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Tourist Places To Visit In Scotland (United Kingdom)
Scotland is one of the oldest countries in north-western Europe; home to invading vikings at one time, saxons before them and scots now. With its dreary seasides and glens and valleys, rugged highlands and all the rain and mud, Scotland is a real palpable entity when you visit. From the city of Edinburgh to the Culloden moor near Inverness, Glasgow to the monsters of Loch Ness, Scotland offers you so many tourist places to visit. Read on to explore each in detail.
Scots capital, Edinburgh is a hilly medieval town now modernised to accommodate urban amenities. It is adorned with medieval architecture in the Old Town and Georgian buildings in the newer part. Visit the Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood Park and memorials of Carlton Hill. A walk down the Royal Mile is another great way to discover the old city highway that paved way for horses and carts once upon a time. Nowadays you also find some amazing cafes and restaurants along with museums and shops on the streets branching from Royal Mile. Other places to visit in Edinburgh are Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Holyrood Palace, the Scotch Whisky Experience and the underground labyrinth called Mary King’s Close.
Inverness is the city which holds a place of grave importance in the textbooks of Scottish history. The great battle of Culloden of 1746 was fought on a moor nearby called the Culloden Moor, where the British army slaughtered Scottish highlanders, following which, the British crown stripped the highland culture of Scotland, including their tartan dresses, Gaelic language, the right to bear arms and practise their traditions. Inverness also has many historical buildings like the 19th-century Inverness Cathedral, Old High Church, Victorian Market and Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. You must visit the Culloden Moor nearby and see the clan graves there, marking the brave warriors that fell. You can also explore the Inverness castle, enjoy Ness Islands over river Ness and Nairn (a Victorian seaside resort).
A port city situated on River Clyde, Glasgow is a lowland city compared to Inverness which is a proper highland settlement. Glasgow is famous for its Victorian art nouveau architecture as well as trading and ship-building legacy. You must visit some of the most culturally rich places here including the Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Opera, museums and live music cafes. Take a stroll in the main city central square known as George Square, see monuments dedicated to great Scottish personalities like James Watt, William Gladstone, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. Also do visit Glasgow City Chambers, Gallery of Modern Art, The Lighthouse, St. George’s Tron Church and Glasgow Cathedral & Necropolis. For beer lovers, don’t miss the Tennent’s brewery tour, while history nerds head to the University of Glasgow.
We have all heard at least once about the Loch Ness monster, the fabled demon who goes by the name of Nessie and lurks under the Scottish Lake. Well, this is THAT lake and it is said to house THAT Nessie monster. Tales aside, Loch Ness makes for a beautiful holiday stop-over, what with its freshwater and cooling banks, Scottish highlands rising up in all directions and inns and bed-&-breakfasts to accompany. This is more of a relaxed spot so expect places like country pubs and hotel resorts. Visit the Dores Inn which is a country pub and has ancient church seating arrangement along with special menu of haggis and turnips. There is the 18th-century manse hotel Benleva known for its beers and the Urquhart Castle for a round of sightseeing. Other places of interest are Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, Clansman Centre, Lock Inn and the Nessie-themed amusement park called Nessieland.
A city in the central hinterland of Scotland, Stirling is home to an old town centre, some medieval castles and monuments that are fascinating in their rich history. Visit the Stirling Castle perched atop a volcanic outcrop, then hop to National Wallace Monument, followed by the site of 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge. If you want more battle trivia then head to the Battle of Bannockburn Experience to get interactive 3D displays. For all intents and purposes, Stirling is a historical town. You should also visit the grand Royal Palace of Stirling Castle, take a safari at Blair Drummond Safari Park amidst lions and elephants and visit Loch Lomond.
A quaint seaside town on the northeastern shore of Scotland, St. Andrews is a golfer’s paradise. It is renowned for its many golf courses like the Old Course. Golf lovers will find the British Golf Museum an interesting expedition as it explains the history and contemporary scene of UK’s golfing. You should also not miss the ruins of St. Andrews Castle, University of St. Andrews, Castle Sands beach stretch and the West Sands Beach. Other tourist attractions are the Old Course, the Himalayas Putting Green and St Salvator’s Chapel.
Glencoe is not a bit city but a town in western Scotland. Cradled in the Glencoe valley of the highlands, this little village-like town is home to natural waterfalls, green trails and lovely hiking routes up peaks. Some of the most coveted tourist places to visit here are Glencoe Folk Museum, Glencoe Visitor Centre, and the smallish town of Fort William nearby. Glencoe however, is more famous for its adventure and outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking at Glance Mountain Resort. Sea Kayaking is great at the nearby Loch Leven and an expedition of the natural wonders like Lochaber Geopark and Parallel Roads of majestic Glen Roy is a must. You may also get to spot a golden eagle or two circling the sky above you, or meet a red deer at lunch in the highland forests.
Orkney makes for a wonderful archipelago or a collection of islands, situated off the coast of Scotland in the north east. These islands are home to Neolithic sites and sandstone cliffs, colonies of magical seals and ancient villages that have been preserved. Visit the tomb of a viking at Maeshowe, dating 5000 years. Skara Brae is another ancient site pre-dating even the Stonehenge. Then there is the Tomb of the Eagles, St. Magnur Cathedral and Highland Park Distillery. Other tourist attractions in Orkney are Noltland Castle and Stromness Museum.