Scotland Sightseeing

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West Coast

AYRSHIRE AREA

Ayrshire was home to the first ever Open Golf Championship, which took place at Prestwick. The surrounding area has some of the most notable golf in the world, including courses such as Turnberry, Royal Troon, Prestwick and Western Gailes. Ayrshire, itself, is famed as the birth place of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most celebrated poet. The surrounding castles and monuments are centuries old and offer visitors a wide range of attractions.

Culzean CastleCulzean Castle Maybole
Ayrshire
KA19 8LE
+44 1655 884400

Culzean Castle is one of Scotland's most loved Castles, located on the South Ayrshire coast, approximately 12 miles south of Ayr and 4 miles west of Maybole. The castle was constructed by Robert Adam for David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassili. Situated at the edge of a cliff, the castle offers visitors spectacular and dramatic views from the surrounding gardens and walking paths. The castle interior houses a fine collection of historic paintings, period furniture, and weaponry. In 1945 the top floor of the caste was gifted to General Eisenhower, by the Kennedy family, in acknowledgement of his services during WWII.
Crossraguel AbbeyCrossraguel Abbey Maybole
KA19 5HQ
+44 1655 883113
Crossraguel Abbey is the ruin of a former abbey located in Maybole in South Ayrshire. In 1215 the Earl of Carrick granted lands and churches to the Cluniac Abbey, stipulating that the church found a daughter house at Crossraguel. The War of Independence with England in the 1300s resulted in significant damage to the Abbey. After which time, there was a great amount of rebuilding and the Abbey flourished through the 16th century. 1560 brought the arrival of the Reformation and the end of the active religious community within the Abbey.
The Burns Heritage TrailThe Burns Heritage Trail The Burns Heritage Trail consists of a circular driving trail around southwest Scotland through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Britain. The trail takes you on a journey through the life and landscapes of Robert Burns. You will see the thatched cottage in Alloway where he was born on January 25th, 1759. You can travel to many museums and statues immortalizing Scotland’s famous poet along the way, as well as, view the sight of his grave in Dumfries. The Burns Heritage Trail offers visitors the opportunity to witness the environment of the famous poet.
Dean CastleDean Castle Dean Road
Kilmarnock Ayrshire
KA3 1XB
+44 1563 522702

Dean Castle located in Kilmarnock, this site consists of a 14th century keep side by side with a 15th century palace. The castle is the ancestral home of the Boyd family, who were lords of Kilmarnock for over 400 years. The castle contains an outstanding collection of medieval arms, armor, tapestries, musical instruments, and a display of Burns manuscripts. The country park has 200 acres of scenic woodland and farmland. This castle is worth visiting for its very well preserved architecture and interior treasures.
The Town of AyrThe Town of Ayr The town of Ayr houses many beautiful parks and gardens, most notably Belleisle, Craigie and Rozelle. Rozelle Park boasts Ayr’s Art Gallery, which exhibits one of the very few Henry Moore sculptures in Scotland. The town itself is known for is rich history and scenic landscapes. Located on the River Ayr as it enters the Firth of Clyde, and facing the Isle of Arran, this small town provides visitors with some of the most breathtaking views in Scotland.
Kelburn CastleKelburn Castle Kelburn Estate Fairlie
Largs KA29 0BE
+44 1475 568544

Kelburn Castle dates back to the 13th century and remains occupied by the present Earl and his family. This castle provides visitors with an impressive background to exotic gardens and trees. The gardens are interwoven with paths allowing visitors to explore the depths of the estate. The Kelburn Glen displays waterfalls and deep gorges, and is regarded as one of Scotland’s most beautiful woodland, noted for its spectacular views of the islands of the Firth of Clyde.

Southern

Southern Scotland is the countryside located from the West Coast through the area that bordered Scotland and England. Historically it has been a place of many battles and riots, making its history a rather blood-soaked one. The now peaceful border region provides visitors with beautiful views of forests, rivers and numerous castles and country houses.

AbbotsfordAbbotsford Abbotsford
Melrose
Roxburghshire TD6 9BQ
+44 1896 752043

Abbotsford was the home of Sir Walter Scott, who died there on September 21st, 1832. The house became a pilgrimage for the fans of Scott not long after his death, making it arguably Scotland’s longest standing tourist attraction. The house looks as it would have when Scott occupied the rooms, allowing visitors to pass through his study and library- which occupies over 9,000 volumes.
Dundrennan AbbeyDundrennan Abbey Dundrennan Kirkcudbright
Dumfries & Galloway
DG6 4QH
+44 1557 500262
Dundrennan Abbey was first constructed in 1142 under the orders of King David I, and took over 50 years to complete. During its period of construction the major architectural style of the time changed from Romanesque to Gothic, which is interestingly reflected in the structure itself. Although this set of ruins is not as well preserved as many others in the country, the atmosphere of the place and the interesting combination of architectural styles make it well worth the trip.
Broughton House & GardenBroughton House & Garden 12 High Street Kirkcudbright DG6 4JX
+44 844 493 2246
Broughton House & Garden is the home to the famous Impressionist painter E A Hornel from 1901-1933. The Impressionist painters of the early 1900s were especially influenced by Japanese prints. Hornel in this interest created a Japanese style garden behind the house providing him with artistic inspiration and an escape from the busy world.
Bowhill House & GardenBowhill House & Garden Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust
Bowhill Selkirk
Scottish Borders
TD7 5ET
+44 1750 22204

