The United Kingdom is one of the few places in the world that is itself made up of four different countries; England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland, to the north, is one of the most beautiful places in the world and is also a great education destination. Here are some of the top places to visit in Scotland:
Edinburgh – One of the most majestic and historic cities of Scotland, Edinburgh is also the Scottish capital since the 15th century. The top places of tourist interest in Edinburgh include the Edinburgh Castle, the royal palace, and the stately Old Town reminiscent of Georgian times. The Palace of Holyrood, the Queen’s official residence in the Scottish capital is another great center of attraction. The Queen’s Gallery often puts up royal collections on display. The National Museum of Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden, the National Galleries of Scotland, the Scottish National Monument, and the Greyfriars Church (of Greyfriars Bobby fame) are places that record large numbers of visitors.
Glasgow – Scotland’s most populous city is the architecturally rich Glasgow. A magnificent sample of Glasgow’s wonderful architectural heritage is the central cathedral dedicated to St. Mungo. The vast cemetery, the Necropolis of the city is also a fascinating place. Home to the Theatre Royal (Scottish Opera) and the Concert Hall (Royal Scottish Orchestra), Glasgow is also called the music capital of Scotland. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery (University of Glasgow), the Riverside Museum, the Pollock Country Park, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, and the Glasgow School of Art are among other top attractions of the city.
Dundee – The city of Dundee is one of the top ports and trade hubs of Scotland. Once known for its whaling and seafaring traditions, Dundee has now outgrown its past to become a center of commercial activity. The Discovery Point and the RRS Discovery, Broughty Castle Museum, Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum, Old Town Dundee, the Mills Observatory, and the Tay Rail Bridge are among its top tourist attractions. It is an important jute manufacturing center and the Jute Museum of Dundee is also a wonderful place to visit. Dundee is now one of the popular education centers of Scotland.
Inverness – The largest city of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is also a cultural hub and features prominently in the country’s history. The unparalleled beauty of the Scottish Highlands reflects in the breath-taking beauty of Inverness. The most visited tourist attractions of Inverness include the stately Inverness Castle which was built in the year 1836. The Inverness St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Titanic Inverness Maritime Museum and Inverness Museum and Art Gallery are other places that attract tourists around the year. Walking tours are regularly organized across Inverness and this is a favorite with visitors. Other nearby attractions include the Culloden Battlefield and Visitors Centre, the Cawdor Castle, and the Dunrobin Castle.
Aberdeen – The historic city of Aberdeen is located on Rivers Dee and Don and it is one of the most important port cities of the country. Traditionally known for fishing, ship building and textile making, the city is now at the heart of much commercial activity. St. Machar’s Cathedral (original chapel built in 581 AD) is a must visit in Aberdeen. The city’s university has gained quite a bit of popularity with international students. Other places of interest include the Brig o’Balgownie (Scotland’s oldest bridge), the Aberdeen Art Gallery, the Tolbooth Museum at Castlegate, the David Welch Winter Gardens, and the Aberdeen Maritime Museum.
The beauty of Scotland is not adequately appreciated by a trip to its main cities. A trip through the Scottish Highlands will take you through Paisley, Fort William, Oban, Glencoe, Ullapool, Aviemore and other stunning places. The clear blue sky and the rolling plains, the spectacular views of the coast, and the golf courses are all quite delightful. There is much to be seen and experienced as food, music, and culture form an important part of Scottish life. The numerous inlets and lakes such as Loch Lomond and Loch Ness (near Urquhart Castle) offer the perfect opportunity to camp and enjoy Nature’s company.
A discussion about the best places to visit in Scotland will be incomplete without a mention of the Scottish Hebrides – the Inner Hebrides and the Outer Hebrides – islands along the Scottish coast. These are some of the most scenic islands with some unique flora and fauna. Skye, Mull, Islay, and Tiree are among the most visited Inner Hebrides while Harris, North Uist, South Uist, and Barra are among the best-loved Outer Hebrides.
Visit the following to learn more about Scotland: