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Top 10 things to do in Scotland

Jenai Laignel ( 14 July 2016 )

Whether you are staying for a week or two or just day-tripping, Scotland has an abundance of attractions and sights to keep even the most experienced travellers happy.

Glen Coe mountain range in Scotland
Glen Coe, Scotland

1. Burns National Heritage Park

Alloway was Robert Burns' birthplace and the setting for his well-loved poem of ghosts and witches, 'Tam o' Shanter'.

Built by his father, William Burnes, this long, low, thatched cottage has been restored to its original condition, at the heart of the Burns National Heritage Park.

2. Burrell Collection

This wonderful museum is built around an exquisite, idiosyncratic collection, gathered over a period of 80 years by shipping magnate Sir William Burrell.

The collection is strong on rare oriental porcelain and fine medieval French tapestries, but also includes paintings by Cézanne and Degas, and sculptures by Rodin.


3. Culloden Battlefield

This desolate moor, where the last battle on British soil was fought, was the scene of the savage slaughter after the defeat of the Jacobites.

This bleak moorland has been restored to the condition it was in on that fateful morning in 1746 when the hopes of the Royal House of Stuart to regain the throne of Scotland were forever dashed.

4. Edinburgh Castle

Home to monarchs, scene of banquets and siege, this castle is not only at the heart of Scotland's capital but of its history.

It dominates the city from every angle and almost as impressive as the castle itself are the views of the city and surrounding countryside from its impressive ramparts.

5. Glen Coe

This majestic mountain pass running from Glencoe village to Rannoch Moor is one of the most spectacular and dramatic sights in Scotland.

Under clear blue skies, the smooth green humps of the moutains, the rocky summits of the Three Sisters, the wide floor of the glen and the distant mountains tops beyond are a familiar sight the world over.

6. New Lanark

New Lanark was the first example of a working environment planned to consider the welfare of the workforce as well as efficiency and profit.

Designated a World Heriatge Site in 2001, this was Robert Owen's utopian village, built near the Falls of Clyde to harness the power of the water for driving the cotton mills.

7. Rosslyn Chapel

This tiny, atmospheric medieval chapel is an exquisite masterpiece of the mason's art, with an unrivalled range and delicacy of carving.

Possibly the most mysterious building in Scotland, the chapel has found recent fame through its connection with the best-selling novel The Da Vinci code by Dan Brown.

8. Skara Brae

On the beautiful sandy seashore on the edge of the world is the perfectly preserved neolithic settlement of Skara Brae in Orkney.

Buried for centuries under the sand dunes of the Bay of Skail, a great storm in 1850 uncovered this Stone Age village, which has been excavated.

9. The Tenement House, Glasgow

Most of the population of industrial Scotland in the 19th and early 20th centuries lived in four- or five-storey tenement buildings similar to this one.

Miss Agnes-Howard moved into this three-roomed flat with her mother in 1911 and lived their until her death in 1965 – it remains perfectly-preserved and rare glimpse into life in Glasgow in the early 20th century.

10. Traquair House

Dating from the early 12th century, Tranquair claims to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland.

Originally built as a hunting lodge for the Scottish kings and queens, it later became a refuge for Catholic priests when the Stuarts of Tranquair supported Mary Queen of Scots and the Jacobite cause.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.