Six Great Scottish Whisky Distilleries To Visit

No doubt, Scotland is the country of the whisky. It is home to over 100 producers of Scotch whisky, from the Highlands to the Islands, many of them in scenic settings. They blend solid tours, great whisky, a dose of history into one memorable visit. As single malt enjoys something of a renaissance, we’ve selected six of the finest distilleries producing Scotland’s greatest drams.

Dalwhinnie

The Dalwhinnie distillery, located at the center of the impressive Cairngorms National Park, is one of the highest whisky producing distilleries in Scotland where clear, crisp spring water and peat are abundant. The Dalwhinnie distillery uses spring water from a unique source that no other distillery can use. Therefore Dalwhinnie only can yield a distinctively clean and malty-sweet taste, with a smooth and smoky flavor.

The white-painted Dalwhinnie Distillery with its two original pagodas sits beautifully in the mountains of the Scottish Highlands. Visitors to Dalwhinnie get the opportunity to do tastings of the distillery’s single malt paired with the finest chocolate.

Glenfarclas

Glenfarclas, which in Gaelic means “Glen of the green grassland”, nestles at the foot of the Ben Rinnes mountain, in the heart of the Speyside area. In 1865, the Glenfarclas Distillery was purchased by the famous Grant family, and since then they have intended to brew only the finest single malt whisky possible.

Glenfarclas is renowned for its traditional full bodied and well-sherried whisky. First-class ingredients, the unique size and shape of the copper pot stills, conventional distillation methods, and the specially selected oak casks determine the unique character of Glenfarclas that have won numerous rewards.

Glenmorangie

Glenmorangie sits in a scenic setting on the shores of the Dornoch Firth, in northern Scotland. The distillery distinguishes itself by sourcing casks from all over the world and maturing whiskies only twice instead of the usual five times creating inventive whiskies such as the sherry cask aged Lasanta.

The distillery offers various tours including a tour where you have the chance to visit the water source at nearby Tarlogie Springs. Or you can make a reservation to stay in one of their cottages, next to the Glenmorangie house, which are surrounded by magnificent fields of barley and the most spectacular coastal views.

Bruichladdich

The Bruichladdich distillery, built in 1881, sits opposite the western shore of Loch Indaal on the southern Hebridean island of Islay. The distillery describes itself as ‘progressive Hebridean distillers’, and are proud to be non-conformist and to do things a little differently. This modern approach is contrasting their traditional and local values to maturing and bottling all their spirits on the island, using only Scottish-produced barley and retaining conventional equipment.

The distillery produces a vast range of cask-finished whiskies, many of which are non-traditional for whisky aging, such as casks which used to hold white wines like the French Jurançon and Italian Pinot Gris.

Talisker

The Talisker distillery is tucked away in a peaceful spot on the west coast of Skye, overlooking Loch Harport. Talisker, founded in 1830, is the only remaining distillery on the Isle of Skye producing a wonderfully powerful and award-winning single malt.

Talisker is not only an esteemed single malt among scotch enthusiasts, but instead is one of a few whiskies that is loved all over the world for its maritime character. The tasting and finishing roundtable discussion over six drams of Talisker’s spirits makes for an excellent afternoon break from hiking Skye’s famous hills.

Highland Park

While some Scottish distilleries are easily accessible by car, trekking to Highland Park is an adventure in itself. Highland Park is Scotland’s northernmost whisky distillery, located in the heart of the Orkney Islands. Surrounded by vast plains of barley fields and rocky outcrops, it is the salty air from the north Atlantic that contributes to the rich flavor of Highland Park Whiskies.

In their parlor room, you can taste a full range of their single malts and sign up for a tutored tastings of rare Highland Park Vintages. For the ultimate exclusive hands-on experience, the distillery offers the chance to work for a day at the facility, before relaxing in front of an open fire and be treated to a grand dinner.

