Scotland is a land of rich history and culture. It offers its visitors everything from rolling landscapes to historic sites. Each of these places features wondrous experiences. Here we have compiled a list of some of the top Scottish tourists attractions you can’t miss.
Home to the fabled Loch Ness Monster, “Nessie” this is a large, deep, freshwater loch. Loch Ness is located in the Scottish Highlands. Lying in Glen Mor, Loch Ness contains the largest freshwater volume in Great Britain. The Loch Ness Center and Exhibition located nearby also offers a great learning experience. It features lessons in the history of the region and its resident monster. For a bit more adventure, head to the Loch Ness 360° Trail. The 80-mile route wraps around the city of Inverness. It features the Caledonian Canal, Urquhart Castle and Telford Bridge. The trail is also perfect for anything between a leisurely stroll to an adventurous hike.
This is the highest mountain of Scotland and the British Isles. Ben Nevis is a hallmark among Scotland tourists attractions. Close to the town of Fort William, it stands 1,345 metres above sea level. Ben Nevis is found at the Western end of the Grampians Mountains. It offers beautiful landscapes and hikes for the curious and the avid visitor. Fort William itself also offers splendid views of the mountain. The West Highland Museum located here offers an impressive collection of history. Atop the Ben Nevis you can experience a breathtaking view of the Highlands.
Loch Lomond lake offers one of the best sights in Scotland. It is part of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in southern Scotland. The Loch is surrounded by red deer and oak woodlands. Footpaths and cycle trails also offer easy access and a beautiful experience. These paths wound across the Ben Lomond mountains and Conic Hill. The Luss Heritage Path winds through the countryside to offer terrific views. Here you can also pay a visit to the ancient Luss village, with its iconic stone cottages. The lake is famous for its stunning scenery, with mountains, forests, lochs and glens.
Dominating the Edinburgh skyline, this historic fortress is situated on Castle Rock. Dating back to the Iron Ages, the Edinburgh Castle is steeped in history. It features highlights such as the Great Hall and St. Margaret’s Chapel. If you visit at the right time, you can also witness the One O’Clock Gun, fired everyday except Sunday. The Castle also features royal residences, military garrisons, a fortress and a prison. It also happens to be the repository for the Honours of Scotland- the crown jewels. As a popular destination, it was recently voted top UK Heritage Attraction. It remains the number one Scotland tourists attraction today.
The Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside, is located near the village of Crathie. Owned by Queen Elizabeth II, it has been one of the Royal Family’s residences since the 19th century. It is a classic example of Scottish Baronial Architecture. The Historic Environment Scotland classifies it as a category A listed building. It offers some of the best scenery among Scotland tourists attractions. It also features grouse moors, forestry, farmland, Highland cattle and ponies. The grounds are open for the public between the months of April to July.
A small island in the Inner Hebrides, Iona is most well known for the Iona Abbey. The Abbey was once the center of Gaelic monasticism. Its architecture and surroundings offer a tranquil and natural environment. Given its scenic beauty, it is also a popular tourist destination and spiritual retreat. The sandy beaches, cliffs, rocks and fields offer an immersive experience. An abundance of flora and fauna can also be found here. You can spot wildflowers, corncrake and puffins, as well as sea life here. The island itself offers a natural refuge for all.
This is arguably one of the largest castles in Scotland. Stirling Castle is one of the best among Scotland tourists attractions. Sitting atop Castle Hill, it also holds great historical and architectural importance. This intrusive crag forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation of beauty. Today, the Castle is a significant symbol of Scottish independence and pride. Family tours, visits to the palace vaults and Castle exhibition highlight this experience. You can also roam the Queen Anne garden, immersed in natural beauty, and visit the Access Gallery.
Dunnottar is a ruined medieval fortress on the northeastern coast of Scotland. It stands close to Stonehaven, prominent among Scotland’s attractions. The building is thought to date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. However, the site itself may have been fortified as early as the Early Middle Ages. With a 14th century tower house and a 16th century palace, it stands surrounded by steep cliffs in the North Sea. The castle also features a picturesque setting and the historical significance. Its history and scenery make it a very interesting and memorable visit. A short walk along the path following the coastline affords a view of cliff faces, coves and sea stacks.
The main peak in the group of hills, Arthurs Seat is an ancient volcano in Edinburgh, Scotland. A popular hillwalking site, it offers fantastic views of the surrounding city. The hill is located close to Edinburgh Castle in Holyrood Park. The Salisbury Crags offer a historic rock climbing venue with several paths. However, it is now limited to the South Quarry for safety reasons. A large and well-preserved fort sits atop the hill. Among the many Scotland tourists attractions, its unique surroundings make it stand out . The variety of flora and geology has also made it a site of Special Scientific Interest. Within the park you can also visit St. Anthony’s Chapel- dating back to the 15th century!
