Top 10 Things to See and Do in Scotland in 2015

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Scotland in 2015

Scotland is the country of contrasts. From rough terrain and sharp peaks, mountainous landscapes and unusual rock formations, to dazzling beaches and azure waters. Historic castles and rich heritage also attract visitors from all around the world. Check out these ten choices, that you might like to consider visiting this year.

10. Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Garenin

A really really small village, consisting of nine restored traditional cottages. The tourists are offered a self-catering accommodation. The village provides the most authentic experience, while exploring the unspoiled nature of Isle of Lewis.

Why to go there?

The village is regarded to be one of the most beautiful and best preserved historic settlements on the British Islands.

Top 10 Scotland-Gearrannan-Photo by Hebridean Photoart

Photo by Hebridean Photoart

Top 10 Scotland-Gearrannan-Photo by praccus

Photo by praccus

Top 10 Scotland-Gearrannan

Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

9. The Old Man of Hoy

In Orkney archipelago, on one of its islands of Hoy, a 137 m (449 ft) sea stack protrudes from the water. Made of the Old Red Sandstone – characteristic to the region – the Old Man is a popular landmark here. The feature is quite popular among the climbers, who dare to try their skills and luck completing the precipitous rock tower. On 14 May 2008 the first base jump was performed by Roger Holmes, Gus Hutchinson-Brown and Tim Emmett.

Why to go there?

Admire the dramatic Scottish coastline. The landmark is one of the most known tourist features in the area and if you are a climber, this might be a fun challenge too.

Top 10 Scotland-Old Man

Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

8. Luskentyre, Isle of Harris

Found on the western island, Luskentyre beach is one of the most unexpected places in the country. Voted the best beach in Britain, Luskentyre is proud of crystal clear emerald water lapping over the white soft sand. The whole Luskentyre Bay features picturesque landscapes of vast dunes. Visitors can approach the area by hiking on the beaches and hills.

Why to go there?

Various water activities, including bathing, kayaking, fishing, diving and more, attract more adventurous types. However, always check before going if water is free from jellyfish.

Top 10 Scotland-Luskentyre-Photo by Tim Winterburn

Photo by Tim Winterburn

Top 10 Scotland-Luskentyre-Photo by Stephen Hay

Photo by Stephen Hay

Top 10 Scotland-Luskentyre-Photo by Joe Higney

Photo by Joe Higney

7. Fingal’s Cave

The mysterious cave is found in the National Nature Reserve of Scotland, on Staffa – an uninhabited island. The cave’s structure is indeed unusual: it is made of hexagonally-jointed basalt columns. The cave is the result of a lava flow. The natives call it a Melodic Cave, because of the echoes, caused by the waves. The eerie sounds create the feeling of a cathedral. It has inspired many artists, writers and composers, including August Strindberg, Felix Mendelssohn and Pink Floyd.

Why to go there?

One of the most unusual natural wonders in Scotland. Tourists can explore it from the inside out and admire its fascinating shape.

Top 10 Scotland-Fingal

Photo by Darby Sawchuk

Fingal's Cave on the Island of Staffa in the Hebrides was formed by the erosion of volcanic basalt columns as the surround sea washed up against the island for eons. It is famous as the source of Mendellsohn's overture of the same name (properly named The Hebrides Overture.) Victorian travelers flocked her and were inspired by the natural cathedral effect.  I shot this at about 4:00 in the morning while it just beginning to turn deep blue outside, and then had two assistants (from the Argyll Hotel on nearby Iona) light the inside with two large flashlights (torches). Thanks guys. ©Jim Richardson   All Rights Reserved.   You can see more of my photography at:  www.jimrichardsonphotography.com

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Scotland-Fingal3

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Scotland-Fingal-Photo by Joe Cornish

Photo by Joe Cornish

6. Quirang, Trotternish Ridge

The Quirang is a landslip and it is still moving, thus constantly destructing the road, that stretches along of it. The surface of the Quirang varies from the flat valleys to the steep pinnacles and cliffs. The area is said to be supernatural: it indeed amazes one greatly, who stands above the Quirang, approaching its dramatic scenery.

Why to go there?

One of the most breathtaking places in Scotland. The view of Quirang may very well define the natural beauty of Scotland and be a symbol of it.

