There are many best places in Scotland to explore across the United Kingdom and Europe because of the rich history of Scottish castles, breathtaking scenes of dramatic landscapes, magnificent architecture, world-famous events, and mesmerizing Scottish highlands.
If you are searching for your next dream travel destination, then Scotland might be the destination that can make your search come to an end.
Explore 7 Best Places in Scotland
If you have limited time to discover Scotland and can visit only a few places, then you should visit the capital city of Scotland, i.e. Edinburgh for sure.
Located in the southeastern part of Scotland, closer to the north sea, this charming city has everything a travel enthusiast is looking for. Its stunning architecture, fairy tale castles, green hills, and world-known festivals will make you fall in love with this city. Hence, Edinburgh is there in the list of best places in Scotland.
How To Reach Edinburgh?
Reaching Edinburgh is easy considering the availability of transportation methods. You can reach here by train, bus, or flight as this city is well-linked with major cities in Scotland.
Edinburgh airport is well connected to the major international and national airports. The nearest airport is Edinburgh airport which is located nearly 9 K.M. from Edinburgh city.
Edinburgh is connected with a vast railway network that connects major cities, there are regular running trains to and from cities like London, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, and many other cities in the United Kingdom.
Driving to Edinburgh by road is the best way to reach Edinburgh, while enjoying views of breathtaking scenery. Therefore, Edinburgh is one of the best places in Scotland.
Things To Do in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is divided between the medieval old town and modern new town, which introduces a different ambiance to this city. There are numerous things to do in Edinburgh. Here are some of the best places to visit in Edinburgh:
- Edinburgh Castle is among the best places to visit in Scotland and Western Europe, which makes it must visit place in the list of best places in Scotland.This iconic Edinburgh Castle is a world heritage site, which has witnessed long history and played a vital role in the history of Scotland in serving both royal residence and military fortress.
- You can discover Old Town for its medieval buildings and rich history.
- If you are an avid art lover and admirer of world culture, then the National Museum of Scotland is the place to visit. Formed in 2006, the National Museum of Scotland exhibits an International collection of science and technology, world cultures, and natural history which is why it is one of the best places in Scotland.
Located in west-central Scotland, this popular tourist destination is the largest and most populous city in Scotland and is the fourth most populous city in the United Kingdom, and one of the best places in Scotland to look at.
Glasgow is famous for its captivating architecture, admirable museums, blissful arts, musical events, shopping, and happening culture.
How To Reach Glasgow?
If you want to reach Glasgow by air, then there are two main airports located around Glasgow city i.e. Glasgow international airport and Glasgow Prestwick international airport, out of which Glasgow international airport is nearest (13 km) to the city.
Glasgow international airport is well serviced by major airlines from around the world and there are regularly running flights from cities like Dubai, New York, London, and other parts of Europe.
Glasgow is also connected with a vast road network connecting Glasgow to the other parts of Europe. Hiring a cab is always the best option to reach Glasgow.
Things To Do in Glasgow
Glasgow is arguably the most beautiful city in Scotland with elegant architecture, happening music culture, and amazing arts and museums. Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland which makes it a perfect destination for a city break.
Riverside Museum is a must-visit place in Scotland and Glasgow. You will find an amazing collection of vintage cars, locomotives, skateboards, and many more things, which make Riverside Museum among the best places to visit in Scotland.
Glasgow Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in mainland Scotland and one of the oldest buildings in Glasgow, situated on the River Clyde on Scotland’s west coast.
This glorious medieval cathedral is built in a place where Saint Mungo, a saint of Glasgow, was buried. If you want to witness the stunning masterpiece of architecture, and rich, prosperous heritage of Glasgow city, then visiting Glasgow cathedral is a must-do activity.
The Kelvingrove art gallery is a masterpiece of architecture featuring a collection of over 8000 astonishing objects for display.
The Kelvingrove art gallery showcases an extensive collection of arms and armor, vast natural history, beautiful artworks, and much more.
3. Loch Ness
Lose yourself in Scotland’s one of the most astonishing natural landscapes situated between beautiful Inverness in Scottish highlands. Visit this enigmatic destination, home to the mysterious Loch Ness monster ‘Nessie'(A loch ness, river monster according to local peoples and some eyewitnesses).
