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23 finest locations to go to in Scotland – hand baggage solely

Scotland is a crazy country! It is one of those places you can visit and have completely different experiences no matter what kind of trip you love. This, in addition to the fact that there are a bunch of the best places in Scotland scattered across the country, makes it an absolutely amazing place to explore.

Now I could have a pretty big weakness for Scotland, especially after living there for six years. And although I can't say I've ever tried a fried Mars bar, I've definitely traveled a lot. That's why I wanted to introduce some of the best places in Scotland to visit on your next trip.

No matter whether it is a trip through the Kingdom of Fife, a trip to the Highlands or a city trip to Edinburgh or Glasgow. I almost guarantee that you will have the best time! That's before you even think about exploring the Scottish Islands.

Anyway, enough about why I love Scotland so much! Check out some of the best places in Scotland to visit.

Be sure to bring back shortbread and a Scottish tablet. It is delicious and I miss it so much.

Best places to visit in Scotland

Experience the best time in Scotland.

1.) St. Andrews

Ultimate Map Of Things To See When Visiting Scotland (22)

Well, I couldn't mention the best places in Scotland and not include my old home, St. Andrews!

It is located in the Kingdom of Fife and is one of my favorite places in Scotland. It is so much more than just a famous golf course. Yes it does and it's incredible to play golf, but there is also a lot of history in this small town.

When you get here, be sure to explore the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral and also take a stroll through the castle. You can actually go into the secret tunnel that was built hundreds of years ago.

Then take a stroll through the university campus and see the hawthorn tree that Mary Queen of Scots planted in the Quadrangle near St. Mary.

Oh, and make sure you don't go over the Saint Salvator PH that is paved in the ground. This is a place where a heretic was burned at the stake in the 1500s and apparently triggered a martyr's curse. To date, no student from St. Andrews (including myself) would ever go over the PH mark. Don't say I didn't warn you!

2.) Edinburgh

Ultimate Map of Things to See When Visiting Scotland (4)

If you're looking for a city break, Edinburgh is definitely one of the best places in Scotland. and not just because it's the capital.

When you get here, make your way to Arthur's seat and enjoy the view of the city and the Firth of Forth.

It's insane at sunrise or sunset. Alternatively, if you don't feel like a little hike, visit Mary Queens Close on the Royal Mile. It is part of the Royal Mile, which is now underground and totally scary to look at. You can see all the old houses and streets that are now underground.

Ultimate Map of Things to See When Visiting Scotland (10)

Oh, and don't forget to go to Edinburgh Castle (obviously) and stop at Grassmarket. There are a lot of bars to visit in Edinburgh.

Read More: Best Places To Visit In Edinburgh

3.) Isle of Skye

The islands of Scotland are frankly breathtaking. Still, with a choice of around 800 (in total) it can be quite difficult to narrow down some firm favorites.

Aside from that, the Isle of Skye is one of the best places in Scotland to visit on a trip through the Highlands. Not only because it is very easy to reach (by car, over the bridge), but also because there is so much to do.

When you get here you should do one of the best Scottish hikes to the Storr. It's relatively easy if you're used to hiking and not too strenuous. That being said, it still takes a couple of hours there and back. So plan accordingly.

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Then go to people like; Dunvegan Castle, the Fairy Pool and Armadale Castle, which we visited before taking the ferry to Mallaig.

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Oh, and don't forget to visit the dramatic coastline around Neist Point. It's breathtaking.

Read More: Best Islands To Visit In Scotland

4.) Glasgow

12 Best Things to Do in Glasgow, Scotland (8)

The best way to describe Glasgow is that it's fun like Edinburgh's crazy sister!

Glasgow is a totally vibrant city and unbelievable to visit for a long weekend. In addition, it only takes a short time to travel by train from Edinburgh.

When you get here, be sure to explore the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, walk around George Square, and visit the Hunterian Art Gallery. It is the oldest museum in all of Scotland.

Read more: Best things to do in Glasgow

5.) Dundee

Discover two Scottish gems - the V&A Dundee and the Magnificent Glamis Castle (3)

So Dundee has seen a kind of revival in the past ten years. It has become a cultural center, especially through the opening of places like V&A Dundee on the new bank area.

