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You must be familiar with Switzerland, England, the Netherlands, but what about Scotland?
Amidst feeding our fancies on popular extravagant lands, one always tends to ignore Scotland – the hidden gem of United Kingdom. This beautiful cluster of islands that has been known to mankind since the beginning of Gaelic origin, thus, becomes an important place to visit as the sweltering heat gets on our nerves.
And it is for this reason that we have narrowed down 15 places that you must visit on your next Scotland tour.

Loch Ness in Inverness

No trip to the Highlands would be complete without a visit to Loch Ness. It is the second-largest Scottish loch in the British Isles by volume. Loch Ness makes for one of the most exquisite destinations in Scotland. Located six miles away from Inverness, Loch Ness and its famous resident monster have been shrouded in myth for centuries.

You may just sit back and savour the breath-taking scenery and abundance of wildlife, or you can explore the nearby quaint towns by taking a leisure walk along the shore. Hiking is yet another option. But I will leave the final decision up to you.
Visit the historic Urquhart Castle and promenade along with the charming villages including Drumnadrochit. Explore Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition and extend your journey to Fort Augustus. With boats and cruises along Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal, the place becomes a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Museum Of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh

The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses is situated at Fraserburgh on northeastern Aberdeenshire. It is a full-size lighthouse built right through the middle of a 16th-century castle.
It was built for the Fraser family in the 1500s, Kinnaird Head was altered in 1787 to contain the first lighthouse built by Northern Lighthouse Board. The lantern is still in working order and the lighthouse remains as much as its last crew left it.
The truly unique castle with sophisticated engineering is amongst the top Scottish points of interest for visiting the country for the first time. The audio-visual tour of the museum to the gorgeous views of the city from the top of the lighthouse, everything will leave you spellbound.

Stirling Castle

The Stirling Castle is, perhaps, the most spectacular castles of Scotland. Amongst the top tourist attractions, this castle becomes an absolute must-visit for history fanatics. The castle is surrounded by vertigo-including cliffs and was praised for its defensive prowess and positioning back in the day. Several Scottish kings and queens, including Mary, Queen of Scots, have been crowned at Stirling.
From every nook and croony of this castle, it lets you experience the art and culture of the 16th century and offers the most scenic views of the city from atop the hill.
In the present day, the castle is open to the public year-round. The Regimental Museum and Home Headquarters of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlands are amongst the castle tour itinerary.

Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore

Curious about the lifestyle of the Highlanders from the 18th to the 20th century? Well, the Highland Folk Museum is just the right place for you.
Being Scotland’s first mainland open-air museum, it is located at Newtonmore in the Scottish Highlands. The place offers a displaying over 30 historical buildings and furnishing them appropriate to their time period. Furthermore, there are cafes, shops and picnic spots inside to keep you engaged throughout your visit.

Edinburgh Castle

Bonnie and majestic, Edinburgh Castle has dominated the capital’s skyline for millennia now. Perched atop the remnants of an extinct volcano, the castle is home to some of the impressive exhibits like Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny.
Among the top paid tourist attractions, this historic fortress would do Game of Thrones proud, with its lengthy maze of rooms, breath-taking views and deep-woven history. With each step and tour, many whisperings from the past flood the thoughts of the explorer.

Ben Nevis in the British Isles

Visually known as ‘The mountain with its head in the clouds’, the legendary peak towers above glistening lochans and deep glacial valleys. Set some 1,345 metres above the sea level, it is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains.
If you’re a mountaineer with a wild heart and adventurous spirit, embark on a journey to walk along The Mountain Track, Glen Nevis Riverside Walk, Wishing Stone Walk, Nevis Gorge and Steall Falls to climb up to the mountain.

Rosslyn Chapel in Roslin

Rosslyn Chapel has a magical as well as mysterious essence. It is located outside Edinburgh in Roslin. This place is shrouded in speculation as to the key to the Holy Grail, credits to the Dan Brown’s popular novel The Da Vinci Code. This 15th-century chapel boasts ornate pillars and intricate carvings, with a history as enthralling as the building itself.

Isles Of Arran

Popularly known as ‘Scotland in Miniature’, Isles of Arran is situated in the southwestern region, in the Firth of Clyde near Glasgow. The varied attractions are diverse – from towering hills, and stunning fairways, to fabulous forests and many local foodie havens, there are hundreds of amazing things to do on Arran that the keen hillwalkers, enthusiastic golfers, passionate mountain bikers, and everyone in-between will love.
Head to Brodick Castle and Country Gardens and from there move to Isle of Arran Distillery. The heather-clad Goat Fell for walking enthusiasts becomes, even more, interesting for those who wish to experience a strong Neolithic and ancient atmosphere in Machrie Moor Stone Circles. Holy Isle and King’s Cave are among our top recommendations as well.