Loch Ness is the most famous and most voluminous loch in Scotland. It consists of more water than all the lochs (lakes) of England and Wales combined.
Loch Ness is famous for the outstanding natural beauty of breathtaking scenery, adventurous sports, and stunning castles and glowing lighthouses, which makes it one of the best places in Scotland.
So let’s see how you can reach here and what are the main things and activities you can do here to make your trip more exciting.
How to reach Loch Ness?
If you want to enjoy some sightseeing while driving, then traveling to Loch Ness by road is the best option as you will get to see beautiful landscapes along the way.
Although stopless driving will take nearly 3 hours to reach Loch Ness from Edinburgh. Spending extra time to reach here is always worth considering its eye-pleasing natural beauty.
If you want to enjoy a train journey with gorgeous views, then there is also an option to travel via train to this mysterious place.
So, if your wish is to visit Loch Ness and enjoy the breathing scenery of this scenic place and to know more about the mysterious Ness monster, then it is a must visit place among the best places in Scotland.
Things To Do in Loch Ness
Whether you are visiting Loch Ness to explore the alluring Loch or to reveal the mystery of the Ness monster, below are some of the most popular spots to visit:
(a) Lochend Beach
As the name suggests, Lochend beach is the beach located at the end of the loch. This lovely beach is great if you are going to enjoy swimming in the natural pool or paddleboarding. Hence, if you are a swimming and paddle boarding lover, then this place should be on top of the list of best places in Scotland.
(b) Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition
The Loch Ness Center and Exhibition are the perfect places after a busy day. There are many stories of sighting of Ness Monster over the years, you might want to know more about it. So while exploring the world-famous lake, get to know the region’s geology and more about monster mystery.
Here you will get to know more about Loch Ness through shows of lasers, digital projections, and special effects. The glorious history of this beautiful place will be explained in detail, and with a proper explanation of where the myth of Nessie came from in a scientific manner.
(c) Urquhart Castle
Take a cruise on Loch to see the impressive ruins of the castle on the western shores of the lake. This is Urquhart Castle, built between the 13th and 16th centuries and used as a royal castle by the Grants clan.
The fortress saw action via the Scottish Independence Wars. In disputes among Clan Grant and Clan MacDonald, it changed into a large part destroyed in 1692 while preventing Jacobite forces from using it and has been uninhabited ever since. Having a rich history and serene lochs, the Loss Ness is among the best places to visit in Scotland.
4. Glen Coe Valley
Scotland`s Glen Coe is a lovely valley that pulls individuals who need to look at a number of the amazing Scottish Highlands scenery. Glen Coe has been an exact countrywide nature reserve in addition to a part of a countrywide scenic region.
It is an appropriate region for hiking, mountain biking, and getting outdoors. It is likewise an extraordinary region for pictures and is certainly considered one of the favorite pictures spots in Scotland and hence among the best places in Scotland you should visit.
There also are some of the different activities in and across the small village of Glencoe, Scotland, along with traveling museums and historic attractions, kayaking, or even snowboarding withinside the winter.
How To Reach Glencoe Valley?
There are no airports in Glencoe but visiting travelers can fly to nearby airports to reach Glencoe. The nearest airport from Glencoe is Glasgow International Airport, which is 130 Km away from Glencoe. The second nearest airport from Glencoe is Inverness airport, which is 146 Km from Glencoe.
Apart from air travel, there are several other ways by which you can reach Glencoe. Like no native airport, Glencoe also doesn’t have a native railway station, but you can catch a train to a nearby railway station. Fort William, Crianlarich, Tyndrum, and Bridge of Orchy are the nearest train stations available near Glencoe.
The best way tourist can reach Glencoe is by road. You can catch a bus or rent a car to reach here, and most of the time tourists choose to self-drive rented cars to reach here.
The best way tourist can reach Glencoe is by road. You can catch a bus or rent a car to reach here, most of the time tourists choose to self-drive rented cars to reach here. The roads passing through the highlands to Glencoe should be on your list of the best places in Scotland to visit.
