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Things to Do in Scotland

Activities to Do in Scotland

Hike up to Dundee Law, visit the Luss line at Loch Lomond And The Trossachs National Park, View the standing stones at Callanish Visitor Centre, Get to see the exotic plants at Benmore Botanic Garden, Explore local history at the National Museum of Scotland and many more.

Fill your holiday with the best things to do in Scotland which make your trip an incredible experience to remember. Scotland is a destination with some highly scintillating experiences so you can visit the most iconic places in the city while also enjoying many activities.

We bring to you some of the most vivid activities to do in Scotland, which provides you with an insight into the marvellous glory of the country. From visiting grand castles to riding through the majestic landscapes on a train, there is no dearth of exciting things which you will experience only here in Scotland. Not to mention, the Scottish Whiskey is famous all around the world and what could be better than to visit one of the distilleries where they are manufactured!

Spend your afternoons hopping around one of the many galleries, castles or museums which are iconic to Scotland. The fun does not end here because you can also set out to explore the coastal regions surrounding Scotland for a view of the natural wonders of this country. Some other Scotland things to do include water rafting and many more interesting water activities while you are here and do not forget to shop for the local souvenirs which are typical of this place.
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Fort Augustus

Situated amidst the majestic Scottish Highland, is the village of Fort Augustus glowing with an enchanting charm of its own. This small village, with a population of less than a thousand, has been a source of captivation for explorers and nature-lovers alike.

Once you reach this destination, you’ll be gifted with a serene and blissful ambience all around, with hills extending to as far as hundreds of kilometres. You’ll find beautiful yet scattered dwellings located all across these hills.

Arrive at the Caledonian Canal, and admire the boats passing through it and subsequently entering the infinite and unending horizon of the Loch Ness. You may also go on a boat cruise in the serene waters of this lake, and watch out for the curious unseen creature that is believed to dwell deep into it. Lastly, take a walk to explore this magnificent natural landscape, or you may also choose to cycle. In the evening, sit in any of the cafes, restaurants or bars and enjoy the magical and intoxicating sunset hues filling the entire village. 

Dumfries
If you're looking for the best places to visit in Scotland, you must head to Dumfries, a former royal burgh packed with museums, castles, and parks. It is a historic county having the most romantic ruined abbeys, Scotland's only triangular castle, and stunning beaches.

The region is home to various bird species and is also a key stop-off point for the spectacular diving gannet. You can enjoy here some of the best delicacies such as Belted Galloway beef, Marrbury smoked salmon, and Cream o Galloway. If you're a book lover, you can sift through the bookshops and meet notable poets and writers in the cafés and bars.

Location: Banks of River Nith, Dumfries, Scotland
Ayr
This a popular tourist resort and the largest retail center in the south of Scotland, having a fantastic esplanade with a sandy beach. It was recognized as the second healthiest town in the United Kingdom in 2014 by the Royal Society for Public Health.

It has a charming seafront, a range of places to stay, and leafy suburbs where you can relax and unwind. You can stroll through Rozelle Park and discover the town's historical tales at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. There are also some of the best dining and shopping facilities in Ayr with three public golf courses: Seafield, Dalmilling, and Belleisle.

Location: South Ayrshire, Scotland
Loch Ness
Loch Ness is a large freshwater lake in the Scottish Highlands world-famous for its great adventure sports, dramatic scenery, solitary lighthouses, and nearby castles. The unique thing about this lake is that it is dark blue due to the peat particles that fall in the lake, making it darker than others. Around forty rivers and small streams flow into the lake, and it never freezes despite the brutally cold winters.

It dates back to 565 A.D, and many people are attracted to this lake to see the Loch Ness Monster that was first spotted in the 1930s.
Luskentyre Beach
One of the best places to visit in Scotland is Luskentyre Beach that is renowned for its clear blue water and pristine white sand. It has been rated one of the best beaches in the world where you can enjoy the sand, surf, and the sun.