The 6 Lochs You Can’t Miss In Scotland

The Scottish lochs are sparkling jewels amidst beautiful landscapes. Scotland is home to over 31,000 and visitors from all over the world come to see these stunning lochs (in Gaelic ‘loch’ means ‘small lake’) and enjoy activities such as fishing, boating, swimming or even hiking. Are you not sure which ones to choose than check out this list of famous and lesser visited lochs that you can’t miss on your next trip to Scotland.

Loch Ness

The most famous… for its monster

With 230m at its deepest, Loch Ness is the second deepest lake in Scotland. Loch Ness is probably the most famous for its legendary monster Nessie said to inhabit the lake. Your best chance, however, of catching a glimpse of Nessie, is in the village of Drumnadrochit, at the Loch Ness Center & Exhibition which has state-of-art exhibitions about the geological formation of Loch Ness and of course its infamous monster.

Despite its fame, and thanks to its size (covering 22 square km) it is still possible to sense the serenity of Loch Ness and its surroundings without feeling you are in a tourist attraction. Look out for the ruins of the Urquhart Castle on the western shore, situated in a stunning location right at the water’s edge.

Loch Lomond

The largest… and plenty of space to play

At 50 kilometers north of Glasgow, straddling the boundary between the Highlands and Lowlands, the 39-km long Loch Lomond is the longest inland stretch of surface water in Britain. It is one of Scotland’s most popular lakes for water sports enthusiasts that can practice sailing, fishing, and canoeing. Bordered by beautiful shores and guarded by the eye-catching Ben Lomond, the lake is also an ideal swimming paradise for those who want to experience some magnificent Scottish scenery at the same time. Loch Lomond is also a good hiking territory; around its shores, there are many hiking trails and plenty of great spots for a relaxing picnic afterward.

Tip: Hidden away on the very edge of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, lies Loch Rusky. It is an attractive and peaceful little loch that tends to be frequented only by fishermen and photographers.

Loch Fyne

A great place for foodies

Loch Fyne is a sea loch situated on the west coast of Argyll and Bute, a beautiful, unspoiled area known for its spectacular scenery and wildlife (including dolphins, seals, and otters) and a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and foodies. From the oyster beds at the top of Loch Fyne to the surrounding hills with locally reared livestock, Loch Fyne has a worldwide reputation for high quality locally produced food.

Loch Fyne offers as well great fishing, diving, and boating opportunities. Besides, many people are drawn to this beautiful area by the range of traditional Scottish villages dotted around the shores, like the charming lakefront town of Inveraray, known for its iconic castle that holds the same name. Whether you choose to catch fish, dive in crystal clear water, explore castles, or just savor great foods, Loch Fyne can give it all to you.

Loch Awe

The essence of Scotland

Loch Awe is awesome. Let the facts speak for themselves. Conifer forests surround the shores, the northern horizon is dominated by the impressive Ben Cruachan mountain range. Wildlife in the area is legendary, and Loch Awe holds the current record for the largest brown trout caught in the British Isles. On top of that, it is home to Kilchurn Castle, arguably Scotland’s most impressive and iconic ancient building at its head. Visit Loch Awe to explore its beautiful nature, picnic sites and kilometers of trails in the forests, and you’ll still have plenty more to see.

Loch Katrine

The Victorian playground

Set in the middle of Trossachs National Park, Loch Katrine is a beautiful narrow lake that traverses some of the area’s most idyllic and unspoiled landscapes. Loch Katrine is a unique place, steeped in history. Indeed, the famous poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’ of Sir Walter Scott was set here and inspired its Victorian readers, who started to travel to the area to see the sight themselves on board of the Sir Walter Scott steamship that still brings visitors around on the loch. Enjoy the landscape from the deck or rent a bike at the pier so you can explore the remote and beautiful lake on two wheels and be rewarded with some magnificent views.

