25 places in Scotland to visit before you die

Scotland is an Aladdin's Cave of natural beauty and historical interest, that inspire and take the breath away. We've narrowed the country's endless list of fascinating sites to 25 which all visitors should strive to visit before they die.


One of Scotland’s most prominent and distinctive mountains, Suilven sits in a peaceful and remote corner of northern county Sutherland.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The northwest aspect of the striking pillar of rock is the most distinctive and photogenic. Walkers, however are best approaching the mountain from the west summit.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

This railway viaduct makes up part of the West Highland Line and is a quite remarkable feat of engineering. The span has stood since 1898 and consists of 21 colossal arches.

The bridge features several times in fantasy franchise Harry Potter.

Eilean Donan Castle's location is simply stunning

Skara Brae

Older than the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge, Skara Brae offers a fascinating snapshot of ancient Scottish civilisation.

Located on the largest of the Orkney Islands, the UNESCO site is the best preserved Neolithic settlement in Western Europe.


Eilean Donan Castle's location is simply stunning

Rugged, moody and downright awe-inspiring, this valley of beauty thrills no matter how many times you visit.

A walkers paradise, hikers might want to consider strolling up to the Lost Valley or taking on the formidable Aonach Eagach Ridge.

Neist Point

Found on the most westerly tip of Skye, Neist Point is a quite remarkable meeting of sea cliff's and waves.

The walk down to Neist Point Lighthouse on a clear day offers unforgettable views of the prominent Waterstein Head. The lighthouse itself is abandoned, but the curious are more than welcome to nose around the derelict building.

Arthur’s Seat

Situated in the heart of Edinburgh's capital city, Arthur's Seat is a must for everyone visiting Edinburgh and indeed Scotland. The volcanic structure dominates the capital's skyline, and views from its peak of Auld Reekie are unrivaled.

Read More

Read More
Edinburgh Castle visitor numbers threaten to overwhelm site

Located above the village of Arrochar, few mountains in Scotland have as palpable a personality as the distinctive Cobbler.

Keen walkers looking for a challenge should consider climbing The Cobbler along with neighbouring munros Beinn Ime and Beinn Narnain

Old Man of Storr

There is something alien about the fingers of rock which protrude from the ground off the Trotternish Peninsula on the Isle of Skye. Known as the Old Man of Storr, the group of peaks are among the most iconic scenes in Scotland. An essential for Scots and tourists who love the outdoors.


Rated by many mountaineers as the finest mountain in Scotland, Liathach is both gorgeous and brutal.

Consisting of Torridonian sandstone, the pair of munros which make up the ridge can be viewed from Torridon village, or if your brave enough from the ridge itself.

The Isle of Staffa

Off the west coast of Mull sits an enormous lump of basalt, complete with a wave-worn cave.

Said to be the home of giant Fingal, the Isle of Staffa can be visited by boat. Those who board the island can follow a walkway into the Fingal's Cave.

Glasgow Necropolis

Glasgow's City of the Dead is the final resting place of thousands of locals.

Situated in the city's centre, the Necropolis is the most peaceful spot in bustling Glasgow and offers beautiful views of the the city.

Dunottar Castle

Retreating from the northeast mainland in into the sea is a peninsula holding the ruined medieval fortress Dunottar Castle.

Located near Stonehaven, the castle's situation is a wonderful combination of natural and man-made beauty.

The Rum Cuillin

Lesser known than the Skye Cuillin, Rum's clutch of mountains are among the most scenic in the whole of Scotland. A traverse of the ridge's five most foremost peaks is a day of walking that participants will never forget.

Barra Airport

Jet setters will struggle to name a more stunning airport than the sandy runway which runs alongside shallow bay Traigh Mhòr. Barra airport is unique as the only airport int he world to run scheduled flights using a beach as a runway.

The Isle of Iona

Accessed from the Isle of Mull, there are few places in the world, let alone Scotland as tranquil as the Isle of Iona.

The turquoise surrounded island is dominated by the beautiful Iona Abbey, the home of Gaelic monasticism for over three centuries.

An Teallach

Situated in an area known as the Great Wilderness, An Teallach stands out among its beautiful northern neighbours.

The mountain's name translates as 'the anvil' fitting due to the nerves of steel required to walk the treacherous mountain.

St Andrews Links

Known faithfully by golfers around the world as the Home of Golf, St Andrews Links is something of a Mecca for those who play the game.

The majesty of the 600 year old course is palpable and takes the breath of players and non-players alike.

Knap of Howar

Marginally older than Skara Brae, the Knap of Howar is the eldest example of civilisation in Great Britain. Located on the island of Papa Westray, the ancient farmstead dates back to 3800 BC.

The well-preserved site marvels all who visit.

The Isle of Arran is referred to as "Scotland in Miniature" due to its stunning and varied landscape.

The island's tallest peak, Goat Fell, is easily accessed and offers exquisite views of the island itself, the mainland and - on a clear day - Ireland.


Perched on the beautiful Fife coast, Anstruther is a quaint fishing village and one of the highlights of a tour of the East Neuk.

A visit to Anstruther - and indeed Fife - isn't complete without a visit to the village's world famous chip shop, regarded by many as the home of the best fish and chips in the country.


Hidden on a beautiful stretch of the northwest coast between the mountains of the mainland and the Atlantic Ocean is the beautiful village of Applecross. The village's rocky shores are the perfect vantage point for views of the Isle of Skye.

Accessing the village is an adventure in itself and involves navigating the imposing Bealach na Ba, a ribbon of winding road which climbs to 626 metres.

The Fortingall Yew

In the inexplicably unheralded Glen Lyon rests a tree with a remarkable history.

Surrounded by a wall and known as the Fortingall Yew, this tree has allegedly stood for between 2000 and 3000 years, making it the oldest tree in Britain.

The auspicious tree has been the subject of many local legends, with one suggesting that Pontius Pilate was born in its shadow.

Luskentyre Beach

Located on the southwest coast of the Isle of Harris is a beach that has been voted the finest in Great Britain.

Blessed with white sands, and washed over by turquoise water, a trip to Luskentyre Beach isn't your average day at the seaside.

Eilean Donan Castle

Dating from the 13th century, this castle's situation on an island at the confluence of three lochs has to be seen to be believed.

Picture-perfect from almost every angle, the castle is also home to a fascinating history and was once the stronghold of Clan Mackenzie and their allies Clan Macrae.

Corryvreckan Whirlpool

Between the Isles of Jura and Scarba roars the Corryvreckan Whirlpool.

The world's second largest maelstrom can be accessed by boat from the county of Argyll - a ropey boat trip that participants certainly won't forget in a hurry.