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The Scotland landscapes you need to see!

There are so many beautiful Scottish landscapes and up until recently I hadn’t had much of a chance to explore them.

Having done a few trips to Scotland before moving to Canada, we recently returned from Canada for a year to explore more of the UK and Europe as part of our year in travel. As part of this, we spent 5 months living in and exploring, Scotland.

There are just so many beautiful landscapes in Scotland no matter what part you’re in.

Sure, the Isle of Skye may be renowned for its beauty, but there’s so much more.

From romantic Scottish Castles to beautiful lochs and two of the UK’s best National Parks, there are so many cool things to see in Scotland.

These pictures of Scotland show just some of the beautiful landscapes of Scotland that should be on your list of places to go in Scotland if you’re planning to visit Scotland!

Scotland landscapes to add to your Scotland bucket list!

1. Forth bridge

forth bridge south queensferry

It might seem strange to include a piece of architecture in this list but then again this is pretty impressive architecture in amongst the surrounding Scottish landscape.

The Forth Bridge, which spans the Firth of Forth, links Edinburgh and the Lothians with Fife. Due to its distinctive red colors and huge proportions, it is one of Scotland’s most recognizable landmarks and makes for an incredible Scotland landscape.

One of the best places to admire the bridge is South Queensferry. Visit on New Year’s Day and you’ll see hundreds of crazy people dressed up and swimming in the freezing waters (just as I did on New Year’s Day 2015!).

There are loads of other fun things to see in South Queensferry too!

2. Mull of Galloway

mull of galloway scotland

Make your way to Scotland’s most southerly point and you will be rewarded with dramatic clifftop walks among an RSPB Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

This is real Scotland scenery and offers some of the best views in Scotland.

There are 115 steps to the top of the lovely, whitewashed lighthouse from where you can regain your breath as you take in the views of these typical Scottish landscapes.

3. The Kelpies

the kelpies scotland
the kelpies scotland

The Kelpies tower of the Forth and Clyde canal near Falkirk and the Falkirk Wheel.

They’re the largest equine sculptures in the world, though I guess this doesn’t include the Ghengis Khan statue + horse in Mongolia which I personally found more striking!

The mystical horse heads have shimmering steel features and it’s an easy detour from the motorway to go view them on foot.

They’re also quickly becoming one of Scotland’s most photographed attractions. Well worth stopping off at on your way to the Highlands!

4. Fairy Pools, Skye

fairy pools of skye scotland
A Scotland landscape for your list!

The name alone conjures up some magical Scotland images and these pools don’t disappoint.  These famous waterfalls in Scotland cascade down through the carved rock into vivid turquoise pools.

This has to be one of the best natural places in Scotland and you’ll be wowed by this Scottish scenery.

The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye offer one of the best views in Scotland too.

5. Corryvreckan Whirlpool

corryvreckan whirlpool beautiful landscapes scotland

The third largest whirlpool in the world, Corryvreckan whirlpool is a spectacular natural phenomenon. It can be found between the Isles of Jura and Scarba.

The best way to get up close to the whirlpool (safely) is to take one of the boat tours on offer.

6. Glencoe

glencoe photography locations (1 of 1)

Does anywhere scream ‘beautiful Scotland’ quite as much as Glencoe? Both historic and atmospheric, Glencoe is the site of Scotland’s most infamous massacre.

You may recognize the land from several Hollywood films since it’s just one example of amazing scenery in Scotland.

It’s no wonder Glencoe is such a popular feature on the silver screen thanks to its dramatic Scotland mountains, rushing waterfalls, and whitewashed cottages which create an idyllic backdrop and some of the best scenery in Scotland.

It’s also a favorite spot in Scotland with photographers and there are so any awesome photography spots in and around Glencoe.

Enjoying the scenery is best done on foot, enjoy these Glencoe walks and hikes!

7. Edinburgh Castle

edinburgh castle from the vennel scotland
Edinburgh Castle from The Vennel

The city of Edinburgh is one of the top places to visit in Scotland and Edinburgh Castle is part of the reason why. I’m sure you’ve seen many pictures of castles in Scotland but this one is special since it’s well-kept and is right in the middle of the city.

Perched high on an old volcano overlooking the city of Edinburgh is Edinburgh Castle. One of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions, the castle is home to the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny.

You can get a pretty great view of the city without paying for entrance, but you’ll find it hard to resist going inside.

Did you know you can get the Caledonian Sleeper train from London to Edinburgh? It’s the perfect way to travel in my view!

8. Cairngorms National Park

lochnagar cairngorms
Lochnagar Cairngorms

This is one of the most beautiful places in Scotland to visit and definitely one of the best places to visit in Scotland.