Loch Duich

A romantic spot in the Scottish Highlands

Mysterious and romantic, the beautiful Loch Duich holds a special place in the history and hearts of Scotland’s Highlands. Loch Duich is home to the Eilean Donan Castle that has become one of the most photographed landmarks in Scotland. The image of the castle at the edge of the calm waters of the loch has featured in several films including:
Highlander (1986)
Loch Ness (1996)
The World is Not Enough (1999)

Fishing is a favorite activity at Loch Duich, and there are some lovely walks along the loch side with spectacular views over the water to Eilean Donan Castle. The beautiful scenery and serenity of the loch surrounded by the green peaks of the Five Sisters of Kintail will make a visit to Loch Duich a memorable visit.

The 8 Greatest Scottish Roads To Explore

There is no doubt that Scotland is a perfect place to go for a scenic drive. Whether you want to explore majestic mountains, the quiet countryside, rugged coastlines, or remote islands, the Scottish landscapes provide plenty of opportunities for great drives. So what are you waiting for? Prepare your luggage, create your perfect playlist and get in the mood with these eight great roads trips.

The road to Traigh Seilebost, Isle of Harris

The Isle of Harris is one of the Outer Hebrides islands that can be easily accessed by ferry from the Scottish mainland. Once you arrive on the island, head to the A859 on the island’s west coast and keep your camera ready for the breathtaking seascapes at Traigh Seilebost. The seemingly endless white sands of Luskentyre beach with crystal clear waters and a stunning backdrop of machair (a flat grassy field) is a spectacular view. This beautiful beach is not only a perfect place to relax and play, but it also provides many great walking opportunities. Enjoy the views and look out for the sand dunes to the east.

The North Coast 500, Highlands

The circular North Coast 500 route is Scotland’s answer to America’s Route 66. With more than 500 miles it explores the best the Northern Highlands have to offer. The tour starts and ends in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, it continues via the western coastline and then comes back via the rugged north coast. Never-ending back roads, meandering country tracks, and beautiful curves along the coast, fairytale castles, and ruins are just a few things you can expect along the North Coast 500. Drive this highway loop through northern Scotland’s stunning landscapes, along with some vibrant communities and beautiful historical sites.

From Inverness to Moray Speyside

This pleasant drive takes you to the coast alongside Lossiemouth before heading inland right across the whisky country, past castles to nearby Cairngorms National Park.
When you travel from Inverness to Nairn, don’t miss Nairn Beach, an unspoiled white sandy beach ideal for a romantic picnic! Leaving Nairn, keep heading east into the Moray Speyside region, where you can admire the area’s history at Brodie Castle in Forres, and Elgin’s Cathedral, before sampling some of the great Speyside single malts. Here, you’re on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, featuring majestic mountains, huge forests, cascading waterfalls, and plenty of wildlife. A paradise for hikers, bikers, rock climbers and for those that just like to enjoy its beautiful setting.

Bealach Na Ba, the road to Applecross, Wester Ross

Between the mainland mountain masses and the Island of Skye lies the Applecross Peninsula. Home to just a couple of hundred people, this is a peaceful retreat far away from the noise of everyday life. The ‘Road to Applecross’ via the ‘Bealach Na Ba’ (Pass of the Cattle) is one of the most famous driving routes in Scotland. The highest point of the route reaches exactly 625.7 m and offers fantastic views on the Isle of Skye and Western Ross. With its tight curves and single-track streets, this road isn’t for the faint-hearted, but the views from the top are astonishing.

From Edinburgh to St. Andrews

This ride starts with the passage across the impressive Forth Road Bridge to the Kingdom of Fife and follows the scenic coastal road around the East Neuk. Take time to catch a glimpse of the beautiful panoramas and to visit some of the charming fishing villages, such as Elie or Pittenween. A culinary stop at the town of Anstruther – before arriving at the historic city of St Andrews – for fish and chips is a must. St Andrews is internationally renowned as the ‘Home of Golf’. The famous Old Course – the oldest and most iconic golf course in the world – is a constitution for golfers of all abilities. If playing golf is not your thing head to St Andrews Castle, perched on the cliffs above the North Sea and enjoy the beautiful views over the bay.

