Scotland offers stunning scenery, from lochs and castles to rugged shores and lush isles. Not only that, but Scotland also has a vibrant history and culture to explore.
The UK’s northernmost country is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or short vacation that offers historic sites and exciting activities. Here are our top 8 picks!
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Edinburgh is a bustling city rich in history and heritage, where ancient castles and cathedrals stand alongside elegant Georgian-era buildings and gardens. Situated atop seven hills, Edinburgh features both an Old Town and New Town area.
Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill tower over the city, offering some of the most stunning views across it. Climb up to its summit for an unparalleled panorama of landmarks and mountains surrounding Edinburgh.
If you’re looking to explore more of Glasgow’s cultural offerings, the Scottish National Museum is an excellent starting point. It boasts a diverse collection of exhibits on world cultures, art, science, and Scottish history.
For a delicious bite to eat, The Sheep Heid Inn offers traditional British and Scottish fare in its historic location. Enjoy its modern menu of delectable dishes that’ll tantalize your taste buds while taking advantage of Edinburgh’s beautiful summer air from its outdoor garden space while you savor your meal.
Glasgow is a bustling, modern city that makes an excellent base for exploring Scotland. It boasts an exciting music scene, extensive cultural heritage, and some of the country’s top museums.
One of Glasgow’s most beloved attractions is the 12th-century Glasgow Cathedral. Situated at its center, it’s a must-visit for tourists wanting to immerse themselves in Scotland’s history.
Other must-visits include the Hunterian Museum, where you can explore scientific breakthroughs from the university and artwork by renowned Scottish artists. Glasgow Tower, a 127-meter tall structure that rotates 360 degrees to offer breathtaking views of the city, should not be missed either.
If you’re passionate about art, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum is a must-visit destination. Additionally, Citz Theatre hosts some of Glasgow’s top performances each year.
Scottish Highlands is the ideal destination for those seeking a relaxing international escape without breaking the bank. Renowned for its stunning natural landscape and vibrant culture, this region serves as an ideal re-entry point into international travel while still enjoying a slower-paced lifestyle.
The northern Scottish Highlands boast some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery, such as glens, rugged mountains, waterfalls, and otherworldly landscapes carved by glaciers and volcanoes. It’s an ideal location for hiking and outdoor activities such as climbing and kayaking.
This region boasts an array of wildlife and other attractions to enjoy, such as national parks and distilleries. It’s the perfect spot for exploring Scotland’s history and folklore.
Inverness is a bustling city that boasts museums, galleries, and shops as well as the stunning Inverness Castle. As the largest city in Scotland’s Highlands, Inverness offers plenty for visitors to see and do.
Loch Ness is another iconic landmark in Scotland’s Highlands – a 23-mile-long freshwater lake famous for being home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Although sightings of Nessie are unlikely, it remains a must-visit destination!
St Andrews is a picturesque seaside town on the east coast of Scotland that attracts both students and golfers alike. This historic university city boasts stunning historical sites as well as stunning sandy beaches.
One of the most iconic sights in St Andrews is the remnants of St Andrews Cathedral, once Scotland’s largest church. This architectural marvel will surely leave anyone in awe.
Visit the Cathedral for free, unless you would prefer a guided tour or pay to see its eerie tunnel (not recommended for faint hearts). While you’re here, why not explore the museum and St Rules Tower too – both located within its grounds?
Enjoying a leisurely walk down the pier is an idyllic way to take in stunning views of East Sands Beach, St Andrew’s Cathedral, and St Rules Tower. On Sundays, students wearing bright red robes take part in the annual Pier Walk – it’s always an entertaining and rewarding way to pass some time.
Loch Ness, home to Nessie, is a must-see on any Scottish vacation. Despite its cold waters, there’s plenty to do in the surrounding area: adventure sports, wildlife tours and shopping galore!
For a peaceful retreat, venture south side of the loch where there are fewer visitors. Take General Wade’s Military Road and you can enjoy unobstructed views of the loch, forests and mountains.
Accommodation in the area is plentiful, from B&Bs and guest houses to self-catering apartments. Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit both make excellent options for a few nights’ stay.
For an even more thrilling adventure, take a day trip from Inverness to Culloden battlefield for an unforgettable day trip. Enjoy expert tour services and transportation on this unforgettable journey that you won’t forget.
Inverness, Scotland’s Highland capital, is one of the country’s most captivating cities. From here you can easily explore nearby Loch Ness and Black Isle peninsulas as well as Moray Coast and Speyside whisky region.
Start your adventure off right by taking a leisurely walk along the River Ness, following footbridges connecting the city center to idyllic woodland trails on its islands. There are also plenty of pleasant walking opportunities around Edinburgh itself, such as Whin Park with its children’s play area and miniature railway, plus plenty of woodland pathways in southern parts of town that you can enjoy all year round.
Inverness Museum & Art Gallery is an excellent destination to view some of the finest artifacts from Highland history, with special exhibits on Jacobites and Flora Macdonald. Additionally, visitors can try on an 18th-century kilt and enjoy refreshments in its lovely cafe on site.
Inverness is home to Scottish Natural Heritage, which relocated from Edinburgh in 2007 when the Scottish Government decentralized its administration. This body provides many jobs within the area.
Aberdeen is the ideal vacation spot, boasting idyllic beaches, breathtaking golf courses, vibrant shopping areas, and centuries-old architecture. No wonder why Aberdeen is considered one of Scotland’s top tourist destinations!
King’s College, established in 1495 and famed for its gothic revival architecture, is one of the top attractions in Aberdeen. It boasts a crown tower that is one of the city’s iconic structures.
Hazlehead Park is another notable landmark in the city, boasting extensive public green space and an array of sculptures and memorials. Additionally, there’s a playground, golf course, two rose gardens and multiple nature trails to enjoy.
Explore Old Aberdeen on foot, a historic part of the city with cobbled streets and intricate architecture. It has seen changes in politics, culture and education over centuries.
Loch Lomond is one of Scotland’s most picturesque lochs and offers some great activities to do. With plenty of wildlife, picturesque villages, and stunning views, this area makes for the ideal getaway from it all.
Summers in this region can be a flurry of activity, offering visitors plenty to do. But for a more tranquil experience, spring and autumn are also excellent times to visit for some rest and relaxation.
Nature enthusiasts will love this destination! Choose from various tours that will show you some of the area’s most stunning spots, like waterfalls and glens.
Birders will love this region of loch Leven, where osprey and geese make up much of its wildlife. A popular spot to view these creatures is RSPB reserve near Gartocharn.