The most popular places to visit in Scotland

Take a trip to Scotland

A degree of normality has returned to Scotland and the country has opened its borders to tourism once again and there is a lot to see for the tourist north of the border.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

People should still wear face coverings in the same indoor settings as in level zero such as shops, hospitality venues and public transport, but this should not dampen a visit to Scotland too much.

Explore wildlife at Edinburgh Zoo

Zoos and animal parks around Scotland re-opened in June and, with the five-mile restriction now eased, they can welcome visitors from near and far.

Edinburgh Zoo, Five Sisters Zoo in West Lothian, Blair Drummond Safari Park in Stirling and the Highland Wildlife Park in the Cairngorms National Park are all open, with customers asked to book in advance.

Fife Zoo, which promotes biodiversity through education, is now open for business after suffering a devastating fire back in 2020.

Experience the natural wonder of Scotland's gardens

Stately homes and gardens are also open, with several National Trust for Scotland properties open to visitors.

These include Culzean Castle and Country Park in Ayrshire, Threave Garden in Dumfries and Galloway, Brodie Castle’s garden and grounds, Arduaine Garden in Argyll and Crathes Castle’s garden and estate in Aberdeenshire.

Historic Environment Scotland has said that it will monitor the situation and reopen properties in due course.

Unstaffed outdoor sites are already open, so visitors can enjoy walks around Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park and West Lothian’s Linlithgow Peel among others.

Discover the breathtaking views of the Scottish Highlands

Walkers can visit the beautiful Cairngorms National Park (photo: JPI)

Walkers and climbers are now welcome to visit the country’s national parks to enjoy some outdoor exercise.

Guidelines remain to avoid touching surfaces or opening gates where possible, to follow signs and avoid coming into contact with farm workers where applicable, and to keep dogs on leads and avoid areas known to be busy.

Enjoy the lively pubs and restaurants

Pubs and restaurants are now open. Glasgow’s The Cranside Kitchen, near the Rotunda, has claimed to be the country’s largest beer garden, with a free-to-enter area seating more than 200 guests with social distancing measures in place.

The beer garden offers a range of drinks alongside food from five popular Glasgow restaurants, Rioja, Halloumi, Pickled Ginger, Kilmurry & Co and La Rotunda. In Edinburgh the Corn Exchange has billed itself as the largest beer garden in the city, having transformed the car park into a space where people can enjoy drinks as well as play darts, ping-pong, swing ball and watch sport, all while observing the necessary hygiene routines.

With hundreds of smaller beer gardens open around the country – including Dundee’s The Kilted Kangaroo and Aberdeen’s Siberia Bar and Hotel – there is no shortage of options for enjoying safely and enjoying good times in Scotland.