Illustrated Guide to Places to Visit in Scotland
- Index Page
Here is a selection of around 200 places to visit in Scotland. Many of them are within a few hours drive of Edinburgh or Glasgow. All the selected locations have a description and at least one illustration - often a lot more than that!
- Arthur's Seat> - For magnificent views across the Capital.
- Craigmillar Castle - Another Edinburgh castle.
- Edinburgh Castle> - The centre of many of Scotland's great historical events.
- Edinburgh for the Family> - Where to take the family when you visit Edinburgh.
- Edinburgh Photo Library - 70 photos of tourist haunts. Note that this is a separate feature.
- Edinburgh - Renaissance City - where to go, what to see, where to stay and eat - and the the festival.
- Edinburgh Zoo - One of the top visitor attractions in Scotland.
- Fire Museum - Edinburgh's best kept secret museum of fire engines and fire-fighting not far from the city centre.
- Gladstone's Land> - A 17th century merchant's house in the Royal Mile, Edinburgh.
- Greyfriar's Churchyard> - Famous for the National Covenant - and Greyfriar's Bobby.
- Museum of Scotland> - Magnificent building housing many of Scotland's treasures. Now part of the National Museum of Scotland
- National Library of Scotland> - the world's leading archive for books and manuscripts on Scotland.
- National Portrait Gallery> - Scotland's national portrait collection.
- National War Museum - Located within Edinburgh Castle, exploring over 400 years of the Scottish military history.
- Ocean Terminal - and the Royal Yacht "Britannia".
- One O'Clock Gun> - The story of the gun which fires from the battlements of Edinburgh Castle.
- Palace of Holyroodhouse> - The Queen's official residence in Scotland.
- Princes Street> - With the best shops in Edinburgh and beautiful gardens and a castle too.
- Ramsay Gardens> - High above Princes Street, beside Edinburgh Castle.
- Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh - 70 acres of colour and interest within a mile of central Edinburgh.
- Royal Mile> - Background to the buildings and people in Scotland's most historic street.
- Royal Museum of Scotland The original Victorian museum, now upgraded and part of the National Museum of Scotland
- Scott Monument> - The sugar-icing monument to Sir Walter Scott and the "Floral Clock" below.
- Scottish Parliament Controversial not just because of politics but its architecture too!
- St Giles Cathedral> - The "High Kirk" of Edinburgh.
- Scotch Whisky Experience - an exhibition on the history and development of whisky.
- Sir Walter Scott's Homes in Edinburgh - You can hardly miss the Scott Monumnt in Princes Street but Scott is associated with many other buildings in the capital ranging from where he was born to his last home in the city.
- Writer's Museum> - Dedicated to Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.
- Burrell Collection> - A huge collection in a building in the sylvan setting of a country park.
- Fossil Grove, Victoria Park> - 300 million years old sandstone casts of Carboniferous age trees.
- Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Glasgow> - A deservedly popular gallery.
- Glasgow Cathedral> - Founded by St Mungo, Patron Saint of Glasgow.
- Glasgow City Chambers - imposing building with even more impressive interior.
- Glasgow Cuisine- The revolution in Glasgow's restaurants.
- Glasgow Piping Centre> - A museum of piping, a hotel and restaurant in a converted church building.
- Glasgow Photo Library - Over 70 views of Glasgow sights plus notes on each one.
- Glasgow Tower> - A birds-eye view of Glasgow from the top of the tallest building in Scotland.
- Greenbank Gardens, Clarkston - A wide range of flowers in a walled garden.
- Holmwood House> - By Alexander "Greek " Thomson, one of Scotland's most original architects.
- House for an Art Lover> - Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1901 and built 100 years later.
- Hunterian Museum, Art Gallery and Mackintosh House> - Something for everyone.
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum> - A magnificent collection of arms and armour and paintings.
- Kelvinside Botanic Gardens - From flowers to ferns and twelve consrvatories, including the "Kibble Palace"
- Provand's Lordship> - The oldest house in Glasgow, built in 1471.
- Queen's Cross Church - The only church designed and built by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
- Riverside Museum - - Magnificent new museum of transport on the banks of the river Clyde.
- Roman Antonine Wall - The World Heritage site and the Roman Wall across central Scotland.
- St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art> - Covers all the main religions, not just Christianity.
- Scotland Street School - Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and now a museum.
- Street Art in Glasgow - Many of the bare walls of buildings in the cente of Glasgow have been adorned with large professional art on a wide range of subjects.
- Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow> - A factory? But modelled after the Doge's Palace in Venice!