I have to be honest, when I first visited Dundee in 2006, I can't say I really enjoyed it. We recently stayed in the city for a few days and were absolutely thrilled.

Discover two Scottish gems - The V&A Dundee and the magnificent Glamis Castle (16) Discover two Scottish gems - V & A Dundee and magnificent Glamis Castle (17)

When you get here, be sure to explore V&A Dundee (as mentioned earlier) and head to the McManus Art Gallery. Oh, and don't forget to visit Broughty Castle, which is about halfway between Dundee and Carnoustie.

Discover two Scottish gems - V & A Dundee and the magnificent Glamis Castle (21) Discover two Scottish gems - V & A Dundee and magnificent Glamis Castle (23)

For a light lunch, visit the Flame Tree Café, which serves delicious avocados on toast. Oh, and for dinner, head to the Gidi Grill, which serves up some delicious West African and Caribbean favorites. We loved it.

Oh yes, and visiting St. Andrews is really easy if you are already in Dundee and have a car. The journey takes about 25 to 30 minutes and it is worth visiting my old pounding ground! It is really one of the best places in Scotland.

Read More: Exploring Dundee

6.) Glamis Castle

Discover two Scottish gems - V & A Dundee and Magnificent Glamis Castle (35)

Okay, Glamis Castle is another of the best places in Scotland to visit. Dundee is easy to get to. As you can see, it's only a 20-minute drive (north) and it's worth it if you love Scottish castles.

The Glamis Castle, built in the 14th century, has been in the possession of the Lyon family for generations.

Discover two Scottish gems - V & A Dundee and magnificent Glamis Castle (32) Discover two Scottish gems - V & A Dundee and magnificent Glamis Castle (42)

Take a tour of the castle here, explore the rooms and secret areas and learn more about the small peculiarities of this castle. It is absolutely breathtaking and well worth a visit. especially since it was the Queen Mother's children's home.

Read more: Explore Glamis Castle

7.) Applecross

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Now Applecross may just be a tiny place, but it's easily one of the best places in Scotland to explore on the Wester Ross Coastal Trail. Not only does it have some incredible white sand beaches, it also has some prehistoric hills that go back thousands of years.

The most beautiful street in Scotland you have never heard of! (20)

The entire drive through this area is incredible, even if the streets are narrow you will love it.

The most beautiful street in Scotland you have never heard of! (19)

Also make sure to keep an eye out for Highland Coos.

8.) Crail

Top things to do in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland (9)

Crail is located on the coast of Fife and is a small fishing village with its own charm.

Now it's relatively easy to visit if you take the St. Andrews coastal road and follow the road to Crail itself. It takes less than 20 minutes and is a perfect little stop before continuing along the coast to Anstruther.

Now you'll probably only spend an hour or so here (it's tiny), but make sure to check out some favorite places. The Crail Harbor Gallery and tea room are totally lovely and have some great views.

Visit Reilly's shellfish if you fancy the most delicious fresh seafood in Fife. It really is one of the best places in Scotland if you love quaint little villages.

Read more: Best things to do in Fife

9.) Glencoe

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Glencoe and the surrounding region lie in the dramatic Glencoe Valley and are one of the best places in Scotland for their dramatic natural beauty.

After exploring the Loch Leven coast, take a break for lunch at the Lochleven Seafood Cafe (in Onich), which offers the best seafood platter.

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If you're looking for a Scottish hike, take a shorter 3km hike around the Glencoe Lochan trails, which are relatively easy for a lazy afternoon.

However, if you are looking for a bigger challenge, you can take the approximately 8 km hike Buachaille Etive Beag. Whatever you choose, hike safely and always follow local advice. After all, nobody likes a carefree hiker.

Read more: Best walks in Scotland

10.) Crathes Castle

Step back into old Scotland at Crathes Castle (10)

Now I know that I am still dealing with Scottish castles, but frankly they are some of the best places in Scotland to experience the country's history. And you know what? Crathes Castle is no exception.

Step back into old Scotland at Crathes Castle (36) " Step back into old Scotland at Crathes Castle (26) "

Crathes Castle was built in the 16th century and is about a 30-minute drive from Aberdeen. On the way west it's worth a look.

