Top ChoiceCastle in Old Town

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

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 their home here in the 11th century – and as a military...

Top ChoiceArchaeological Site in West & North Mainland

Skara Brae

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...

Top ChoicePalace in South Ayrshire

Culzean Castle & Country Park

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 castle floats into view like a mirage. Designed by Robert...

Top ChoiceArchaeological Site in West & North Mainland

Maeshowe

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 tonnes and were brought from several miles away. Creeping...

Top ChoiceMezze in New Town

Baba

Located on Edinburgh’s premier George Street and connected to the chic Principal hotel, Baba specialises in uber-hip and sophisticated Levantine cuisine. The menu is short but exquisite, featuring stunning mezze...

Top ChoiceCastle in Stirling

Stirling Castle

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 drawing parallels with Edinburgh Castle, but many find...

Top ChoiceNotable Building in Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

Scottish Parliament Building

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 October 2004. The ground plan of the complex is said to...

Top ChoicePalace in Perth

Scone Palace

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 (pronounced 'skoon') as the coronation place of Scottish monarchs....

Top ChoiceShip in Leith

Royal 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 her launch in 1953 until her decommissioning in 1997, and is...

Top ChoiceHistoric Building in Peebles

Traquair House

Traquair House

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 musty odour bestow a genuine feel, and parts of the...

Top ChoiceCathedral in East End

Glasgow 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 example of Gothic architecture, and unlike nearly all of...

Top ChoicePalace in Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

Palace of Holyroodhouse

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 highlight of the tour is Mary's Bedchamber, home to the...

Top ChoiceGallery in West End & Dean Village

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. As well as showcasing a stunning collection of paintings...

Top ChoiceChurch in The Lothians

Rosslyn Chapel

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 most beautiful and enigmatic church – Rosslyn Chapel....

Top ChoiceHistoric Building in Old Town

Real Mary King's Close

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 have survived almost unchanged amid the foundations for 250...

Top ChoiceRuins 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...

Top ChoiceHistoric Building in Melrose

Abbotsford

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 view of Scotland. This whimsical, fabulous house where he...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Dundee

Discovery Point

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 architecture of the V&A Design Museum. Exhibitions and...

Top ChoiceCastle 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...

Top ChoiceCastle 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...