- Winter Gardens> - The Victorian iron and glass "Winter Gardens" in Glasgow's parks.
- Burns Heritage Trail, Alloway> - Burns Cottage and Museum, Tam O' Shanter, Brig O'Doon etc.
- Crossraguel Abbey, Ayrshire> - Not far from Culzean Castle.
- Culzean Castle and Country Park> - The most popular properties of the National Trust for Scotland.
- Dean Castle and Country Park, Kilmarnock> - A well preserved 14th century keep in a country park.
- Dundonald Castle, Ayrshire> - Built by the Stewart family in the 13th century.
- Kelburn Castle and Country Park, Ayrshire> - A historic castle in a lovely country park.
- Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine - historic ships and boats and an excellent café as well.
- Skelmorlie Aisle, Largs - Italian marble memorial built in 1636 as a shrine by a Scottish knight in memory of his wife
In Dumfries, Galloway and the Scottish Borders
- Tour of the Scottish Borders - History, Borders Towns, Country Mansions, Great Outdoors
- Abbotsford Sir Walter Scott's baronial mansion and garden near Melrose.
- Bowhill House and Estate -the magnificent home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry full of paintings and treasures with an extensive estate, gardens, ruined castle and children's adventure playground.
- Branxholme Castle - the Scott family moved to Branxholme from Buccleuch castle in 1420, supposedly to be nearer the English cattle to steal! The Duke of Buccleuch still own the castle.
- Caerlaverock Castle> - An imposing, historic castle, in a lovely setting, surrounded by a moat.
- Drumlanrig Castle and Estate - Home of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry with gardens and wooded estate
- Dryhope Tower, Scottish Borders - A ruin but restoration work included a new metal spiral staircase to the roof for great views of the countryside.
- Dryburgh Abbey> - Its tranquil, serene setting makes it most attractive.
- Floors Castle, Kelso> - The largest inhabited castle in Scotland.
- Jedburgh Abbey> - King David I founded the Augustinian priory in 1138.
- Kailzie Gardens, near Peebles - a large walled garden and a 15 acre estate with great views of the Southern Uplands.
- Kelso Abbey> - Sir Walter Scott described the abbey at Kelso as the most beautiful in Scotland.
- Castle MacLellan> - Not a fortified castle but as a house on a grand scale.
- Mary Queen of Scots' House> - The link with Mary makes this 16th century house interesting.
- Melrose Abbey> - Soaring arches, vaulted ceilings, elegant tracery - and Robert the Bruce's heart.
- Mull of Galloway - the most southerly point in Scotland.
- Newark Castle - Within the Duke of Buccleuch's Bowhill estate and associated with Anne, Duchess of Buccleuch and Sir Walter Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel".
- Ruthwell Cross - One of the oldest preaching crosses in Europe, from the 7th century.
- Scott's View - A view of the Eildon Hills and the river Tweed much admired by Sir Walter Scott.
- Scottish Borders Homes of Sir Walter Scott - Sir Walter Scott, novelist and lawyer, lived in a number of Scottish Border locations before settling at Abbotsford.
- Sir Walter Scott Statue and Courtroom, Selkirk - The courtroom where Sir Walter Scott worked as as Sheriff- depute of Selkirkshire for 30 years is now a museum dedicated to his career in Selkirk with an impressive statue of the author outside.
- Smailholm Tower> - Sir Walter Scott described it as "standing stark and upright like a warden".
- Sweetheart Abbey> - Founded in 1273 by Lady Devorgilla in memory of her late husband.
- Thirlstane Castle> - Owned by the Earl of Lauderdale when he was Secretary of State for Scotland.
- Threave Castle> - Visitors ring a ship's bell for the boat to take them across the river to the castle.
- Threave Gardens> - Extensive, full of beautiful trees, shrubs and plants.
- Tibbie Shiels Inn, St Mary's Loch and Loch of Lowes - An Inn on a strip of land separating St Mary’s Loch and the Loch of the Lowes from 1823 until its closure in 2015. Sir Walter Scott helped spread word of its beauty and solitude and Scott any many other distinguished names appear in the visitors’ books.
- Baldernock Parish Countryside - a typical area of Lowland Scotland which is also within easy reach of Glasgow.
- Balloch Country Park and Castle> - Home of the "Maid of the Loch" and cruises on Loch Lomond.
- Dumbarton Castle> - A recorded history as a stronghold longer than any other fortification in Britain.