The fertile grassy plains that fringe this beach are dotted with a carpet of wildflowers, making it look like a slice of heaven on Earth. Many eateries close to this beach draw upon the finest local produce to create flavorsome dishes that reflect the island's traditions. Some of the best activities that you can enjoy here are swimming, cycling, hillwalking, and much more.

Location: Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Dunfermline
If you're hunting for the best Scotland tourist places that can give you a glimpse of the bygone era, you must visit Dunfermline. It was the former capital of Scotland, renowned for its architectural landscapes and ancient buildings that were built during the twelfth century.

You can relax amidst the lush greenery of Pittencrieff Park, explore Dunfermline Abbey, and check out the performances at the Alhambra Theatre. It houses some of the most popular heritage buildings, such as the Abbot House, St Margaret's Cave, and Royal Palace. You can also enjoy fun activities at Adventure Golf Island and witness exhibitions at the Carnegie Library & Galleries.
St. Andrews
Set on a wide bay, St. Andrews is one of the best Scotland tourist places dotted with stately architecture, plenty of cozy pubs, and medieval ruins. It is known to be Scotland's "home of Golf'' as it has the most famous golf courses in the entire world.

You can join an expert guide who'll take you around the 17th,18th, and 1st holes, where you'll be able to walk in the footsteps of the golfing legends. If you're a history buff, you can visit St Andrews Museum that houses temporary and permanent exhibitions. Explore St Andrews's main areas ranging from the cathedral to Old Course, by joining the St Andrews Food Tour.
Loch Lomond
End your search for the best places to visit in Scotland by heading to Loch Lomond, a freshwater Scottish loch separating the rugged mountainous landscape and lowlands of Scotland. You can spot here some of the most beautiful birds, such as golden eagles, owls, etc.

For outdoor enthusiasts, there are cycling paths, mountains, treetop adventures, and great walks. You can also enjoy here thrilling watersports activities, such as jet-skiing, kayaking, and water skiing. There are boat tours to suit every taste and budget here, from full boating holidays to speedboat tours.

Location: Balloch, Alexandria, Glasgow G83 8PA, Scotland
Isle Of Arran
If you're looking for the best places to visit in Scotland, you must visit the Isle of Arran that is the seventh-largest Scottish island and largest island in the Firth of Clyde. You can witness here an ever-changing coastline, sheltered beaches, dramatic mountain peaks, verdant forests, and great cultural festivals.

It also houses a working distillery, stone circles, golf courses, and the best walking trails. You can enjoy a variety of activities here, such as hill walking, abseiling, sailing, climbing, gorge walking, and mountain biking. Being home to a wide variety of wildlife, including otters, red deer, red squirrels, seals, and golden eagles, this island is a photographer's paradise.
Scottish Highlands
Unveil the hidden treasures of nature by visiting the Scottish Highlands that is a historic region of Scotland. The Highlands feature breathtaking scenery, from sweeping, green countryside to towering mountain ranges and sparkling lochs.

Cairngorms National Park is the most famous area in the Highlands that features historical sites, numerous museums, campsites, and even castles. The Highlands are also renowned for their whiskey distilleries, including the area's oldest, Glenturret. Camping, nature walk, and hiking are the most popular activities in Highlands.
Isle Of Skye
Home to Scotland's iconic landscapes, the Isle of Skye is considered to be the most charming place in the entire world. It has some of the best off-the-beaten hiking trails that make you feel like being on top of the world. Skye has been the real-life movie location for many films, like the new Star Wars movie.

It has The Fairy Pools that are natural rock pools where you can swim and relax. Portree is the largest town on the Isle of Skye, home to the picturesque and beautiful Portree Harbour, making you feel like you have stumbled on a film set. It is one of the best Scotland tourist places with lighthouses, viewpoints, waterfalls, and amazing rock formations.
Fort William
Situated in the West Highlands in Lochaber, Fort William is a bustling town with cultural heritage sites and fascinating historical attractions. It has the oldest licensed distilleries, best cycling routes, and unique geological heritage. The High Street area is the heart of this town, and here you will find most of the pubs, restaurants, and shops.

