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Top 14 Tourist Attractions in Scotland To Enjoy The Beauty of This Country

When you think of Scotland, you probably think of tartan-kilted Highlanders, skirling bagpipes, the Loch Ness Monster, lonely castles, golf, breathtaking scenery, and hairy Highland cattle. This is part of the mystery of this one-of-a-kind land, but it is also (aside from Nessie) a genuine preview of what travelers will see there.

With this list of the top attractions in Scotland, you can plan a trip to some of the best places to visit in the UK.

The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle

Since the 13th century, the stone towers and walls of Edinburgh Castle have dominated the Edinburgh skyline. Situated atop black basalt rock, it provides beautiful city views and a journey through Scotland’s turbulent history.

The stunning Crown Jewels, the famous Stone of Destiny (the Stone of Scone), and St. Margaret’s Church, the oldest tower in Edinburgh, are all highlights of Edinburgh Castle. On the broad Esplanade, where the famed Edinburgh Military Tattoo is held every August, cross a drawbridge across an old moat to enter the castle. Bronze statues of famous heroes William Wallace and Robert the Bruce guard the castle gates.

The Royal Mile, which runs below the escarpment, leads to the beautiful Palace of Holyroodhouse, another of Edinburgh’s most recognized sights. The Royal Mile is lined with brick homes, historic landmarks, tiny stores, kilt makers, tearooms, museums, and cafés. Between its lofty buildings, some of which reach more than ten stories on the downhill side, are narrow little lanes known as “winds,” which meander between little concealed shuts.

The Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest lake, is just a short drive northwest of Glasgow. It’s also known as “The Queen of Scottish Lakes” by Scottish author Walter Scott. This picturesque part of Scotland is also a favorite day trip from the city, with abundant trout, salmon, and whitefish as a lure for fishermen; water sports; and plenty of open space for hikers.

Loch Lomond Shores, a beautiful retail mall selling local crafts, a farmers market, eateries, and bike and boat rentals, is the most recent addition to this area. The Loch Lomond SEA LIFE Aquarium is a big draw here. This family-friendly attraction features Scotland’s largest shark tank and displays of native aquatic life. If the weather permits, pay a visit to the rooftop.

Taking a cruise on Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal

When you think of Loch Ness, you undoubtedly think of the mythological monster that, according to tradition, has lived in this 23-mile-long loch for ages. Loch Ness, the largest body of water in Scotland’s Great Glen, is part of a canal that connects Scotland’s east and west coasts. The Caledonian Canal connects it and three other lochs, which you can cruise on short excursions or on a six-hour journey from one end to the other, through canal locks that adjust the varied water levels.

The castle is best viewed from the water, and you can approach by boat or drift by on a Loch Ness tour. The Loch Ness Exhibition at Drumnadrochit Hotel, which fuels the Nessie legend with exhibits and reports of sightings, also offers excellent information about the geological development of Lake Ness and the surrounding area. You can easily reach the castle, the canal, and Loch Ness from Inverness.

Edinburgh’s Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia was a floating royal house for more than 40 years, covering more than 1,000,000 miles worldwide. Explore Britannia’s five major decks with this audio tour, stopping at the Bridge, State Apartments and Royal Bedrooms, Crew’s Quarters, and Engine Room to learn about the royal family, their guests, and the crew.

You may also visit the Royal Deck Tea Room and witness the Rolls-Royce Phantom V that used to travel onboard. The Fingal Hotel, which offers luxurious rooms in a former lighthouse tender berthed next to the royal boat, was added to the attraction in 2019.

The Inner Hebrides and the Isle of Skye

Skye, Scotland’s largest inner isle, is especially popular with birders, ramblers, and environment enthusiasts. Lush valleys, caves, lonely glens, sandy beaches, and gushing waterfalls distinguish its rugged, romantic mountain environment. It is a remarkable variety for an island about 50 miles long and never more than 15 miles wide.

The island boasts remnants of ancient oak forests as well as an abundance of animals such as otters, seals, and at least 200 bird species. Skye is easily accessible because it is connected to the mainland by a bridge. You can also arrive via ferry.

Islay, Jura, Mull, Raasay, Staffa, and Iona are among the other islands in the Inner Hebrides. Traveling to Iona is a little more involved, involving two ferry crossings, but it is well worth it. This is known as Scotland’s “Cradle of Christianity,” as it was here in the sixth century that St. Columba arrived from Ireland to spread the faith.

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle, James V’s palace and Mary Queen of Scots’ childhood home, is one of the best-preserved Renaissance structures in the UK. While some earlier constructions remain, the castle’s magnificent halls and rooms have been meticulously rebuilt and furnished in the style of the 1500s, including precise copies of its tapestries. Costumed interpreters interact with guests to bring the castle and its history to life, and History Hunter events for young explorers are held on weekends.

Stirling is famed for the Battle of Bannockburn, in which Robert the Bruce defeated English invaders in 1314, as well as the Battle of Stirling Bridge, in which the legendary William Wallace achieved a win for Scottish independence. The magnificent Bannockburn Heritage Centre has great displays and artifacts about this significant era.

Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Since a fire destroyed much of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work at the Glasgow School of Art, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has become the primary destination for fans of the Glasgow Style, a distinct part of the Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau styles of the early twentieth century.

With a Van Gogh picture, Bronze Age implements and jewelry from Arran and Kintyre, a 1944 Mark 21 Spitfire, and a magnificent 1901 organ used for daily free concerts, Salvador Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross is one of the museum’s most popular exhibitions.

St. Andrews golf

Several inventions are attributed to the Scottish, including the bicycle, postage stamps, telephones, and steam engines. The game of golf, though, is undoubtedly their most enduring invention.

The greatly regarded Royal and Ancient Golf Club, located in historic St. Andrews and just 12 miles southeast of Dundee, is one of the lifetime goals of dedicated players. St. Andrews, founded in 1750 and internationally recognized as golf’s governing body, conducts the famed British Open regularly at one of its numerous 18-hole courses, the most famous of which being the par-72 Old Course that runs against the rough coast.

Ben Nevis & Fort William

The lovely village of Fort William is the finest site to visit Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain. This seaside town, located at the southeastern terminus of the Caledonian Canal, can trace its origins back to the original fort established here in the 17th century. Though long gone, the history of the fort can be examined in the West Highland Museum, which also houses large collections of art, Highland costumes, and weaponry.

Taking the Jacobite steam train is a must-do. The train follows the West Highland Line over the beautiful Glenfinnan Viaduct, which was made famous by the Harry Potter film franchise.

Then there’s Mount Ben Nevis. On a clear day, it’s easy to see from Fort William, and it’s an amazing site that draws many a-hikers, both novice and experienced. Considering its elevation, the ascent may be completed in around 2.5 hours. And the vistas are definitely worth it, stretching as far as 150 miles across the Scottish Highlands and as far as Ireland.

Glasgow Riverside Museum and Tall Ship

The free Riverside Museum in Glasgow, one of Scotland’s most visited attractions, brings together the history of land and water transportation in an eye-catching new facility. You’ll see trams, locomotives, buses, horse-drawn carriages, vintage automobiles, ships, and other models during a visit.

The accurate replica of 1938 Glasgow streets, with shops you can explore and platforms running up to all of the locomotives on show, is a highlight. More than 20 interactive displays and 90 huge touch screens add photos, recollections, and films to the collections, giving them new significance.

Outside on the River Clyde, you can board the S. S. Glenlee, an 1896 tall ship. It is the only Clyde-built ship that is still sailing in the United Kingdom.

The Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands have a mystique born of harsh, untamed landscapes and a lengthy, turbulent, and romantic history. These mountains and rocky coasts are popular with hikers and bikers, as well as those who like fishing, golf, sea kayaking, white-water rafting, gorge walking, and other outdoor activities in Britain’s largest area of exceptional natural beauty.

It is peppered with charming tiny villages and towns offering hotel and dining options. Stop in Dornoch to visit the cathedral and castle ruins, and in John o’Groats, overlooking the Pentland Firth, where a much-photographed sign proclaims it the northernmost point of Britain, 874 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall. The North Coast 500, a new tourism route, allows you to experience Scotland’s northernmost point.

Arran Island

The beautiful Isle of Arran is known as “Scotland in Miniature” for good reason. In a mere 166 square miles, this picture-perfect island off the country’s west coast replicates the landscapes of the entire country. Rolling moors, rocky mountains, sandy beaches, fishing harbors, castles, and golf courses may all be found here, all within an hour’s ferry journey of Glasgow and easily explored in a day or two.

Best of all, there’s no need for a car because buses travel across the island regularly, connecting the island’s main attractions. Although its highlights, such as Brodick Castle and Goat Fell Mountain (2,866 feet), may be seen in a single day (including the ferry voyage), you could easily spend a few days exploring this little taste of Scotland. And you really should.

See the Culloden Battlefield

Few tourist destinations in Scotland have the same emotional impact as the Culloden Battlefield and Visitors Centre. In what became known as the Battle of Culloden, Scotland’s last effort at independence from England was thwarted here in April 1746, but many consider it a slaughter.

You should start your visit at the cutting-edge visitor’s center. A wonderful immersive film describes the essential events as they happened, in addition to excellent displays presenting perspective and first-hand recollections of this momentous day in Scottish history. There’s also a rooftop viewing platform with a view of the battlefield.

Spend some time roaming around the grounds themselves. Among the highlights are a variety of Scottish clan gravestones, a Monument Cairn, and the Cumberland Stone, which represents the location from which the English controlled the battlefield. There are also a few surviving structures, such as the Old Leanach Cottage.

Robbie Burns Country: The Burns Heritage Trail

A trip to Scotland is only complete if you see at least one or two places associated with the country’s most renowned son, poet Robert Burns. The Burns Heritage Trail is a terrific way to learn about Burns’ life and times while also visiting some of the country’s most beautiful regions.

Related Posts:

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Top 10 Things To Do in Isle of Arran, Scotland’s Beautiful Island

Top 10 Picturesque Islands in Scotland You’ll Want to Visit

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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