Being born and raised just outside Glasgow, I always have Scotland on my mind (though sadly I don’t get to travel there as much as I would like these days, now that I live south of the border).
But it seems the rest of the world is also facing in a Scottish direction at the moment. A combination of sporting, seasonal and political events this summer and autumn is putting the world’s spotlight onto the small, Northern European country.
Scotland is always a popular destination with many of our clients. Its stunning scenery, history and prestigious golf courses make it perennially popular as a luxury and VIP holiday destination with clients from Europe, the USA and Russia. And of course also with business travellers, primarily to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The island geography and remote landscapes also mean there are significant practical benefits to using private aviation and helicopter travel (and this can lead to stunning views too, such as the beach landing at Barra which is frequently listed as one of the world’s most stunning airport approaches in our annual poll).
But we are certainly seeing an increase in interest and bookings for Scottish destinations at the moment. Here’s why:
1) The Commonwealth Games
Currently taking place in Glasgow until 3rd August, the Commonwealth Games 2014 are attracting huge numbers of additional visitors to the area. Airports and helicopter landing sites have been seeing significant numbers of private flights, for corporate and VIP visitors to the Games, with Glasgow City airport seeing the most additional traffic.
2) The Glorious Twelfth
Scotland is home to many of the UK’s most prestigious areas for country sports and the shooting season’s official start date of 12th August – universally known as the Glorious Twelfth – is fast approaching. The date marks the start of the shooting season specifically for the Red Grouse (official start dates for other game come later in September), but the traditional day is usually one of the year’s busiest days for country sports.
Grouse shooting in Scotland is mainly situated in the Highlands, Angus and the Borders. Many people use private jet and helicopter charter to reach their shooting and fishing destinations. This enables them to reach their location faster; and to carry weapons, fishing rods and even gundogs on board with minimal fuss. More about flying to shoots with guns and gundogs
3) The Scottish Independence referendum
On Thursday 18th September 2014, Scotland will vote on whether it should become an independent country, rather than continue to be part of Great Britain. Only British, Commonwealth and other European Union citizens who are currently resident in Scotland will be eligible to vote (so I won’t be taking part).
Much of the political campaigning for both sides has already taken place, but there will continue to be a huge amount of focus from the media and key stakeholders on Scotland in the immediate run up to the vote, and in the aftermath – regardless of the actual outcome.
4) Malt whisky season
Scotland’s whisky distillery season also historically began in August and September, when the barley had been taken in and after the ‘silent season’ in summer – when production traditionally ceased for maintenance work. Today Scotland’s famous whisky distilleries can be visited year-round, but this does seem to become a more popular travel idea at this time of year.
Many of Scotland’s most famous whisky distilleries are located in its most beautiful and remote locations, including on the islands – making transport by helicopter or private aircraft a convenient way to travel. See our guide to private jet and helicopter travel to Scotland’s whisky distilleries
Our Flight team can advise on private aviation and helicopter charter in Scotland. Contact us or call (24 hours) +44 1747 642 777