Inspirational places to visit in Scotland

There are many incredible sights to see in Scotland. From the cultural beauty of the inner cities to the natural tranquillity of the Scottish Highland villages, landmarks and lochs, there’s inspiration everywhere.

Here is a list of some of the most inspirational and beautiful places to visit in Scotland.

1. Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye- beautiful places to visit in ScotlandNoted by many, including National Geographic, for being one of the Highlands’ places of outstanding beauty, the Isle of Skye has also been rated as one of the ‘top 50 tours of a lifetime’. Breath-taking mountainous scenery, rugged landscapes and glittering waterfalls welcome you as you venture out to this Inner Hebridean island. Take the boat to the island from the west coast port of Mallaig or from Oban in Argyll, or you can catch a bus from Inverness or Glasgow.

2. Loch Ness

Loch Ness- beautiful places to visit in ScotlandYou’ve heard the tales, now come and see and experience this mysterious loch for yourself. Situated just outside the city of Inverness, Loch Ness has had both visitors and scientists intrigued and baffled for many years, ever since the first photograph emerged in 1933 which appeared to show a mysterious creature in the Loch’s dark depths. There are plenty of ways to try and solve the mystery, from boat tours to long scenic walks along South Loch Ness. But the big question remains- can you spot Nessie?

3. Three Sisters Mountains, Glencoe

Three Sisters, Glencoe- beautiful places to visit in ScotlandGlencoe is arguably one of Scotland’s most famous glens and is home to the three sisters mountains, whose views are said to be breath-taking and beautiful by amazed visitors and locals alike. The mountains have been shaped over millions of years from some of the oldest volcanic and sedimentary earth layers in the world and they are a marvel to behold. If you’re visiting the Scottish highlands, then this mountainous family and their beautiful Glencoe home are well worth a visit.

4. Fingal’s Cave, Isle of Staffa

Isle of Staffa- beautiful places to visit in ScotlandSituated out on the Isle of Staffa, Fingal’s Cave is well worth the adventurous journey. Standing tall and impressive at 227 feet from the ocean surrounding it, Fingal’s Cave is a geometric marvel of ancient columns created over 60 million years ago, and are part of the same volcanic remains that are said to have formed the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. Follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria and Sir Walter Scott and take a cruise tour over from Oban in Argyll to the Isle of Staffa where you can hear for yourself the amazing acoustics of Fingal’s Cave which inspired classical composer Mendelssohn, and even spot a few puffins in the summer months.

5. Galloway Forest Park

Galloway Forest Park- beautiful places to visit in ScotlandSeeing the raw wonder of nature is the key to Scotland’s appeal and Galloway Forest Park is another of Scotland’s inspirational highlights. The forest attracts over 800,000 visitors a year and yet very few people actually inhabit the area. This low population has helped Galloway to achieve ‘Dark Sky Park’ status by the International Dark Sky Association meaning that Galloway Forest- the only Dark Sky Park in the UK- is the place to go to see planets, the bright band of the Milky Way, as well as over 7,000 stars- all with the naked eye.

6. Doune Castle

Doune Castle- beautiful places to visit in ScotlandRising to fame from the award-winning fantasy drama, Game of Thrones, Doune Castle was a 14th-century Medieval stronghold for the village of Doune and has one of the finest preserved great halls in Scotland. Be inspired as you pass by the impressive 100ft gatehouse to enter into the domestic quarters which include Lord’s Hall with it’s carved oak screen and musician’s gallery. Doune Castle isn’t only known as Winterfell, this grand castle just outside the city of Stirling was also used as the filming location for the BBC productions of Ivanhoe and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

7. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park- beautiful places to visit in ScotlandWhat better way to find inspiration than a huge, beautiful National Park. Loch Lomond offers a great experience for every kind of visitor; whether you’d prefer to just admire the spectacular views, discover the abundance of nature around the park, or you want to inspire your family and friends into action by doing an activity such as cycling, rambling, angling, climbing or golf (among many others!). There are also loch cruises and water buses for a more relaxed alternative to seeing all the fantastic nature and wildlife the loch has to offer.

8. West Highland Railway, Scottish Highlands

Glenfinnan Railway Viaduct- beautiful places to visit in ScotlandYou may well have caught a glimpse of this railway and its stunning scenery as the Hogwarts Express chugged along the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct, taking Harry and his friends to Hogwarts for another year of magic. Now you can experience some Scottish magic for yourself by taking your own trip on the West Highland Railway. While you may not find yourself at Hogwarts, you’ll certainly find yourself on what is regarded as one of the greatest railway journeys in the world, passing over the viaduct with its impressive views, and some of Scotland’s most picturesque and marvellous landscapes, lochs and villages that call the Scottish Highlands their home. The train departs and returns to the largest town in the Highlands- Fort William with stops along the way to admire the scenery.