Bowhill House & Garden is located on the Scottish Borders and is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch. The house dates from around 1812 and houses exceptional collections of art, silverware, porcelain and French furniture. The surrounding gardens were entirely designed by the famed John Gilpin and provide breathtaking views for visitors.
Thirlestane CastleThirlestane Castle Lauder
Berwickshire
TD2 6RU
+44 1578 722430

Thirlestane Castle is located within the parklands near Lauder in the Borders of Scotland. The castle is the location of the ancient seat of the Earls and Duke of Lauderdale, but has been owned by the Maitland family since 1587. The history of the castle can be dated back to the 13th century. In the years following the ownership of the Maitland family the castle underwent several reconstructions and modifications creating a lavish environment. In 1984 the castle was gifted to a charitable trust, which ensured its preservation and it underwent major repairs. The castle today is noted for its extensive grounds and stunning interior.
Dumfries MuseumDumfries Museum The Observatory
Rotchell Road Dumfries
DG2 7SW
+44 1387 253374

Dumfries Museum focuses on the history of the town and the surrounding areas on the border of Scotland and England. The museum is unique in that it has exhibits both inside and outside the museum. The staff leads tours outside the museum attracting attention to prehistoric footprints, stone carvings and weapons of previous inhabitants to the region. Another unique feature of the museum is the presence of the camera obscura located in the top half of the windmill attached to the museum. It is an ancient instrument used for astronomical purposes installed around 1836. This museum should really be visited by all in the area.
Threave Garden and EstateThreave Garden and Estate 3 Castle View Castle Douglas Dumfries and Galloway
DG7 1RX
+44 844 493 2245
Threave Garden and Estate was originally constructed with the Threave House, which was built in 1872 by William Gordon. Gordon’s grandson gifted the estate to the National Trust of Scotland in 1948, which has since maintains the estate and gardens as a visitor attraction. The extensive gardens are in no way a tribute to the historical period of the house rather they serve as a learning environment for avid gardeners.
Caerlaverock CastleCaerlaverock Castle Caerlaverock, Dumfries and Galloway
DG1 4RU
+44 1387 770244
Caerlaverock Castle is one of the most unique castles in all of Scotland for several reasons, first and most obvious is the way it is surrounded by a broad moat, second is its shape- an equilateral triangle. The history of this castle dates back to 1220 and Sir John De Maccuswell, who originally started the castle 200 meters south of the present structure. The nephew of Sir John began a new structure in 1270 which makes up most of the castle standing today. The location of the castle close to the border between England and Scotland resulted in the castle being at the center of many struggles throughout the years.
Hermitage CastleHermitage Castle Newcastleton, Hawick
Roxburghshire TD9 0LU
+44 13873 76222
Hermitage Castle was known as “the guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain”, it is believed to have been built by Nicholas de Soulis in the year 1240 and remained within this family line until 1320. The castle went back and forth between the Scots and the English throughout its history in many bloody battles, but became obsolete after the Union of Crowns in 1603 and slowly fell into disuse. The castle ended in the hands of the Scots and remained so until 1930 when it was handed over to the care of the Nation as a historical ruin. This site should be visited because of the importance of the castle throughout history.
Melrose AbbeyMelrose Abbey Abbey Street Melrose
TD6 9LG
+44 1896 822562
Melrose Abbey was founded in 1136 and built in the Gothic style by Cistercian monks, at the request of King David I. Although the Abbey is now in ruins it is known as having some of the finest architecture in all of Scotland and has a wealth of figure-sculpture, which has been well preserved. This celebrated religious house should be visited by all who have an interest in gothic architecture and art.

Central - Gleneagles, Stirling, Trossachs/Loch Lomond

GLENEAGLES

Gleneagles is most famous as the site of both the Gleneagles Hotel and golf course, which opened in 1924 having been built by the former Caledonian Railway Company. The hotel is set within 850 acres of Perthshire countryside, which also houses the golf courses as well as a wide range of outdoor activities. The golf courses are world renowned in Gleneagles including the King’s Course, Queen’s Course and PGA Centenary Course. These courses have hosted the Scottish Open from 1987-1994, Scottish PGS from 1999-present and is due to hold the 40th Ryder Cup in 2014.

Scone PalaceScone Palace Perth
PH2 6BD
+44 1738 552300

Scone Palace is located just outside Perth and is home to the Earls of Mansfield. The palace was constructed in the 16th century of red sandstone in the Georgian Gothic style. It was also once the crowning place to the Kings of Scots. The rich history of the palace involves the legend of the Stone of Scone (the Stone of Destiny), and claims the palace is the stones rightful home. The interior houses extensive collections of furniture, ceramics, ivories, and clocks. The surrounding grounds are marveled not only for the beautiful gardens but also as the best known breeding locality for Hawfinch. Throughout the grounds of the palace peacocks roam within the gardens creating an atmosphere of royal opulence.
Glenturret DistilleryGlenturret Distillery The Horsh
Crieff
PH7 4HA
+44 1764 656565
Glenturret Distillery is the oldest and most visited distillery in Scotland. The distillery was established in 1775 to make single malt whiskey. It survived the depression of 1830, which was a year that many other distilleries were forced to close. In 1870 Mr. Thomas Stewart expanded the warehouse and machinery due to a steadily increasing demand for whiskey. However, 1920 and US prohibition nearly shut the distillery for good. In 1957 it was purchased by James Fairlie and he refurbished the plant. He preserved the old methods of making whiskey and even today Glenturret whiskey is made using the Pot Still process. The Famous Grouse experience allows visitors to tour the distillery, ending in a tasting session, and glimpse the history of the building and its whiskey.
Blair CastleBlair Castle Blair Atholl Pitlochry Perthshire
PH18 5TL
+44 1796 481207

Blair Castle is located near the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire. The castle is the home of the Murray family who hold the title of Duke of Atholl. Blair Castle was started in 1269 by John I Comyn, who was a neighbor of the Duke’s, while the Duke was away on crusade. The castle is open on a daily basis and houses many important collections of weapons, hunting trophies, souvenirs of the Murray clan, paintings, furniture, and other historic artifacts collected by the many generations of the Murray family.
PitlochryPitlochry Pitlochry is largely a Victorian town situated on the River Tummel. Much of the success of this small town is attributed to the visits of General Wade in the early 1700s and that of Queen Victorian in 1842. The arrival of the railway in 1863 solidified the town’s status as a popular tourist destination. The town is surrounded by mountains; most popular is Ben Vrackie, which attracts visitors looking for outdoor adventure. The town, however, is also known for superb shopping. There is a wide range of shops selling anything from souvenirs to high end products. This combination results in a place with a small town feel and big town market.
Town of PerthTown of Perth Town of Perth is located in central Scotland on the banks of the River Tay. It is also known as St. Johns Town or the Fair City. The city centre is known for the High Street, which is a traffic free area with an array of shops both large and small. The architecture is predominately Georgian terrace houses throughout the downtown area. The town has much to offer visiting tourists in the form of shops, galleries and the theatre, as well as the more historic sites involving castles and palaces.

STIRLING

Stirling is located in central Scotland and historically is known as the “Gateway to the Highlands”, due to its geographical position near the boundary between the Lowlands and the Highlands. The city is constructed around a large fortress located next to the River Forth. The city was developed as an agricultural center for farmers to come and sell their goods. Thus today Stirling has developed into a substantial retail sector. The city boasts a number of large chain stores as well as the expected charming local establishments. Visitors to this city can enjoy historical landmarks, scenic river views, shopping, and many historical monuments such as Stirling Castle, the National Wallace Monument, and even the Blair Drummond Safari Park.

Stirling CastleStirling Castle Castle Esplanade Stirling
FK8 1EJ
+44 1786 450000
Stirling Castle is a must see when visiting central Scotland. The castle is located on high atop a large volcanic rock making it visible for many miles around. The majority of the castle standing today dates back between the years 1496-1583, and took the efforts of three Kinds to complete. Throughout its long history the castle has been attacked no less than 16 times, thus earning it a crucial spot in Scottish history. Today the castle is open to the public and offers visitors tremendous views of the surrounding countryside as well as a truly unique castle experience.
The Wallace MonumentThe Wallace Monument Abbey Craig Hillfoots Road
Causewayhead Stirling
FK9 5LF
+44 1786 472140

The Wallace Monument was completed in 1869, the result of 8 years of construction, and occupies a prominent position atop the Abbey Craig, just 2 miles north of Stirling. The monument commemorates William Wallace who is arguably the most famous Scottish man of all time. The location of the monument is where William Wallace watched the English army approach through Stirling in 1297 just before leading his men into a victorious battle against the English, and granting Scotland independence. Boasting magnificent views of the countryside below the monument, as well as allowing visitors to experience the proud history of this beloved Scot, the Wallace Monument should be visited by all traveling to central Scotland.
Falkirk WheelFalkirk Wheel Lime Road
Falkirk
FK1 4RS
+44 1324 619888

Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift, which is used as a means of connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The canals were previously connected by a complicated series of 11 locks but fell into disuse until the Millennium Commission designed the wheel. The Falkirk Wheel opened on May 24, 2002 and is a breathtaking display of engineering.

