Scotland is full of iconic places. Whether it be from historic events, film & TV or even myth. If you ever find yourself travelling in Scotland, you NEED to visit at least a couple of them! Here’s a list (that I would recommend) of 10 iconic places you need to see in Scotland…
10. Arthur’s Seat
To the East of Edinburgh city centre (about 1 mile East of the Castle), stands Arthur’s Seat. It stands at 822ft (250.5m) so it’s not relatively big compared to some of Scotland’s hills & mountains but the view of the city from the summit is spectacular. The hill itself is easy enough to climb and is extremely popular for hill walking. Also, in mythology, it is mentioned as one of the possible locations of Camelot, King Arthur’s castle. If you’re looking for a good hill to take on, head for Arthur’s Seat!
9. Loch Shiel & Glenfinnan Monument
Loch Shiel can be found roughly 12 miles (20km) West of Fort William. It’s the 4th longest loch in Scotland and lies to the South of Glenfinnan (I’ll mention the viaduct later). Harry Potter fans should recognize the loch as it was used for the Black Lake at Hogwarts. If that isn’t a reason to go visit, then go for the incredible landscape and to learn about the history of the Jacobyte uprising that began there. There is a monument on the Northern shores of the loch which was erected in 1815 to commemorate the start of the Jacobyte uprising.
8. Doune Castle
Doune Castle is one of the most famous filming locations in Scotland. It has featured in movies and TV series such as Monty Python, Game of Thrones, Outlander and most recently, The Outlaw King. The castle was originally built in the 13th Century but over the years it has had to be repaired due to wars & conflicts. Admission to the castle costs £6 for adults and £3.60 for kids. I’d recommend visiting the castle, not only to see if you can recognize where scenes were shot but to witness how people lived hundreds of years ago.
7. Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle can be found on the Western shores of Loch Ness. The castle ruins date back to between the 13th and 16th Centuries. To get to the castle, admission is £9 for adults and £5.40 for kids or you can admire the castle and loch from afar in the car park for free. While you’re there, try spot ‘Nessie’ in Loch Ness!
6. Forth Road Bridge
Opened in 1964, the Forth Road Bridge connects Edinburgh (South Queensferry) and Fife (North Queensferry) over the Firth of Forth. When it was first opened, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world (outside of the USA). Take a trip over it then admire the bridge from either North or South with a stunning sunset.
5. Rannoch Moor
Rannoch Moor is boggy moorland covering about 50 square miles to the West of Loch Rannoch. The Moor is worth a visit to see the wildlife alone, not to mention the gorgeous landscape . Also, it features in films such as ‘Outlander’ and ‘Trainspotting’. On you’re way to see Buachaille Etive Mor, be sure to stop at Rannoch Moor, take a walk and enjoy the beauty!
4. Buachaille Etive Mor
One of the most recognisable mountains in Scotland, Buachaille Etive Mor translates from Gaelic to “the Herdsman of Etive”. Quite fitting as it stands at the head of Glen Etive. For fans of James Bond, you would recognise this mountain from Skyfall as 007 heads to Scotland with ‘M’. Whether it be to bag the Munro or gaze in awe at the majestic mountain, Buachaille Etive Mor is a must-see.
3. Glenfinnan Viaduct
The Glenfinnan Viaduct has become increasingly more popular since the release of the Harry Potter saga as it featured in the film as the track that the Hogwarts Express travelled across. You can actually travel across the Viaduct on the train to Mallaig if you want to re-enact the scenes from the films. It is free to visit, all you have to do is pay for parking at the visitor centre. It’s definitely a must-see for wizards and muggles.
2. Edinburgh Castle
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland would be Edinburgh Castle. It sits upon Castle Rock in the heart of Edinburgh and is a major part of the city skyline. Parts of the castle date back to the 12th Century and they have survived many sieges and conflicts, making the castle one of the most attacked in the world.
1. Wallace Monument
The tower was built in the 19th century to commemorate Sir William Wallace, one of Scotland’s most famous heroes. It stands on the shoulder of Abbey Craig, a hilltop that overlooks the city of Stirling. Admission to the Monument costs £10.50 for adults and £6.50 for kids. It’s definitely worth a visit, you not only learn about the legend of William Wallace and other Scottish heroes, the view from the crown of the Monument is stunning.
So there we have it, 10 iconic places you need to see in Scotland. Have you ever travelled to Scotland? And if so, did you see any of the places on this list? Let me know in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading,