Scotland has seven cities: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling and Perth. Edinburgh is the capital city while Glasgow is the largest. These cities are a must-see as they have a lot to offer tourists – delicious food, beautiful sights, medieval architecture, and amazing shopping. Scotland also has many islands, lochs (lakes), and highlands. There are beautiful museums and castles, that have many fables and folklore associated with them, making them very special. Given below is a list of Scotland’s most beautiful places to visit.
Clockwise – Aberdeen Harbor, The Town House on Union Street, King’s College
Aberdeen has been given the monikers – the Granite City, the Grey City, and the Silver City with the Golden Sands, because most of the buildings in this city are made of gray granite. The particles of mica present in this type of granite give the buildings a silver sparkle, making them very unique. The main tourist attractions in this city are the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Aberdeen Arts Centre, Provost Ross’ House, Marischal Museum, Aberdeen Harbor, The Town House on Union Street, King’s College, and the King’s Museum.
Apart from the beautiful sights in this city, Aberdeen is also known as the shopper’s paradise of Scotland. It is one of the oldest shopping areas of the country. Union Street and George Street are the areas to shop till you drop. Also visit the Trinity Centre and the Bon Accord & St Nicholas Shopping Centres, as they are the best shopping centers in Aberdeen.
Clockwise – Tay Rail Bridge, Claypotts Castle, Dundee War Memorial
The city of Dundee is also known as the city of ‘jute, jam, and journalism’. This city expanded rapidly during the 19th century due to its jute industry. Tay Rail Bridge, Claypotts Castle, Dundee War Memorial, RRS Discovery and City Centre, Magdalen Yard Bandstand, and the University of Dundee are the places of importance in Dundee.
Dundee is a paradise for foodies and has superb restaurants with splendid multi-cuisine menu. Restaurants to pay a visit to are The Tapas Bar, The Ship Inn and Waterfront Restaurant, The Playwright, Jute Cafe Bar at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Agacan, and The Tasting Rooms.
Clockwise – Panoramic view of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, Ross Fountain
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. It is situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth in Scotland’s Central Belt. This city is home to Scottish rugby, two professional football teams (Hearts & Hibs), the Scottish Cricket team, golf courses, and many sporting clubs. Edinburgh is also known as the festival capital of the world as it hosts many festivals, like The Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival, and many others.
The main places to visit in the capital city are the Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, the National War Museum, the Museum of Edinburgh, Ross Fountain, the Museum of Childhood, and the Edinburgh Zoo.
From top left – Football Field in Glasgow, Clyde Auditorium, Clyde Arc, River Clyde
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the third largest city in the United Kingdom. It is one of the largest seaports in the world, and is situated on the River Clyde. Places to visit in this beautiful city are the Clyde Auditorium, Clyde Arc, River Clyde, Glasgow Science Centre, Duke of Wellington statue outside Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, The Lighthouse, Gilbert Scott Building of the University of Glasgow, Finnieston Crane, and Glasgow City Chambers.
The meaning of Glasgow is ‘dear green place’, and this city definitely lives up to its meaning. It houses numerous parks that one can retire to for a quiet evening after all the sightseeing. One of the prominent parks to visit in this city for recreation is Queens Park, which has beautiful rose gardens, and activities for children and adults at its Orienteering Course, Pitch and Putt, and Bowling Greens.
Clockwise – Cityscape of Inverness, The Inverness Bridge, The Inverness Castle, The River Ness
Inverness is taken from the Scottish Gaelic – Inbhir Nis, which means ‘Mouth of the River Ness’. This city is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and is considered the capital of the Highlands of Scotland. Inverness is located near two very important battle sites – The Aird (11th century battle of Blàr nam Fèinne) and Culloden Moor (18th century Battle of Culloden).
This city is a photographer’s paradise due to its scenic beauty. The amazing sights in and around the city include the The Inverness Castle, Great Glen (Gleann Mòr), the River Ness, Loch Ness, Nairn, and Aigas Field Centre. After a long day of admiring the sights in and around Inverness, you can relax by shopping, eating, drinking, as this city has numerous riverside restaurants and cafés; or just take a stroll around the riverside.
