Best Places To Visit in Scotland: All the Things To See

Best Places To Visit in Scotland: All the Things To See

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When it comes to travel bragging rights, Scotland packs the best, from misty mountains to outstanding castles and bronze beaches. No matter your interests, you can always find fun things to see in Scotland. If you are an urban explorer, you can enjoy visiting culture-filled cities like Edinburgh, a destination famously known for its world-class museums and treasured Scottish castles. Thrill seekers and nature lovers will love exploring Scotland’s countryside, from the verdant Scottish Highlands to mountainous regions with legendary sites like Loch Ness and mythical castles. With so many places to visit in Scotland, where will you start your trip?

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the most popular places to go in Scotland. The town is known for its buzzing hive of historical charm, centuries-old castles and mysterious underground cities. For culture vultures, the city offers an array of art galleries and world-famous museums. You can explore the historical attractions, and when night falls, the comedy venues and the city’s pubs come alive.

Dating back to the 12th century and built on an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle is a sight you must see in Scotland. Sitting imperiously on a hill overlooking the Old Town, enjoy sweeping views of the city below from the vantage points. After exploring the castle, meander down the atmospheric Royal Mile. It oozes character, with its cobbled streets and lampposts stretching a mile to Holyrood Palace. If you want to join the locals in frocking up in a kilt and jumping on bagpipes, the Royal Mile is the best place for bagpipe buskers.

Unveil hidden secrets in the spooky Real Mary King’s Close, with alleyways running beneath the tenement buildings. Step back in time to a frozen era and explore the eerie 17th-century remains.

Edinburgh Castle

Glasgow

Renowned for its Victorian architecture and rich cultural scenery, it’s no surprise that Glasgow is among the best places to visit in Scotland. Recognised as the largest city, Glasgow has many things to see in Scotland, from Culzean Castle to Glasgow Botanic Gardens. Stroll around the historic district of Merchant City, and explore the hive of trendy boutiques and restaurants. Visit Glasgow Cathedral, one of Scotland’s oldest places of worship. Here, you can marvel at the Gothic architecture, with arches, naves and intricate details. Art lovers can also go on street art tours to view the murals lining the streets of Glasgow.

Hear intriguing stories about war heroes and poets during your visit to Glasgow Necropolis. The Victorian Cemetery sits beside the 12th-century cathedral and meanders down a hill. The fading grandeur of tombs and gravestones creates a photogenic scenery worth exploring. One of the reasons Glasgow is the best place to visit in Scotland is its proximity to the Scottish Highlands. You can join day trips to explore the mountainous landscapes and take in sweeping views.

Glasgow Cathedral

Aberdeen

If you’re looking for a city break destination, Aberdeen is at the top of the list when it comes to exciting places to see in Scotland. From long, sandy beaches to magnificent architecture, Aberdeen has something for every traveller. Stroll the old town’s cobbled streets if you are a history buff, and discover centuries of history in townhouses, stonewalls and cathedrals. Delve into the city’s history on a walking tour, and explore archaeological finds or the traditional centre of Royal Burgh. The Old Aberdeen city started around St Machar’s Cathedral in the 16th century, surrounded by stonewalls and cobbled streets. Take in historic sights, like the old townhouse, and explore the pleasant surroundings of Cruickshank Botanic Gardens.

Spend the day at Aberdeen Harbour, exploring the coastal location and the largest seaport in Scotland. Learn the harbour’s history or discover the golden sands of Aberdeen Beach. While coastal cities are relatively easy to find in the UK, it’s rare to find a long, sandy beach in an urban area. Aside from swimming, you can admire views of the city and go to the Girdle Ness Peninsula, which overlooks the mouth of the River Dee.

Aberdeen Beach

Inverness

Did you pack your hiking boots and a raincoat? When you arrive at Inverness, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the jewels of the Scottish Highlands. The rivers, forests and rolling scenes compete for your eyes while the battlefields, churches and castles complete the scene. Walk in the footsteps of soldiers at Culloden Battlefield, known for its peace and tranquillity. As you stroll through the battlefield, you’ll be drawn to the tale of the conflict between the British and Scottish forces. If you’re travelling with active youngsters, Whin Park in Inverness is one of the best places to visit in Scotland. Kids can frolic on traditional play structures, run through lush open fields and soar along the zip lines.