Step back into old Scotland at Crathes Castle (14) " Step back into old Scotland at Crathes Castle (34)

On the tour you will learn more about the castle, the grounds and the interesting little facts about why the stairs all have different levels. Apparently this was not by lazy builders, but to disorient an attacker who would try to enter the castle.

Read More: Exploring Crathes Castle

11.) St. Kilda

St. Kilda is probably one of the most remote islands in Scotland and an exceptional place.

St. Kilda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national nature reserve and can look back on thousands of years of history.

Now it's not an average day trip to St. Kilda, but you can book a tour with Go To St. Kilda that operates from the Isle of Skye. Expect a long day (40 km away) and a price of around 250 to 300 GBP per person.

That being said, it is worth spending around 3-4 hours on the island and seeing the highest cliffs of Hirta in the UK.

Read More: Best Islands To Visit In Scotland

12.) Dunnottar Castle

Exploring the old Dunnottar Castle ... in Stonehaven, Scotland (13)

Dunnottar Castle is said to have been occupied since the Middle Ages and is one of the best places in Scotland to learn about the country's history.

Exploring the old Dunnottar Castle ... in Stonehaven, Scotland (28) Exploring the old Dunnottar Castle ... in Stonehaven, Scotland (22)

Located on the coast about 25 minutes from Aberdeen. It's a great little place to visit if you are looking for a day trip.

Exploring the old Dunnottar Castle ... in Stonehaven, Scotland (18) Exploring the old Dunnottar Castle ... in Stonehaven, Scotland (29)

When you get here, spend some time exploring the palace grounds and learning more about one of its famous residents. A real lion!

Read more: Exploring Dunnottar Castle

13.) Anstruther

Ultimate Map of Things to See When Visiting Scotland (7)

Okay, Anstruther has a special place for me! It was my focal point for a weekend trip when I was living in St. Andrews. You see, Anstruther is not only very rustic (and very small), it is also a wonderful area for a sunny afternoon stroll.

Oh, and don't forget to head to Anstruther Fish Bar, which has been recognized as one of the best fish and chip spots in the UK. Even kings have visited for their fish and chips!

Read more: Best things to do in Fife

14.) The Shetland Islands

Experience Helly Aa (8)

The Shetland Archipelago is a rather remote area of ​​the UK. That being said, it is also well connected because it has an established population living on the island. All of this makes it easy to visit if you are interested in another island adventure.

If you can, try to summarize your visit with the largest Viking fire festival in Europe, Up Helly Aa. During this festival you will see fire professions, the burning of Viking ships and a lot of celebrations. After all, it is one of the best places in Scotland to see this.

Read more: How to experience Up Helly Aa

15.) Plockton

The most beautiful street in Scotland you have never heard of! (47)

Plockton is often called the jewel of the Highlands and is one of the best places in Scotland to visit on a road trip through the Highlands.

The most beautiful street in Scotland you have never heard of! (61)

When you get here, take a stroll around the historic pier and fishing area and take a trip to Calum & # 39; s Seal Trips, which we loved. You can explore the area by boat and you are almost guaranteed to see the seals. You will also see Duncraig Castle from the shore.

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Then visit the Plockton Inn to rest. We stayed here for one night and grabbed lobsters and haggis in their restaurant. Totally enthusiastic about the food.

Read more: Itinerary to explore the Scottish Highlands

16.) Torridon

Driving the incredible North Coast 500 Road in the Scottish Highlands ... (45)

Just a short distance from Applecross, you can easily visit Torridon before (or after) visiting Applecross on your way through this region of the Highlands. If you love a bit of adventure, this is easily one of the best places in Scotland to visit.

Not least because you can kayak in Loch and it is so beautiful. Just make sure there is no wind. It is so much more difficult on a stormy day.

Afterwards you also drive to Lower Diabaig. It takes about 15 minutes by car (from Torridon), but it's definitely worth it for the beautiful landscapes and historic little hamlet on the Loch.

Driving the incredible North Coast 500 Road in the Scottish Highlands ... (32)

Oh, and visit the Gille Brighde restaurant overlooking Loch Torridon. It's a family-run foodie that serves some of the region's most delicious lunches. We loved it.

Read More: Exploring Torridon, Highlands of Scotland

17.) Tioram Castle

Slow adventures in the Scottish highlands ... (and a secret castle you must see!) (44)

Castle Tioram is located on a tiny island in the middle of Loch Moidart and is a breathtaking castle ruin that is absolutely adorable.

Now you can no longer access the ruins themselves (since they are structurally insecure), but you can see them from the shore. It's a breathtaking area to explore and the perfect place to watch the sunset in the highlands.

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We were near Dalnabreac and it's pretty easy to miss the tiny turn off to find Castle Tioram (Google Maps location here), especially since it's in thick forests.

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Apart from that, after about 20 minutes of slow driving, you get to a small parking lot with some epic views over the lake.

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Only wear long-sleeved tops. We were there in September and were bitten by little nats so often.

Read more: Find Castle Tioram in Scotland

18.) Eilean Donan

Exploring the natural beauty of the Scottish highlands ...

Eilean Donan is located in the western highlands of Scotland and is one of the most famous castles in Scotland. Plus, it's pretty easy to visit Eilean Donan after (or before) a visit to Plockton as it's not too far away.

Founded in the 13th century, there is so much history to see in Eilean Donan. Just leave enough time to explore the castle yourself.

Now it can get a little busy here (on weekends), but you can surely miss the crowd if you arrive in the morning or afternoon (like we did).

Read more: Best castles in Scotland

19.) Inverness

Drink, row and picnic whiskey in the Scottish Highlands (5)

Inverness was our very first stop in the Scottish Highlands and our entry point (on the Caledonian Express night train from London) to explore the area.

As one of the smaller towns in Scotland, Inverness is a great base for visiting places like the Cairngorms or even heading west or north towards places like Wick.

When you get here, be sure to explore Inverness Castle and make your way to Moray Firth to spot some dolphins. We were unlucky, we didn't see any since it got really foggy, but it's worth a try.

Read more: Best walks in Scotland

20.) Drive the NC500 Trail

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Driving the NC500 is probably one of the best road trip routes in Scotland to get a taste of the Highlands.

From Inverness, get to John or Groats before driving along the northwest coast to places like Applecross and the breathtaking Bealach na Ba Road.

Driving the incredible North Coast 500 Road in the Scottish Highlands ... (4) Driving the incredible North Coast 500 Road in the Scottish Highlands ... (12)

Now the journey itself will take at least a week (more if you want a really relaxing time), but it's worth it. For me, it's one of the most unspoilt areas in Britain that's so nice to explore. It is easily one of the best places in Scotland to explore.

Read more: The route for the NC500

21.) Loch Ness

Drink, row and picnic whiskey in the Scottish Highlands (16)

Okay, Loch Ness is probably the most famous lake in the world and the best place in Scotland to discover Nessie! You know, the Loch Ness Monster.

Believe the legend (or not), I still spend a lot of time watching the waters of the hole to discover Nessie! For me, Loch Ness isn't the most dramatic of all the lakes in Scotland, but it's a place you should definitely visit for a few hours. especially on the way (north) back to Inverness.

Read more: Unique places to visit in Scotland

22.) Cairngorms

Exploring The Natural Beauty Of The Scottish Highlands ... (30)

The Cairngorms is located in the eastern highlands and is an unspoiled region of the Scottish Cairngorms National Park.

Exploring The Natural Beauty Of The Scottish Highlands ... (32) Explore the natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands ... (33)

Now the Cairngorms is one of the best places in Scotland if you love nature. You see, you have everything from quad safaris, hikes and even bike routes through the mountains that we loved.

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We loved exploring the Cairngorms.

Read more: What we did to explore the Cairngorms

23.) Loch Lomond

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Loch Lomond is part of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and one of the best places in Scotland to visit in Southern Scotland.

When you get here, be sure to explore the shores of Loch Lomond yourself, visit the Bird of Prey Center, and hike the Beinn Dubh Trail.

Then, visit Fruin Farm, which serves some of the region's most delicious dinners.

Read more: Itinerary to explore the Scottish Highlands

Your essential travel route for the Scottish highlands

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