5 Top Attractions in Scotland
5 Extraordinary Places to Visit in Scotland
Travelling around Scotland is a privilege with outstanding sights and sounds all around. The Highlands have a wealth of natural beauty, Glasgow has a thriving live music scene, and the Whiskey Trail of the North East is hard to beat.
What are the most extraordinary places in Scotland to visit? Why not give these five a try.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Glasgow has a huge selection of Art Galleries, but Kelvingrove is special. The building itself is wonderful and was fully restored only a few years ago.
The permanent collection is amongst the most eclectic and varied anywhere in the world. If you want to search through Ancient Egyptian artefacts and view world class examples of the Arts and Crafts movement, then Kelvingrove is the place for you.
Set up in the far north of Scotland in the Orkney Islands, Skara Brae is well worth the trip. Deeply evocative of the past the stone houses were occupied between 3180 BC to about 2500 BC and it is the best preserved Neolithic village in Europe.
The eight houses of Skara Brae have been compared to Pompeii for the preservation of the Neolithic way of life with stone dressers and beds all being visible. This Unesco World Heritage site is one of four main Neolithic sites in Orkney and was discovered in 1850 after a storm.
It’s only when you are there with the wind blowing that you can understand the excellent design of the houses and gain an appreciation for the ancient past of Scotland. Older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Egypt it is well worth travelling up to Orkney to see it for yourself.
Edinburgh’s Royal Mile
Recently voted as one of the most beautiful streets in Britain, the Royal Mile is the heart of the Old Town of Edinburgh. Most of the year this wonderful long street is a wonderful uphill walk from Holyrood Palace at the bottom to Edinburgh Castle at the top.
However, come August the street is crammed full of performers and enthusiastic actors promoting their shows featuring in the Edinburgh Festivals. It can be a struggle to walk from end to end, but if you are just soaking up the atmosphere then it’s a great place to be. There are a huge collection of shops, pubs, small galleries, museums, and tourist destinations running the full length of the street.
Wander off the Royal Mile and you will find the eclectic student areas of the University of Edinburgh to the West and to the East and down the hill, you’ll find the New Town, which is another extraordinary place to visit all on its own.
Located in the North East of Scotland, Balmoral Castle belongs to the Queen as her summer residence. Needless to say, when the Royal Family are in residence you cannot go and tour around the estate. But you can tour the grounds, exhibitions, and get a cup of tea from April to July and it’s well worth it.
The majestic beauty of the estate surrounding the castle is truly wonderful and if you arrive in Scotland when it’s closed don’t worry. There are a staggering number of castles in the area around Balmoral. Most of them were built in the 19th Century when Queen Victoria made it fashionable to travel to Scotland on holiday. Much of the aristocracy followed suit and if they could build a castle of their own they did so in high Victorian style.
If castles aren’t your thing, then the area surrounding Balmoral is also famous for Whiskey Distilleries and there are a great number of these to visit too.
There aren’t many places more atmospheric than Loch Ness. If you arrive on a dark and rainy day and chances are you will be with the Scottish weather being what it is, then you will easily believe in the Loch Ness Monster too.
The deep and dark waters of the Loch and the towering mountains surrounding it fire the imagination during a long dark winter and anyone would be seeing monsters in the mist. The Highlands are beautiful and the drive from the South of Scotland up to Loch Ness is worth it just for the lovely journey through mountains and valleys.