Venture out into the Scottish Highlands to experience the splendour of the renowned highlands. Take a day trip from Inverness, explore the ethereal forests, hike the mountainous ranges and marvel at the sparkling waterfalls. Fall in love with the traditional Scottish societies residing in the small villages and abbeys that rub elbows with wildlife reserves and stunning cliffs.

Inverness, City in Scotland

St Andrew’s

Culture, beauty and fun — sound like something you would sign-up for? You’ll find many top places to visit in Scotland at St Andrew’s. The pretty little village by the sea is an old soul with a young and vibrant heart. From beautiful buildings to its charming cobblestone roads and stunning coastline, you will be spoiled for choice. Start learning the history of the small town at St Andrew’s Cathedral. The crumbling relic was once a grand cathedral and still provides splendid views from the top.

If you’re a golf lover, ensure you play golf at the oldest course in the world. The Old Course is an undisputed gem, making it one of the most beautiful places in Scotland. It has a magnificent green space and allows you to stand on the shoulders of giants. As the birthplace of golf, it’s no surprise that the Golf Museum features exhibits of historical equipment, memorabilia and golf artwork. Looking for Instagram-worthy photos? Stop by the Swilcan Bridge for enticing imagery. With its beautiful surroundings and bridges, you’re guaranteed a great shot.

St Andrews, Scotland

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is one of the bucket-list places to visit in Scotland, famed for its natural beauty. The Queen of Scotland’s Lakes sits at the foot of Ben Lomond and straddles the highland boundary. It’s perfect for a scenic drive through the picturesque Trossachs region. Take a relaxing boat trip to experience the scenery around Ribbon Lake, with over 30 islands scattered across it. A boat trip provides close-up views of Inchmurrin, the largest island. You’ll enjoy impressive views of Ben Lomond when sailing across the deepest part of the lake.

On the Loch Lomond shores, spend the day shopping and exploring the area. Hire a bike, follow the cycling trails or enjoy playing water sports. Don’t forget to visit Drumkinnon Bay, with the Sea Life Aquarium, to view the loch or follow the Red Squirrel Trail. Ensure you visit the charming village of Luss, which is over 1,000 years old. It’s one of the top sights in Scotland to experience centuries of history. The Vikings passed through the village in 1263, and you can visit the Viking hog-backed gravestone.

Loch Lomond

Loch Ness

Renowned for its size and a mysterious monster lurking below the surface, Loch Ness is one of the most exciting Scotland holiday destinations. Enjoy the surrounding landscape, and discover the abbeys, waterfalls and castles. The first activity on your itinerary is to set sail on the loch. Since it is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Scotland, ensure you soak up the beauty of the 240-metre-deep lake. Get a canoe and paddle around the loch as you experience the lovely views of the surrounding landscapes.

After having fun in the water, don’t miss the scenic views from the piers and viewpoints around Loch Ness. Inverfarigaig Pier is a short walk from the lake and provides marvellous views. If you love hiking, the Loch Ness 360° Trail provides beautiful views from Suidhe Viewpoint. It is the perfect place for unspoiled views and Instagram-worthy photos. The forests around Loch Ness are beautiful havens for colourful wildflowers, red squirrels and butterflies. The Farigaig forest winds around the viewpoints and the remains of the ancient fort at Dun Deardail.

Stirling

Experience the captivating history of Stirling, one of the best places to visit in Scotland. Here, you’ll discover ancient castles, national heroes and battlefields. Stirling Castle is an absolute must-see in Scotland, renowned for its Royal Palace. The fabled walls, steeped in intrigue and plotting, make it an architectural marvel. The imposing fortress on its rocky eyrie is a rewarding sight. Stroll up the cobbled main street to enjoy spectacular views of the beautiful Stirlingshire countryside. Remember to visit the Chapel Royal and Regimental Museum on the iconic stone castle.

Commemorate the life of Sir William Wallace at Stirling’s famous landmark, the National Wallace Monument. It overlooks the scene of Wallace’s greatest victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, with exhibits telling the story of the national hero. Aside from history and art, Stirling has wildlife reserves and beautiful green spaces to explore. Drive through Blair Drummond Safari Park and get up close with zebras, lions and rhinos.