You can explore Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain, take a walk in the beautiful landscapes of Glencoe, or enjoy skiing at Nevis Range. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, you can enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, and boating.
Finnich Glen
This is a steep, short glen up to seventy feet deep which runs on the A809 from Finnich Bridge. It is located on the gateway to the Trossachs National Park and Loch Lomond and is considered one of the best places to see in Scotland.

Finnich Glen has a steep staircase built around 1860 that has crumbled down due to natural calamities. You'll find here The Devils Pulpit, a deep gorge shaped by the red water of the Carnock Burn. The banks of this gorge are very steep, and extreme care needs to be taken to go near the edge.

Location: A809 Dumgoyne, Glasgow
Cairngorms National Park
If you're a nature lover hunting for the best places to visit in Scotland, Cairngorms National Park should be on top of your bucket list. It is the largest national park in the U.S., spread over 4,500sq km. From the forest-dwelling wildcats to arctic reindeer, the national park is home to some of the world's rarest and threatened species.

The national park has magnanimous mountains, beautiful rivers, forest paths, lochs, friendly villages, distilleries, and wildlife hotspots. There are a variety of accommodations on offer in this national park, from hotels, self-catering cottages, B&B's, and log cabins to hostels and campsites.

Location: Authority 14 The Square Grantown on Spey Scotland
Orkney Islands
The Orkney Islands is a group of more than seventy islands and islet out of which only twenty are inhabited. Known for its scenic beauty, some of the most popular ancient sites, and aurora-encrusted skies, this hidden gem is an absolute treat for the wanderlusts.

The islands are home to several bird species, including a range of migratory and native birds. Everywhere you look, you'll see workshops, independent art galleries, festivals, and events. The hiking trails and walking routes are never-ending here, and each one boasts a new surprise. Orkney's Italian Chapel is an architectural masterpiece that was built by Italian prisoners of war during WWII.
Glencoe Valley

Located within the Lochaber Geopark in the Highlands, Glencoe Valley is the most breathtaking sight in Glencoe. It stretches between the Village of Glencoe and the Bridge of Orchy and is one of the best places to visit in Scotland. According to geologists, this valley was formed by huge boulders of ice trapped after an ice cap flowed down through Glencoe.

It's a U-shaped picturesque valley renowned for its bloody history as thirty-eight members of the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were killed here. You can enjoy a scenic drive through this valley, where you'll get to see summits, waterfalls, and lochs. The route to this valley involves a rough but scenic walk safe for hikers of all levels.

Corryvreckan Whirlpool
It is one of the largest whirlpools on Earth, and one of the most dangerous water stretches around the British Isles. Corryvreckan is located off the west coast of Scotland between Jura and Scarba islands, and at times, the roar is so loud that you can hear it ten miles away. These currents can reach over ten knots at full strength and produce furious waves over nine meters high.

The particular cause of this is a subterranean spike off the coast of Scarba that causes the Atlantic waves to turn into a giant vortex and create the Corryvreckan whirlpool. Only experienced skippers can navigate these waters and waves during tidal changes. You can see here Golden Eagles, cuckoo, penguins, and Sea Eagles very frequently.
New Lanark
New Lanark is an 18th-century mill village that was inscribed in 2001 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has been restored beautifully as a living community and is considered one of the best places to see in Scotland. The village still contains the worker's buildings and the original mill of Robert Owen.

If you're visiting New Lanark, you shouldn't miss out on the village church, school classroom, village store, mechanics workshop, water houses, engine house, and graveyard. You will find here some of the best restaurants where you can enjoy the local delicacies.

Location: South Lanarkshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Barra
If you're looking for the best places to visit in Scotland, you must stop by Barra, renowned for its scenic beauty and breathtaking landscape. This beautiful island boasts breathtaking beaches, hills, moor, and machair. It was the stronghold of Clan MacNeil and the resting place of Compton Mackenzie, the famous author who wrote Whisky Galore.

You can stroll along the white sandy beaches, like Tangasdale, or enjoy splendid scenery as you walk or cycle around this small but beautiful island. You can learn about Barra's history and culture at the heritage center, Dualchas, where two main galleries present a program of art exhibitions, cultural events, and local history displays.
Ben Nevis
It is the highest mountain in the British Isles and the United Kingdom that attracts around one hundred and twenty-five thousand walkers a year. It was a massive active volcano that collapsed and exploded inwards millions of years ago, and you can see the evidence of an explosion at the mountain's summit.

From the top of the mountain, you can see other peaks such as the Torridon hills, Morven at Caithness, and Ben Lomond. This summit's unique feature is the Old Observatory that records some of the U.K.'s most useful information. You can hike up to this mountain and stand on the highest summit of the British Isles.

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Scotland Things To Do FAQs

What are the best things to do in Scotland?

1. Hike up to Dundee Law: In Scotland, the Dundee Law is the highest rising peak at 174 meters, a point from which you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the city. The peak is tied to several historic events after the uncovering of several graves and Roman pottery. You can access this peak on foot, or by a bus or car. Among the many activities to do in Scotland is the thrilling experience of hiking on the ‘town to top’ walking trail to the summit. Plus, there are many woodland walks where you can enjoy the views and even settle down to rest.

Location: Law Road, Dundee, Scotland

2. Visit the Luss line at Loch Lomond And The Trossachs National Park: The national park is fragmented into four different sections including the Loch Lomond, Trossachs, Breadalbane, and the Argyll Forest. The looming mountains and the expansive freshwater reserve offer such attractive sights to the visitors that you will closely cherish the experience of travelling to Scotland. The Western shores of the national park are lined with numerous pretty villages including the Luss line.

Location: Carrochan, Carrochan Road, Balloch, G83 8EG

3. View the standing stones at Callanish Visitor Centre: Among the many activities to do in Scotland is a visit to the famous Calanais standing stones and its visitor centre. The 5000 year old stones are a memoir to view with your own eyes and a place of historic significance. At the visitor centre, you will find various exhibitions, a café and a gift shop. Take your time to explore the graphic panels and audio visual displays which are exhibited in the seating area.

Location: Calanais Visitor Centre, Callanish, Isle of Lewis, HS2 9DY, United Kingdom

4. Get to see the exotic plants at Benmore Botanic Garden: Located at a stunning mountain side, a visit to the Benmore Botanic Garden is among the few activities to do in Scotland which truly bring you to face to face with magnificent scenery. The 20 acre garden is home to several oriented varieties of plants, giant redwoods and numerous other exotic plantings. The most famous product of these gardens is the rhododendrons, which beautify the garden with their presence. You will also find a café and garden shop within the premises.

Location: 4 Uig, Benmore, Dunoon PA23 8QU, United Kingdom
Price: £ 7 for adults; £ 6 for seniors
Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

5. Explore local history at the National Museum of Scotland: The diverse collection of antiquities at this museum will take you on a ride through the history of Scotland. From art, design, and science to intricate details of the culture, you will be missing out on the best Scotland things to do if you miss visiting this museum. For your convenience and enriched experience, you can take a guide with you to explain the displays.

Location: Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, United Kingdom
Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

6. Take a guided tour at Edinburgh Castle: As an icon of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle has earned a badge for a heritage site. It is among the most famous castles in Scotland with a very complex building history. The castle stewards can provide guided tours of the castle or you can also choose an audio guide tour. Throughout this journey, you will get to view the spectacular architecture and history of the city in play. You can also shop for an especially curated line of jewellery at the Crown jewel shop.

Location: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, United Kingdom
Price: Adults: £ 15.50; Children: £ 9.30
Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

7. Visit the famous Kelpies at the Helix: Visit this parkland to enjoy exciting activities such as walking, cycling, and other water sports. The famous Kelpies, which are two head sculptures of a horse, can be seen on display here, which are the biggest equine structures in all the world. These men made wonders definitely merit viewing at least once while you search for things to do in Scotland. In addition to the Kelpies are the connected bicycle paths, a lagoon, and a splash play zone for kids.

