Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Bordered by England, the Irish Sea, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Scotland is known for its heavenly natural beauty that looks straight out of a fairytale. Scotland has more than 790 breathtaking islands. From fortresses atop hills and cliffs to breathtaking highlands to craggy coastlines to historical monuments, from blue lakes to beautiful villages, Scotland is known for being the home many legends and myths as well as some of the most romantic places on earth. Here are the 10 Best Places To Visit In Scotland, if you are going to this fairytale country anytime soon.
1. Glasgow & Edinburgh:
Two of Scotland’s most famous cities, Glasgow & Edinburgh are a must-visit in the country. Located on the River Clyde, Glasgow is best known for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture and for being a national cultural hub. The port city is home to the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland, the Riverside Museum and Tall Ship, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and if you like bird watching, you can head to the Strathblane Falconry. You can attend 130 musical events on average per week in this city. You can also visit the Glasgow Cathedral, old Antonine Wall and explore the hills above the city.
Scotland’s hilly capital, Edinburgh is known for its historic architecture. There’s a lot to do in this city. Edinburgh’s top attractions include the Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, The Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh Old Town, Georgian New Town, Holyrood Park and Calton Hill. The Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Real Mary King’s Close are some other attractions in the city. Edinburgh is also known for its many festivals such as the Fringe, the world’s largest international arts festival, and the Military Tattoo.
2. Shetland and Orkney:
Located in the Northern Isles of Scotland, Shetland is a subarctic archipelago in the Northern Atlantic. One of the least crowded places where you’ll find peace, pure air and wide-open spaces. This archipelago is made up of around 100 different islands home to wildlife, birdlife and warm community spirit.
Orkney is another archipelago famous for Neolithic sites, tall sandstone cliffs and seal colonies and cheese. Around seventy islands make up the Orkney archipelago. Pre-dating the Romans by several thousand years, the residence of Orkney were once part of Norway. The pre-historic Ring of Brodgar, seals and puffins, several galleries and museums, its towns including Kirkwall, the ‘Heart of Neolithic Orkney’, Skara Brae and Maeshowe are some of its best attractions.
3. St Andrews:
St Andrews just might become your favourite Scottish town especially if you are into golf. The seaside town is known for its many golf courses. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews is quite famous along with the Old Course, with the landmark Swilcan Bridge. The British Golf Museum and the ruins of St. Andrews Castle are two of its most visited places. Also, visit the University of St. Andrews, the third oldest in the English-speaking world and the St. Andrews Cathedral.
4. Loch Ness & Inverness:
Situated on Scotland’s northeast coast, on the meeting spot of River Ness and Moray Firth, Inverness is the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands. One of the most beautiful towns in Scotland, Inverness is known for its stone buildings and a Victorian market, the Old Town featuring the Inverness Cathedral and much more. The Old High Church, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery are its other attractions. Walking through the streets, along the river and the Caledonian Canal is the best way to explore Inverness.
Located southwest of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness is most famous for alleged sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie. You probably won’t see any Nessie there, but Loch Ness is more than worth exploring. Taking a cruise on the lake, seeing the Urquhart Castle ruins, visiting quaint villages, including Drumnadrochit, are some of the best things to do there.
5. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs:
The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is a national park on Loch Lomond, the largest inland lake in Great Britain. The park also contains the hills and glens of the Trossachs, along with several other ranges of hills. The lake is home to more than 30 islands and Inchmurrin is the largest. The park is home to many breathtaking waterfalls, Munros, Corbetts and more than 20 large lochs.
One of the must-visit cities in Scotland, Stirling is best known for the Stirling Castle located at the heart of its old town, on a craggy volcanic rock. In the city, the wolf is an honoured animal as they howled when Vikings were about to invade alerting the residence. The Church of the Holy Rude, the National Wallace Monument, the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge and the Battle of Bannockburn Experience are its major attractions.
7. Cairngorms National Park, Aviemore:
Cairngorms National Park is among the most famous destinations in Scotland. It is the largest national park in the U.K. covering the Cairngorms range of mountains, and surrounding hills. Its unspoiled beauty includes forest paths, lakes, and wildlife hotspots, mountains, rivers, villages, and distilleries.
The Hebrides is an archipelago divided into two groups, the Outer Hebrides and the Inner Hebrides. The archipelago is made up of hundreds of islands. These islands are home to rugged landscapes, beautiful fishing villages, mountains, great beaches and rolling hills. The famous Isle of Skye is part of the Hebrides, also known for their culture. These are great for activities like hiking or just relaxing while taking in all the beauty.
9. Scottish Highlands & Glencoe:
The Scottish Highlands are one of the most unruined magnificent places on earth. This mountainous region is home to some of the most picturesque gems, from the Glencoe valley with its waterfalls to Ben Nevis to wildlife such as red deer. The outstanding natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands has inspired many imagination and captured minds. You will find many small towns and villages across the Highlands and protected areas such as the Cairngorms National Park and needless to say, this region offers a range of outdoor activities. You can visit the village of Newtonmore and the Highland Folk Museum there.
Glencoe is known for waterfalls and trails, peaks such as Buachaille Etive Mor and Bidean nam Bian and the Glencoe Valley. The stunning valley is the jewel of the village which is located between hills and mountains. It’s the ski area closest to Glasgow and is also home to Glencoe Folk Museum and the Glencoe massacre of 1692.
10. Isle of Skye:
Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Isle of Skye is another lovely and probably the most famous island to visit in Scotland. It is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago home to rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles, narrow lochs and towns. The Neist Point, Glendale, Portree, the Fairy Pools and Quiraing are few of its most famous attractions. It’s a nature lover’s paradise and home to colonies of seabirds, seals, and other native wildlife.