The Cairngorms National Park is the largest national park in the UK and one of many magical places in Scotland. It’s known for its unspoiled beauty and native Scottish wildlife. This area is also home to five of the six highest mountains in Scotland.

There is plenty of hiking in the Cairngorms to do here just take extra care in the winter when its peaks are often covered in snow!

9. Culloden Moor

culloden moor scotland landscapes

Culloden Moor in western Scotland was the site of the last battle fought on British soil. It has since been restored to resemble the landscape of the time. It’s hard not to feel a shiver when you walk past the marked front lines and headstones.

Discover all of the beautiful national parks in the UK

10. Rosslyn chapel

rosslyn chapel beautiful landscapes scotland

Practically every surface of this 15th-century chapel is covered in ornate and mysterious stone carvings and symbols.

Surrounded in myth and legend it is said to be one of the most mysterious places in Scotland which led to its inclusion in Dan Brown’s hugely popular novel, The Da Vinci Code.

11. Finnich Glen

finnich glen scotland

Finnich Glen is said to be used for Druid rituals and secret meetings. One thing’s for sure and that is that this is a mysterious place.

The bright green moss covering the walls creates an otherworldly backdrop and the water that flows through the red sandstone looks almost like a river of blood. Spooky!

12. Holy Isle

Holy isle

Located in the Firth of Clyde, just a short ferry ride from the Isle of Arran, you will find a little bit of Tibet in Scotland complete with prayer flags and stupas.

At the moment Holy Isle is home to a Buddhist retreat and community as a result of its ancient spiritual heritage which dates back to the 6th Century.

13. The Ring of Brodgar

ring of brodgar scotland landscapes

The Ring of Brodgar has the accolade of being the 3rd largest stone circle in the UK. Found on the island of Orkney, this stone circle is believed to date back to around 2500 – 2000 BC.

An iconic feature of the island, the reason for its existence still remains a mystery.

14. Staffa

staffa scotland landscapes

On the approach to this small, uninhabited island off the west Scotland coast. This landscape in Scotland greets you with giant hexagonal pillars of basalt rock and dark sea caves: Fingal’s Cave.

The pillars are similar to photographers’ favourite, the Giant’s Causeway, in Ireland and are only reachable by boat from Mull.

The geological marvel that is Fingal’s Cave, with its unique cathedral-like structure, is one of the main attractions on the dramatic volcanic island of Staffa.

15. Trossachs

ben a'an summit near callander scotland national park uk

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is an area of outstanding beauty and it’s believed that legendary outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor once roamed the area.

Since the 19th-century visitors have been drawn to Trossachs by tales and poems inspired by local legends and the romantic landscape.

This is one of my favorite parts of Scotland and I’ve done so many awesome hikes around here as well as part of the West Highland Way.

I recommend these Loch Lomond walking trails, especially the Ben A’an trail which is pictured above and has amazing views for relatively little effort.

16. St Kilda

st kilda scotland

The archipelago of St Kilda sounds like it should be a Caribbean island. It’s not often you find much warmth here on “the islands on the edge of the world” though!

The remotest part of the British Isles, St Kilda has been a wilderness since the 1930s when the last of the native population was evacuated.

Nowadays the island is home to a magnificent variety of animal, bird and plant species.

17. Scott’s view

scotts view scotland

One of Sir Walter Scott’s favourite views, Scott’s View looks out onto the wild beauty of the Scottish Borders.

The tranquil sweeping outlook across the River Tweed towards the Eildon Hills on the horizon is certainly an inspiring one.

18. Luskentyre beach

luskentryre beach scotland

Scotland has more stunning stretches of sand than you’d first think. Luskentyre Beach on Harris has been voted one of the best in the world and it’s easy to understand why when you visit.

Just remember to wrap up warm!

19. Loch Lomond

loch ard loop walking in loch lomond

I personally prefer Loch Lomond to Loch Ness. It’s surrounded by greenery, the Trossachs, and is a lot calmer and peaceful given that it’s Nessie’s less famous neighbor.

If you’re feeling flashy then hire a seaplane and cruise over the loch for the ultimate in Scotland views, or for you, adrenaline seekers, hire a jet ski and take it out on the lake or conquer Ben Lomond, the highest peak in the Trossachs National Park!

20. Angus coast

angus coast scotland beautiful landscapes

Have you ever seen a pink sand beach? After a trip to the Angus Coast, your answer will be “yes!” The white sands of the west coast are renowned, but Lunan Bay is a lesser-known spot on the Angus Scotland coastline, in the east of the country, which has pink sandstone hues making for some gorgeous photos!

