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Scotland, Edinburgh, Isle of Skye

Unmissables of Scotland

Hi guys, I'm planning a trip in Scotland for next spring. Edinburgh, Isle of Skye, the highlands are of course part of the trip. But as you know, some famous places may be a bit deceiving once you get there, and other less famous places can become the highlight of your hole trip.

What were the best places you've visited in Scotland?

9 Answers

answered by
Valerie from Seattle

Luc, I miss Scotland so much! I spent a weekend there, but I really fell in love with the country, and Edinburgh, naturally.

I haven't been to the Isle of Skye, but for the other two:


  • Do dinner at the dogs. This place was truly amazing, and they have lots of modern takes on traditional Scottish meals. I had rabbit stew that freaked everybody else at the table out (I was eating with a bunch of guys... wimps!), but was absolutely delicious.
  • Pop into The Jolly Judge. It's done one of the closes (alleyways), but it's my favorite of all the pubs we visited. It's very cozy and almost claustrophobic, but filled with locals who are friendly and welcoming.
  • I also really liked The Fiddlers Arms on Grassmarket (which is fighting with me and won't tag). I had my first Scottish breakfast there, haggis included, along with a pint. Before 10am. Kind of must do.
  • It's a bit cheesy, but the ghost tours are really fascinating, or try touring The Real Mary King's Close. That's a bit more touristy, but will give you a great sense of history.
  • Similarly, Edinburgh Castle is kind of a must-do. I loved exploring--it's mostly a self-guided tour, so you can go into the places you're interested, and skip the parts of the castle you don't care about.
  • I think, unless you really love scotch, you could probably skip the The Scotch Whisky Experience. While I love the idea of supporting the business, any bartender worth his or her weight can give you a few lessons for the cost of the drink.

Outside Edinburgh:

  • I went up with friends through Glasgow to Loch Lomond. There's a visitor centre near Loch Lomond Shores where you can learn about how the lochs and lower Highlands are formed geographically, as well as a few easy hikes.

  • We then carried up around the Loch, ending at The Drovers Inn. 100% this is a MUST STOP LOCATION if you are driving through this part of the Highlands. The Loch Lomond burger is to die for, and I'd even recommend staying the night. Apparently the old inn is haunted. Either way, it's a heck of a way to introduce yourself to the Highlands.

Hope this helps you plan your trip! Let us know how it goes!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. the dogs (restaurant)
  2. The Jolly Judge (restaurant)
  3. The Fiddlers Arms (attraction)
  4. The Real Mary King's Close (attraction)
  5. Edinburgh Castle (attraction)
  6. The Scotch Whisky Experience (attraction)
  7. Loch Lomond (city)
  8. Loch Lomond Shores (attraction)
  9. The Drovers Inn (restaurant)
7 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Susanne from Scotland

Hi Luc,

It really depends on your interests as Scotland has so much to offer.  I would suggest visiting Glasgow Cityas it is only an hour away from Edinburgh on the train and a very different city with great music, shops, food, museums and culture.  It feels much less touristy than Edinburgh.

I would also highly recommend a boat trip on the Firth of Forthto view the Forth Bridges.  You can get the bus from Edinburgh direct to the boat with Maid Of The Forthboat tours.

I have lots more info on my Scottish travel blog if you need other ideas.  Have a great trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Glasgow City (attraction)
  2. Firth of Forth (attraction)
  3. Maid Of The Forth (attraction)
4 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Dabs from Chicago

I went to Edinburgh this summer during the Fringe Festival and Military Tattoo, those are only in August so if you are planning on spring, those are not an option but I thought it was a great, albeit expensive, time to visit.  Other than that, my personal favorites were Stirling Castle, I could have spent most of the day there and then stop at Linlithgow Palace on the way back, you can use the same train ticket as long as you are heading in the same direction.

I did one daytrip with Rabbies, it stopped at Doune Castle, most famous for it's role as the French taunter castle in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and now featured in the "Outlander" series although I understand that the US is getting that before the UK.  It continued on to Loch Awe and Kilchurn Castle which was the highlight of the day for me, Inveraray, and Loch Lomond.  If daytripping from Edinburgh, I was advised not to try the Loch Ness tour as it was too far.

I also made a stop at Craigmillar Castle, it's a short bus ride from Edinburgh and not as well known as some of the others.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Stirling Castle (attraction)
  2. Linlithgow Palace (attraction)
  3. Doune Castle (attraction)
  4. Loch Awe (attraction)
  5. Kilchurn Castle (attraction)
  6. Inveraray (city)
  7. Craigmillar Castle (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Helga from Austria

Hi Luc,

I spent a full month there and saw many beautiful things there but not all. So here some things from the beaten track and some of them.
Edinburgh, the old town is a gem. The view from the Princes Street Gardens to the skyline of the old town is beautiful. Wander along the Royal Mile , the view from the Edinburgh Castle and the beauty of St.Giles Cathedral are worth a visit. Calton Hill offers you an amazing view over the city.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park are a nice place for walks the landscape is beautiful especially Loch Katrine from the top of Ben An is a must see.
Loch Tummel with the Queens view and Blair Castle are worth a visit.
The vally of Glencoe is something you definitely shouldn't miss.

Fort William is a small city and a good place to stay overnight. You can book a seat at the historic train The Jacobite and make a day trip to the coast city Mallaig. The Train passes through stunning landscapes. Glen Nevis is a lovely valley near Fort William and offers some great hiking tours.

The area around Braemar is also a nice place to spend some time.
On the Isle of Skye you have to visit the Quirang, Portree and the The Cuillins and Trotternish.