- Dunbartonshire Pictorial Tourist Guide Slide show of 100 pictures of East and West Dunbartonshire Tourist Attractions
- Loch Lomond Seaplanes - see Scotland from the air.
- Mugdock Castle Country Park, Milngavie> - Home to the Grahams since the 13th century.
- Aberdour Castle and St Fillan's Church> - The castle and church both originated in the 12th century.
- Balgonie Castle - Still occupied.
- Culross> - Many of the houses in this Fife village have been preserved from the 17th/18th century.
- Deep Sea World> - See sharks and other sea creatures as you walk through the aquarium.
- Dunfermline Abbey and Palace> - Founded in the 11th century and burial place of Robert the Bruce.
- Falkland Palace> - Made into a sophisticated Renaissance palace by King James V.
- Hill of Tarvit Mansion and Scotstarvit Tower - An attractive house filed with treasures.
- Kellie Castle> - A 12th century castle - with a rocking horse in the children's nursery.
- Kilconquhar Castle - Now holiday "time-share" apartments.
- Kingdom of Fife> - A virtual guide to the home of golf and Andrew Carnegie.
- Ravenscraig Castle - One of the first castles in Scotland built to withstand cannon fire.
- St Andrews Castle - Perched on top of a cliff.
- St Andrews Cathedral> - The longest and greatest cathedral in Scotland, consecrated in the presence of Robert the Bruce.
In the Highlands and Islands
- Ardkinglas Woodland Garden, Argyll> - One of the most magnificent woodland gardens in Britain.
- Aviemore and the Cairngorm Mountains - In the heart of the Highlands.
- Calanais Standing Stones - built 5,000 years ago by the prehistoric residents of Lewis.
- Caledonian Canal by Barge - an appetising, inspiring, exciting boating experience.
- Carnasserie Castle, Argyll> - A 16th century Campbell castle on the road north to Oban.
- Castle Menzies - Restored home of the Menzies clan chief.
- Drambuie Trail - follow in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
- Dun Carloway Broch - Iron Age drystone tower on Lewis
- Drum Castle and Garden of Historic Roses, Aberdeenshire Drum castle was owned by the Irvine family for 24 generations but was donated to the National Trust for Scotland in 1984. The extensive woodlands and gardens include a Garden of Historic Roses
- Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeen - on a dramatic cliff-top promontory on the coast, forever associated with the saving of the Scottish crown jewels - the "Honours of Scotland"
- Dunstaffnage Castle, Argyll> - A Campbell stronghold, on the shores of the Firth of Lorne.
- Dunvegan Castle, Skye> - Continuously occupied by chiefs of the clan MacLeod since at least 1270.
- Eilean Donan Castle, Wester Ross> - Said to be the most photographed castle in Scotland.
- Fortingall Yew - the oldest living organism in Britain and possibly the world.
- Geilston Gardens, Cardross, Argyll> - A new National Trust Garden on the way to Helensburgh.
- Glencoe, Argyll> - The scene of the infamous massacre of the Macdonalds in 1692.
- Hill House, Helensburgh - a mansion designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
- Inveraray Castle, Argyll> - The home of the chief of the Clan Campbell.
- Inverewe Gardens, Wester Ross> - Inverewe is by far the most popular garden in Scotland.
- Islay Flying Visit A day trip flying from Glasgow to tour round Islay and its distilleries.
- Isle of Lewis - including standing stones of Calanais, Dun Carloway broch, black houses, Lews castle and Stornoway
- Kilmartin and Fort Dunadd, Argyll> - Ancient standing stones, stone circles, burial cairns.
- Loch Lomond> - The "Bonnie Banks" have a well deserved reputation.
- Noble Cruise Around Scottish Islands - To Orkney, Staffa, Gigha, Skye, Inverewe
- The Outer Hebrides> - Information about the main islands in the group and illustrations of many.
- Pitmedden Garden, Ellon, Aberdeenshire
- Rothesay Castle - travel on the ferry to the Isle of Bute.
- Royal Deeside - scenery fit for a monarch and loads of castles too.
- Skiing in Scotland - Where to ski in Scotland.
- Skye> - Travel writer Vivien Devlin takes you on a journey round this lovely island.
- Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness> - One of the most popular Scottish castles, on the shores of Loch Ness.
- Voyage to the Hebrides and St Kilda. - stunning scenery, golden sunsets, wildlife encounters, exemplary hospitality.
In North and South Lanarkshire
- Bothwell Castle> - Frequently lost to the English invaders - and recaptured.