Stirling Castle

Dundee

The fun and vibrant city of Dundee is one of the top places to visit in Scotland. From castles and galleries to cafes and observatories, experience the best of Dundee. Basking at the mouth of River Tay, Broughty Castle is a historical landmark that houses a museum and gallery. Marvel at the displays and paintings while learning about the history of the local people. The castle underwent multiple battles and attacks but still resembles the original castle built in 1496.

Looking for green spaces to relax after a historical tour around Dundee? Stop by the Camperdown Country Park, permeated with neoclassical beauty and the Camperdown House. The space is punctuated with rows of trees, and you can explore over 190 species or stroll around the wildlife centre. For adrenaline-inducing fun, visit Monikie Country Park. It’s bursting with exciting activities, like paddle boarding, zip lining and mountain biking.

City of Dundee

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is one of the most exciting places to visit in Scotland to see spectacular scenery. Some fun things to see on the island include the Old Man of Storr and Rubha Nam Brathairean. The Old Man of Storr is the most photographed landscape on the island, accessible from Portree. With some hiking, get to the top viewpoints for breathtaking views. On your hike, stop by Brother’s Point, a hidden treasure on the island. The Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls are a few metres away, where you can explore the dazzling waterfalls and epic views. You don’t have to hike throughout the entire visit. If you’re craving some history, stop by Dunvegan Castle, the only castle on the island.

On the southern part of the Isle of Skye is the Cuillins rocky mountain range, which you can see on your drive through the island. The mountain ranges loom over the Fairy Pools, where you can walk along several waterfalls. If you are already on the trail to the Fairy Pools, you can get up close to the rocky mountain. For thrill-seekers, hiking up the Bla Bheinn or Sgurr na Stri will offer a stunning visit. Alternatively, climb the highest peak on the Isle of Skye at Sgurr Alasdair to admire the most spectacular views.

Isle of Skye

Dumfries

Experience the undulating rocky shoreline and glistening sandy beaches during your visit to Dumfries and Galloway. Drive or hike through the acres of green spaces, or interact with the locals in the charming villages. Enjoy the great outdoors by cycling the trail or mountain biking, and explore the universe in land art. Wander through the Crawick Multiverse, a former coal mine that’s become an enlightening work of land art. Walk through the winding paths, lookout points and stone sculptures designed by Charles Jencks, the landscape architect behind the Garden of Cosmic Speculation.

Grab your binoculars and go to the Moffat Community Nature Reserve, a 35-acre haven for birds and butterflies. The water meadow, lochan and wildflower meadow are perfect places to spot swans and richly coloured insects. On your list of top places to visit in Scotland, ensure you add Wanlockhead. The village is a short scenic drive from Moffat, where you can discover the Museum of Lead Mining and Scotland’s highest pub.

Dunbar

Dunbar is the sunniest city in Scotland, making it the perfect destination for water activities and fun outdoor excursions. Fun places to see in Scotland are the harbours of Dunbar. Discover the three harbours in Dunbar. The oldest dates back to the 17th century and still functions as a lifeboat station and sailing club. Discover the diving sites on the four small islands near Dunbar and enjoy an underwater adventure. From the outside, Dunbar Battery on Lamer Island looks like a ruin, but it is a historic area. It has modern metal sculptures and stairs leading to an amphitheatre, where public and private events occur. Overlooking the harbour is Dunbar Castle, the home of the Kittiwake Colony.

Aberfeldy

If you are looking for a lively town with scenic hiking trails, Aberfeldy is one of the best places to visit in Scotland. Situated in River Tay, the town is home to the Birks of Aberfeldy. The 1.5-mile circular walk passes through woodlands with birch trees and offers spectacular views of the roaring white water of the falls. As you admire the oak, birch and elm trees, enjoy hiking along the well-defined path overhung by mature trees. And, of course, you cannot visit Scotland without touring a whiskey distillery. Pop in and take a tour at the local Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery and have a taste of the world-famous distilled whiskey.
Ready for your holiday in Scotland? Join the Scotland 360° self-driven tour. Explore Scotland on a road trip and immerse yourself in nature, seeking out adventure in the lochs, picturesque valleys and rolling hills. That’s not all you will enjoy — experience the culture and history of Scotland through stories of fairies, unicorns and legends.

WeRoad Team
Written by WeRoad Team
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