21. Skara Brae

skara brae scotland

Visit Skara Brae on Orkney to visit a 5,000-year-old village. This neolithic village was hidden until a storm disturbed a sand dune back in 1850 and revealed what lied beneath. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Skara Brae is well worth a visit if you’re on Scotland’s Orkney Island.

22. Cape Wrath

cape wrath scotland

Explore the most north-westerly corner of mainland Britain, travelling via 10-seater boat across the Kyle of Durness and then taking a 12-mile mini bus ride to the tip. From here you can see the Clo Mor cliffs.

Make sure to look out for Kearvaig Bay and its “cathedral-shaped sea stack”, on the return journey too!

23. Glengorm Castle

glengorm castle scotland landscapes

Glengorm Castle, on the Isle of Mull, occupies a glorious position surrounded by ruined stone circles, cobalt blue sea, and white sandy beaches against the dramatic black rock on Mull’s north coast.

The castle is open to the public to stay the night and offer spectacular views!

24. Glen Torridon

glen torridon scotland

Glen Torridon is a sight to behold and is full of glaciation features.

This is a scenic place of the highest order, seen from a single-track road through the glen and it’s one of the best places if you’re trying to find beautiful Scotland scenery.

25. Glen Affric

looking down into the gorge from plodda falls
Plodda Falls in Glen Affric

Like Torridon, Glen Affric is day-trippable from Inverness.

It’s worth carrying on though and travelling as far as the public road goes in Glen Affric as this is where you’ll find some of the best walks.

Glen Affric is full of natural pinewood, waterfalls, and the silence of really wild places. If you are anywhere near Inverness, this should be on the Scotland list of things to see.

26. Kintail

kintail

Another mountain area in the west that makes the list of the best landscapes in Scotland is Kintail.

To get there you’ll drive through Glen Shiel where you’ll experience wild green slopes disappearing upwards into a grey rock which is really quite magical to see.

It’s worth the drive though as it’s one of the most beautiful views in Scotland.

27. The Cuillin Hills of Skye

Cuillin Hills of Skye

Many people say that the view across Loch Scavaig to the Cuillins is the most beautiful view in Scotland.

You can’t possibly pass up the chance to see that, can you?

28. Ben Nevis

climbing ben nevis hike

Towering 1,344m over neighboring Fort William, the soaring peak of Ben Nevis is not only Scotland’s highest point but the highest mountain in the whole of the UK.

This undoubtedly makes it one of the most impressive places to see in Scotland.

Hiking, climbing, and scrambling up its steep face is one of Scotland’s greatest challenges, but hardy hikers will be rewarded with some of the country’s most spectacular views – stretching over the Grampian Mountains towards distant Glencoe and the Atlantic coast.

If you plan to hike Ben Nevis, make sure you’re well prepared for a full-day hike and changeable conditions.

29. Shetland Islands

With chocolate-box villages as cute as the islands’ native miniature ponies and an inimitable blend of Scottish and Nordic cultures, Scotland’s Shetland Islands are one of the UK’s most unique holiday destinations.

Stranded on the northernmost tip of the British Isles, the wild archipelago is famed for its unspoiled beaches, diverse wildlife and archaeological sites.

The best time to visit is in January when the islands host Up Helly Aa, a fire festival that pays homage to their Viking heritage.

30. Orkney Islands

orkney islands

Don’t want to sail all the way out to the Shetlands?

Head to the Orkney Islands instead, drifting just off the north coast of Scotland.

The miles of rocky coastline are teeming with wildlife and whether you choose to hike, cycle, or sail, you’ll have the chance to spot puffin and seal colonies, giant Arctic seabirds, and even dolphins.

It’s easily one of the most scenic places in Scotland.

31. The Borders

scottish borders

If it’s Scottish countryside views you want, then head to the Scottish borders.

With its expanse of rolling pastures and remote farmhouses dotted along the borderline of England and Scotland, the aptly named Borders region makes the perfect introduction to Scottish soil.

Follow the trail of Scotland’s long battle for independence with England as you take in the historic border towns, watch the famous horse parades of the Coldstream Guards, and visit the exquisite Melrose Abbey.

32. Lochan na h-Achlaise

A small loch, or lochan, Lochan na h-Achlaise is a much-photographed beauty spot and one of the most beautiful lakes in Scotland.

Set on the wild and rural Rannoch Moor, this lochan is surrounded by Black Mount – an imposing snow-capped mountain range. Rannoch Moor is a wet and boggy landscape, so suitable footwear is a must.

Another great way to see this part of Scotland is by train – the West Highland Railway runs between Glasgow and Fort William and has previously been voted the top rail journey in the world.

33. Loch Shiel

loch shiel

Not far from Fort William, Loch Shiel has much natural and historical importance. It recently gained fame by doubling as Black Lake in the Harry Potter films and it is one of Scotland’s largest freshwater lochs.

