Scotland is a land brimming with rich culture and dramatic history. Many of the buildings date back to medieval times, and the museums give visitors insight into the history they may have missed. When they are not exploring historic places, Scottish tourists can tour the countryside, the whiskey distilleries, and local pubs and restaurants. Below are ten of the most awesome things to see in Scotland.
Urquhart Castle These imposing ruins stand over the fabled Loch Ness Lake. Visitors flock to the castle in an attempt to catch a sighting of the legendary Loch Ness Monster, but the ruins represent one of the largest medieval strongholds of Scotland. Although the crumbling castle does not stand as majestically as it once did, the site is astonishing and the views are beautiful.
Willow Tearooms Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed the Willow in 1904, and visitors can dine and enjoy tea in these restaurants reconstructed to resemble a bygone era. One of the tea rooms stands on Sauchiehall Street, the site of the original, and another is located at 97 Buchanan Street.
Dalwhinnie Distillery The unique malt whiskey that comes from this distillery that sits high in the Grampian Mountains is made more than 1,000 feet above sea level. The distillery captures pristine spring water to make its prized single-malt whiskey.
George Square George Square is the center of Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. Historic architecture surrounds the square and sculptures of famous people rise from within. George Square is often the location of public meetings, festivals, and parades.
Edinburgh Castle While you walk around Edinburgh, this Scottish icon sits high atop the volcanic Castle Rock, beckoning you to visit. The tours are impressive and the views from the fortress are spectacular. There is so much to see, you could come back day after day and never be bored.
Arthur’s Seat Arthur’s Seat rises high above the other hills in Holyrood Park (aka Queen’s Park), a royal expanse of lochs, glens, ridges and cliffs in the center of Edinburgh. Arthur’s Seat is a popular hill to hike, and the reward is the breathtaking view of the city you’ll have at the top.
Royal Mile This historic street is one of Edinburgh’s oldest. It runs from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood House, with a number of attractions along the route. Several historic houses may be toured as you walk down the Royal Mile. In the Camera Obscura and Lookout Tower, visitors will marvel at the way this ancient “camera” (one of the inventions that led to photography) reflects a clear view of the city.
Papa Westray This wildlife-rich island has trails meandering through it, allowing visitors to catch a glimpse of the rare birds and dramatic cliffs. The oldest preserved house in northern Europe, the Knap of Howar Neolithic farmstead, can be found on the island, as well as the Holland Farm, where tourists can spend time in the folk museum.
Nelson Monument Shaped like a telescope with a cross on top, this monument commemorates Admiral Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Visitors can climb to its summit to check out the remarkable Scottish countryside.
Duddington Village The village of Duddington is one of the oldest parts of Edinburgh. Visitors traveling to this quaint and picturesque village can see the old parish church or an eighteenth-century pub. Not much else remains from the past, but the village represents quintessential Scotland.
When you’re traveling through Scotland, you will learn that much of what you see pre-dates even what you can imagine. Old ruins, castles, historic streets, and monuments are scattered throughout the country. Learn what makes this country great by taking a tour of some of the most interesting attractions.
Gina Patterson is a personal finance consultant and content contributor for companies offering bad credit cards for those with less than perfect credit.