If you are planning to go farer into the northern Highlands, then Loch Maree and Ullapool are nice places to.
A place that i love is Loch Assynt and the small place called Achmelvich.
The landscape there is outstanding in my opinion, it´s wild but also romantic, a great place for treking, if you like fishing and you can watch dolphins. Sunsets that you will not forget so fast.
On the costal way up there you pass small places and beaches with white sand.

Those are some of my favorites

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Edinburgh (city)
  2. Princes Street Gardens (attraction)
  3. Edinburgh Castle (attraction)
  4. St.Giles Cathedral (attraction)
  5. Calton Hill (attraction)
  6. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park (attraction)
  7. Loch Katrine (attraction)
  8. Ben An (attraction)
  9. Loch Tummel (attraction)
  10. Blair Castle (attraction)
  11. Glencoe (city)
  12. Fort William (city)
  13. The Jacobite (attraction)
  14. Mallaig (city)
  15. Glen Nevis (attraction)
  16. Braemar (city)
  17. Isle of Skye (island)
  18. Quirang (attraction)
  19. Portree (city)
  20. The Cuillins (attraction)
  21. Loch Maree (attraction)
  22. Ullapool (city)
  23. Loch Assynt (attraction)
  24. Achmelvich (attraction)
3 thanks

top answer by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

n Edinburgh, you could spend multiple days.  Try to at least tour the Edinburgh Castle and stroll along the Royal Mile.  If you are into whisky, there is a great tasting room/store called Royal Mile Whiskies about half way down.  We also enjoyed the town of Leith along the water (quick bus ride or taxi).  There are multiple great local restaurants right along the canals (we enjoyed The King's Wark and The Ship On The Shore.  If you are really a foodie, there are also several Michelin starred restaurants in Leith.  I am a "royalist" so I very much enjoyed visiting Palace of Holyrood at the other end of the Royal Mile and the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith.  Best food we had in Edinburgh was on the Royal Mile at Whiski Bar & Restaurant-we went several times.  Just a really cool, small, friendly tavern with incredibly good food.  We also really enjoyed the "ride" and tasting at the The Scotch Whisky Experience.

Outside of the Edinburgh area, we spent some time around the lochs and in St Andrew's.  While yes, the golf course is the main draw, but the village itself is well worth the trip.  Great to walk around, head down for a stroll along the water or just have a drink and watch the golfers come in on 18.  They are beautiful and worth a drive around. 

The Castle on Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, is amazing to walk around the ruins and the setting is priceless.  We stayed in Fort William and enjoyed our evening there, but when we woke in the morning to continue on our drive, we stopped in the town of Fort Augustus and would have much preferred the setting!  Right along the locks where personal boats navigate along the lochs!  The drive through the Cairngorm National Park is spectacular as well.  Your jaw will drop for most of this drive!

On your way back into Edinburgh you can stop off at Stirling Castle, very well preserved or we really enjoyed the area around The Falkirk Wheel-if you like canal areas and feats of engineering.  It's a great place for a picnic too.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Edinburgh Castle (attraction)
  2. Royal Mile Whiskies (attraction)
  3. Leith (attraction)
  4. The King's Wark (attraction)
  5. The Ship On The Shore (restaurant)
  6. Palace of Holyrood (attraction)
  7. Royal Yacht Britannia (attraction)
  8. Whiski Bar & Restaurant (restaurant)
  9. The Scotch Whisky Experience (attraction)
  10. St Andrew's (attraction)
  11. Urquhart Castle (attraction)
  12. Fort William (city)
  13. Fort Augustus (city)
  14. Cairngorm National Park (attraction)
  15. Stirling Castle (attraction)
  16. The Falkirk Wheel (attraction)
  17. The Falkirk Wheel (attraction)
11 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Marcy from Cincinnati

A stay at The Lovat Hotel (The Lovat Loch Ness) in Fort Augustus  is a must do! The staff are very warm and welcoming, the food is gourmet amazing, and the setting is quaint! A great way to see the canals in action and search for the Loch Ness Monster.  

I stayed there one summer with my 2 kids and they also loved it. I think it would be a very cozy place to stay in any season!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Lovat Hotel (restaurant)
  2. Fort Augustus (city)
1 thanks

answered by
Jacqui from London

Hi Luc! 

We hired a car in Edinburgh and drove all around Scotland in 5 days in November 2013. It was fantastic! We drove to the beach and golf courses at St Andrews, to Stirling Castle, to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle near Inverness in the north and went on a brilliant horse ride in Kenmore (Scotland). It was a beautiful time of the year as the whole countryside was red and gold! See what to do and where to go in Scotland (and prices) here:



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. St Andrews (city)
  2. Stirling Castle (attraction)
  3. Loch Ness (attraction)
  4. Urquhart Castle (attraction)
  5. Inverness (attraction)
  6. Kenmore (Scotland) (city)

answered by
Heather from Edinburgh

The Isle of Skye  is wonderful. We found the best Bed and breakfast there. It is called Otterburn Castle Country House Hotel in Otterburn, have never felt so welcome.

Ionais also a wonderful Island.  You have to take the ferry from Obam to the Isle of Mull and then another ferry across to Iona.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Isle of Skye (island)
  2. Otterburn Castle Country House Hotel (restaurant)
  3. Otterburn (city)
  4. Iona (attraction)
  5. Isle of Mull (attraction)
  6. Iona (attraction)

answered by
Ruth from Utah

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Stirling Castle (attraction)

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