Torridon in Wester Ross

It is located beneath the mountains, on the shore of Upper Loch Torridon in Wester Ross. A magnetic place for hikers and climbers, delve in its majestic beauty and uncompromising terrain.
Part of Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, the place offers the beauty of Glen Torridon. Visit the beaches and enjoy the thrill of whale watching, or maybe find an isolated top and just admire its therapeutic beauty in soothing silence.

Orkney

Seventy islands, including 20 that are inhabited, make up the Orkney Islands, an archipelago off the north of Scotland. The islands are a good place to see seals and puffins, as well as a variety of local art in galleries and museums.
Orkney residents pre-date the Romans by several thousand years. The pre-historic Ring of Brodgar, a circle of stone formations used in rituals, is one of the best-preserved and oldest Neolithic sites in Europe. Apart from that, the pristine Skra Brae, the capital Kirkwall and the picturesque harbour town of Stromness are among our popular recommendations.

Cairngorms National Park in the North East

It is no ordinary national park, in case you were wondering that. It is one of Scotland’s two national parks, the Cairngorms is a true mountain wilderness and contains five out of six Scotland’s highest peaks.
The place is famed for its unfading organic beauty, which not only has forest paths, lakes, and wildlife hotspots but rivers, villages and distilleries too. Mike Dennison, an insider guide to the park, recommends a walk around Loch Muick or cycling the Speyside Way. However, other options are open to visitors for the ultimate experience.

Loch Lomond in Glasgow

Sir Walter Scott called it ‘The Queen of Scottish Lakes’ and we couldn’t agree more. This bonnie lake contains more than 30 islands, including Inchmurrin.
Outdoor activities such as fishing, golf, leisure walks, bicycling, camping and climbing are certainly popular indulging activities among tourists. Visit the seven waterfalls and Inchcailloch to see ancient church ruins and burial ground.

St. Andrews

One of the coolest and liveliest places to visit in Scotland, St. Andrews in Edinburgh has endless reasons to visit. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club is renowned of the prestigious golf clubs in the world. It is here you can experience the zeal of sportiness. The St. Andrews Castle, sitting on a cliff overlooking the sea and the city, has been another popular site among history lovers. The St. Andrews, once the largest cathedral of Scotland, is now in ruins.

Fairy Pools in Skye

Fairy Pools, as the name suggests, will certainly remind you of the notorious fairies who would most definitely take a dip in such a majestic pool of crystalline water. Perfect for photographers and adventurers, this magical pool is amidst the top places to visit in Scotland.
It is located near the village of Carbost on the Isle of Skye. It was formed by cascading waterfalls that come through the carved rocks which further empty into the vivid turquoise water. The pools are accessible 24 hours a day but we suggest a tour between late morning hours to afternoon hours are ideal.

Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe

A haven of windswept, rocky splendour, this place is most loved by hikers of all the Munro peaks. The dramatic mountains located in Ballachulish and beautiful waterfalls create an idyllic Scottish backdrop for admiration. Indulge in adventures sports like hiking, rock climbing, and photographing the scenic beauty of the snow-capped peaks.
But the list does not stop here. Scotland is a haven for admiration and ideal yet rugged beauty. Whereas we hope our

shortlisted places will certainly please your tastes, don’t forget to visit the artistic Museums and Art Galleries, fascinating innumerable Castles. Noble and mesmerising, The Kelpies and Falkirk Wheel remain yet other popular attractions. The Real Mary King’s Close has age-old stories and secrets in its mysterious maze of subterranean narrow streets in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
You see, there’s no end to the sightseeing in Scotland. One just needs to be curious and excited enough to move along the mystic places. Our best suggestion – Don’t just sway along with the Scottish winds, indulge yourself in the Gaelic literature, culture and folk music, renowned alcohols, and Scottish delicacies.

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By Abhishek Saraswat

Abhishek (@himalayan_gypsy) is a travel photographer and blogger known as Himalayan Gypsy over the internet. Academically from an engineering background and born the Himalayan valley of Dehradun, he found himself in love with nature and ever since he has been on a journey to travel India and showcase the beauty of the country through his pictures, motivating and encouraging people on the go to feel the same and also take responsibilities to conserve our rich heritage, culture and environment. He is a Certified Digital Marketer and a Travel Influencer who is efficient to create visually appealing content for Travel Brands, Property Owners, Cafes and other Product Shoots. He also specializes in running Facebook & Instagram Ad Campaigns for Brand Awareness, Brand Promotion and Online Reputation Management.

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