This past summer my mom and I travelled to Scotland for 12 days and visited some amazing places. Here are some must-sees if you find yourself in this beautiful country.
I find Glasgow is always overshadowed by Edinburgh, but I quite enjoyed the city. If you’re in Glasgow, do yourself a favour and check out the Glasgow Cathedral. It is absolutely beautiful and you won’t regret it. (Maybe I’m just obsessed with churches in different countries, who knows.)
If you like Italian food, check out the restaurant Gusto. The food was delicious, the decor is fancy (I wish I would have known that before I went in wearing an old sweater…) and my waiter… one of the most handsome red-head men in the world. Overall, 5 stars from me!
The People’s Palace is another place I would recommend seeing. A museum and greenhouse garden, opened in 1898, it’s equally as beautiful inside as it is on the outside.
If you’ve heard of Robbie Burns, celebrated national poet and lyricist of Scotland, then you should visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. Along with a museum to learn about his life, there is also a tour of the exact cottage he was born in and lived in with his family. There is also a nice little café and gift shop to finish off your visit.
After you’ve checked out the cottage, close by is the Brig O’Doon. This bridge crosses the River Doon and was thought to have been built in the early 15th century.
Only 20 minutes from Burns’ Cottage, Culzean Castle (pronounced Cul-ain) is breathtaking! It was built between 1777 – 1792 and is now owned by the National Trust of Scotland.
The town of Glencoe found in the Scottish Highlands is home to the ‘Three Sisters of Glencoe’ mountains. A stunning view that you do not want to miss out on. There was also a man there playing the bagpipes when I went, just to make the scenery even more tear-jerking.
Yes, like the Loch Ness monster. I found out during my visit that this is where the myth originated. While you’re in Loch Ness, I recommend two things: the Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle (although they are just ruins, it’s still very interesting). .
I may seem like a castle junkie, but it’s hard not to be — especially in Scotland! The gorgeous Eilean Donan Castle has been featured in many films such as Highlander and James Bond: The World is Not Enough.
Isle of Skye — Portree
This beautiful island gave me all sorts of nostalgic vibes. The colourful harbour and quaint scenery make this spot incredible. If you’re looking for some delicious fish and chips, check out the West Highland Bar in the Portree Hotel
If you do anything in Inverness, please go and see the Culloden Moor. It is a very emotional place — the Battle of Culloden took place here which ended in the ruthless slaughter of the Jacobites by the English. There is a museum to go along with it that will educate you all about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites. The battlefield is lined with mass graves, plaques and markers that show where the English and Jacobites stood. Warning: you will cry.
If you’re a whiskey lover like me, you won’t want to miss the Blair Athol distillery! A guided tour through the distillery shows you how the whiskey is made step by step, ending off with a “wee dram” (my favourite part… I may or may not have snuck a second shot).
You must visit this beautiful town on the East Coast. While you’re here, check out St. Andrew’s Castle and Cathedral, St. Andrew’s University and, if you’re a golf fan, St. Andrew’s Links. There is also some shopping to be done here with many quaint, fashionable stores.
Edinburgh was the last city of our trip. There are so many things to do here; you must see the Edinburgh Castle!
Lastly, my mom and I were lucky enough to be visiting while the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was going on! If you ever get the chance to see it, do not pass it up. The Tattoo happens in August every year at the Edinburgh Castle. It was so incredible, it moved me to tears (I am also a crybaby, but the music was amazing).
Besides some last minute souvenir shopping, this was the end of the road for us. We had such an incredible time and I miss Scotland every day! If you’re planning a trip to Scotland, take some of these into consideration; you won’t regret it! If you’ve already been to Scotland and visited some of these places, leave me a comment; I’m interested to know what you thought of them.
Thanks for reading!
*all photos taken by me unless stated otherwise*