Attractions in Scotland

Scotland is a country of outstanding natural beauty, home to fabulous legends and an even more exciting history, so it is no wonder that there is no shortage of attractions to keep both the old and young (and everyone in between) thoroughly entertained. Whether you want to be inspired by breathtaking scenery, explore the country's most famous castles and heritage sites or do something a little more quirky, Scotland will have something for you.

Castles, History and Heritage

Scotland boasts a fantastic collection of castles and fortresses that allow visitors a view into the past and a glimpse of the tempestuous history of the country. The most famous castles are Edinburgh and Stirling Castle both of which perch high on rocks and offer stunning views outside the walls as well as inside. Or perhaps you are a little more adventurous and want to the delve into the mystery of Glamis Castle with its tales of monsters and ghosts or perhaps nosey around Balmoral Castle, the Scottish holiday home of the Royal Family. History, mystery or ruins Scotland has something to satisfy all tastes.

There are five UNESCO World Heritage Sites throughout Scotland each of which offers something different to explore and investigate. The Neolithic Heart of Orkney dates back more than 5000 years and is a very important Neolithic site and an important place for anyone interested in ancient history. Alternatively, there is the famous battle grounds of Bannockburn and Culloden if you want something a little more recent.

Nature, Gardens and Nurseries

The scenery in Scotland is truly breathtaking and offers an wide array of terrains which the adventurous can explore. There are trails, hill climbs and mountain explorations ranging from the smaller “Grahams” to the larger “Munros” or the beautiful Scottish glens which were created by glacial erosion in the last Ice Age and offer an inspiring spectacle.

For those who are looking for something a little less intense there are the dazzling beaches which can rival any in the world, and with a coastline approximated at just over 8100 miles, Scotland has plenty. The Hebridean Islands of Lewis and Harris offer absolutely stunning white beaches and Harris is also considered one of the best birdwatching sites in Britain, offering a chance to see the majestic golden eagle and many other birds of prey. While up in the Hebrides why not consider island hopping for a real chance to experience everything the wilder side of Scotland has to offer.

Alternatively, there are the many gardens and nurseries that are an important part of Scotland's gardening tradition. The peculiar climate of Scotland means that a very wide range of plants can thrive and the gardens and nurseries offers a chance to see this beautiful plant-life. There are the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh or the spectacular gardens of Perthshire and many more in between. The regions of Perthshire, Angus and Fife offer a special Visit Gardens pass which entitles the more dedicated horticulturist access to 16 gardens in the region.

Museums, Galleries and Culture

With such a rich history and culture there is much to explore in Scotland's many museums and galleries. The city of Glasgow boasts the new and exciting Science Centre which is a playground of exhibits, interactive workshops and live shows that is enough to keep the whole family entertained for the day. Glasgow is also home to the important Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum with many collections and a large variation of themes in its 22 galleries. All of Scotland's larger cities and towns have their own collections to meet all tastes and interests.

If you are interested in Scottish literature a visit to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is a must. It holds the biggest Robert Burns collection in the world and is an important destination for any literary enthusiast or anyone who just wants to understand more about Scotland's “favourite son”. Another important literary figure in Scotland is J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, whose Neverland was inspired by Barrie's childhood garden in Dumfries, which offers those interested a chance to glimpse into the imagination of the famous 19th Century writer.

Something Different

If you are looking for something a little more unusual to do on your visit to Scotland you will not be disappointed as there are plenty of quirky and curious things to explore and experience when in this beautiful country.

A visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia, moored at Leith in Edinburgh, is a very popular attraction but certainly not ordinary. Guests are taken on a tour around the ship and are even shown the state apartments where cocktails are served and talks by past Admirals can be enjoyed.

Scotland is also home to a large number of whisky distilleries that provide tours and a first-hand experience of fermenting, filtering and bottling. One of the most popular distilleries is Glenmorangie Distillery but it will come as no surprise that there are many more to explore throughout Scotland.

These are only a handful of the interesting and unusual days that are awaiting your discovery on a visit to Scotland. Why not visit the intimidating Falkirk Wheel built to connect Union and Forth and Clyde canals; or travel down the West Highland Line, often called the Hogwarts Express Line, after featuring in the Harry Potter movies; or even travel through time along Edinburgh's Royal Mile, which follows the city's history through its buildings?

Scotland is a truly magnificent and beautiful country that is calling out to be discovered and explored.