Location: The Helix, Falkirk, Grangemouth FK2 7ZT, United Kingdom

8. Observe the spitfire plane at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum: The art gallery is among the few free attractions in Scotland, which features 22 exclusive theme based and state of the art galleries which display more than 8000 objects. The internationally significant display items include items of arms, art, paintings, and more. The most iconic display in the gallery is the Spitfire plane which hangs from a ceiling in the West court. You can get here in your own car or take a bus which stops directly outside the gallery. Else, you can walk from the Patrick train station to reach here as well.

Location: Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG, United Kingdom
Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

9. Ride in a rotating boat lift at the Falkirk Wheel: Visit the Falkirk Wheel which is the first rotating boat lift and the only one in the world right now. Currently, it connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, standing at a mighty height of 115 feet. This is one of the most iconic landmarks in Scotland which gathers over half a million visitors each year. You can easily get here by bus or railways.

Location: Lime Rd, Falkirk FK1 4RS, United Kingdom
Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

10. Take a tour of the Neolithic house at the Skara Brae Prehistoric Village: Visiting this Neolithic settlement is among the top things to do in Scotland since it is a picture of remarkable beauty, with its presence from a time before Stonehenge was built. Get a chance to view ancient homes, with fittings made of stone, upgraded with every modern facility to provide a seamless and intuitive tour of the houses. Within the premises, you will also find a café and a gift shop which is decently stocked with various items of craft and souvenirs. At the visitor centre, you will also find a display of all the important artefacts in connection with the prehistoric village.

Location: Sandwick, Stromness KW16 3LR, United Kingdom
Price: Adults: £ 7-9; Children: £ 4.20 – 5.40
Timings: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

What are the best things to do in Scotland at night?

1. Highland Fling Bungee: In the UK, this is the only permanent bungee jumping service operator which offers the thrilling experience of jumping from a height of 40 meters at the Garry Bridge in Killiecrankie. Taking the plunge at the blackout bungee in complete darkness is one of the most thrilling experiences which you will get while enjoying things to do in Scotland.

2. Mountain Biking: Reach out to a trusted service provider for night time mountain biking at some of the most exciting trails which you will find in the UK, which are perfect for a night ride.

3. Red sky viewing: Scotland’s waterways are an excellent way to surround yourself with the tranquillity and quiet of the stunning scenery which you can witness only during the night in a kayak or a canoe. You will find many service providers who will take you on a tour of these carriers. During winters, the night sky appears red as the sun begins to settle, offering a memorable sight.

4. Night garden: Spend a magical outdoor evening at the Royal Botanic Garden where you can visit the fire garden and enjoy amidst the choir of singing as well as get a taste of some festive food. Walking the Christmas Botanic trail is among the best ways to spend your time while you are here.

What are the best adventurous things to do in Scotland?

1. Watch motor racing: The high octane and shrill excitement of watching a sports car zoom past on a racing track is not something that you get to see every day. If there is something in Scotland things to do that cannot be missed, it is a visit to a racing circuit where you can get behind the wheel and test your skills at driving one of these beasts.

2. Mountain biking: The experience of biking on the rugged and raw landscape of Scotland is not less than a thrill. Swoosh past the air on the obstacles tracks at 7stanes to experience the real adventure.

3. Land Yachting: Race along with your friends on the sands, which is among the top Scotland things to do. This is an experience that is similar to sailing using propulsion from the wind. The beach at West Sands is ideal for this activity

4. Snowboarding: There are close to five exclusive skiing resorts in Scotland where you can slide down the slopes of the mountains and let the chilled air whiz past your hair. The CairnGorm Mountain is among the best places to track your skills at this activity and everyone, from beginners to advanced professionals can come here to experience the thrill of snowboarding.

How to reach Scotland?

Air: You can land at the Aberdeen International Airport, Glasgow International Airport, or any one of the other major airports in Scotland from a flight coming in from Europe, Paris, Amsterdam or Frankfurt.

Road: You can arrive in a car or a bus through the M74 / A74 highway which leads directly to Scotland.