Things To Do in Glencoe
Situated between the majestic Lochaber Mountain Geopark, the deep valleys and towering mountains of Glen Coe were carved centuries ago by ice glaciers and volcanic eruptions.
The town of Glencoe is beautifully nestled between the foot of Loch Leven and the famous valley entrance, making it an ideal starting point for exploring the Lochaber.
(a) Glen Village
The Glencoe is a village of the same name as a valley that runs about 15 miles southeast and has a variety of impressive mountains and ridges. It is a small village situated on the shores of Lake Leven, which consists of several cafes, a small museum, several campgrounds and accommodations, a gas station, and one shop.
So when it comes to a visit to Glencoe, it is not the village that is central to the experience, but the scenery and walks in the surrounding area and this is why it is one of the popular villages in Scotland and one of the best places in Scotland.
It is just over thirty minutes away from Fort William and forty-five minutes from Loch Lomond, and this is a famous way to experience Glencoe for the first time. Due to Glencoe’s position as a National Nature Reserve, traveling to Glen is mostly done by traveling by car.
(b) Trip to Fort William and Glenfinnan
Thinking of staying for some more days in Glencoe? Consider a trip to some of the most popular spots. Fort William is a small town situated thirty minutes away from Glencoe, depending on the traffic. You will also get to see Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, located just outside Fort William.
Glenfinnan Viaduct is a truly mesmerizing place and one of the best places in Scotland along with Cairngorms National Park, just half an hour away from Fort William on the west coast of Scotland. Most Harry Potter fans may know this viaduct by ‘Harry Potter Bridge.’
There are several different ways to get here including riding on a Jacobite train or renting a car and exploring other places along with Glenfinnan Viaduct.
5. The Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is another excellent tiny island and mindblowing destination for wildlife lovers. You can experience watching wildlife with the White Tailed Sea Eagle and it should be on top of your list of best things to do in Scotland. Some of the other amazing creatures you will love watching are seals, whales, dolphins, and deer.
Skye is a dream destination for hikers and walkers. The Cuisine Range and The Trotternish Ridge present some of the most testing mountains and exciting scrambles.
How To Reach Isle of Skye?
There are multiple ways to reach the Isle of Skye- you can catch a bus or rent a car and drive to this beautiful place by self-driving, while enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
There are no direct running trains available to the Isle of Skye, so if you are thinking of reaching this lovely place by train, then you will have to reach Inverness first.
Inverness is a city with excellent transport links like buses or trains. You can catch a bus or can travel by train to Kyle of Lochalsh. The train will stop near the Skye Bridge, which connects the island with the mainland, and the train links with bus services.
The only problem is, the irregular availability of public transport makes it hard to move around the highland area, so renting a car to roam around the Isle of Skye is the best way possible.
Thing To Do in the Isle of Skye
(a) Trekking in Quirang
Trekking in Quirang is a must-do activity for trekking lovers as it moves through one of the most picturesque landscapes in the Scottish Highlands.
These mammoth mountain cliffs are created by enormous landslides resulting in gigantic cliffs, hidden plateaus, and rock pinnacles and if you are a photography lover, then don’t forget to bring your camera to click some amazing frame-worthy pictures. Hence you should consider this place as it is one of the best places in Scotland for photography
(b) The Old Man Storr
The Old Man of Storr is a large rock standing tall on the Trotternish Ridge, a foreland situated in the North-Eastern part of the Island of Skye.
The Old man store is not only a popular tourist destination on the Island of Skye but also in Scotland. If you are visiting the Isle of Skye, you must add this to your list of the best places in Scotland. This wonder of nature is visible as you drive towards Uig from the north side.
Move in the crystal clear waters of Skye. Kayaking on the Island of Skye will take you past Skye’s hidden beaches and sheltered bays and allow you to soak in the beautiful peninsular vistas.
The Isle of Skye has many coves where you can practice and, once you have honed your skills, you can try kayaking on the challenging waters of Loch Carron and the Isle of Skye.