- Châtelherault Country Park> - Described unfairly as the "dog kennels at Hamilton".
- Craignethan Castle> - Linked to "Tillietudlem Castle" in Walter Scott's "Old Mortality".
- David Livingstone Centre, Blantyre - Created at the birthplace of the missionary/explorer.
- Drumpellier Country Park - lots of visitors have found "North Lanarkshire's Best Kept Secret"!
- The National Museum of Scottish Rural Life, Kittochside - with a farm left in a 50-year-old time warp.
- New Lanark World Heritage Centre> - A village of cotton mills and homes of the former workers.
- Palacerigg Country Park - with lots of animals - both tame and wild.
- Summerlee Heritage Park, Coatbridge -- delights in its reputation as the country's "noisiest museum" (because it features large items of working machinery). Many interactive exhibits, many of which make a further contribution to the level of noise in the building.
- Tower of Hallbar> - A 16th century tower house now available as a holiday/vacation home.
In East, West and Mid Lothian
- Almond Valley Heritage Centre - aims to preserve and interpret the history and environment of West Lothian.
- Borthwick Castle> - Stay in an ancient castle with Mary Queen of Scots associations.
- Cairnpapple Hill - 5,000 years old henge and burial ground, with views for miles around.
- Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World - Where else do you get butterflies on your head?
- Crichton Castle> - Unique stonework and and a bleak moorland setting.
- Dalkeith Palace and Country Park - An original castle was turned into a palace by Anne Scott, widow of the first Duke of Buccleuch in the early 18th century.
- Dirleton Castle & Gardens> - A historic castle and beautiful gardens.
- Five Sisters Zoo - in West Calder, south of Edinburgh, with a wide variety of mammals, birds and reptiles.
- Hopetoun House> - Hopetoun House is full of marvellouse furniture, paintings and decorations.
- House of the Binns> - An imposing mansion house.
- Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian> - A royal palace founded in the 12th century.
- Museum of Flight, East Lothian - Scotland's major aircraft museum.
- Rosslyn Chapel & Castle> - Ornately carved 15th century chapel and nearby castle.
- Scottish Seabird Centre - with videocam close-ups of the Bass Rock
- Tantallon Castle> - A Douglas castle on the cliffs overlooking the Bass Rock.
In Perth, Kinross and Angus
- Aberlemno Pictish Stones - Carved in the 7th to 9th centuries.
- Abernethy Round Tower> - This pencil slim round tower was probably built in the 11th century.
- Arbroath Abbey, Angus - founded by King William the Lion in 1178.
- Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre - wild animals, woodland walks, adventure playground, Perthshire countryside.
- Barrie's Birthplace, Kirriemuir> - The birthplace of the author of "Peter Pan" is full of surprises!
- Blair Castle, Glen Garry - understandably the most visited private house in Scotland.
- Branklyn Gardens, Perth> - The beautiful National Trust property on the banks of the river Tay.
- Breadalbane and Loch Tay - a scenic gem.
- Brechin Cathedral and Round Tower - the unique tower dates from 1000 AD.
- Burleigh Castle, Perth and Kinross> - An oddly shaped castle.
- Bell's Cherrybank Garden, Perth> - A National Heather Centre but with other attractions too.
- Castle Menzies - being restored to its former glory by the Clan Menzies Society
- Claypotts Castle - a well preserved and oddly shaped fortification.
- Drummond Castle Gardens> - First established 500 years ago, now restored to a 17th century style.
- Discovery Point, Dundee> - SS "Discovery" took Robert Falcon Scott to Antarctica.
- Dunkeld Cathedral - King Kenneth mac-Alpin located his capital in Dunkeld in 849AD.
- Edzell Castle - with a unique walled garden attached.
- Elcho Castle, Perthshire> - A well preserved castle overlooking the river Tay.
- Glamis Castle, Angus> - A 600+ years history and where the Queen Mother grew up.
- Glendoick Gardens Four gardens rolled into one.
- Huntingtower, Perthshire> - See the "Maiden's Leap" across the space between the battlements.
- Inchtuthil Roman Fort, Perthshire - one of the most significant forts that once ran across Britain. It could house, feed and train a complete Roman legion with six granaries, all weather indoor cavalry training schools, centurions houses and barrack blocks, baths, stabling for over 1,000 horses and mules and the all important "factory building.
- Kinross House and Gardens The garden sweeps down to Loch Leven and its castle.
- Loch Leven Castle, Kinross> - Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned here on an island in the loch.
- Meigle Museum - With over 30 carved Pictish stones.
