Scotland is a beautiful country, full of history, legend and lore. From stunning, wind-swept highlands to vibrant, bustling cities – Scotland is a world unto itself. So, if you’re planning a trip to the home of William Wallace here are 10 things you can’t miss.
1. The Isle of Skye
This stunning and enchanted isle located off the western coast of Scotland is one of the most picturesque and most photographed in the world. From soaring cliffs to enchanting faerie pools, this magical place is one that is sure to linger in your memory for years to come.
2. Edinburgh Castle
This stunning castle perched above the city on a mount of volcanic rock is a truly awe-inspiring and humbling scene. Rising above the sprawling and historic city of Edinburgh, this listed site is sure to get the emotions up in even the most hard-to impress visitor.
3. Arthur’s Seat
Another one to see in Edinburgh is Arthur’s seat, a stunning park set a stone’s throw from the city centre and named for the legendary king of Camelot. Legend has it that the mythical king once spent the night atop this volcanic mount, with all his knights of the round table. To locals, though, it’s commonly referred to as the “sleeping lion”.
4. Stirling Castle
Boasting more than 1,000 years of history, this Central Scotland castle has seen its fair share of history, including a pivotal part in the rebellions of Braveheart himself – William Wallace. This castle was once the seat of the Stuart kings and queens of Scotland, and now it is a lively center of tourism for the country of Scotland.
5. Loch Ness
Better known as the home of the Loch Ness Monster (or Nessie, as she’s commonly referred to by locals and tourists alike) this 23 mile long fresh-water lake is a stunning example of pristine nature. With private boat charters, excellent shopping and dining opportunities and miles of walking trails and parks, this is a site you will not want to miss in Scotland.
6. Glen Coe
This stunning glen located in the highlands of Scotland is another of the most beautiful in the UK (if not the world). Comprised of a series of volcanic mounts, this area of the highlands is one of the most photographed and visited – and it’s no wonder why. Boasting miles of walking trails and some of the most intriguing history in the area, Glen Coe is one of the best destinations in all of Scotland.
7. The Royal Botanic Garden
The gem also hails from Edinburgh and is the ideal spot for a relaxed and affordable family day out. With free entry and world class facilities this is one of the best spots in Edinburgh to enjoy nature and catch a glimpse of the flora of Scotland. The RBGE also boasts splendid Victorian greenhouses (though these will cost you £5/pp entry) that contain some of the most beautiful specimens from around the world.
8. Ben Nevis
Known as the highest mountain in the UK, this hulking giant stands at an impressive 1,346 meters above sea level. Adrenaline junkies will love this adventure, as they attempt to scale the massive mountain, located in the heart of the Scottish highlands. But if you’re not into long climbs, no worries. There’s plenty of shopping and dining located in nearby areas.
9. The Palace of Holyroodhouse
This royal palace is an actual residence of the current royal family of the UK, as well as a font of local history. As the official residence of the royal family in Scotland, this palace also boasts several visits a year from Queen Elizabeth II, so when you visit here, you are seeing where the queen and her family actually live, eat and even sleep. The palace also boasts several exhibits a year, including exhibits on Tudor life and the life of Mary Queen of Scots who once lived in the palace.
10. Skara Brae
Last but not least on our list is Skara Brae, a site that will appeal to the greatest of history nerds and enthusiasts. This site, located on the Bay of Skaill off the western mainland, is home to none other than one of the best preserved neolithic village sites in the entire world. Here, you can see how people lived in Neolithic times. The ancient village even boasts homes so intact that you can see beds, kitchens and storage facilities from that time. Visiting Skara Brae is like stepping back in time. Way, way back in time.
To learn more, or plan your own trip to Scotland, visit VISITSCOTLAND.COM.