THE TROSSACHS / LOCH LOMOND AREA

The Trossachs denotes the woodlands between Ben An, Ben Venue, Loch Achray, and Loch Katrine, even extending beyond to include the area up to Loch Lomond. The area has been made famous for its connections to both Rob Roy and Queen Victoria, as well as its breathtaking countryside. However, nowadays the Trossachs are most frequented by outdoor enthusiasts. Sometimes referred to as “The Highlands in Miniature” The Trossachs region creates a physical boundary between the Highlands and the Lowlands. Offering visitors breathtaking countryside with views of mountains, lochs and glens the area is a must see for those seeking the great outdoors. The region boasts a refuge for walkers, cyclists, photographers, and any other visitor seeking outdoor adventure.

Rob Roy's GraveRob Roy's Grave Rob Roy’s Grave marks the final resting place of Scotland’s most popular outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor who lived from 1671-1734. Often referred to as the Scottish Robin Hood Rob Roy has been immortalized in “The Highland Rogue”, a fictionalized account of his life. The gravesite marks the burial place of Rob Roy, his wife Magy, and his sons Coll and Robert. The grave is part of a walking trail stretching 79 miles leading to all the major sites of the legends life.
Balloch CastleBalloch Castle Balloch Alexandria
West Dunbartonshire
G83 8LX
+44 1389 758134
Balloch Castle is located on the southern tip of Loch Lomond. The castle was built in 1808 by Robert Lugar and exemplifies the Scottish baronial style of the 19th and 20th centuries. This newer castle was constructed out the remains of and earlier castle built by Early of Lennox in 1238. The structure was abandoned around 1390 in favor of a structure on the island of Inchmurrin for security reasons. The current castle features walled gardens known for their magnificent display of flowers in the summer months.
Geilston GardensGeilston Gardens Cardross
Dumbarton
G82 5HD
+44 844 493 2219

Geilston Gardens were laid out more than 200 years ago as an addition to the Geilston House, dating back to the 17th century. The garden was developed to include several features: a traditional walled garden, kitchen garden, and a wooded area. The flowers visible within these gardens are a breathtaking visual experience. Geilston Gardens are open to the public from March to October, when the plants are blooming, and provide visitors with stunning views infused with dramatic color.

East Coast - St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Kingdom of Fife, Edinburgh

ST.ANDREWS

St. Andrews is known worldwide as the “home of golf”, primarily because it is the home to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, founded in 1754. The city was first settled during the Mesolithic era, shortly followed by the nomadic people who settled the modern town around 4,500 BC. The present town was established in 1140 by Bishop Robert and it began to develop economic and political power. However, the town fell into decay after the Scottish Reformation and the English Civil War and it wasn’t until the 19th century and the introduction of the golf industry that St. Andrews turned around. Although it is most notable for its golf, St. Andrews also boasts a world renowned university, The University of St. Andrews, which provides the city with an added educational culture.

St. Andrews CastleSt. Andrews Castle The Scores
Saint Andrews Fife
KY16 9AR
+44 1334 477196
St. Andrews Castle was first constructed in the late 1100s, however, in its early years changed ownership many times. In the early 1300s it fell into the hands of the English but was retaken by the Scots in 1314. It was seized again twice more before the Scots recovered it and destroyed the castle so it would be unusable to the English. It was reconstructed in the 14th century by Bishop Walter and was used as a state prison and bottle dungeon. Eventually the castle fell into disrepair and now stands as very picturesque ruins with a visitor center that provides the long history of the castle.
St. Andrews CathedralSt. Andrews Cathedral The Pends
Saint Andrews
KY16 9QL
+44 1334 472563
St. Andrews Cathedral is believed to have first been constructed around 732AD when the relics of St. Andrew were brought to the area. By the year 1144 the cathedral earned a place in the Scottish Church and set up a church community. In the years to follow the cathedral suffered serious damage due to gale winds, fire, and the Ward of Independence. The cathedral eventually fell into ruins and although there was often debate of rebuilding it never came to fruition. Today the ruins of this cathedral offer visitors and unique experience with the religious history of the area.
St. Andrews UniversitySt. Andrews University Saint Katharine's West
16 The Scores
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9AX
+44 1334 476161
St. Andrews University is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. The university is said to have been constructed between the years of 1410-1413. The university is world renowned for its education and research, and continually ranks in the top 5 universities in the UK. It is worth walking through to see the historic architecture and the history associated with the university.
The British Golf MuseumThe British Golf Museum The Scores
Saint Andrews Fife
KY16 9
+44 1334 460046

