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Enjoy a virtual hop around Scotland this Easter

Loch Ness. Picture by Sandy McCook
Loch Ness. Picture by Sandy McCook

Spring has sprung and nature is bringing us some wonderfully colourful sights and sounds as new life hops around the countryside.

It’s tempting to go outdoors, but in these unprecedented times, everyone is being asked to Stay at Home, so why not use the wonders of technology to transport yourself to a virtual Scotland.

‘Cheep’ thrills

Start the morning off right and enjoy a #DailyBirdSong with Speyside Wildlife.

Featuring a different garden bird each day, listeners can experience lovely bird songs from a variety of feathered friends.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Speyside Wildlife will be giving pointers and videos to help identify bird songs and calls.

Puffins are summer visitors to Scotland, arriving to nest between late March and early April amid vast coastal clifftop colonies.

Spot these distinctive birds using Shetland’s wildlife cams from Sumburgh Head.

Viewers will be enchanted by both the rugged island beauty and the characterful puffin visitors.

Follow the story of resident osprey pair, Louis and Aila, live from the heart of an ancient Caledonian pine forest thanks to the Woodland Trust.

Between March and September is the best time of year to see these rare breeding birds, best known for the spectacular way they catch fish as they dive towards lakes and lochs, stretch out their talons and scoop them out of the water with ease.

It’s a wildlife

2020 is Scotland’s themed Year of Coasts and Waters. A year-long programme to shine a light on Scotland’s lochs, rivers, canals, seafood, inland and coastal landscapes and history.

Follow the lead of Scotland’s best social distancer– Nessie – she’s been avoiding social contact for 15 centuries!

Monster seekers can spend time trying to spot Nessie via the live cam overlooking Loch Ness.

To find out more about the many virtual experiences during Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters activities that you can enjoy from home, go to or join the conversation by using #YCW2020.

It’s a family affair

For the more theatrical, Pitlochry Festival Theatre has launched an entertainment programme for all ages. #PFTLightHopeJoy aims to engage, entertain, inspire and comfort audiences in isolation with demonstrations, performances of short plays, poetry, songs and stories, as well as the opportunity to learn new skills, and do some fun arts and crafts.

Join in through a variety of social media outlets.

Blair Drummond Safari Park is now doing weekly Facebook Live sessions on a Thursday at noon (could be subject to change).

Learn about the park’s animals and how its keepers look after them, then do a quiz after each one to check you were paying attention.

Light’s camera, action!

Scotland has a long tradition of creating home-grown screen epics.

From the streets of Edinburgh, seen in Trainspotting, Trainspotting 2 and the Avengers: Infinity War, to the mountains of Glen Etive seen in James Bond’s Skyfall.

The vast amount of Scottish locations shown on screen in TV’s Outlander or the historical immersions with Outlaw King and Mary, Queen of Scots, there is no film set quite like it in the world in terms of breadth and diversity of landscape.

Movies and TV are a great way to escape our daily routine.

Take a look at the VisitScotland Film Tourism Guide and dedicated page on Film and TV locations to find some inspiration.

Read now, book later

For romantics dreaming of the Highlands, go back to the roots of the first great Scottish novel, Waverley, written by Sir Walter Scott.

Readers can relish in the love triangle that animates the story.

History buffs will enjoy the torments of young Edward Waverley in the times of the Jacobite uprising.

For the free-spirited and mischievous readers, step inside J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Barrie was himself a boy who refused to grow up.

Moat Brae, the garden where he played as a child and inspired Neverland, is now a children’s literature centre located in Dumfries.

For more Scottish literary inspiration take a look at the Scottish Literature E-Book.

Social dis-dancing

The lively Macgregors Bar in Inverness hosts a daily #LifeAtFive livestream on its social media page.

Enjoy pub nights, traditional music sessions and storytelling from the comfort of your own home.

Get up and dance with the #CovidCeilidh movement on social media.

Kickstarted by fiddler Duncan Chisholm to help comfort and entertain everyone at home it has quickly become a collaborative effort in the folk community. Pick up an instrument or follow the hashtag to ceilidh along.

Choc this out…

Scotland’s Chocolate Trail offers treats that would make Willy Wonka envious.

Chocolate lovers can choose from a variety of chocolate from silky smooth and plain, locally foraged, and seasonal flavours such as Scots pine, wild mint and elderflower for home delivery.

The Chocolates of Glenshiel use ingredients from small Highland enterprises in their chocolates creating flavours like Elderflower Gin, Speyside Whisky, Highland Roast Coffee and Dundee Marmalade.

Meanwhile, tune into Instagram for tutorials featuring celebrity chef and former P&J food writer, Tom Kitchen.

The tutorials feature quick, easy and delicious recipes that the whole family can cook together.