Places to Visit in Scotland
- Scotland's Five-Star Attractions
Here is the second page of all the locations awarded 5-Star status by the Scottish Tourist Board/VisitScotland.
Famous Grouse Experience, Crieff, Perthshire
Claims to be Scotland's oldest distillery with a 'flight of the grouse' show, which allows you to take to the sky and enjoy a virtual grouse eye view of some stunning Scottish scenery and challenge your senses in the nosing and tasting bar. Then pay a visit to the marring warehouse for a live demonstration of what skills you need to blend the perfect dram. And don't overlook the statue to the former resident cat "Towser" who lived in the distillery for almost 24 years. During that time she caught 28,899 mice and is now in the Guinness Book of Records as a result of her feat!
Glenkinchie Distillery & Visitors Centre, East Lothian, Near Edinburgh
Distilling (mostly illegal) was taking place here long before Glenkinchie was founded in 1837. In 1777 Edinburgh housed perhaps four hundred illicit distilleries. When the law was changed to permit smaller licensed distilleries, many farmers took out licenses.
Gordon Highlanders Museum, Viewfield Road, Aberdeen
The spectacular exhibition dedicated to this famous regiment includes 200 years of items from its history including 12 Victoria Crosses. There are lots of interactive displays, state of the art touch screens, an audio-visual theatre and film presentations. You can dress up in Gordon uniform and discover what equipment a soldier would have to carry. Tearoom and gardens too.
Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, Gretna, Dumfries & Galloway
Opened in 1999, there are world famous designer fashions at outlet prices. At Gretna Gateway you'll find Polo Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Tag Heuer, Reebok and Rockport outlet stores - and lots more!
Hugh Miller's Cottage, Cromarty
Hugh Miller was born in this 17th century thatched cottage in 1802 and rose to international acclaim as a geologist, editor and writer. The furnished cottage contains an exhibition and video on his life and work. To the rear is a Scottish wild garden of colourful native plants, redesigned to reflect Millers own love of nature.
Isle of Arran Distillery and Visitor Centre, Lochranza, Isle of Arran
This is the only distillery on the island of Arran in the Firth of Clyde. It is east of the village of Lochranza, on the north of the island. It is the newest distillery to be built in Scotland, created by a retired managing director of Chivas Brothers in the 1990s.
Jedburgh Abbey, Jedburgh, Borders
King David I founded the Augustinian priory in 1138 to demonstrate to his own subjects - and to those in England - that he could create a magnificent building in the southernmost part of his kingdom.
Johnstons Of Elgin Cashmere Heritage Centre
Established in 1797 Johnstons specialise in the manufacture of cashmere and luxury fibres. Their Heritage Centre and Shop was officially re-opened after a major refurbishment by TRH The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay in April, 2008. The new steading and courtyard development houses a retail shop selling the new Johnstons Home products, as well as a state of the art Heritage Centre focusing on Johnstons worldwide design and product development. Johnstons is the UK's last remaining vertical woollen mill and the only one still to carry out all processes from raw material to finished garments.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
Kelvingrove reopened its doors in July 2006 after a £28M restoration project and now has more space with over 8000 objects on display. A unique Glasgow Style Gallery features the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The new restaurant looks out across the river Kelvin to Glasgow University.
Lochcarron Mill Visitor Centre, Selkirk, Scottish Borders
The Lochcarron Visitor Centre showcases the company's range of knitwear and accessories in cashmere and the finest natural fibres, tartans and tweeds, Scottish jewellery and other gifts. The mill tours have been operating for more than 30 years through the mill to show all aspects of production from spinning the yarn to the finished article.
Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition Experience, Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness
Originally the Official Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, the facility opened over 30 years ago. Now a hi-tech multi-media presentation leads you through 7 themed areas and 500 million years of history, natural mystery and legend revealing the unique environment of Loch Ness and the famous Nessie legend.
Low Parks Museum, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire
Combines displays on local history and industry with the collection of the Cameronians (Scottish rifles) Regiment as well as a programme of changing exhibitions and activities.
Mary King's Close, High Street, Edinburgh
Beneath the City Chambers on the Royal Mile lies a warren of hidden streets where real people lived, worked and died between the 17th and the 19th centuries. Now visitors can step back in time and be guided around these underground closes by a one time resident and witness some of the dramatic episodes and extraordinary apparitions from this site's fascinating and historically rich past.
Mercat Tours (Ghost/History Tours in Edinburgh
A journey into the past with guides who are passionate historians with a talent for storytelling. They introduce you to the characters who lived in the Old Town of Edinburgh in times gone by and have exclusive access to dark underground vaults reputed to be the most haunted place in Britain. Join them - if you dare...
Mey Castle and Gardens, Caithness
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother first saw what was then Barrogill Castle in 1952, while mourning the death of her husband, King George VI. She decided to save the abandoned castle, renamed Castle of Mey, and visitors can see the rooms used by Her Majesty when she stayed there, including her homely and comfortable bedroom. Her enthusiastic gardening has left another lasting legacy for visitors and the local community.
Museum on the Mound, Edinburgh
Part of the former HQ of the Bank of Scotland (founded in 1695 under an Act of the Scottish Parliament and now part of the Lloyds Banking Group), the museum has a number of bank-related exhibits including Scotland's oldest surviving bank note - and a million pounds in banknotes on display. It features the art, design, security - and crime - relating to money.
National Museum of Rural Life, Kittochside, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
An award-winning museum, open fields and a historic farmhouse – not to mention sheep, cows, horses and hens. Each season there’s something new – lambing, sowing, harvesting, hay-making.
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
From Viking chessmen to Dolly the first cloned sheep, the museum's collections tell the story of Scotland, the influence the world has had on Scotland, and Scotland on the world. Lots of working exhibits as well as Pictish stones and Queen Mary’s clarsach.
Newhailes, Dalkeith, East Lothian
A fine late 17th century house with impressive 18th century additions and interiors, set in a fascinating 18th century designed landscape. The house has one of the most important rococo interiors in Scotland which played host to many famous figures of the Scottish Enlightenment and was reportedly described by Dr Johnson as 'the most learned room in Europe'. Much of the original decoration and furnishing has survived intact.
Oban Distillery, Argyll
Built in the town of Oban on the west coast of Scotland, below the landmark McCaig's Folly, the distillery produces one of United Distillers' "Classic Malts".
Old Town Jail, St John Street, Stirling
The building was used as a jail in the 19th century - when life was hard for prisoners. On the guided tour you are met by the Governor, the jailers - and a desperate escaped convict - all of whom enter into the spirit of the presentation with creaking hinges, shuffling feet and vivid descriptions. The tourists get sucked into the action too. Not for the faint-hearted!
Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh
Explore our planet's past present and future. In the process, you'll be shaken by volcanoes, fly over glaciers, feel the chill of polar ice, and even get caught in a tropical rainstorm. Discover Scotland's geological heritage in a new free external gallery Earthscape Scotland. You can also take your crew seat in the all new FutureDome to travel forward in time to debate our planet's future.
Paxton House, Berwick upon Tweed, Berwickshire
Another out-station of the National galleries of Scotland, Paxton House is one of the finest Palladian country houses in Scotland and contains a pre-eminent collection of Chippendale furniture, set in 80 acres of gardens, woodland and parkland on the bank of the river Tweed.
Royal Lochnagar Distillery, Crathie, Ballater, Aberdeenshire
This distillery, overlooking Balmoral Castle at Ballater on Royal Deeside, got its Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria after she and Prince Albert visited the premises in 1848. Royal Lochnagar is owned by Diageo and the distillery produces a relatively small amount of whisky, most of which is used in Johnnie Walker black and blue label.
Royal Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh
The new Museum of Scotland brings thousands of years of Scottish history to life from before the Romans to the present day while the Royal Museum (pictured here) next door is full of interactive exhibits.
Royal Yacht Britannia, Leith, Edinburgh
The former royal yacht has become a tourist attraction at Leith Docks which was voted "Best New Attraction in the UK" in 1999. You can stroll around the five main decks, following in the footsteps of the British Royal Family and their guests. Highlights include the State Dining Room, the Sun Lounge, The Queen’s Bedroom, the Crew’s Quarters and the Engine Room. Almost all of the furniture and paintings in the State Apartments are on loan with kind permission of Her Majesty The Queen.
Scone Palace, Perth
Where Scottish Kings, ranging from Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II were crowned. It is now the family home of the Earls of Mansfield and you can see where the stone of Scone once stood. During the Jacobite rebellions, The Old Pretender spent 3 weeks at Scone and his son Bonnie Prince Charlie visited in 1745. Scone is a treasury of furniture and paintings, porcelain and other objets d'art. The Palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens and peaceful woodland - all under the watchful eye of the ever curious peacocks. There's a great adventure playground for the children to burn of that excess energy, not to mention the unique 'tartan' maze of 2000 beech trees planted in the shape of the heraldic Murray Star. Gift shop, food shop, Old Servants Hall Coffee Shop.
Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, Castlehill, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Not a distillery but a visitor attraction on Castlehill, part of the Royal Mile near Edinburgh castle. It presents all the information you would ever want to know about whisky in an entertaining way.
