Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Scotland

Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Scotland

When we talk about Scotland, the sudden image that comes to mind is of lush green landscapes, castles, bagpipes, golf, and of course, whisky! This small country has been blessed by nature with picturesque beauty and the sentinel of waters around. In the past few years, the tourism in the country has seen a boost, thanks to its dramatic exquisiteness and developed infrastructure.

When visiting Scotland do not forget to add these Top 10 Best Places to your bucket list.

1. Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms Pinus sylvestris bog forest
Source: Photo by user Peter Mulligan used under CC BY 2.0

The Cairngorms National Park is UK’s largest National Park. This abode of nature lies in the heart of Scotland and has a lot to offer. When visiting here, you can choose to stay in a hotel or opt to camp out under the stars. For the adventure lovers, the options are no less, wildlife watching, low and high-level cycling, snow sports, and water sports are just a few of them. Amidst all this, there is the majestic Scottish wildlife and flora.

Key Points

Highlight: Rare species like red squirrel and Twinflower plant.

Address: Ballater AB35 5YJ, UK

Established: 2003

Duration: More than 3 hours required.

Contact: +44 1479 873535

Website: Cairngorms National Park

2. Edinburg Castle

Schottland-Edinburgh Castle
Source: Photo by user Schatir used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

This UNESCO world heritage site carries the history of Scotland on its walls. Even the building of this saw a royal variety. It was built in parts by different kings who ruled Scotland between the 12th to 16th centuries. One can see the old crown jewels, the stone of destiny, war memorial, clock gun and other heritage pieces kept for exhibition here. It is to be noted that this castle is Scotland’s most popular paid tourist attraction and can also be booked for weddings.

Key Points

Highlight: Audio tour guide available in 8 different languages.

Address: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, UK

Price: from £16.50 (20 USD)

Opening Hours: 9:30am - 5:00pm

Contact: +44 131 225 9846

Website: Edinburg Castle

3. Isle of Arran

Scotland, Isle of Arran, Kildonan, shore with Drimla Lodge
Source: Photo by user Vincent van Zeijst used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Scotland is the home of many islands, Arran is the place’s 7th largest and one of the most famous ones. Beautiful Arran is like the most charming jewel in the treasure of Scotland. A distinct variety can be witnessed in the landscape of this Arran. You can trek on the island’s mountains in the North, or choose to explore the south of the island on bicycles.

Key Points

Highlight: The best of food and whiskey; Seventh largest Scottish island

Main Tourist Office: Brodick

Getting around Arran: Bicycle, Car, and Public Transport

Best Food: Glenisle Hotel

Website: Arran

4. Loch Ness

Jezioro loch Ness
Source: Photo by user Blueye used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Loch Ness is Scotland’s most famous lake. It is stunningly beautiful and has a lot of attractive spots around it. The ruins of Castle Urquhart, Fort Augustus, Invergarry, Exhibition Center, and Spean Bridge are just a few of them. To know about the legends built around Loch Ness, talk to the locals. You can visit the village of Drumnadrochit to taste the warmth of Scottish hospitality.

Key Points

Highlight: Legend is that a monster named Nessie resides beneath this Loch, so see if you can say a hello to him.

Getting Around Loch Ness: Car, Cruises, Group Tours

Best Food: The Inch Hotel

Website: Loch Ness

5. Scotland Castle Trail

Source: Photo by user Albertran used under CC BY 3.0

Scotland is the home of more than 300 marvellous castles. But amidst all these beautiful citadels, Scotland’s Castle Trail is just one of its kinds. It is a track that has around 19 awe-inspiring castles which you can visit to get closer to Scottish history. Some of these have been restored by the families, some are known for the romantic stories related to them, while others are rocky and rugged. You can discover how majesties used to stay and how secret passages were a must have in castles of those times.

Key Points

Highlight: Some castles are known to have haunted prisons and rooms in them.

