Top things to do

Top Choice Archaeological Site in West & North Mainland

Skara Brae

Idyllically situated by a sandy bay 8 miles north of Stromness, and predating Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza, extraordinary Skara Brae, one of the world's most evocative prehistoric sites, is northern Europe’s …
Top Choice Archaeological Site in West & North Mainland

Maeshowe

Constructed about 5000 years ago, Maeshowe is an extraordinary place, a Stone Age tomb built from enormous sandstone blocks, some of which weighed many tons and were brought from several miles away. Creeping down th…
Top Choice Ruins in Port Askaig

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 the Isles. A wooden walkway leads over the reeds and water lili…
Top Choice Castle in Blair Atholl

Blair Castle

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 of the Murray clan. (The current duke visits every May to rev…
Top Choice Castle in Golspie

Dunrobin Castle

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 style between 1845 and 1850. A home of the dukes of Sutherland, …
Top Choice Historic Building in Iona

Iona Abbey

Iona's ancient but heavily reconstructed abbey is the spiritual heart of the island. The spectacular nave, dominated by Romanesque and early Gothic vaults and columns, is a powerful space; a door on the left leads t…
Top Choice Historic Building in Bute

Mount Stuart

The family seat of the Stuart Earls of Bute is one of Britain's more magnificent 19th-century stately homes, the first to have a telephone, underfloor heating and a heated pool. Its eclectic interior, with an imposi…
Top Choice Castle in Rum

Kinloch Castle

When George Bullough, a dashing, Harrow-educated cavalry officer, inherited Rum along with half his father’s fortune in 1891, he became one of the wealthiest bachelors in Britain. Bullough blew half his inheritance …
Top Choice Castle in Loch Awe

Kilchurn Castle

At the northern end of Loch Awe are the scenic ruins of the strategically situated and much-photographed Kilchurn Castle. Built in 1440, it enjoys one of Scotland’s finest settings. Even when it's not open, it's wor…
Top Choice Historic Building in Helensburgh

Hill House

Built in 1902 for Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie, this is perhaps architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh's finest creation – its timeless elegance still feels chic today. The interiors are stunning, with rose motifs …