The British Golf Museum very fittingly is located in St. Andrews. Just around the corner from the museum is the historic Royal and Ancient Golf Clubhouse and views of both the first Tee and 18th hole of the St. Andrews Old Course. The museum houses golf archives and artifacts dating hundreds of years old. Although this museum is a must see for golf lovers it also provides insightful historical information interesting even to those less in love with golf.
Falkland PalaceFalkland Palace Falkland
Cupar
Fife
KY15 7BU
+44 844 493 2186
Falkland Palace is the former royal palace of the Scottish Kings. The palace was acquired by the Scottish Crown from MacDuff of Fife in the 14th century. King James IV and King James V transformed the castle into a royal palace between 1501 and 1541. The palace thereafter served as a popular retreat for the royal family. In the 1950s the palace was appointed to the National Trust of Scotland and was opened to the public. The palace is surrounded by beautiful extensive gardens that are in and of themselves worth visiting.
Village of CrailVillage of Crail Village of Crail is a small town located on one of the best small harbors known for shellfish. The village dates to the 16th century and is rich in history. This village should be visited by all for its picturesque views of the harbor and the quaint small town atmosphere, not to mention the out of this world seafood.
Cambo GardensCambo Gardens Cambo House Kingsbarns
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 8QD
+44 1333 450313
Cambo Gardens are a series of romantic Victorian walled gardens set around the Cambo burn. The gardens were first opened 16 years ago by Catherine Erskine, whose family has owned the land for generations. Whether walking through the gardens or visiting the more exotic greenhouse the Cambo Gardens should be visited by all.

CARNOUSTIE

Carnoustie is located at the mouth of the Barry Burn on the coast of the North Sea. Founded in the late 18th century the towns textile industry caused expansive growth in the 19th century. It has been a tourist town back to the Victorian era because of its picturesque seaside location. It is, however, most notable for its associations with golf, and the Carnoustie Golf Links. As one of the venues for the Open Championship, golf has been plays at the course since early in the 16th century.

Glamis CastleGlamis Castle Dundee Rd Glamis
Forfar
Angus
DD8 1RJ
+44 1307 840393
Glamis Castle is located next to the village of Glamis and is home to the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne. The castle was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, also known as the Queen Mother. The interior of the castle is beautifully preserved and should be visited by anyone interested in historical architecture.

KINGDOM OF FIFE

Dunfermline AbbeyDunfermline Abbey Saint Margaret Street
Dunfermline
Fife
KY12 7PE
+44 1383 724586

Dunfermline Abbey is a large Benedictine abbey founded in 1128 by King David I. The Abbey was sacked in 1560 and thereafter was left to decline. The Abbey is next to the ruins of Dunfermline Palace, however, has much more of the building intact. Most famous for the cult of St. Margaret the Abbey houses the tomb of the Saint. The current church building remains in use today and is well worth visiting.

EDINBURGH

Edinburgh has been the capital city of Scotland since 1437 and is the second largest city in the country. The city is notable for its stunning architecture, especially that which dates from the Georgian period. The city hit the 19th century like most and was industrialized, and although it did not grow much in size as a result of this industrialization it remains Scotland’s cultural and intellectual centre.

The City of Edinburgh The City of Edinburgh The City of Edinburgh is broken up into two main sections, Old Town and New Town. The Old Town has managed to preserve the original medieval plan of the city, and many Reformation era buildings. This section of the city houses the castle, St Giles’ Cathedral and the Law Courts. The New Town was created in the 18th century because of the need to expand the size of the city. This section of the city was designed by James Craig, and was created with a rigid grid like pattern. The city is known for the Edinburgh Festival which began in 1947 and runs every year from the end of July to early September. As can be expected in any large city there is a large market for shopping. Shopping in Edinburgh includes a wide variety of shops, ranging from up market department stores (such as Boots and H&M) to smaller individually owned souvenir shops. The addition of St. James Centre to the city has allowed the shopping market to expand including brands such as Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani, Mulberry and Harvey Nichols.
Edinburgh CastleEdinburgh Castle Castlehill
Edinburgh Midlothian
EH1 2NG
+44 131 225 9846

Edinburgh Castle can be dated back as far as the 9th century, the royal castle has occupied its current position since the reign of David I in the 12th century. The castle was involved in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century as well as the Jacobite Rising in 1745, as well as having been besieged number times- some of which were successful others of which were not. The castle is no longer a military base, but has retained a military presence at the castle, and instead is in the care of Historic Scotland and has become the second most visited tourist attraction in Scotland. This is an absolute must see of any visitors to Scotland, the castle is s symbol not only for Edinburgh but for all of Scotland as well.
Edinburgh TattooEdinburgh Tattoo Castlehill
Edinburgh Midlothian
EH1 2NG
+44 131 225 9846

Edinburgh Tattoo is an annual Military tattoo presented by the British Armed Forces, Commonwealth, and International military bands. The event is held every year as a part of the Edinburgh festival during the month of August. The first official took place in 1950 and has now expanded to include a 3 week long program.
The Hill of Tarvit Mansion House and GardenThe Hill of Tarvit Mansion House and Garden Fife
KY15 5PB
+44 844 493 2185
The Hill of Tarvit Mansion House and Garden was built in 1906 and designed by Sir Robert Lorimer. The house reflects the period in Scottish history when the country stood as an industrial workshop of the world. Lorimer designed the mansion to be a showcase for a collection of artworks- including Flemish tapestries, Chinese porcelain and bronze, French and English furniture, paintings by the famed Raeburn, as well as Ramsay and other Dutch artists. The gardens provide visitors a scenic escape into nature and also offer the opportunity to walk up the Hill of Tarvit
Holyrood PalaceHolyrood Palace Canongate Edinburgh Midlothian
EH8 8DX
+44 131 556 5100

Holyrood Palace is the official residence of the Monarch of the United Kingdom within Scotland. The palace was originally founded as a monastery by David I in 1128 and became the residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots in the 15th century. The palace is situated opposite Edinburgh Castle and is occupied one week each summer by Queen Elizabeth II before she continues on to Balmoral Castle for the remainder of her summer holiday.
National Museum of ScotlandNational Museum of Scotland Chambers Street Edinburgh
+44 131 225 7534

National Museum of Scotland is made up of The Museum of Scotland and The Royal Museum both on Chambers Street in the Old Town of Edinburgh. The Museum of Scotland is dedicated to the history, people and culture of Scotland. The Royal Museum was founded in the 19th century and contains historical artifacts from around the world, in the realms of geology, archaeology, natural history, science, technology and art. One of the most famous exhibits within the museum includes the stuffed body of Dolly (the sheep), the first successful clone of a mammal
Hopetoun HouseHopetoun House South Queensferry
Edinburgh EH30 9SL
+44 131 331 2451

Hopetoun House is located 11 miles west of Edinburgh. The house was originally built in 1699 for the Hope family by the famous architect Sir William Bruce. The house was enlarged in 1721 by William Adam, which was not completed until 1748. The famous artist Henry Raeburn was knighted by King George IV in 1822 in the Hopetoun House. The House remains the Hope family home today and is furnished entirely in 18th century furniture and paintings.
The Scottish Mining MuseumThe Scottish Mining Museum Lady Victoria Colliery
Dalkeith
Newtongrange Dalkeith, Midlothian
EH22 4QN
+44 131 663 7519

The Scottish Mining Museum was created in 1984 in an attempt to preserve the physical remains of Lady Victoria Colliery. The museum has developed collections, which include a library. This site provides visitors with a unique historical experience.
Dirleton CastleDirleton Castle Dirleton Road
North Berwick East Lothian EH39 5ER
+44 1620 850330
Dirleton Castle is located 19 miles from Edinburgh and is a medieval fortress. The oldest part of the castle dates back to the 13th century, but was abandoned by the 17th century. The castle received heavy damage during the Wars of Scottish Independence when it was seized by the English. After a tumultuous history the castle was acquired in 1650 by John Nisbet and remained within the family until it was placed in the care of the state in 1923. The castle rests on a rocky outcrop in the path of a coastal approach from England, which resulted in the castles violent history. Today the ruins stand amongst several gardens, including a 16th century doocot (pigeon house) and offer visitors spectacular views of historical architecture and a scenic coastline.
Craigmillar CastleCraigmillar Castle Craigmillar Castle Road Edinburgh EH16 4SY
+44 131 661 4445
Craigmillar Castle is the ruins of a 14th century castle belonging to the Preston family, who were feudal barons of Craigmillar. In 1660 the castle changed hands and was taken over by Sir John Gilmour. However, the family left the castle in the 18th century and it slowly fell into ruin. The castle is one of the most well preserved in all of Scotland. Much of the original structure is still intact making this sight well worth visiting, allowing visitors a firsthand view of a piece of history.
John Muir’s birthplaceJohn Muir’s birthplace 128 High Street Dunbar East Lothian EH42 1JJ
+44 1368 865899

