20 Famous Scottish Landmarks In Scotland To Visit

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From the dramatic landscapes of the Highlands and Islands to the grandeur of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland is a country where history and tradition are alive and well. Not forgetting the famous landmarks in Scotland – some of which are among the most popular tourist attractions in the world.

If you’re looking for a breathtaking travel destination that offers something special around every corner, Scotland is certainly a contender. There are many famous Scottish landmarks that you can visit when traveling to Scotland, ranging from historical monuments to modern buildings, and natural wonders.

Here are some of the top Scottish landmarks that will form a piece of your experience in Scotland.

Most Famous Landmark in Scotland

Edinburgh Castle


Edinburgh Castle is a world famous landmark in Scotland that travelers should visit. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Scotland and is a must-see for any visitor.

The castle dates back to the 12th century and was originally built as a royal residence. It has been used as a military fortress, royal palace, and now is a tourist attraction.

The castle is, as the name suggests, in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. Edinburgh Castle is home to many famous Scottish landmarks, including the Scottish National War Museum, the Royal Palace, and the Stone of Destiny.

The castle is also famous for its stunning views of the city of Edinburgh. One of the fun facts of Scotland is that the Edinburgh Castle is actually built on top of an extinct volcano.

Castle Landmarks in Scotland

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle is a ruined castle on the shores of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. The castle dates back to the 13th century and was once one of the largest castles in Scotland.

It is now one of the most popular landmarks in Scotland, especially for those interested in Scottish history.

The castle has a long and colorful history, which includes being besieged by Robert the Bruce and used as a military fortress in the 16th century. It is also said that Mary, Queen of Scots, was held prisoner at Urquhart Castle for a short time.

Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the castle and learn about its fascinating history.

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle is a royal residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The castle is owned by the British royal family and has been their Scottish home since 1852.

It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland, especially for those interested in British royalty.

The original building was constructed in the 13th century, and the castle has been expanded and remodeled many times over the years. The current structure features a mix of architectural styles, including Renaissance and Gothic.

The castle is set in extensive gardens and grounds, which are open to the public. There is also a visitor center with exhibits about the castle and its history.

Balmoral Castle is about 50 miles west of Aberdeen, near the village of Crathie.

Stirling Castle


Stirling Castle sits strategically on top of an extinct volcano, which makes it a formidable fortress. The first record of a castle on the site dates back to 1110, when King Alexander I dedicated it to the Virgin Mary. It has been home to many Scottish kings and queens.

From the 12th century onwards, the castle was expanded and modified by successive Scottish monarchs. In the 15th century, James I (the Old Pretender) made it his main residence and added many features that can still be seen today, such as the Royal Palace and the Great Hall.

The castle was besieged twice in the 17th century, first by Oliver Cromwell’s forces in 1648-49 and then again by William of Orange in 1689. It eventually passed into state care in 1911 and has been open to the public since then.

Other Famous Landmarks in Scotland

The Scottish Parliament Building

The Scottish Parliament Building is the home of the Scottish Parliament, in Edinburgh, Scotland. The building was completed in 2004 and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland, especially for those interested in politics.

The building is impressive both inside and out, and visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about its history and how the Scottish parliament works.

The Falkirk Wheel

The Falkirk Wheel is another famous landmark in Scotland. You can find this amazing structure in the town of Falkirk, in the Central Lowlands of Scotland.

The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift that connects two canals – the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. It was opened in 2002 and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct


The Glenfinnan Viaduct is a railway viaduct that spans the Glenfinnan valley in Lochaber, Highland, Scotland. The viaduct is part of the West Highland Line and was opened in 1901.

This Scottish landmark is a popular attraction, particularly for Harry Potter fans, as it was used in the filming of the Harry Potter movies.

The Kelpies

The Kelpies are two large horse-head sculptures that sit on the Forth and Clyde Canal in Scotland. The Kelpies are 30 meters tall and weigh 300 tons each, creating an imposing presence.

The majestic structures were built in 2013 and are now one of the most popular tourist landmarks in Scotland.

Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral, the oldest building in Glasgow, is a magnificent cathedral that is worth visiting for tourists.

The cathedral has a long and interesting history dating back to the 12th century. It is also home to some amazing architecture and features some beautiful stained glass windows.

Glasgow cathedral is a popular landmark in Scotland and is well worth a visit for those keen on Scottish history or architecture.


The National Wallace Monument


The National Wallace Monument is a tower in Stirling. It was built in 1869 to commemorate Scottish hero William Wallace. The tower is 67 meters tall and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland.

The National Wallace Monument tells the story of William Wallace, who was a Scottish hero and freedom fighter. Visitors can learn all about Wallace’s life and his battles against the English at the monument.

This Scottish landmark is also home to some amazing architecture and features some beautiful stained glass windows. The National Wallace Monument is well worth a visit for those interested in Scottish history or architecture.

Jedburgh Abbey

Jedburgh Abbey is a ruined abbey located in Jedburgh, Borders, Scotland. The abbey was founded in 1138 by David I, King of Scotland. It was the first Cistercian monastery in Scotland. The abbey was sacked by the English in 1296 and was largely destroyed. It is now a popular tourist attraction.

Jedburgh Abbey is open to the public year-round. The abbey is well-known for its Romanesque architecture. Some of the most notable features of the abbey are the west front, the chapter house, and the ribbed vaulting.

Jedburgh Abbey is a popular historic Scottish landmark for those keen on Scottish history or architecture.

