Scotland

United Kingdom
Isle of Skye featuring mountains, a cascade and a river or creek

Tour a whisky distillery, travel to the Scottish isles, climb the tallest mountains in Britain and go looking for the mythical Loch Ness monster.

With tall granite peaks, rocky coastlines, canals, lochs and cliff-top castles, Scotland is filled with stunning scenery. Spend time in the major cities to see another side to the country, which has world-class galleries and museums, fascinating historic monuments and a range of cultural events.

Many visitors make the capital city Edinburgh their first stop. Stroll along the Old Town’s Royal Mile up to Edinburgh Castle. Here you can see the Crown Jewels that were used in the coronation of Mary Queen of Scots in 1543, when she was just 9 months old. See Dolly the sheep, the world’s first cloned mammal, at the National Museum of Scotland. Browse the shops along Princes Street, the city’s main thoroughfare. Come in August for the Edinburgh Festival, the largest arts festival in the world.

An hour’s drive to the west of Edinburgh is Glasgow. Once an industrial heartland, the city has been transformed into a leading cultural center. Explore its many museums and galleries including the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Glasgow Science Centre and the Glasgow Police Museum. Visit George Square in the heart of the city to see its statues and monuments.

Beyond the cities, the countryside entices with scenic walks and adventure. Climb up the 4,409-feet (1,344-meter) Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. Walk along the trails of Cairngorms National Park and spot wildlife such as red squirrels and wildcats. Learn more about the legend of Nessie when you visit Loch Ness. Try to catch a glimpse of the fabled monster.

To get better acquainted with one of Scotland’s most famous exports, whisky, follow the Malt Whisky Trail between Inverness and Aberdeen. Visit working distilleries and sample distinctive malts.

Scotland is also known for its many ancient castles that dot the landscape. Go to Aberdeen City and Shire for the Castle Trail. The route takes in 17 castles including Dunnottar Castle and Balmoral Castle, the Scottish home of Queen Elizabeth II.

If you have the opportunity, visit Scottish islands such as Skye, Bute and Mull. Enjoy their wildlife, beaches and villages.

Popular cities in Scotland

Arthur\'s Seat featuring a castle, heritage architecture and views
Edinburgh
Visitors flock to the cultural and historic heart of Scotland to enjoy the city’s atmosphere and its many landmarks, parks and gardens.

Reasons to visit

  • Royal Yacht Britannia
  • Edinburgh International Conference Centre
  • Edinburgh Castle
The SSE Hydro showing mist or fog and night scenes
Glasgow

Reasons to visit

  • University of Glasgow
  • The SSE Hydro
  • Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre
Dundee showing a river or creek and a small town or village
Dundee
Explore a city built on a jute empire, with magnificent Victorian architecture, beautiful North Sea beaches and an extinct volcano offering fabulous views.

Reasons to visit

  • V&A Dundee
  • Discovery Point
  • City Square
Urquhart Castle featuring a lake or waterhole and building ruins
Inverness
Inverness has all the attractions of a major city, including quality museums and heritage sites, as well as a perfect placement for Highland exploring.

Reasons to visit

  • Inverness Castle
  • Urquhart Castle
  • Eden Court Theatre
Aberdeen featuring a square or plaza, a city and night scenes
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland’s third largest city and one of the most prosperous urban communities in the UK. It owes its success over the past few decades to strong links with the North Sea oil and gas industry as well as fishing, farming, finance and property. It's also an ancient city, home to Scotland’s third oldest university and a favourite of Scottish and British Royalty for centuries. Affectionately known as the ‘Granite City’ after its many impressive examples of granite architecture, Aberdeen holds the record for most wins in the prestigious Britain in Bloom gardening competition. With beautiful parks, coastal views, celebrated golf courses and The Cairngorms National Park just a short journey away, Aberdeen is an inspired city break destination.

Reasons to visit

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Duthie Park Winter Gardens