John Muir’s birthplace is the location that the Scottish-born American naturalist was born on April 21st, 1838. John Muir wrote letters, essay, and books articulating his experiences and relationship with nature and advocating the preservation of the U.S. wilderness. The writings and philosophy of this man has a profound effect on the formation of the modern environmental movement.
Tantallon CastleTantallon Castle North Berwick EH39 5PN
+44 1620 892727
Tantallon Castle is a mid 14th century fortress which rests on a cliff atop the Firth of Forth. The castle is the last of its kind to have been constructed in Scotland. Built by William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas, the castle was left to his illegitimate son and remained within his family for most of its history. King James IV besieged the castle in 1491 as did his successor James V in 1528. It was also active in the Bishop War in 1639 and during Oliver Cromwell’s invasion of Scotland in 1651. The castle is most famous for its ghosts. In March 2009 Richard Wiseman released a photo to the public taken within the castle revealing a figured dressed in courtly garb. Three photographic experts have all confirmed that the image has not been manipulated with, which has heightened the belief that ghosts inhabit the castle.
Scottish Seabird CentreScottish Seabird Centre Harbour Terrace
North Berwick
East Lothian
EH39 4SS
+44 1620 890202
Scottish Seabird Centre was pioneered by Bill Gardner and opened on the 20th May, 2000. The centre is full of exhibits, knowledgeable staff and many varieties of birds. The building itself is unique in its structure and design and provides visitors with a unique experience.
Rosslyn ChapelRosslyn Chapel Chapel Loan Roslin
Midlothian EH25 9PU
+44 131 440 2159

Rosslyn Chapel was founded as a Roman Catholic collegiate church approximately 6 miles from Edinburgh. The chapel was founded in the mid 15th century by William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness. After the Scottish Reformation in 1560 Roman Catholic worship was ended within the Chapel and was closed to the public until 1861 when it was opened according to the Scottish Episcopal Church. The Chapel is worth visiting for anyone remotely interested in historical architecture as it boasts some of the finest in all of Scotland.
Royal Yacht BritanniaRoyal Yacht Britannia Ocean Terminal
Leith
Edinburgh Midlothian
EH6 6JJ
+44 131 555 5566

Royal Yacht Britannia is the former Royal Yacht of the British royal family. The vessel is permanently moored as an exhibition at Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh. During the time that the yacht was in service to the royal family it took the Queen and other members of the family on 696 foreign visits and 272 visits in British waters. Today the yacht is a great tourist site, providing visitors with a true royal yacht experience.
Linlithgow PalaceLinlithgow Palace Kirkgate
Linlithgow
West Lothian EH49 7AL
+44 1506 842896
Linlithgow Palace is located 15 miles west of the city of Edinburgh and dates back to the 12th century. Throughout its history the site was used as a military base to secure the supply route between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. Since the early 19th century the palace has been actively conserved and is now open to the public year round. The palace provides visitors with a very well conserved ruin.

North - Inverness, Dornoch

INVERNESS AREA

Inverness is the capital of the Highlands situated at the beginning of the Great Glen, where the River Ness enters the Moray Firth. The city is also located near the site of the Battle of Culloden in the 18th century. This history of this city extends back to 565 AD when it was one of the strongholds of the Picts. Traditionally the city supported industries such as distilling and farming. Today, however, the city has replaced the more tradition industries with high-tech businesses making it a modern commercial center located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. The commercial development of the area has naturally led to an explosion of shop, throughout the city visitors can find a range of store, from large shopping centers to small individually owned local shops.

Culloden Moorculloden moor.jpg Inverness
Highland
IV2
It was here that Bonnie Prince Charlie’s troops were finally defeated by those of the Duke of Cumberland in 1746. The battle lasted only 40 minutes; the Prince’s army lost some 1200 men and the king’s army only 310. Old Leanach Cottage has been restored as a museum and contains exhibits and information about the battle.
Cawdor Castlecawdor castle.jpg Nairn, IV12 5RD
+44 1667 404401

Cawdor Castle is situated approximately 10 miles east of Inverness amongst magnificent gardens. The castle belonged to the Clan Calder and remains today the home to the Dowager Countess Cawdor. Most famous for its fictional connection to William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the tragedy’s main character was Thane of Cawdor. The first documentation of the castle is 1454 and comes in the form of a building license granted to William, Thane of Cawdor. Portions of the castle precede this date according to architectural historians, dating parts of the castle as early as 1372. Visitors to this castle can see the inspiration for the setting of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as well as enjoy the landscape and stunning surrounding gardens.
Loch Nessloch ness.jpg Loch Ness is probably the most famous Loch in all of Scotland and allegedly the home of the legendary Loch Ness Monster, lovingly referred to as "Nessie". Loch Ness is the second largest Scottish loch by surface, however, due to its great depths (up to 754 ft) it is the largest by volume. The legend of the Loch Ness Monster has been around since an account of Saint Columbia, in AD565 who rescued a swimmer from a lake creature. The evidence for the legend surrounds a series of sightings, over the last 100 years, of the plesiosaur-like dinosaur supported by indistinct photographic evidence. Although scientists claim that sonar surveys have revealed no presence of Nessie, the famous Loch is so deep and home to so many underwater caves that there are plenty of places to hide…
The Malt Whisky Trailmalth whisky trail.jpg Aberdeen
Grampian

