Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, with Edinburgh being its capital. The only larger city than the capital is Glasgow and these two are visited by so many tourists every year. However, what makes Scotland so special is not only the vibrant city life that it offers but something more wonderful that cannot be compared to anything that a city offers.
Castles, green highlands and lowlands, forests, lochs, rivers, and national parks – Scotland has it all, and every piece of its landscape is so perfectly designed by nature that you will be amazed like never before. The country offers so many beautiful places to be seen that a regular 10-day vacation won’t be enough. You will understand why Scotland is the perfect country for nature lovers!
1. Three Sisters, Glencoe
Many tourists come here to see the dramatic beauty of Beinn Fhada, Gearr Aonach, and Aonach Dubh, all three together known as the Three Sisters. These three are ridges from the Bidean Nam Bian, a complex mountain located in the south of Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. Glencoe is considered to be Scotland’s second most popular and scenic Highland glen, but the gateway to the highlands too. Here you will find all the mountain fun you can possibly imagine, including for family time too.
2. Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris
The Luskentyre Beach is one of the UK’s best beaches and certainly the best one on the west coast of South Harris in the Outer Hebrides. What makes this beach so special is the long, white-sand beaches and dunes and the turquoise water. There’s nothing better than enjoying the beauty of nature on this sandy coastline, being surrounded by the Harris Hills and Mountains. Besides the beach fun, if you show at the right time, you might even spot wild ponies, eagles, seals, and even dolphins.
3. Trossachs National Park
The Trossachs National Park, together with the Loch Lomond, became operational in 2002 and was officially opened by Princess Anne. The park is split into four distinct areas, and each of them is going to offer you amazing views – from mountains to lowland landscape, from lochs to rivers – everything that you would love to see in nature. The National Park has 21 Munros (mountains above 3,000ft), 20 Corbetts (mountains between 2,500ft and 3,000ft), 22 larger lochs, and about 50 rivers and large burns.
4. The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye
The Old Man of Storr is a large pinnacle of rock that you won’t find anywhere else, except on the island of Skye. It is located in the north of the isle in an area called “Trotternish.” The Old Man is also the most popular route walk on the isle and covers a distance of almost 4 km. The route is suitable for almost anybody, but at the foot of the Old Man, you need to be careful, as the road becomes steep and scramble.
5. The Quiraing, Isle of Skye
Here’s another attraction on the Isle of Skye. It is the Quiraing walk that passes through one of the most scenic Scottish landscapes. We are sure that the whole green scene, the high cliffs, the pinnacles of rock, all the surrounding will take your breath away! The Quiraing walk covers a distance of almost 7 km, and it takes on average two hours to complete it. It’s not suitable for everyone because it is classified as “hard” when it comes to difficulty and “medium” when it comes to the walk’s length, but if you think you can manage it, it’s definitely worth the try.
6. Loch Awe
Loch Awe or Lochawe is located in the region of Argyll and Bute, and it is also the third-largest and the first longest loch in Scotland. The loch is known for trout fishing and for the nearby village that has the same name. It is a very small village; it only has a 19th-century chapel and a railway station, and streamer pier. Near the loch you can see this old castle – such Scottish scenery, isn’t it?
7. The Old Man of Hoy, Orkneys
Located on the island of Hoy, the Old Man of Hoy is one of the oldest sea stacks in the United Kingdom. It stands close to Rackwick Bay and is approximately 250 hundred years old. However, it is possible that soon it will collapse in the sea. That being said, take your chance while it is still there, and if you love climbing, you can take one of the seven routes and climb it.
8. Northern Lights, Shetland
Maybe you didn’t know this by now, but the Northern lights can be seen from some parts of the country. The best time of the year to see the Aurora Borealis is during autumn and winter when there are long periods of darkness. You can spot the Northern Lights from the northern parts of the country, such as Shetland in Orkney, Lewis in Harris, Moray Coast, the most northern part of Isle of Skye, and others.
9. Galloway Forest Park
While you’re on the north, you will not only enjoy the Aurora Borealis but too many stars as well. When the sky is clear, Scotland has one of the most starry experiences you can imagine! For that purpose, you will find the Galloway Forest Park with the first Dark Sky Park in the whole United Kingdom. Here more than 7.000 stars are visible, and even the bright band of the Milky Way can be usually seen from here.
10. Western Highlands
We decided to finish this post with a picture that presents Scotland the most – loch, castle, and green highlands. No matter where you decide to go, the Scottish landscape will leave you breathless and wondering how can nature be so perfect! If you take the West Highland Way you will pass by beautiful landscapes, including the Glencoe we’ve previously mentioned. You will also pass by Loch Lomond and Loch Leven, Fort William via Glen Nevis and so much more!