Top 10 Scotland-Quirang-Photo by Mark Kenwood

Photo by Mark Kenwood

Top 10 Scotland-Quirang-Photo by Ian Pinn

Photo by Ian Pinn

Top 10 Scotland-Quirang-Photo by Joe Higney

Photo by Joe Higney

Top 10 Scotland-Quirang-Photo by Steve Boote

Photo by Steve Boote

5. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

The magnificent group of waterfalls is located in Glenn Brittle – a large glen in Scotland. The spot attracts many hikers and even mountain bikers. The glen is also visited by the wildlife lovers: many rare animals and plants have inhabited the area. However, the spectacular landscape alone is worth go seeing!

Why to go there?

One of the most famous and favorite sites in the staggering Isle of Skye.

Top 10 Scotland-Fairy

Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Scotland-Fairy-Photo by Sergio Del Rosso

Photo by Sergio Del Rosso

4. Balmoral Castle

Completed in 1856, the castle is regarded to be a fine example of Scots Baronial architecture and is preserved as a historic heritage. However, the castle has been purchased by the British royal family in the 19th century. Nevertheless, it is open for the tourists to visit in summer.

Why to go there?

The vast territory boasts not only this incredible castle, but also the gardens, that provide an exhilarating and romantic stroll.

Top 10 Scotland-Balmoral

Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

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Photo by Unknown

3. Hit the Scenic Jacobite Route

The iconic stream train encompasses one of the most beautiful routes in the world – the Scottish Highlands. The line takes off from Fort William, passes Glenfinnan viaduct, historic Arisaig village and other sites until arrives at its final destination – Mallaig.

Why to go there?

The two hour journey is famous for the amazing landscapes. Fort William is the biggest city in the area, sprawled in the shadow of Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Britain. Mallaig is a fishing port with many restaurants – a great place to have lunch during an hour and a half stop, after which the train goes back.

Top 10 Scotland-Jacobite-Photo by Daniel Korzhonov

Photo by Daniel Korzhonov

Top 10 Scotland-Jacobite-Photo by Arnold van Wijk

Photo by Arnold van Wijk

Top 10 Scotland-Jacobite-Photo by Graham Brown

Photo by Graham Brown

Top 10 Scotland-Jacobite-Photo by Rafal Kwiatkowski

Photo by Rafal Kwiatkowski

Top 10 Scotland-Jacobite-Photo by Andy Cabb

Photo by Andy Cabb

2. Isle of Skye

The biggest island of Scotish archipelago the Inner Hebrides, Isle of Skye fascinates with its dramatic landscapes. The highest point in the Cuillin mountains is the 993 meters high Sgurr Alasdair peak. Clan Castles should be included in the traveler’s list. The island is also known for its rich wildlife: on tours the visitors get to see seals, whales, dolphins, red deer and more.

Why to go there?

Besides the natural diversity, historic castles and impressive landscapes, the site is perfect for hikers and climbers, since the rugged terrain provides great opportunities to flex the muscles.

Top 10 Scotland-Isle of Skye-Photo by Roy Zz

Photo by Roy Zzv

Top 10 Scotland-Isle of Skye-Photo by Tobias Richter

Photo by Tobias Richter

Top 10 Scotland-Isle of Skye2

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Scotland-Isle of Skye

Photo by Unknown

Top 10 Scotland-Isle of Skye-Photo by Karl Williams

Photo by Karl Williams

Top 10 Scotland-Isle of Skye-Photo by Giulia Carlozzo

Photo by Giulia Carlozzo

1. Eilean Donan, Loch Duich Island

The castle is named after Celtic saint Donnan of Eigg, who established a church here first in 617. However, the castle, as we see it today, was built in the 13th century and belonged to the Clan Mackenzie. The castle has witnessed a lot of aristocratic dramas and attacks from the Mackenzie’s enemies.

Why to go there?

The castle’s renovation started in 1919 and was finished in 1932. Today it is one of the most popular castles in Scotland. Its dramatic exterior attracts many visitors, photographers and filmmakers, as well as advertisers. Eilean Donan’s beauty has made it an iconic Scottish symbol.

Top 10 Scotland-Eilean Donan-Photo by Mark Nicol

Photo by Mark Nicol

Top 10 Scotland-Eilean Donan-Photo by Dirk Sachse

Photo by Dirk Sachse

Top 10 Scotland-Eilean Donan

Photo by Unknown