The Malt Whisky Trail is the only whisky trail in the world and covers more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries. Scotland is world famous for its whisky and the whisky trail allows you to travel from distillery to distillery touring the facilities and sampling the product. The trail in the Highlands, through Inverness, is the largest of all the trails and includes 14 different distilleries.
John O Groatsjohn o groats.jpg Highland KW1 John O Groats is the most northern point in Great Britain. The location boasts a quant hotel, souvenir shop, tourist information center, ferries, and a host of high quality shops for craft and other products. John O Groats is named after a Dutchman, Jan de Groot, who in 1496 was granted the ferry franchise between the harbor to Orkney by King James IV. De Groot began developing the area around his franchise, starting with the construction of a house, which is now marked by a flagpole near the hotel.

DORNOCH AREA

Dornoch is a historic small town on the edge of the Dornoch Firth. The town is nestled in a tranquil location offering visitors magnificent scenery and a pleasant climate. The area boasts the 13th century Dornoch Cathedral, Dornoch Castle, Glenmorangie Distillery, Dunrobin Castle and Falls of Shin. Dornoch offers visitors a wide range of shops, business, hotels, and of course two golf courses, including Royal Dornoch. Royal Dornoch was ranked 3rd in Golf Digest Top 100 International 2007 ranking and remains one of the best golf courses in the world. The town is also famous as the last place in Great Britain where a witch was burnt. Janet Horne was tried and condemned to death for sorcery in 1727. The interesting history combined with the picturesque landscape make this small Scottish town definitely worth visiting.

Dornoch CastleDornoch Castle Castle Street
Dornoch
Sutherland
IV25 3SD
+44 1862 810216
Dornoch Castle is located directly opposite Dornoch Cathedral. The castle was built in the 12th century and was originally home to the bishops of Caithness. Later additions to the structure include the 14th century keep and the 16th century tower. Similarly to the Cathedral the Castle was set fire in 1570 due to a feud between the McKays and the Murrays. The result of the fire was the steady decay of the castle until its rebuilding in the 19th century as a school and jail. Today the building is used as a hotel and popular restaurant, it is located a mere 5 minutes from the Royal Dornoch Golf Course.
Glenmorangie DistilleryGlenmorangie Distillery Tain
Ross-Shire
IV19 1PZ
+44 1862 892043

Glenmorangie Distillery is the maker of the most popular single malt sold in Scotland. The distillery can be dated back as early as the 1700s when it was recorded as Morangie Farm. The current building has origins as a brewery before it was legally converted to a still in 1843. The stills at this distillery are much smaller than usual and have a boil pot (small bulge) at the base of the column. The original building was constructed around a second-hand London Gin still resulting in the unique construction of this distillery. The Glenmorangie Distillery should definitely be visited by anyone who is a fan of whisky.
Dunrobin CastleDunrobin Castle Golspie
Sutherland
KW10 6SF
+44 1408 633177

Dunrobin Castle is the result of a conglomeration of styles evolving over many centuries of expansion and restoration. The tower of the existing castle dates from 1520 but parts of it may date all the way back to the time of William, 3rd Early, in 1327. The first major enlargement occurred in the 18th century when it was reconstructed into a courtyard castle. The upper floors of the castle are allegedly haunted by the ghost of a daughter of the 14th Earl. The young girl attempted to elope and was subsequently imprisoned by her father in one of the attic rooms. One tragic day she was attempting to escape out of her window when she was surprised by the father and fell to her death. The haunting is supposedly so severe that several of the attic rooms have been abandoned.
Falls of ShinFalls of Shin Achany Glen
Lairg
Highlands and Islands
IV27 4EE
+44 1549 402231

Falls of Shin is the location of the famous salmon leaping. Between April and November visitors can view the tremendous journey of the salmon up the waterfalls current to their spawning grounds. The salmon leap out of the water, into the air, in order to escape the strength of the currents. This location just outside Dornoch is a once in a lifetime experience.

North East

ABERDEEN / CRUDEN BAY AREA

The area surrounding Aberdeen has been settled for nearly 8000 years. Traditionally the area was predominately supported by the industries of fishing, textile, shipbuilding and paper making. Today, however, these industries have been largely replaced by high technology. The economic boom that has resulted from the industry shift in the last three decades has created a massive shopping industry in Aberdeen. The city now ranks third in Scotland for shopping. Union and George Street lead the way in places to shop in Aberdeen, and are followed closely by Union Square

City of Aberdeen