The magical road from Glencoe to Fort William

No road trip through Scotland is complete without driving along this road through Glencoe to Fort William because you won’t find more dramatic views from the driver’s seat than this.

Situated on the main route north through the Highlands, the road through Glencoe takes you through the heart of an ancient volcano. Glencoe’s deep valley and massive mountains were carved out centuries ago by icy glaciers and volcanic explosions. The street weaves through one of Scotland’s most pristine landscapes that you may like to admire for hours. Those that have a need to stretch their legs will not be short of any activities in Glencoe, the area is a perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts, and of course for avid photographers.

For first time visitors, from Glasgow to Oban

The road from Glasgow to Oban is one of the most straightforward and accessible. Leaving Glasgow in western direction towards the coast your first stop has got to be Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Here you’ll find an enchanting multitude of high mountains, lochs, and forests to explore. The National Park has some beautiful drives of its own with uniquely designed viewpoints installed throughout the landscape.

Get back in your car and head to the town of Oban. You’ll pass many beautiful sights along the way. Crossing the Arrochar Alps, you’ll arrive at the ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ pass. Look for the roadside bay viewpoint, take a break at the picnic area and make great pics of the stunning panoramas.
Wave to the hairy Highland cattle that inhabit the countryside, or visit the traditional town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. The final destination is Oban, a beautiful place to spend time with its stunning sunsets, excellent seafood and easy access to all the nearby islands.

Over de sea to Skye

The exhilarating scenery of the Isle of Skye, with its desolated mountains, steep cliffs, and mystical geological elements, make the whole island a fabulous driving destination.

It doesn’t matter which direction you take, exploring the length and breadth of Skye will be well spent. The most northern area of the island – the Trotternish Peninsula – is enclosed by the majestic mountain range called Quiraing. This area can be fully explored via the loop road A855. If you stay in the south of Skye, don’t miss out the mystical Fairy Pools for a refreshing dip. Or take a detour to visit the Dunvegan Castle and the Talisker Distillery, the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye. This inviting full-bodied single malt is easy to enjoy, and just like the Isle of Skye, hard to leave.

The 8 most beautiful castles of Scotland

Wonderfully preserved medieval strongholds, fairy-tale châteaux, and romantic cliff top ruins, Scotland is packed with charming castles that will bring you back in the time of queens and kings. Known for its legends, its architectural beauty or stunning location, each of them has a unique story to tell.

From the stunning landscapes of the Highlands, the rugged cliffs of the coast, to the capital city of Edinburgh, here are eight of our favorite Scottish castles.

Eilean Donan, Inverness-shire

This 13th-century castle is one of the most photogenic Scottish castles and has gradually become one of Scotland’s most recognizable landmarks. The Eilean Donan Castle was built on a tidal island, connected at low tide to the mainland, idyllically situated in the point where the three Lochs Duich, Long, and Alsh come together. In the 20th century, the castle was restored and a footbridge – that connects now the castle with the mainland – was constructed. The castle and its exhibitions are open to the public. If you want to get an even more spectacular shot of this castle, wait until dusk when the floodlights go on.

Edinburgh Castle, City of Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Castle – perhaps the most visited castle in Scotland – is located in the center of the capital city on the top of a sleeping volcano. This impressive structure – of which the oldest part dates back to the 12th century – is a visible landmark in Edinburgh’s skyline. The Scottish utilized the castle for all of their important battles and military plans. Therefore, it is an important symbol of the Scottish perseverance for independence. Edinburgh Castle is a huge and beautiful place to explore. It has a rich history, an impressive architecture and there are many different attractions within its walls suitable for everyone.

Culzean Castle, Ayrshire

Culzean Castle is fiercely sitting on the top of a cliff at the Ayrshire coast. It is a noteworthy example of a turreted castle that seems to be picked from a fairy tale book. You may recognize the castle upon arrival because already since 20 years it has been featured on the back of the 5-pound note. The numerous rooms of Culzean Castle and its extensive ground are open to the public. With its beautiful neoclassical architecture, a spectacular setting at the Firth of Clyde, and impressive Culzean Country Gardens, is this Scottish castle a perfect place for a nice day out.

