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Top 9 Things To Do In Scotland

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Edinburgh Castle in Scotland

Edinburgh Castle in Scotland

In a country whose timelessness excites, Scotland has an incredible number of things to do and see.

Highlanders continue to wear kilts, castles loom over dramatic landscapes, which themselves carry an alluring mystique. Contemporary culture fills the tapestry of Gothic and Georgian architecture, while the hills and cliffs tell stories of ancient life.

From discovering fabled battlefields to visiting secluded lochs and glens, not forgetting searching for water monsters, the following information can help guide you on what to do in Scotland for an unforgettable experience.

1. Discover Scotland’s Connection to the Past

16th CentAdvreck Castle in Sutherland, Scotland

Advreck Castle in Sutherland, Scotland

History has shaped Scottish culture and scenery. As art and heritage converged over time, with connections to the bagpipes, William Wallace, Gothic spires and breathtaking castles, the traditions of Scotland have endured to create an ever-larger cultural landscape. City streets and secluded villages are only the tip of the Scottish iceberg and reveal deep roots that demonstrate the diversity of the country’s cultural history.

Best places to visit for cultural history:

Edinburgh | Glasgow | Loch Ness | Fort George | Ardvreck Castle | Camster Cairns

2. Sample Exciting New and Traditional Scottish Flavors

Cullen skink, creamy Scottish soup with smoked hadock

Cullen skink, creamy Scottish soup with smoked hadock

The respected culinary explorations and traditions of Scotland tread far beyond what you may have anticipated. They display rich connections to the likes of fresh shellfish, Angus beef, and wild game. The rich lands, abundant seas, and open skies have provided sustenance for millennia. With locals spoilt for choice with ingredients that have informed the remarkable evolution of contemporary cuisine, you can find celebrated regional dishes to Michelin-starred offerings that reveal a side of Scotland’s culinary scenery you may have never known.

Best Places to visit for food:

Mull | Glasgow | Aberdeen | Isle of Skye | Dundee | Edinburgh

3. Embrace Scotland’s Color and Charm

Dunrobin Castle and gardens in Scotland

Scotland’s gardens offer a prime example of the changing seasons, from budding spring, summer in full bloom, falling autumn leaves, or a winter dreamscape. With grand estates, tranquil urban oases, and rural getaways, the gardens of Scotland create absorbing environments in the surrounding beauty of the country, while also acting as small escapes. Whether you are looking for the lingering spirit of grand dukes or are simply interested in budding roses, Scottish gardens display nature’s luxurious beauty, no matter the season.

Best places to visit for gardens:

Argyll and Bute | Edinburgh | Peebles | Dumfries and Galloway

4. Indulge in Scottish Fairways

Swilken Bridge at St Andrews Links in Scotland

Swilken Bridge at St Andrews Links in Scotland

Scotland is a haven for golfers and boasts being the game’s originator. The country’s natural terrain provides enticing challenges for experts, novices, and spectators who wish to enjoy 18 holes of unfolding drama. Enjoy the unparalleled beauty, accept the surprising challenges, and embrace some of the most exciting golf courses the world has to offer as you combine history, tradition, and the modern game.

Best Places to Visit for Golfing:St. Andrews | Dornoch | East Lothian | Fife | Aberdeen

5. Revel in the Traditions of Scottish Spirits

Whiskey tasting in Scotland

Whiskey tasting in Scotland

Scotch whisky is part of the overall heritage of Scotland and can offer a parallel of experiences as you peel back the layers of the spirit and the country. With six separate scotch-producing regions, sampling a glass from a different area will reveal entirely new notes, informed by the local style and topography. From caramel colors to malty aromas, a touch of smoke to a lingering taste of toffee, you can find the depth of flavors in the history and heritage of scotch continuously compelling.

Best Places to visit for scotch whisky:

Edinburgh | Glasgow | Clydebank | Dalmore and Glenmorangie | Glen Moray | Campbeltown

6. Experience the Drama and Beauty of the Scenery

The mountains of Assynt in the North West Highlands of Scotland

The mountains of Assynt in the North West Highlands of Scotland

The scenery is part of the wonder of Scotland and hiking the trails that crisscross the landscape will give you deeper insight into the culture and heritage of a country shaped by the raw power and charms of nature. Sand dunes and rugged mountains fill epic poems, novels, and canvases as cities give way to countryside and wildlife demonstrates the importance of unspoiled nature. Hiking in Scotland can take you along mystical lunar landscapes or into quaint, blossoming gardens, with each new step revealing a completely different view of the country.

Best Places to Visit for Hiking:

Orkney | Assynt | Shetland | Cairngorm National Park | Scottish National Trail | Glasgow

7. Delight in the Scottish Landscapes on Wheels

Cycle the Hebridean Way in South Uist, Scotland

From woodlands to coastal routes, cycling around Scotland can unveil the diverse beauty of the land, sea, and cities. The variety of trails can lead you to sensational views of seaside cliffs or between cultural monuments framed by historic architecture. With seemingly tireless natural wonder crowned by castles, lighthouses, and wildlife, you can enjoy a unique perspective of Scotland as you gain a more intimate understanding of the scenery.

Best Places to visit for Cycling:

Hebridean Way | Edinburgh | Devilla Forest | Loch leven Heritage Trail | Montrose Basin

8. Witness the Active Wilderness

Scottish stag in the Highlands

Scottish stag in the Highlands

Beyond the beauty of the landscapes are the wonders of wildlife in Scotland. Look for tracks of the regal deer. Listen to the sounds of the strutting capercaillie. Find a playful dolphin pod near the coast. From furry Highland cows to whale-watching, viewing puffins dive from the sky or scouring the trees for signs of the elusive pine marten, Scotland’s wilderness is unique.

Best places to Visit for Wildlife:

Outer Hebrides | Orkney | Newburgh Beach | the Highlands

9. Bask in the Preserved Ambiance of Architectural History

Culzean Castle in South Ayrshire, Scotland

Culzean Castle in South Ayrshire, Scotland

With the highest number of castles in the United Kingdom, Scotland is like a fairytale landscape in which you can feel like nobility. Opulent finishes reflect the grandeur of noble houses or luxurious contemporary lifestyle. From breathtaking views over lochs and mountains to delicious cuisine featuring local ingredients, aristocratic activities to indulgent spa treatments, visiting castles and manor houses in Scotland can create the perfect ambiance for regal exploration.

Best Places to Visit for Castles:

Ayrshire | For William | Pitlochry | Isle of Mull | Loch Fyne

More Travel Tips & Information

Sand dunes at Ardroil Beach on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Ardroil Beach on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Scotland embraces its northern corner with a distinctive connection to the land, sea, and weather that has shaped the culture over millennia. With coastline and sand dunes, historic cities and secluded Highlands, Scotland endlessly fascinates and delights. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly train ride or a couple’s escape into a castle, you can create your best trip. You can also speak with a Scotland travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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