This railway viaduct on the West Highland Line in Glenfinnan is located at the top of Loch Shiel. It overlooks the Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel. The monument offers a spot of tranquility to relive the 1745 Jacobite Rising. The Glenfinnan Viaduct is featured in the Harry Potter movies. You can also experience the journey of the Hogwarts Express crossing the viaduct. The Visitor Center at the Glenfinnan Monument offers information on the Jacobite Rising. Atop the monument you can catch a breathtaking view of Loch Shiel. The Glenfinnan Viaduct Trail wounds around all these sites for you to explore.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most visited place in Scotland?
As of 2019, Edinburgh Castle has become the most visited place in Scotland. It recorded the highest visited paid attraction in that year. The castle is currently voted as the Top UK Heritage Attraction. Today, it continues to attract a large number of visitors.
Are tourist attractions open in Scotland?
Different tourist attractions are currently following different health and safety protocols. A revision of the COVID-19 protection levels across the country moved all 11 councils up to Level 3. This has enabled many non-essential businesses, like tourist attractions, to open. With differing requirements, it is possible some attractions may not yet be open. Please check the opening and availability of your desired destination before making plans.
What should I see in Scotland?
Scotland has a lot of variety to offer in terms of visitor attractions. It features an abundance of natural, scenic beauty and historical sites. These make it an ideal tourist destination . Must-see places in Scotland range from ancient castles, to mountainous peaks. It also offers sights of the northern lights and fairy pools. We have compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Scotland, including sights you shouldn’t miss out on.
What is the most famous thing about Scotland?
Scotland comes with a rich history, and is therefore known for a lot of things. Scotland is largely known for its many castles and the Highlands. Whiskey, bagpipes and haggis from Scotland are also well-known. Scotland is especially famous as the home of the Loch Ness Monster at Loch Ness in Glen Mor. It is a popular tourist destination for those trying to catch a glimpse of the fabled monster.
What should I not miss in Scotland?
Featuring breathtaking sights, there are many famous places in Scotland you shouldn’t miss. Among these are Edinburgh Castle, the most famous tourist destination in Scotland. Featured in the Harry Potter movies, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is a must visit. Some of the top sites in Scotland include Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, the Isle of Skye and Culzean Castle. All offer enriching experiences that should be a part of your visit to Scotland.
What is the most famous drink in Scotland?
The most famous drink in Scotland is whiskey. It is commonly referred to as the “water of life” and remains the drink of choice. Over 130 active distilleries are split into 5 whiskey-producing regions. It remains one of Scotland’s greatest exports. Approximately 41 bottles are shipped around the world every second. Whiskey holds an interesting and significant place in Scottish history.
What is the most beautiful part of Scotland?
Scotland is home to the most majestic natural scenery with breathtaking views. The Isle of Skye may be considered the most beautiful part of Scotland. It recently topped the Rough Guides list in the most beautiful place to visit in Scotland. Its natural beauty makes it a hallmark among Scotland tourists attractions. It offers a rugged, majestic landscape. The medieval castles make it a truly wonderful place to explore and experience.
What time is dinner in Scotland?
Dinner in Scotland is usually between the hours of 5 p.m. – 6 pm. However, these times are not fixed, and generally allow for flexibility. Most restaurants serve meals up to, and later than, 9 p.m. Plenty of restaurants also provide meals all day long. People in Scotland generally observe slightly earlier timings, however. With lunch between 12 p.m. dinner will usually take place by 5 p.m. in most homes.
What is famous in Scotland to buy?
Scotland is well-known for its whiskey. It is a famous purchase you can make directly from distilleries. Other than that, Scottish souvenirs from your visits will feature special historical significance. Certain things, like authentic Scottish tea and kilts can only be bought here. Along with the whiskey, Scottish sweets are one of a kind, and worth a late-night snack.
Do I need a visa for Scotland from us?
US citizens travelling to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland do not need a visa. If you are travelling from the US, you will only need a valid passport to enter Scotland. Without a visa, US citizens are able to stay in the country for up to six months. For a longer stay, you will need to apply for a visa.
Can you see the northern lights in Scotland?
Under good conditions, the northern lights or the “Mirrie Dancers” are often visible. They can be seen from almost anywhere in Scotland. However, the northern end of Scotland offers the best views and chances of seeing the aurora. Some of the best places to see the northern lights include Shetland, Orkney and Caithness. WIth minimal light pollution, the northern lights are visible in most of Scotland. The aurora is among some of the best Scotland tourists attractions.
What is Scotland famous for food?
Some of the more famous foods in Scotland include Scotch Pies and Scottish Porridge. The pies are double-crusted meat pies originating right here in Scotland. They can be served hot or cold. The porridge is a traditional breakfast dish with salt to make it savoury. Scotland is also known for its deep fried Mars bars and Neeps and Tatties. You should also try Cranachan for dessert, and Cock-a-Leekie soup.
What is the most popular food in Scotland?
One of the most famous foods in Scotland is the haggis. This particular dish uses every part of the animal, with a variety of flavourful spices. It is traditionally considered a Scottish dish, and comes with culture attached. Made from sheep’s pluck, it is mixed with oatmeal, herbs, spices and seasoning. The dish is then either boiled or baked.