From rugged mountain peaks, ancient cobbled streets and wild marshland shrouded in morning mist to glistening lochs, stunning castles and some of the finest walking routes in the UK, Scotland has it all. If you’re planning a trip to Scotland, there will undoubtedly be several places that interest you, some of which will be world-famous.
With so much history, Scotland is possibly the best country in the British Isles to visit for a holiday.
Before you pack your bags and plan your trip, though, take a moment to read our collection of the best places to visit in Scotland. We’ve included ten places, some of which might surprise you.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
10. Battlefield Live Dundee
For – pure entertainment.
Battlefield Live Dundee is the place to be in Scotland for modern warfare laser tag, zombie walks, and for booking parties. This is a very unusual entertainment venue, with a battle arena that is a replica of an urban war zone. It is this battle field that plays host to some incredible entertainment activities, but laser tag is the best – enjoy playing death match, capture the flag, and domination.
For – driving pleasure.
If you love driving, you must drive along the A82. This is the second longest primary A-road in Scotland, stretching for a whole 140 miles from Loch Lomond to Loch Ness. It is a fantastic road, with sweet asphalt and lots of sweeping bends, hairpins, and climbs. It passes past 10 different loch’s, and it even takes in Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the British Isles. Because of the prominence of this A-road, chances are you’ll find some great places to stop off.
8. Ben Nevis
For – bragging rights.
Everybody who lives in the British Isles should visit Ben Nevis at least once in their lives. This is the highest peak in the British Isles, at 1,344 m. It was first ascended in 1771 according to the history books by James Robertson. Although your ascent won’t make history, it will give you lasting memories of a stunning location, and nobody who visits ever comes away with a bad word to say.
7. Stirling Castle
For – a glimpse into perhaps the most beautiful royal residence in the British Isles.
Stirling Castle is, perhaps, the most beautiful castle in Scotland. It was home to the Stuart Kings and Mary Queen of Scots, and it was captured and besieged by Prince Charlie. With so much rich history behind it, and its strategic location that captures historic Scottish military tact perfectly, Stirling Castle is a must-visit for any tourist, having recently undergone a £12 million renovation project.
6. Isle of Skye
For – a romantic getaway.
The Isle of Skye has been the subject of stories and poetry for hundreds of years, and it’s one of the few places in Europe unspoilt by civilisation. It is an enchanting blend of stunning scenery, gorgeous sunsets, and seclusion, making it the perfect holiday destination for a romantic getaway. It is, however, much bigger than most people think, and it has a rich culture and lots of heritage to explore.
5. Fort William
For – unique town charm.
Fort William is the best base to explore the western Highlands from. The town is splendid, with a range of boutique shops and classy restaurants, and there’s enough to do here to keep you entertained for a week. Fort William is strategically located amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, including the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way.
4. The Scottish Highlands
For – awe-inspiring scenery and exercise.
The Scottish Highlands stretch for miles, and there’s no one superb place on them to visit – every metre of the Scottish Highlands is beautiful. If you visit, you simply must check out The Isle of Skye and Ben Nevis, though, two of the most beautiful places in the British Isles, let alone Scotland. There are plenty of good holiday cottages in The Scottish Highlands, to help you make the most of your trip. The highlands are an amazing place for the travel photographer, this was the first destination I tested out my new Canon EOS rebel (hat tip to Jeremy for his camera advice)!
3. City of Inverness
For – night life and the Inverness Highland Games.
Inverness is a vibrant city with a variety of annual events, including The Inverness Highland Games, The Highland Show, Highland Dancing, and Pipe Bands. This city is also, in my opinion, the best for night life, with so many nightclubs that it would be impossible to enjoy them all in a single week. Visit Eden Court Theatre on Bishop’s Road for some superb drama.
2. City of Glasgow
For – museums and art.
The city of Glasgow boasts some of the best museums in Scotland, including the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Riverside Museum, The Burrell Collection, St Mungo, among many others. Once you’ve taken in Glasgow’s museums, visit the Glasgow Film Theatre, which hosts the city’s film festival and boasts some incredible shows every day of the week.
1. City of Edinburgh
For – rich history, stunning architecture, and a castle!
The city of Edinburgh is wonderful, with a rich history and some of Scotland’s most stunning architecture. There is always something to do in Edinburgh, from museums, to art galleries, to the excellent Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Visit in December, and you will be treated to the Hogmanay Party, which boasts an incredible atmosphere and welcomes tourists from all over the world.
Edinburgh is also the only city in Scotland to have its very own extinct volcano, and climbing to Arthur’s Seat is something you must do. It gifts the able-bodied walker with an incredible view, and some excellent photography potential. Obviously, we shouldn’t forget Edinburgh Castle, which is an iconic tourist attraction that is host to some of the best events imaginable. You can also find lots of places off the beaten track in one of our old posts here.