Scotland's Lighthouse Museum, Kinnaird Head, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire
Kinnaird Head was the first lighthouse to be built by the Northern Lighthouse Board in 1787 and the only lighthouse to be built on top of a fortified castle. In 1824, the lighthouse was reconstructed inside Kinnaird Castle by Robert Stevenson, engineer to the Northern Lighthouse Board. The original lighthouse and engine room are now preserved as they were the day the last keeper left.
Scottish Crannog Centre, Kenmore, Perthshire
A crannog was a wooden dwelling, built on stilts offshore from the banks of a loch and reached by a narrow walkway. They were built around 2,500 years ago to provide protection for the inhabitants of the area at that time. The Crannog Centre at Loch Tay has Scotland's only authentic recreation of this type of Celtic loch-dwelling. Artefacts, wet-tanks, video, ancient crafts, friendly staff and personal attention bring the past to life.
Scottish Football Museum, Hampden Park Stadium, Glasgow
The world's first international football museum, you can experience the magical history of this hallowed National Football Stadium in the unique surroundings of the Scottish Football Museum. The Museum reveals the sights, sounds and stories of the world's favourite game with over 2,500 exhibits making up the most impressive collection of football memorabilia in the world. You can also include the Hampden Stadium Tour and experience the Stadium from a players view, visiting the underground roadway, dressing rooms, warm-up area, and walking down the players tunnel to enter the Stadium to the sound of the famous Hampden Roar.
Scottish Mining Museum, Newtongrange, Midlothian
Created in a former coal mine, visitors can experience the sights, sounds and smells of colliery life and what it was like to be a miner - from men who once went underground themselves.
Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick, East Lothian
Open all year, enjoy exhilarating sea air and breathtaking views and control live video cameras to see puffins and gannets, seals and even dolphins and whales. 150,000 birds come to nest on the islands off the North Berwick coast, particularly on the renowned Bass Rock and the Isle of May. Licensed Café and open sundeck. Boat trips in summer and safe sandy beaches nearby.
Shetland Museum and Archives, Lerwick
The place to discover Shetland’s story, from its geological beginnings to the present day. From folklore to fine lace, boats to bones, underwater creatures to Up Helly Aa and ponies to Pictish art, the Museum and Archives hold large collections relating to all aspects of island life: industry, history, environment and culture. Introducing Shetland’s story and the network of heritage sites throughout the isles, this is the ideal place to begin your Shetland voyage of discovery.
Skara Brae, Kirkwall, Orkney
Uncovered from under the sand after a storm, Skara Brae is a well preserved Neolithic village, inhabited between 3200 BC and 2200 BC. This is the best preserved group of Stone Age houses in Western Europe, containing stone furniture, hearths and drains to give a remarkable picture of life in Neolithic times.
Smailholm Tower, Scottish Borders
Sited high on a rocky outcrop, Smailholm is a small rectangular tower set high on a rocky outcrop. Inside the tower is a model of this Pringle residence and a collection of costume figures and tapestries relating to Sir Walter Scott. It was Smailholm that fired Walter Scott's imagination when, as a young boy, he was brought up by his grandparents at the nearby farm of Sandyknowe.
Speyside Cooperage Visitor Centre, Craigellachie
This is the only cooperage in Britain with a Visitor Centre where you can watch the coopers make and repair the barrels for the whisky industry. After the tour you can browse in a Gift Shop where you can find exclusive gifts and then enjoy coffee/tea and Scottish homebakes in the cafe and all weather picnic area.
Mary Queen of Scots is often associated with Stirling Castle. The Great Hall of the castle has been restored to its former splendour and work on restoring the Palace of King James VI is even more impressive. Museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders is located in the castle too. Views to the Ochil Hills and the Wallace Monument overlooking the site of his victory at Stirling Bridge.
Strathisla Distillery, Keith, Speyside
Founded in 1786, Strathisla is the oldest continuously operating distillery in the Scottish Highlands. Distinctive pagodas, cobbled courtyard and picturesque buildings, Strathisla Distillery is arguably the most beautiful distillery in Scotland. Now part of the Chivas Brothers Group.
Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness
Overlooking Loch Ness, Urquhart is one of the largest castles in Scotland. it was built in the 1230s but sacked by the MacDonald Lord of the Isles in 1545 and left to fall into decay after 1689. Most of the existing buildings date from the 14th century. Great views of the loch from visitor centre veranda.
Verdant Works, West Henderson's Wynd, Dundee
Jute works at Verdant with original working machinery, computer displays and film show. In addition to the story of jute there is a background to the social history of Dundee when it was the world centre for the manufacture of jute.
Xtreme Karting, Falkirk
Xtreme Karting allows you to experience the thrills of motorsport in a comfortable, fun filled and safe environment! It features state of the art customer facilities that includes a comfortable lounge viewing area to allow you to spectate in comfort.
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