With some of the grandest scenery in the UK, it is hardly surprising that you are interested in visiting Scotland. There are mysterious lakes (called lochs), remote mountains, forests, attractive coastal villages and impressive architecture in the towns and cities so here is our list of top ten places to visit in Scotland:

1. Edinburgh

The capital city of Scotland, like Rome, is built on seven hills. Edinburgh castle stands perched atop an extinct volcano at the top end of the ‘Royal Mile’, which is the main street of the historic centre of the city. This mile long stretch leads you down to the palace of Holyroodhouse, the British monarch’s official residence in Scotland. Outside of the historic centre there are plenty of other places to visit – parks like Arthur’s Seat, quiet Georgian squares, monuments and museums. You will need at least two days to take full advantage of all that Edinburgh has to offer.

Photo by Kim Traynor

Photo by Kim Traynor

2. Tobermory

A late 18th century pretty fishing village on the Isle of Mull. Legend has it that a Spanish galleon, laden with gold coins sank in the harbour. Hunters of the ‘Tobermory Treasure’ have failed to find anything much but it certainly should be on a treasure hunter’s top ten list of places to visit in Scotland!

3. Iona

Iona is a small Island off the south west coast of the Isle of Mull, accessed by a foot passenger ferry service. It is associated with St Columba and his monks who established Iona Abbey around 1500 years ago. It is also the burial place of several kings of Scotland including Macbeth.

4. The Trossachs

Popularised by Queen Victoria and the Scottish author Walter Scott, this beautiful area of Scotland marks the boundary between the highlands and the lowlands of Scotland.

5. Whisky Distilleries

These should be on everyone’s top ten list of places to visit in Scotland, unless of course you are teetotal! If you don’t like whisky then you have probably never tried a fine Scottish oak-aged single malt. Distillery visits are interestingand well organised and they usually have a well-stocked souvenir shop as well as whiskies to sample and buy.

6. Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is a short distance north of Glasgow and is a popular tourist destination. You can take a trip on the ‘Maid of the Loch’ a paddle steamer built in 1953. For the energetic, the steamer can drop you off at the start of the path that takes you to the top of Ben Lomond, from where, in good weather, you get magnificent views. But hurry back to the jetty, if you miss the last stop of the steamer it is a very long walk back to the car!

Photo by Wojsyl

Photo by Wojsyl

7. Torridon

Bounded to the south by Loch Torridon and to the north by the beautiful Loch Maree, this is a fabulous place for walkers. Several of the mountains are over 1000m in height and you start your climb almost from sea level. But be warned, the tops of some of Torridon mountain peaks require an extremely good head for heights. Do a search for Liathach and you will see what we mean!

8. Inverewe Gardens

Eighth on our top ten list of places to visit in Scotland is the remarkable Inverewe Gardens. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, Inverewe Gardens was established in 1862 by Osgood Mackenzie. It is now in the hands of the National Trust and you can see a wide variety of exotic plants from around the world.

9. Pitlochry

This small town has been welcoming visitors for at least 150 years, including Queen Victoria, and is well geared up to the needs of tourists.

10. The Isle of Skye

No list of top ten places to visit in Scotland would be complete without the inclusion of the romantic and brooding Isle of Skye. Once there, you can watch sea eagles, otters, visit a distillery, a castle, and you may even glimpse the ghost car of Skye if you are lucky!   Have you visited Scotland before? What places would you include on your top ten best places to visit?