Scotland is a beautiful addition to any Bucket List. Scotland has its own unique beauty: breathtaking highlands just made for hiking and strolling, craggy coastlines, monuments that are proud reminders of long-ago battles, and blue lakes and rivers just made for fishing.

When you think of Scotland, you probably think of castles, sheep, kilts and golf but venture a little further and you’ll find white sand beaches, stargazing spots, waterfalls and a thriving indie music scene. Some of the destinations look like they’re right out of a storybook. If you’re planning on exploring this gorgeous destination, here are 5 amazing places to visit.

1. Loch Ness

People have believed that Loch Ness is home to a giant monster since the 7th century, so it\’s no surprise that this loch is arguably the most famous in Scotland. You probably won’t see the Loch Ness Monster, but a cruise on the lake is a fun way to search. Loch Ness is quite deep, more than 230 meters (750 feet) in some places, offering plenty of hiding places for Nessie.

The loch runs all the way from Loch Dochfour to Fort Augustus; it\’s possible to drive along the western shore of the loch and stop off at the fascinating Urquhart Castle on the way. Visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Nessie won\’t have a problem finding a bus or boat tour, but the loch is also worth a visit if you\’d simply like to spend the day fishing or sailing.

2. Glasgow

Scotland is known for its traditions, architecture, and the famed old-world charm, which make it a clear favorite for people traveling to the United Kingdom! Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, is full of charming surprises for everyone.   It’s a good place to visit, where you can immerse yourself in friendship, charm and music – the city hosts 130 musical events on average per week. Be it unalloyed nature, classical architecture, or curated experiences, the city has got you covered. If the Riverside area is a highly-recommended spot with plenty of attractions, port area, and history attached to it, the rustic charm of the West End would leave you spellbound for sure.

3. Inverness

Usually considered to be the cultural capital of the Highlands, Inverness is a surprisingly cosmopolitan city that provides easy access to the natural beauty of the Highlands. Walk along the River Ness to the Ness Islands, the Caledonian Canal or the Churches Along the River. Stroll, too, through Old Town with its old stone buildings and a Victorian market where you can buy crafts.

The surrounding area boasts attractions such as the Culloden Battlefield and a Bronze Age burial site known as Clava Cairns, and the picturesque River Ness runs right through the heart of the city. Visitors flock here with the intention of trying to catch a glimpse of the famous monster at nearby Loch Ness, but it\’s also worth spending some time in the city itself to enjoy the many excellent restaurants, art galleries, and shops.

4. Stirling

With an impregnable position atop a mighty wooded crag (the plug of an extinct volcano), Stirling\’s beautifully preserved Old Town is a treasure trove of historic buildings and cobbled streets winding up to the ramparts of its impressive castle, which offer views for miles around. The site of the victorious Battle of Stirling Bridge, and home to a beautiful monument dedicated to Scotland’s most loved hero, the town of Stirling holds a place dear to Scotland’s heart.

Full of historic treasures, you can spend a happy week exploring the rich history here. Whether you want to take in the natural beauty of the area by hiking beside Loch Lomond, visit a medieval castle and discover all its secrets, or prefer to spend a quiet afternoon exploring the beautiful stained glass in the cathedral, the best things to do in Stirling are hard to choose.

5. Hebrides

The Western Isles, also known as the Outer Hebrides are a 130-mile-long string of islands lying off the northwest coast of Scotland. Experience the peace and tranquillity of this isolated environment or accept the warm Western Isles welcome of communities waiting to offer you some traditional Hebridean hospitality.

There are 119 islands in total, of which the five main inhabited islands are Lewis and Harris North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra. The middle three (often referred to simply as ‘the Uists’) are connected by road-bearing causeways. Explore our rich island history and discover a superb selection of museums and monuments or witness carefully preserved Gaelic culture in a region where crofting, community events and ceilidhs bring people together like nowhere else on earth.

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