Water: You can ride on a boat or a ferry operated by DFDS services which start from Amsterdam and other neighbouring regions.

What is the best time to visit Scotland?

There are many Scotland things to do which can be enjoyed best during the spring season which runs through the months of March to May and the fall season which runs through September to November.

Is it safe to visit Scotland?

There are many things to do in Scotland which you can enjoy without worrying about safety. Scotland is a relatively safe and secure locality with lower than average crime rates. As a visitor or tourist, you can observe the bare minimum precaution to ensure the safety of your belongings, as would any prudent traveller in any circumstances.

Do we need a visa to visit Scotland?

For travelling to Scotland you will require a standard Visa to get entry in the country. You should apply at least 3 months before your date of travel and the usual time for approval of the Visa is 3 weeks. You will become eligible to stay for up to 6 months in Scotland once your Visa is approved.

What is Scotland known for?

While there are many things to do in Scotland, some of the most famous ones include its whiskey, Scottish wool items, Haggis, Bagpipes, Live music and Ceilidh dancing. Also popular is the natural landscape of the country including the mountains, lochs, highland cows and the friendly locals.

What to buy in Scotland?

There are a handful of things which you must definitely buy in Scotland. These include the local tartan, tweeds, Scottish Whisky, Scottish Gin, tea blends, and Scottish books. You can take back some of these items as a souvenir for your loved ones.

How many days do you need in Scotland?

Since there are quite a lot of things to do in Scotland, you will need at least 8 to 10 days in Scotland, which will give you time to explore the rich and diverse scenic beauty of the country and also explore the various landmarks which are famous for tourist activity in Scotland.

Is Scotland expensive?

In comparison to most of the other regions in the UK, Scotland is generally considered to be less expensive. The average expenditure on cost of living, food and accommodation is fairly less in Scotland as compared to the other regions in the UK.

What are the romantic things to do in Scotland?

1. Take a cruise ship to the Loch Lomond: The banks of Loch Lomond are the ideal place to take a cruise boat. On this trip, you will get to view many rugged mountains and shores with forest cover. Spend some tranquil time with your loved one amidst this romantic scenery.

2. Visit the Galloway Forest Park: Among the many activities to do in Scotland is visiting this park in Dumfries and Galloway where you can spend time gazing at the star filled sky with your loved one. This park offers one of the clearest night skies for viewing in Europe.

3. Explore the Eilean Donan Castle: Visit this iconic point in Scotland, which greets the union of three lochs. The entire setting of the place is quite romantic, offering a peaceful evening of romance to you and your partner.

4. Stroll on the white sands of Calgary Bay: The pure sands of the bay is among the best beach areas in Scotland. You can rest under the sun with your partner to absorb the quaint surroundings and enjoy the bright weather.

5. Take a Cable car trip: Grasp some of the most amazing sights in Scotland when you take a ride in this cable car, almost 2150 feet in the air, at Mountain Gondola in Nevis Range. The season can paint different colours on the surrounding region all year round.

Scotland Things To Do Reviews

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Aleksander Emtsev
Reviewed: 19 Aug 2023
5.0/5
Worth the money. Thank you 
Aleksander Emtsev
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Ken T
Reviewed: 16 Oct 2023
5.0/5
The tour guide is excellent which have shared a lot of knowledge and history of Edinburgh castle. A must join local tour.
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Johnathon C
Reviewed: 05 Oct 2023
5.0/5
The guide richard was amazing. Would absolutely go on another tour if he was the guide. He was very animated and passionate when explaining the history of the castle.
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Manuela Enz
Reviewed: 23 Aug 2023
5.0/5
Cool, funny and very very interesting tour with a guide with a broad knowledge about history, who had a good sense of humor! :-)
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Jumana Altayeb
Reviewed: 21 Jul 2023
5.0/5
The tour guide “Gen” was very lovely and nice her has very unique and interesting way of explaining the history of Edinbrugh
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Greg Flores
Reviewed: 10 Jul 2023
5.0/5
We loved Jule the German guide !

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