Stirling Castle, Stirlingshire

Stirling Castle is one of the largest and historically significant castles in Scotland. Back in the 16th century, this castle was considered the arts center of Scotland and home to many of the country’s kings. The immense Stirling Castle is a great place to visit as a family. Not only it gives the opportunity to see how Scottish royalty lived here, but children can also dress up in costumes and play medieval instruments.

Urquhart Castle, Inverness-shire

Once, Urquhart Castle was one of the largest castles in Scotland. Today pretty much only the remains of the Grand Tower and the stunning views over the Loch Ness are left. The mythical Loch Ness Monster, Nessie, might attract travelers to the Scottish Highlands, but it is Urquhart Castle that steals the show. This 16th- century fortress is positioned conveniently along the main road connecting the North to the West of Scotland and should not be missed.

Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire

Dunnottar Castle, located in Stonehaven, is perched precariously on a jutting headland and surrounded by sheer cliffs and the raging north sea. The remaining ruins of that was once an imposing medieval fortress are a tribute to the castle’s fascinating and violent history. In contrast to Dunnottar Castle’s turbulent history, it makes today for an enjoyable day excursion in Aberdeenshire. Coming from Stonehaven, an impressive 30-45 minute walk along the cliffs takes you straight to the castle. Verify ahead of time if the walking paths are open; sometimes they’re closed due to landslides.

Glamis Castle, Angus

Glamis is one of the most preeminent and historically fascinating castles in Scotland. This fortress is primarily famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and as the birthplace of the Queen Mother, HM Queen Elizabeth. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the architecture of medieval Scotland and to explore the surrounding estate made up of 14,000 acres of gardens, farms, and forests. Pair a visit to this beautiful 17th-century castle with some tea and scones, and you have yourself a real British day out.

Dunvegan Caste, Inverness-shire

On the northwest coast of the Isle of Skye stands the oldest (for the last 800 years) continuously inhabited castle in Scotland, by one family in Scotland. Perched along Loch MacLeod, the castle is an imposing structure set in a beautiful landscape. Inside, you can admire many nice oil paintings. Alternatively, you can enjoy the beauty of its impressive gardens or take a boat trip on Loch Dunvegan and spot the grey seals that live there. The castle and its grounds are open to the public from April through October.

The 10 best Scottish walks

With gentle hills, green forest, miles of coastline and windswept mountain ranges, there’s no shortage of great hikes and walks in Scotland. Here are our favorite scenic Scottish walks that will satisfy any hiker.

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

This spot is an ideal walk for visitors and residents of the country’s capital city that want to take a break from busy urban life. Arthur’s Seat sits in the middle of Edinburgh, but that doesn’t make it any less scenic. Arthur’s Seat is the remainder of a dormant volcano which is 251 meters tall. There’s a gentle path for casual walkers, but more keen hikers may want to take the more difficult route right to the summit. The views over Edinburgh, the Scottish Parliament, and the Firth of Forth are extraordinary.

Ben Nevis, Inverness-shire

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Britain, its peak at 1,344 meters, can be reached via two routes. One is the ‘Mountain Track’ (also known as the ‘tourist path’) and ascends gradually from Glen Nevis, this 17 km long walk, up and down, is suitable for unprepared visitors. The other route escalades corries (a circular hollow in the side of a mountain) and crags – and is not for the faint-hearted. Whichever way you prefer, you’ll enjoy stunning views of Scotland from the summit.

The Isle of Iona

Iona is a paradise for walkers. One of the great things about Iona – a small island in the Inner Hebrides – is that it measures just one mile by 3.5 miles and can be perfectly explored on foot. Iona is ideal for walkers interested in a gentle and peaceful stroll rather than an uphill struggle. From a relaxing walk along one of North End’s beaches, admiring peaceful panoramas to exploring Columba’s Bay in the south, there are plenty of places to discover by foot.