Taking a guided cruise on the water is one of the best ways to explore the lake and you’ll likely spot red deer and golden eagle! And enjoy some of the best viewpoints in Scotland.

Much like Loch Ness, Shiel has its own monster inhabitant legend – at 70 feet long, the three-humped ‘Seilag’ apparently patrols the depths of the loch and has been seen multiple times since the late 1800s.

34. Loch Maree

loch maree scotland

The beautiful Loch Maree has a series of small islands at its center – around forty wooded islands and islets – one of which (Isle Maree) still has the remains of an ancient chapel and graveyard, dating back to the 8th century.

Once thought to cure lunacy, the loch’s spiritual history is clearly evident.

All you need to do is explore Isle Maree and you’ll come across a druid circle and an ancient Money Tree, where if the coin you offer stays embedded in the tree, your wish will be granted.

This is definitely one of the places that shows you some of the best scenery Scotland has to offer its visitors.

35. Edinburgh

edinburgh scotland
Edinburgh from Calton Hill

The beautiful city of Edinburgh couldn’t possibly be missed off a list of the most beautiful places in Scotland! This capital city is home to so many amazing views in Scotland!

Encircled by 7 hills, both the city’s old and new towns are UNESCO World Heritage sites, with the famous Royal Mile framed by Edinburgh Castle and the splendid Holyrood Palace.

Lay out your picnic blanket on the banks of Arthur’s Seat and watch the sunset over one of Europe’s most undeniably picturesque city skylines.

36. Loch Ness

inverness loch ness scotland

Scotland’s most well-known lake, or loch, is an impressive 23 miles long. By volume, it’s the largest lake (or loch) in the UK!

There are loads of fun things to do around Loch Ness including castles, museums, walking trails, and distilleries. This is one landscape Scotland is famous for.

On its shores, you’ll see picturesque villages, mountains, and the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Look closely and you could be rewarded with a sight of the Loch Ness Monster! The best way to up your changs of catching a sighting is definitely to take a Loch Ness boat cruise!

Oh, I highly recommend booking one of these lodges near Loch Ness with hot tubs for a relaxing getaway!

37. Grey Mare’s Tail

grey mares tail waterfall scotland
Wikipedia

The fifth-highest waterfall in the UK, Grey Mare’s Tail, plummets down through a hanging valley from Loch Skeen to Moffat Water below.

The waterfall is just one of the beautiful spots in the surrounding scenic nature reserve in some beautiful patches of Scotland countryside.

FAQs on the best views Scotland has to offer

How beautiful is Scotland?

Scotland’s beauty is breathtaking, with majestic mountains, serene lochs, golden beaches, and historic towns, all under a vast, often dramatic sky.

How many mountains are there in Scotland?

Scotland is home to 282 “Munros”, mountains over 3,000 feet. Its diverse terrain also features many more hills, peaks, and ranges.

How to see Scotland?

Explore Scotland by train, car, or guided tours. Its diverse regions offer city breaks, countryside adventures, and coastal getaways.

What does Scotland look like?

Scotland boasts a rugged landscape with highlands, lowlands, islands, and a dramatic coastline. Its scenery blends ancient castles, lochs, and glens with modern cities.

Final thoughts on the best view in Scotland

There are so many awesome views of Scotland you can find as you work your way and travel around Scotland.

From beautiful landscapes Scotland has to offer such as those found on the Isle of Skye or the Isle of Arran (said to be Scotland in miniature), to the lochs like Loch Lomond and Loch Ness. You could spend a lifetime exploring these amazing Scottish views.

My favorite landscape of Scotland has to be the two main lochs preferably viewed from the top. ofa mountain. The scenery Scotland has to offer is kind of surprising!

If you like history and culture, then be sure to head up to Edinburgh Castle or Calton Hill where you can gaze down on the historical capital. Or hike up Arthur’s Seat for another of Scotland’s best views.

Last Updated on September 5, 2023 by Hannah

Leave a comment

  1. John says:

    I wanna be everywhere below number 11. These places look amazing, i never knew that they existed. Also, great post! Big ups for you!

  2. […] 37 Stunning Landscapes in Scotland You Have To See! – That Adventurer […]

  3. Incredible images! Awesome read – many thanks!

  4. ILeave in Greece but Scotlant is always in my heart i have relatives and friends there!!!I have visit very few of the places that are on your list to be specific 3-4 but i hope in my next trip to Scotland i will be able to cover 5-6 more. Excellent list amazing pics!

  5. I always wanted to visit Scotland, especially after i saw the film “Braveheart”.
    I also love the bagpipes scot’s whiskey and scot’s people. What a land.

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