Must-see attractions in Scotland

  • Looking up the hill at Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle

    Edinburgh Castle

    Old Town

    Edinburgh Castle has played a pivotal role in Scottish history, both as a royal residence – King Malcolm Canmore (r 1058–93) and Queen Margaret first made…

  • Viking settlement at Skara Brae, Orkney islands, Scotland, Uk

    Skara Brae


    Predating Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza, extraordinary Skara Brae is one of the world's most evocative prehistoric sites, and northern Europe’s best…

  • UK, Scotland, Glasgow, ceiling in St Mungo cathedral

    Glasgow Cathedral


    Glasgow Cathedral has a rare timelessness. The dark, imposing interior conjures up medieval might and can send a shiver down the spine. It's a shining…

  • ROSLIN, SCOTLAND - JULY 18, 2016: Rosslyn Chapel (Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew), found by  by William Sinclair. It was mentioned in The Da Vinci Code book

    Rosslyn Chapel


    Many years may have passed since Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code and the subsequent film came out, but floods of visitors still descend on Scotland's…

  • Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom – December 20, 2019: Stirling Castle is a fortified wall sitting atop Castle Hill and is part of the Stirling Sill, a quartz-dolerite formation millions of years old. Records date it back to the early 12th century and the inner grounds are home to replicas of the famous Unicorn Tapestries. The castle offers spectacular views of Stirling from the Outer Defences.

    Stirling Castle


    Hold Stirling and you control Scotland. This maxim has ensured that a fortress of some kind has existed here since prehistoric times. You cannot help…

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    Constructed about 5000 years ago, Maeshowe is an extraordinary place, a Stone Age tomb built from enormous sandstone blocks, some of which weighed many…

  • Culzean Castle & Country Park

    Southern Scotland

    The Scottish National Trust's flagship property, magnificent Culzean (kull-ane) is one of the most impressive of Scotland's stately homes. On approach the…

  • Scone Palace, traditional place of coronation for Scottish kings, Scone, Perth and Kinross, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe

    Scone Palace


    'So thanks to all at once and to each one, whom we invite to see us crowned at Scone.' This line from Macbeth indicates the importance of Scone …

  • Bell on the Roal Yacht Britannia.

    Royal Yacht Britannia


    Built on Clydeside, the former Royal Yacht Britannia was the British Royal Family's floating holiday home during their foreign travels from the time of…

  • Traquair house near Peebles.

    Traquair House

    Borders Region

    One of Scotland's great country houses, Traquair House has a power­ful, ethereal beauty, and exploring it is like time travel. Odd, sloping floors and a…

  • Detail of main facade of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

    Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art


    Edinburgh's gallery of modern art is split between two impressive neoclassical buildings surrounded by landscaped grounds some 500m west of Dean Village…

  • Scottish Parliament Building

    Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

    The Scottish Parliament Building, on the site of a former brewery and designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles (1955–2000), was opened by the Queen in…

  • Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe

    Discovery Point


    The three masts of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's famous polar expedition vessel the RRS Discovery provide a historic counterpoint to the modern…

  • Glasgow Riverside Museum, Zaha Hadid Architects, 2011, Exterior wide view of riverside facade

    Riverside Museum


    This visually impressive modern museum at Glasgow Harbour owes its striking curved forms to late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. A transport museum…

  • Mackintosh House Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland.

    Mackintosh House


    Attached to the Hunterian Art Gallery, this is a reconstruction of the first home that Charles Rennie Mackintosh bought with his wife, noted designer…

  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

    Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum


    A magnificent sandstone building, this grand Victorian cathedral of culture is a fascinating and unusual museum, with a bewildering variety of exhibits…

  • Royal Botanic Garden


    Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden is the second-oldest institution of its kind in Britain (after Oxford), and one of the most respected in the world…

  • Paisley Abbey

    Paisley Abbey

    Greater Glasgow

    Paisley Abbey is well worth the short trip from Glasgow. This majestic Gothic building was founded in 1163 by Walter Fitzalan, first high steward of…

  • Highland Wildlife Park

    The Cairngorms

    This place features a drive-through safari park as well as animal enclosures offering the chance to view rarely seen native wildlife, such as wildcats,…

  • Kinnaird Head lighthouse, Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.

    Scottish Lighthouse Museum


    The fascinating Scottish Lighthouse Museum provides an insight into the network of lights that have safeguarded the Scottish coast for over 100 years, and…

  • Herma Ness is the northernmost headland of Unst. It is a National Nature Reserve.