The city of Stirling is a city well known for gorgeous beaches and magnificent beaches Visit Stirling and take in the magnificent views from Castle hill-top esplanade towards the National Wallace Monument on the edge of the rolling Ochil Hills before looking northeast for the mountain peaks of Loch Lomond
Enjoy Savor, delicious food, and drink on your holiday in Stirling in friendly pubs, cozy cafés, and buzzing restaurants.
How To Reach Stirling?
The city of Stirling is nearly 30 minutes from Queen Street Station in Glasgow and nearly 45 minutes from Haymarket station. There are 3 direct running trains from Glasgow and 2 direct running trains from Edinburgh.
There are also direct trains from London, Aberdeen, and Inverness. It takes only 2 minutes to reach the railway station of Stirling from the city Centre. Stirling is also well connected to roads in Scotland including Edinburgh, Perth, Inverness, and Glasgow.
Things To Do in Stirling
(a) Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
The special landscapes of Loch Lomond like lochs, coastlines, and forests will leave you mesmerized as you will lose in between the valleys and mountains.
It is a very popular destination among people interested in water sports, hikers, bikers, and people who love watching beautiful sunsets.
(b) Stirling Castle
After visiting Loch Lemond, visit one of the largest and key historical royal castles in Scotland. i.e. Stirling Castle. This prestigious castle is been also used as a primary military base in past history, and now it is restored to its former glory.
Inverness is known as Scotland’s ‘Highland Capital’, it is the gateway to the Scottish highlands. Tourism is the main part of the economy of Inverness.
Inverness is on the North coast of Scotland and with a population of only 60,000, it is among the smallest cities. The city’s growth is boosted due to Inverness airport.
There are lots of exciting places to visit and plenty of thrilling activities to do in Inverness, in some of the best places in Scotland.
How to Reach Inverness?
The Inverness Airport is situated at Dalcross, nearly 15 kilometers or 20 minutes far from the city center. It is well connected to the surrounding cities like Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Bristol, Dublin, and London
The Inverness airport is a small airport that runs local flights mostly, out of which mostly are the flights from around the United Kingdom. So if you want to reach Inverness by flight, then you will have to take a flight to some of the bigger cities like Glasgow or Edinburgh and then you can catch a local flight to Inverness or public transport.
Traveling by rail through scenic highlands is some of the best places in Scotland and most popular activities you can do here, and Inverness railway station, which is located in the city center, makes it possible.
There are direct running trains to Inverness from London, Glasgow, and Edinburgh in the south and from Aberdeen in the east.
Although traveling to Inverness is a low-cost option but it takes a longer period to reach Inverness, so if you have time to travel by road then your patience will not go in vain as the scenes around the roads passing through the highlands are worth spending extra time.
Things To Do in Inverness
Inverness Castle is the Spirit of the Highlands, situated on the highest point above the River Ness. The best place to start a journey to Inverness is the magical Inverness Castle. Rested on a cliff with a view of the beautiful River Ness from the top.
Drive through the never-ending relentless winding roads of North Coast 500 along with Scotland’s most beautiful scenes around. The North Coast 500 starts in Inverness, passes to Applecross, and then northwards towards Torridon.
Mountain lovers and trekkers can experience the lavish beauty of Scottish highlands and do outdoor adventures. Head to the Cairngorms National Park or the tallest peak of the United Kingdom, if you want to have an exciting hiking adventure. Hiking in Scottish Highlands and trekking in Cairngorms National Park are the best activities you can do in Inverness.
Also, you can pay a visit to the University grounds and St. Andrews Cathedral, which is located opposite Castle Hill on the banks of the River Ness. There are endless activities and things to do in Inverness, which is why it is one of the best places to visit in Scotland.
The End Note
Scotland is a very diverse country with vast culture and history which makes it so special. The rolling countryside, bustling cities, chilly mountain peaks, and mesmerizing villages all integrate to offer a tremendous vacation spot on your cottage vacation withinside the UK, whether you are searching out an action-packed break, a cultural journey, or a calming retreat.
Along with exploring above mentioned 7 best places in Scotland, you can also go through places like St. Kilda, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, New Lanark, Trossachs National park, and many more places in Scotland.
Also check out, Highest Mountain in England