Clockwise – Stirling Castle, The National Wallace Monument, Statue of Robert the Bruce
Being the center for local government, higher education, retail, and light industry, Stirling is an important city in Scotland. You can visit The Wallace Monument, The tomb of James III, Statue of Robert the Bruce, the Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling Castle, Broad Street, Castle Wynd, Ballengeich Pass, Lower Castle Hill Road, and St. Mary’s Wynd.
Stirling Arcade is the place you must go to if you are in a mood to shop to your heart’s content, as most of the best retailers in Stirling are located there.
From left – Cityscape of Perth, The River Tay
Also known as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’, the city of Perth is located in the central region of Scotland on the banks of the river Tay, and is a popular tourist destination due to its rich history. History lovers should see St John’s Kirk on South St John’s Place, Perth Museum and Art Gallery, St Paul’s Church, Pullar House on Mill Street, and the Fair Maid’s House on North Port.
Sports fans should check out McDiarmid Park in the Tulloch area of the city, as most of their major football matches take place there. Perth is also known for its two parks – North Inch and South Inch, which were given to the city by King Robert III in 1377.
This golf club, situated between Aberdeen & Inverness on the Moray Firth Coast, is a par 63 course and an idyllic destination for golf lovers to spend their vacations in.
This freshwater loch is situated in the Highland Boundary Fault, and is the largest stretch of inland water in Great Britain by surface area.
A freshwater loch located in Perth and Kinross council area, central Scotland, Loch Leven is a paradise for bird watchers, as it houses countless species of beautiful birds.
Located on a tidal islet on Loch Laich, which is an inlet off Loch Linnhe, Castle Stalker is a four-story tower house, which is absolutely picturesque.
Caerlaverock Castle is a beautiful triangular moated castle that was built in the 13th century. It is a very popular tourist attraction.
The Urquhart Castle is situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness. This castle is located in the Highlands of Scotland and is known for its history and breathtaking view.
Loch Morlich is for the adventure lovers and adrenaline junkies, as it has kayaking, sailing, and windsurfing, among other activities.
The Winterfield Golf Club in Dunbar has a spectacular location, with Isle of May and Lammermuir Hills providing a spectacular view to golfers and tourists.
In Gaelic, Loch Long means Ship Lake. During World War II, this lake was used as a testing ground for torpedoes, but now, the lake offers a wide variety of water sports like sport diving.
The Turnberry Golf Course is the most well-kept golf course in Turnberry. It is located on the coast of the Firth of Clyde in southwestern Scotland, and provides a beautiful view of the prominent rock island Ailsa Craig.
Loch Etive is believed to have got its name from the Gaelic Goddess of the lake, and its supposed meaning is the little ugly. This lake is mostly known for its colony of around 20 common seals.
Loch Katrine is a freshwater lake in Stirling, Scotland. It supplies water to the city of Glasgow and other surrounding areas. It is a very popular tourist spot and gets most of its tourism from Glasgow.
Loch Ness is probably the most famous lake in the world due to the alleged sightings of the Loch Ness Monster a.k.a. Nessie. Loch Ness is the second largest lake by size in Scotland, but the largest by volume owing to its depth.
The Dunnottar Castle is also known as the ‘fort on the shelving slope’, as it is located on a rocky headland on the north-east coast of Scotland. This castle overlooks the North Sea, and is a scheduled monument.
St. Andrews is one of the oldest golf courses in the world. It was established in 1552, and is known as the home of golf. St. Andrews is a must-see as it is the place where golf was said to have originated.
Located on the west coast of Scotland, the village of Morar is best known for its beautiful bay. The beach is known for its beautiful white sands and is popularly known as the ‘White Sands of Morar’.
Scotland may appear to be a small country, but there are many places that can be visited. Every place in Scotland has a history associated with it and is special in its own way.