Top 10 Places to Visit in Scotland

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1. Edinburgh

Any journey of Scotland should start in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Not only is this the cultural hub of Scotland – but it is also one of the prettiest capital cities in all of Europe. Surprised? Me too. Edinburgh is incredibly underrated and has stolen the heart of all those lucky enough to have visited the city – make sure you’re one of them.


2. Head to the Highlands

On my recent visit to Scotland I explored the highlands on a Highland Explorer 7 day tour. To say it was awe inspiring is indeed an understatement. After 7 days touring the Highlands I had heard tales of fairies and giants, caught a ferry to an isle, cruised Loch Ness in search of a monster, and seen more castles than a Game of Thrones episode.

jacobite steam train

3. The Jacobite Steam Train

All aboard the Hogwarts Express! Real life fantasies don’t get much better than this. Harry Potter fans will be delighted to learn that yes, you can really catch the Hogwarts Express. While the castle itself does not exist, the journey to Hogwarts is indeed very much a real life event.

hogwarts express

4. Mallaig

Mallaig is a small port town on the ‘other end’ of the Jacobite Steam Train when travelling from Fort William. It’s also the gateway to Skye, so you’re sure to pass through here if you’re on a comprehensive tour of the Scottish Highlands.



5. The Ferry to Skye

The iconic trip on the ferry crossing over to the Isle of Skye is an absolute must if you’re on a visit to the highlands. Be sure to have your camera at the ready, this is a crossing that is just as memorable as the destination itself.



6. Seaside Villages

Throughout out 7 day Highlands tour we stopped at the most charming seaside villages and small towns to check-in, sleep, and check-out of our accommodations. This is an experience in itself because you get to mix with ‘real’ locals, as opposed to those who work in the tourism sector and only see/speak to foreigners all day long. One of the most enjoyable parts of the tour was just going into small milkbars and cafes to have a chat!



7. Eilean Donan Castle

Look familiar? Why yes! This is the “Made of Honor” castle, Eilean Donan. While stunning from the outside, I wouldn’t particularly recommend going inside as you can’t take photos and once you’ve seen so many castles in life, they kind of tend to all look much the same! But if this is your first castle – by all means! Take the tour!

loch ness

8. Loch Ness

You simply cannot come to Scotland without living the legend that is Loch Ness. While I’m (fairly certain) it’s a myth (okay it’s definitely a myth), there has got to be SOME truth to the tale with so much buzz still surrounding the lake. I hate eelse though… so I’m not particularly fond of giant eels.


9. Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock

There is a tale to be told at the viewing point of Kiltrock, involving giants and a bridge between Scotland and Ireland (way back in the days of giants). These tales are only told with knowledgeable guides, which is why I was really glad to join the Highland Explorer Tours for my 7 day itinerary. It meant that I could get the ‘back story’, ask questions, and live out my dreams of believing in magic.

The woods

10. Explore nearby Woodlands

Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, it’s all just as fantastic as any other destination. No matter where I go in the world I like to take a day off from playing tourist, paying entry fees, being overcharged for lunch at tourist cafes, and just explore nature. It’s often just what we need at the end of a big trip!

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!




    Glasgow guy

    August 28, 2015

    Hey, what about glasgow ? the friendliest city in scotland. Best for Pub and Club Scene. Also the Indian Curry. Folks don’t miss Glasgow.



    May 16, 2015

    I was warned that I would get major wanderlust for Scotland upon seeing your latest post due to your awesome photography skills by Emma. She was right. You have me lusting and planning my next opportunity to visit now.



    September 20, 2014

    I adored Edinburgh, such a beautiful city with lots to see and do 🙂


    Anne Marie

    June 9, 2014

    Having lived in Edinburgh for almost three years now, I completely agree that it is one of the prettiest cities in Europe. I know you mentioned Skye, but the Hebrides is well worth a visit! The islands are so peaceful, and the nature incredible. I would recommend exploring some of the smaller islands if you ever get a chance!



    June 6, 2014

    I will certainly remember this, when I go to scotland one day!



    June 5, 2014

    After reading this post, I am hoping to go to Scotland whenever we venture over to see the U.K. I hadn’t really considered it one of my top place to see until now. Thanks!


    Nicola Holland

    June 5, 2014

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Scotland so much and happy you are encouraging others to want to visit. Having lived here all my life it’s easy to get complacent, it’s nice to see it through other people’s eyes. It really is stunning. I haven’t managed the hogwarts train yet though, I must do it soon x


    Department of Wandering

    June 5, 2014

    Brooke, your post has convinced me that I must visit Scotland this year! It looks so rugged and beautiful. It’s only a short flight from Berlin so I really have no excuse! Thank you for the ten suggestions for places to visit. 🙂


    Ailish Goes

    June 5, 2014

    Despite all the stereotypes, Glasgow is also worth a visit, it’s sometimes underrated but there are lots of amazing arts and cultural things to get up to (+ quirky coffee shops)!



    June 4, 2014

    Just to let you know, Mallaig doesn’t have an H on the end! 🙂



    June 4, 2014

    Great Post! I grew up in Highlands of Scotland and it’s only now that I don’t live there anymore that I can appreciate just how pretty it is. Every time I go back I try and visit somewhere new. Loch Ness is my favorite though 😉



    June 4, 2014

    Completely agree about Edinburgh – one of my favourite ever cities x

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