- Muthill Parish Church, Perthshire> - A 12th century church tower and fascinating graveyard.
- Norie-Miller Park, Rodney Gardens, Bellwood Riverside Park, Perth - sculpture by the Tay.
- Perth - The Fair City has lots of attractions both within the boundary and close by.
- Perth Slide Show - YouTube pictorial guide to the Fair City of Perth
- Perthshire Slide Show - YouTube pictorial guide to Perthshire tourist attractions
- Pictavia Visitor Centre - Find out all about Scotland's ancient tribe, the Picts.
- Scone Palace, Perthshire> - In addition to the palace there are extensive gardens and woodland walks.
- Scottish Plant Hunters Garden, Pitlochry - a series of gardens, illustrating the contribution that eighteen Scottish plant hunters have made over the centuries.
In Renfrewshire / Inverclyde
- Clyde Muirsheil Regional Park A moorland wilderness - fifteen miles from Glasgow.
- Clyde View Park, Renfrew The first new park to be built in the West of Scotland for many years.
- Finlaystone Country Estate> - Lovely gardens and an adventure playground for kids (kept well apart).
- Lochwinnoch RSPB Nature Reserve - one of the largest remaining wetlands in the west of Scotland.
- Newark Castle, Port Glasgow> - Built by the Maxwell family who were Lords of Newark until 1694.
- Paisley, Renfrewshire - 39 snapshots from the centre of Paisley, administrative centre for Renfrewshire
- Paisley Abbey> - The FitzAlans, (ancestors of the Stewart dynasty) have a strong connection here.
- Paisley Abbey Slideshow - 25 pictures of the abbey in slide-show format
- Renfrewshire Pictorial Tourist Guide Slide show of 100 pictures of Inverclyde, Renfrew, Paisley and East Renfrewshire, Tourist Attractions
- Whitelee Wind Farm - currently largest in Europe - and encourages visitors.
In Stirlingshire, Falkirk, Clackmannanshire
- Alloa Tower, Clackmannanshire - In land owned by the Erskines since the 14th century.
- Argyll's Lodgings> - The finest and most complete example in Scotland of a 17th century home.
- Bannockurn Heritage Centre> - Site of Robert the Bruce's victory over King Edward II in 1314.
- Blackness Castle, Falkirk> - A 15th century castle on the Firth of Forth, not far from Edinburgh.
- Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park - Scotland's First and Only African Safari Park
- Cambuskenneth Abbey, Stirling> - An Augustinian Abbey founded by King David I in 1147.
- Castle Campbell> - Between the Burns of Care and Sorrow, it used to be called Castle Gloom.
- Doune Castle, Stirlingshire> - Used in the filming of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".
- Dunblane, Stirlingshire - With magnificent cathedral, a museum - and tennis champion Andy Murray's birthplace!.
- Dunmore "Pineapple" and Airth Castle, Falkirk> - Described as the "most bizarre building in Scotland".
- Falkirk Wheel This Millennium project created a unique boat lift to reconnect two canals
- Inchmahome Priory - On an island in the middle of Lake of Menteith.
- Kelpies - giant equine sculptures - The largest equine sculptures in the world and the largst public artworks in Scotland.
- Loch Katrine, Stirlingshire> - Made popular by Sir Walter Scott's "Lady of the Lake".
- Memorial to Sir David Stirling - Founder of the Special Air Service (SAS)
- Stirling Pictorial Tourist Guide Slide show of 100 pictures of Stirling City and Stirlingshire Tourist Attractions
- Stirling Castle> - One of the most visited castles in Scotland.
- Stirling Heads - Over 30 carved and colourfully painted heads on the ceiling of the King's Inner Hall in the Palace at Stirling Castle
- Stirling Old Town Jail - Experience life in a Victorian prison (it's lots of fun!)
- The Trossachs, Stirlingshire> - Strongly associated with Rob Roy MacGregor.
- Wallace Monument, Stirling> - Overlooks the site of one of the famous "Braveheart" victories.
- 5-Star Tourist Attractions> - The Scottish Tourist Board awards "5-Star" status to only a small percentage of their accredited attractions. Here are all these top-class establishments.
- Castle Photo Library - 80 Scottish Castles
- Cultural Legacy of Andrew Carnegie - In Pittsburgh USA
- Heart of Scotland Tours - 4-star Tours in a "Wee Red Bus".
- Virtual Tour of Scottish Golf Courses - On-line golf courses across the country.
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
News & Views>
All Features Index>
Scottish Pictorial Calendar>