Duration: Around 8 days required to explore Scotland’s Castle Trail

Itinerary: Day 1 - Arrive Edinburgh, Day 2 - Edinburgh Sightseeing, Day 3 - Edinburgh to Pitlochry, Day 4 - Pitlochry Sightseeing, Day 5 - Pitlochry to Royal Deeside, Day 6 - Royal Deeside Sightseeing, Day 7 - Royal Deeside to St Andrews, Day 8 - St Andrews to Edinburgh.

Website: Scotland Castle Trail

6. Ben Nevis

Stob Ban from Ben Nevis
Source: Photo by user Nilfanion used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A visit to the highest mountain in Britain cannot be missed during a Scotland tour. The best part is that you do not need any climbing skills to reach the top. An amateur can complete the trek in a day if started on time. The track is not slippery and the main pathway is called “the pony track”. You might see misty clouds passing by your face here and there.

Key Points

Highlight: On a clear day, you can see Northern Ireland from the top of the mountain.

Elevation: 1,345 m

Duration: around 3 to 4 hours required.

How to Reach: No 41 bus runs regularly from Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge, and Fort William to Glen Nevis through the summer. Parking is available at the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre

Climate: Unpredictable weather conditions all year round

Website: Ben Nevis

7. Robbie Burns Country

Standing Stones at Dalmellington
Source: Photo by user JSL595 used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

When needing a break from the city life of Glasgow, drive to the countryside to explore the roots of Scottish history and heritage. Ayrshire is famous for two things, its top-notch golf courses and the pride of being the birthplace of Robert Burns, the bard of Ayrshire. A lot can be done in these small places - attending golf championships, visiting the isle of Arran, a day out in the country park, or something as simple as horse riding outdoors.

Key Points

Highlight: Chance to visit the Robert Burns’s museum and cottage.

Duration: around 3 - 4 days required.

Website: Robert Burn’s Country

8. Orkney Islands

Orkney Islands

While there are some 70 British islands, there is none like Orkney. This island has a certain enchantment about its spellbinding beauty, historical tales, and contemporary craft. This could be a perfect destination for families with kids. Kids will love to indulge in water sports and outdoor activities, while parents will become kids again while gazing at the aura Borealis.

Key Points

Highlight: Orkney has more ancient sites than anywhere else in Europe

Getting Around: Orkney has great transport links with the rest of the UK and can be reached by plane or ferry, with connections by bus, car or train.

Best Food: Skerries Bistro

Website: Orkney Islands

9. Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

For the adventure enthusiast, Skye is the perfect island to be on. Explore the rich wildlife and marine life of the place exploring white-tailed sea eagles, whales, dolphins, seals, red deer, and many others. Those who are thrilled by height, climb the Cuillin Range or Trotternish Ridge for a once is a lifetime experience.

Key Points

Highlight: This Jurassic Island is known for the dinosaur fossils being found here.

Best Accommodation: The Royal Hotel

Getting Around: Isle of Skye is accessible by Bus, Train, Road, Air and Ferry

Best Food: Red Skye Restaurant

Website: Isle of Skye

10. Shetland Islands

Shetland Pony1
Source: Photo by user Nick used under CC BY 2.0

By now you already know that Scottish islands offer a ‘mini Scotland’ experience. Another gem in Scotland’s crown of islands is Shetland. This island was gifted as dowry to James III of Scotland when he married Margaret, a Danish princess. The blue ocean, green land, and lighted sky make Shetland a land of exquisiteness. Deep in its heart, the place holds the remains of Scottish, Danish, British, and Norse history.

Key Points

Highlight: Playing with little Shetland Ponies

Getting Around: Shetland Islands are accessible through flights, ferry, yatch and cruise.

Best Food: Gurkha Kitchen

Website: Shetland Islands

Live the ideal Scottish dream

Now that you know that Scotland is a perfect blend of natural beauty, ancient heritage, and lively life, do not delay, pack your bag and fly off! Keep these 10 places in mind while crafting your travel plan. Save yourself some extra days, as Scotland has plenty to offer. Your wanderlust would just want more and more as you explore the country further.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hello. I'm Teesha, a freelance writer and an aspiring travel blogger. My affair with travelling doesn't have a lot of history as of now but I'm determined to make it one of the most passionate love...Read more

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