    Hermaness National Nature Reserve


    At marvellous Hermaness headland, a 4.5-mile round walk takes you to cliffs where gannets, fulmars and guillemots nest, and numerous puffins frolic. You…

  • Reflections of The Falkirk Wheel at night
boat, calm, circles, colourful, famous, forth and clyde canal, imaginative, innovative, landmark, mechanism, nobody, outdoor, reflections, rotating, scenic, tranquil, unique, waterway

    Falkirk Wheel

    Central Scotland

    Completed in 2002, the Falkirk Wheel is a modern engineering marvel, a rotating boat lift that raises vessels 115ft from the Forth & Clyde Canal to the…

  • Palace of Holyroodhouse

    Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

    This palace is the royal family's official residence in Scotland but is more famous as the 16th-century home of the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots. The…

  • Hay's Dock is the last remaining area of original dock on the Lerwick waterfront and a category B listed building. It now houses the Shetland Museum. Lerwick is the main port and city of the Shetland Islands.

    Shetland Museum


    This museum houses an impressive collection of 5000 years’ worth of culture, people and their interaction with this ancient landscape. Comprehensive but…

  • UK, Scotland, Glasgow, Glasgow Science Centre and Glasgow Tower on River Clyde

    Glasgow Science Centre


    This brilliant science museum will keep the kids entertained for hours (that's middle-aged kids, too!). It brings science and technology alive through…

  • Edinburgh, Scotland - August 20, 2019, Jupiter Artland is a large unusual park with garden, rivers and sculptures; Shutterstock ID 1790431646; full: Digital; gl: 65050; netsuite: POI; your: Barbara Di Castro

    Jupiter Artland


    The grounds of 17th-century Bonnington House, 10 miles west of Edinburgh, have been lovingly converted by owners and art patrons Robert and Nicky Wilson…

  • Glasgow School of Art

    Glasgow School of Art


    In 2018, Charles Rennie Mackintosh's greatest building was gearing up for reopening after a devastating 2014 fire when, unbelievably, another blaze…

  • View of the new V&A Museum at Discovery Point in Dundee, Tayside, Scotland, United Kingdom.

    V&A Dundee


    The centrepiece of Dundee's revitalised waterfront is this stunning building designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Opened in late 2018, it houses an…

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    Arthur's Seat

    Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

    The rocky peak of Arthur’s Seat (251m), carved by ice sheets from the deeply eroded stump of a long-extinct volcano, is a distinctive feature of Edinburgh…

  • In geography and geology, a cliff is a vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. Cliffs are formed as erosion landforms due to the processes of erosion and weathering that produce them. Cliffs are common on coasts, in mountainous areas, escarpments and along rivers. Cliffs are usually formed by rock that is resistant to erosion and weathering. Sedimentary rocks most likely to form cliffs include sandstone, limestone, chalk, and dolomite. Igneous rocks such as granite and basalt also often form cliffs.

    Isle of Noss


    Little Noss, 1.5 miles wide, lies just east of Bressay. High seacliffs harbour over 100,000 pairs of breeding seabirds, while inland heath supports…

  • Turquoise waters of Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris.


    Outer Hebrides

    Luskentyre is one of the biggest and most beautiful beaches in Scotland, famed for its acres of low-tide white sands and turquoise waters. A minor road…

  • Elgin Museum in Elgin, Scotland.

    Elgin Museum


    Scotland's oldest independent museum is an old-fashioned cabinet of curiosities, a captivating collection artfully displayed in a beautiful, purpose-built…

  • Real Mary King's Close

    Old Town

    Edinburgh's 18th-century City Chambers were built over the sealed-off remains of Mary King's Close, and the lower levels of this medieval Old Town alley…

  • Finlaggan


    Three miles from Port Askaig, tumbledown ruins of houses and a chapel on an islet in a shallow loch mark what remains of the stronghold of the Lords of…

  • Sumburgh Head Visitor Centre


    High on the cliffs at Sumburgh Head, this excellent attraction is set across several buildings. Displays explain about the lighthouse, foghorn and radar…

  • Unst Bus Shelter


    At the turn-off to Littlehamar, just past Baltasound, is Britain's most impressive bus stop. Enterprising locals, tired of waiting in discomfort, decided…

  • Sunrise at Quiraing on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.



    Staffin Bay is dominated by the dramatic basalt escarpment of the Quiraing: its impressive land-slipped cliffs and pinnacles constitute one of Skye’s most…

  • Abbotsford

    Borders Region

    Just outside Melrose, this is where to discover the life and works of Sir Walter Scott, to whom we arguably owe both the modern novel and our mind's-eye…

  • Blair Castle

    Highland Perthshire

    One of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland, magnificent Blair Castle – and its surrounding estates – is the seat of the Duke of Atholl, head…

  • Dunrobin Castle

    East Coast

    Magnificent Dunrobin Castle, a mile past Golspie, is the Highlands' largest house. Although it dates to 1275, most of what you see was built in French…

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