Welcome to Central Scotland

Arriving from Glasgow and Edinburgh, visitors begin to get a sense of the country further north as the Lowland scenery ramps up towards Highland splendour. It is here that the majesty of Scotland's landscape begins to unfold among woodlands and waterfalls, craggy hills and rushing rivers, with the silhouettes of soaring, sentinel-like peaks on the northern horizon.

Whether in the softly wooded country of lowland Perthshire or the green Fife coastline dotted with fishing villages, opportunities to enjoy the outdoors abound: walking, cycling and angling are all easy possibilities. The region also has some of the country's best pubs and restaurants, which greet weary visitors at day's end.

Top experiences in Central Scotland

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

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Central Scotland activities

$48.70 Day Trips & Excursions

Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond Small Group Tour from Edinburgh

Leave Edinburgh and travel through the historic grace of Linlithgowshire. Your guide will help you spot Linlithgow palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. On the way to Loch Lomond you stop at the Kelpies Monument. These two horses’ heads stand as a testament to the horse power that drove the industrial development of Central Scotland. From here you head to the shores of Loch Lomond, which is Scotland’s largest loch and is protected as Scotland’s first National Park. This is the perfect place to enjoy a walk along the ‘bonny banks’ and take in fantastic views of the mountains. This tranquil area was once the home of Scotland’s famous highland folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor. By spending time on the trails by the loch you’ll be walking in the footsteps of one of Scotland’s greatest legends. Then head into the Trossachs or ‘The Highlands in Miniature’, where the Lowlands meet the Highlands. Steep mountains, shimmering lochs, and thick forests: this area is stunning. Stop for lunch in Aberfoyle, a charming village in the heart of the National Park (own expense) and then continue to the city of Stirling where you can visit one of Scotland’s most magnificent castles. Opt to tour the inside independently (own expense) and learn why this castle was so instrumental in Scottish history. From here your short journey back to Edinburgh passes The Kelpies once again before arriving back in the capital.

$52.54 Day Trips & Excursions

Loch Lomond, Trossachs National Park Tour from Edinburgh

Meet your guide in central Edinburgh, and then head west through Scotland's Central Belt towards the ‘Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond’ where we take time at Balmaha to admire views of Ben Lomond. Here, you will have the opportunity to go on a woodland walk that will afford you great views of the loch. Standing on its bank you will understand why Loch Lomond has been immortalised in a world famous song.From the famous stretch of water, continue through the Trossachs National Park, home to some of Scotland’s most iconic Highland scenery. Pass through the twisting valleys, admiring the glens, loch and dense wilderness of the dales that embody the raw beauty of the Highlands. In the afternoon, leave the Highlands and travel east to Scotland’s former capital of Stirling. Head inside its star attraction — Stirling Castle — and discover the places where many Scottish royals were crowned on a walking tour. The entrance fee is at your own expense, but once inside you’ll see some of the most impressive public rooms in Scotland including the lavish James IV’s Hall and the Renaissance Royal Palace. Learn how the castle was central to William Wallace and Robert the Bruce's fight in the Wars of Independence and hosted bloody sieges as well as much political intrigue. On our return to Edinburgh, you will have the chance to visit and marvel at the stunning Kelpies, the world's largest equine sculptures dedicated to the horse-powered heritage of Central Scotland, designed by Andy Scott. It also celebrates the mythological transforming beasts living in our lochs, rivers and streams, who possess the strength and endurance of 100 horses and drag people into the water. Fortunately, we don't encounter these spirits on our way to Edinburgh and we return early evening at approximately 5.30pm.

$19.22 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

West Highland Way Walk with Return Cruise on Loch Lomond from Tabet

Return ferry schedules allows time for a leisurely walk and picnic en route. This is a family friendly walk. Sturdy boots are recommended and please keep dogs under control. You will receive a complimentary coffee / tea on outward journey and a beer, wine or soft drink awaits you on your return There is live, informative commentary on all cruises with translations offered, and there are full bar facilities on board with tea, coffee and snacks also available.

$16.66 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Loch Lomond Circular Cruise: Capercaillie from Luss

Enjoy a leisurely 90 minute circular cruise, around the island jewels and explore the historic Lomond landscape – listen to live commentary on the marauding Vikings to feuding clans. Watch out for wildlife and a chance to see deer; osprey and even wallabies!This circular cruise departs from Luss Pier and brings live commentary about St Kessog’s Christianity in the 6th century and the Vikings who left a 9th Century Hogback stone in the churchyard. In the 13th century, the Clan Colquhoun controlled the area so clan feuding ensued, but in more peaceful times they built the village of Luss for workers in the slate and cotton industries. Today, locals welcome visitors who come to appreciate the area’s natural and cultural heritageThere is live, informative commentary on all cruises with translations offered, and there are full bar facilities on board with tea, coffee and snacks also available.

$14.10 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Ticket

Make your way to the the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre. Located near the famous Stirling Castle, it is around a 30-minute drive from Glasgow and a 50-minute drive from Edinburgh.Enter the center and discover more about the pivotal Battle of Bannockburn. Taking place in June 1314, this monumental battle saw the Scottish king Robert the Bruce and his men defeat the English forces, despite being greatly outnumbered.Learn about the various medieval weapons and armor that would have been used during the conflict, then hear warriors explain how they prepared for battle.Once you’ve brushed up on medieval warfare and tactics, seize the opportunity to prove your own fighting prowess during an interactive battle game, where you'll attempt to win victory for your units. Alternatively, skip the game and discover how Scotland triumphed during a 360-degree battle show.Having suffered defeat or attained victory, emerge outside onto the real battlefield. Stroll around the historic site and seek out the bronze monument that depicts Robert the Bruce on a horse, clad in full battle regalia. How long you spend in Bannockburn is up to you, but most visitors find two or three hours to be sufficient.3-Day or 7-Day National Trust for Scotland: Sightseeing PassUpgrade to receive a 3- or 7-day sightseeing pass. This pass gives you free entrance to 90 National Trust for Scotland attractions. Use the 3-day pass on any three days over a period of seven consecutive days from first use and use the 7-day pass on any seven days over a period of 14 consecutive days from first use.Create your own flexible sightseeing schedule and receive an informative attraction guidebook along with your pass. Visit medieval monuments such as Culzean Castle and Country Park, Craigievar Castle and Drum Castle, or browse the collections of intriguing museums like Angus Folk Museum or the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.See the Itinerary for a full list of the National Trust for Scotland attractions included with your sightseeing pass.

$12.81 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Loch Lomond Cruise: Northern Highlights

Panoramic views abound en route to the remote eastern shore of the Loch as the vessel sails passed Tarbet Isles. This Isle is known locally as ‘Honeymoon Island’ – hear the origins of that name during your cruise!There is live, informative commentary on all cruises with translations offered, and there are full bar facilities on board with tea, coffee and snacks also available.All vessels are fully Marine Coastguard Agency compliant and have open reversible life-rafts and lifejackets for everyone on board, including infant lifejackets.

Central Scotland in detail