Forth Bridge


The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge in East Scotland. It is an engineering marvel and is the world’s longest railway bridge spanning across the Firth of Forth.

The bridge was opened in 1890 and was for many years the longest in the world. It was designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker and construction was carried out by William Arrol & Co.

The bridge has two main spans of 1,710 feet (520 m) and two side spans of 660 feet (200 m). The bridge carries two tracks of the East Coast Main Line from London to Aberdeen.

The Forth Bridge is close to the Queensferry Crossing near Edinburgh.

Natural Landmarks in Scotland

Ben Nevis


Ben Nevis, located in the Scottish Highlands, is the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom with a peak of 4,406 feet (1,343 m). You can find Ben Nevis near the town of Fort William, in the Highland council area.

The mountain is a popular tourist destination, especially for hikers and climbers. Ben Nevis has a long history dating back to the Bronze Age, and it was first climbed in 1883.

Ben Nevis is also home to some interesting geological features, including the Ben Nevis Icecap and the North Face.

Loch Ness


Loch Ness is a large, deep body of water in the Scottish Highlands. It is probably the most famous natural landmark in Scotland.

The loch has a long history and one reason for their fame is partly due to the legend of the Loch Ness monster, Nessie. The Loch Ness is said to be home to this mythical beast.

The loch is also one of the most beautiful landmarks in Scotland. It is a popular tourist destination for fishing and boating.

Isle of Skye


The Isle of Skye is a gem in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The island is well-known for its dramatic landscapes, which include mountains, lochs, and coastal cliffs. The Isle of Skye is also home to some of Scotland’s most famous landmarks, such as the Old Man of Storr and the Cuillin Hills.

The Isle of Skye has a long and interesting history. The island was first settled by Celts in the 6th century BC. The island was then ruled by the Vikings for over two hundred years. In the 12th century, the island was given to the Clan MacLeod by King David I of Scotland. The MacLeods ruled the island for centuries and left their mark on the landscape and culture of the Isle of Skye.

The Isle of Skye is a popular tourist destination, and there are many things to see and do on the island. You can go hiking in the Cuillin Hills, visit the Old Man of Storr, or take a boat trip to the Islay of Jura.

There are also many historic Scotland landmarks on the Isle of Skye, such as Dunvegan Castle and the ruins of the Brochs of Coireamus.

The Old Man of Storr


The Old Man of Storr is a rock formation on the Isle of Skye in Scotland that gets its name from its resemblance to the face of a man. It is one of the famous natural Scottish landmarks for that reason as well. But that is not all!

The spiky pinnacles of rock that stand against a backdrop of rolling green hills and the coastline makes this a scenic spot to visit. Situated on the north side of Skye in the Trotternish Loop, you can access this rock formation from the main road between Portree and Staffin.

It is also a popular destination for hikers and offers breathtaking views of the Sound of Rasaay from its elevation of over 2,000 feet. The hike up to the Old Man of Storr is of medium difficulty but can be quite steep. That said, it is also particularly challenging to climb on a rainy day.

Cairngorms National Park


The Cairngorms National Park is a beautiful and vast area in the eastern Highlands of Scotland. The Park is over 4,500 hectares in size and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

The Cairngorms are a group of mountains that are a part of the Grampian mountain range. The area is well known for its harsh winters and stunning landscapes.

The Cairngorms have been a National Park since 2003 and are home to a variety of plant and animal life, including deer, ptarmigan, and golden eagles.

Travel Insurance

Bow Fiddle Rock


The Bow Fiddle Rock is a famous landmark in Scotland, you can find it off the coast of Portknockie, Banffshire.

It is a natural rock formation that has been shaped by the sea and wind over the centuries. The Bow Fiddle Rock is about 20 feet high and is said to resemble a fiddle, hence the name.

The Bow Fiddle Rock has become a popular natural landmark in Scotland and is a popular spot for photographers.

Fingal’s Cave


The Fingal’s Cave, on the Isle of Staffa Scotland, is a famous Scottish landmark that is known for its natural beauty. It is a sea cave that is formed by hexagonally jointed basalt columns.

The cave got its name from the Gaelic hero Fingal. It is said that the cave was once used as a place of worship by the ancient Scottish people.

The cave is about 60 meters long and is filled with strange and beautiful rock formations. Fingal’s cave is very unique and is one of the most famous Scottish landmarks. It is also a popular tourist destination. You can take a boat to see the cave up close.

Corryvreckan Whirlpool

The Corryvreckan Whirlpool off the Gulf of Corryvreckan, is the third largest whirlpool in the world.

It was formed from the meeting of the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. The whirlpool is so powerful that it can suck a boat underwater. It has also been known to overturn boats.

Therefore, the Corryvreckan Whirlpool is also considered one of the most dangerous places in Scotland.

Ring of Brodgar


The Ring of Brodgar is a Neolithic henge and stone circle in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.

It is made up of about 60 stones, some of which are up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) high. The ring is around 328 feet (100 meters) in diameter, and the stones are set in a horseshoe shape.

The Ring of Brodgar was probably built around 2500 BC, and it may have been used for ritual or ceremonial purposes.

It is one of the most well-preserved prehistoric monuments in Scotland and a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Discovering Famous Landmarks in Scotland

These are just a few of the famous landmarks in Scotland that travelers can visit. There are many more landmarks, both famous and lesser-known ones, that you can find when traveling in Scotland.

Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, nature, or just want to see something new, there’s sure to be something attractive in Scotland. Simply follow your own travel tracks and let the country amaze you.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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