enjoyed the queer side of the land of clans, kilts, and tartans. In-the-know American LGBT travelers are increasingly discovering the charms and quirks of this proud country. We spoke with gay Scotland expert Ruth Cochrane, founder of LoveScotland.com for a few suggestions for how to have a gay old time in the old country.

Edinburgh is the festival city, and with its stunning, picture postcard backdrop, it plays host to the largest arts festival in the world, which runs for the full month of August every year. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been the platform for launching the careers of some of the comedy world’s biggest stars, Ricky Gervais (The Office) and Hugh Laurie (House) both started here. 

Every year the Fringe, scheduled for August 6-30, draws huge gay audiences from around the globe, who 
are attracted by a myriad of camp shows from Queer Cabaret to the London Gay Men’s Chorus and a tons of GLBT stand-ups. (Photo, right: kicking up their legs about the Fringe Festival). Gay-friendly boutique guesthouses and hotels are springing up all over the city (and the country for that matter). Try the ultra chic ‘21212’ Restaurant and Guesthouse housed in a lavishly converted Georgian Mansion, right next to the city’s thriving gay quarter, or the beautifully stylish ‘94DR,' a contemporary boutique guesthouse, where you will get a genuine Scottish welcome (and an amazing breakfast) from Paul and John (and their dog Molli). Be warned though, if you plan to come in August for the festival, book well in advance.

The great thing about Scotland is that everything is so close together. Drive an hour out of Edinburgh and you’ll find yourself in the wide open spaces of the Scottish countryside. With world-class mountain biking, hiking, rafting, and sailing, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors, but if you like your remote retreats with a bit more luxury, you should check out the fabulous Monachyle Mhor, pictured at left.

Four miles down a single-track lane, set in its own wooded glen is a vibrant splash of pink against the surrounding mountains. This 18th-century farmhouse and steadings is now a cozy boutique hotel and restaurant, run by award-winning chef Tom, who cooks fresh food from the estate and welcomes guests in his own flamboyant fashion. You can even make your return journey to the city by catching a sea plane from the Loch on the hotel’s doorstep, over Scotland’s gorgeous western coastline. (Photo, right: Downtown Edinburgh, with the Balmoral Hotel, with the clock, in the foreground and Edinburgh Castle in the background.)

For more inspiration on gay Scotland check out VisitBritain's official guide to gay Edinburgh and Glasgow,  the Scottish tourist board’s gay fact sheet (PDF), or visit LoveScotland.com, an online tour company offering luxury, gay-friendly vacations in Scotland.

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