Fort William, Highlands

Fort William has some of the most scenic and diverse walking trails in whole Britain, from challenging and exhilarating climbs to the tops of Munros (peaks over 3000ft), long-distance walks to short and pleasant strolls for the entire family.

The East Highland Way – Scotland’s newest long-distance trail – starts at Fort William and ends 78 miles later at Aviemore. This trail passes three beautiful castles, prehistoric sites, and several beautiful lochs. It takes about 4-6 days to walk this whole trail, but you can opt for single pieces like the last 10 miles from Kincraig to Aviemore that passes the impressive sculptures on Scottish culture before heading through the Inshriach National Nature Reserve and taking a glimpse of the picturesque Loch an Eilein.

Another popular hike, starting in Fort William is the Great Glen Way. A route that takes you for 79 miles through a broad stretch of forest and along Lochs Locky, Oich, and Ness. Most walkers take 4-6 days to walk this trail, providing a chance to admire its beautiful scenery.

Clyde Coastal Path

The Clyde Coast Way is a 55 km long trail that offers many stunning views of Scotland’s southwest coast. You’ll cross several coastal towns, each with their attractions. There’s easy access to roads, railway stations, and accommodation throughout, making this an excellent choice for the casual hikers who wants plenty of beautiful scenery.

Sandwood Bay, Sutherland

A walk in the desolate and lunar-like moorland is amply rewarded when the breathtaking panoramas of Sandwood Bay – perhaps the most beautiful beach in Britain- come into sight. Enjoy exploring the golden sandy beach with its dunes, rocky cliffs, and a giant sea stack. Although Sandwood Bay is a popular destination, it never seems busy and is as well a perfect spot for wild camping.

Fife Coastal Path

Starting at North Queensferry, just outside of Edinburgh, the Fife Coastal Path heads northwards around the beautiful coastline, crossing small fishing villages and passing sandy beaches, prehistoric caves and castles. Don’t miss the ancient town of St Andrews and the village of Anstruther famous for its delicious fish and chips.

Speyside Way

The Speyside Way is a classic Highland long distance walk of 65 miles that goes through the heart of Malt Whisky country and Cairngorms National Park. Following the River Spey, this walk is a great way to visit some of Scotland’s best whisky distilleries and to enjoy the open coastlands and vast Caledonian forests.

Glentrool, Dumfries & Galloway

The region of Dumfries & Galloway, situated in Southwest Scotland is, is home to an enormous wild grassland called the Galloway Forest Park. Within this beautiful park, you’ll find many great hikes, and Glentrool is one of the most ideal for casual hikers.
Glentrool wraps around Loch Trool – in the shadow of Mount Merrick- that lies in the center of the Galloway Forest Park. The trail crosses forested shores, climbs fairly steep hills then leads down to the headwaters of the loch. This is a 2-3-hour hike that is popular with the locals of Dumfries & Galloway.

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

The geology of the Isle of Skye is some of the most savage and remarkable in entire Scotland. In the northern part of Skye, just north of Portree, stands one of Skye‘s most popular natural monuments: The Old Man of Storr. The Storr is a rocky ridge consisting of sharp rock pinnacles set against the scenery of gentle green hills and Skye’s coastline. The trail crosses forests, takes steep slopes and continues over rugged lands of rocks. The hike to Skye’s Old Man of Storr is the perfect excursion from Portree. The landscape is peculiar and gorgeous, and the views are stunning.

The Top 8 Lighthouses of Scotland

The coastline of Scotland is thousands of miles long and is home to stunning scenery and some beautiful lighthouses. They recall images of long journeys across vast seas, and of ships going through treacherous storms. Many of them are located on remote pieces of land. One can imagine the battle against all the odds and excellent craftsmanship that it would have taken to built them, back in the 19th century. Most lighthouses have been retired from duty in recent years. Their buildings have been transformed into museums or hotels and are popular sites for outdoor lovers and keen photographers. Explore these great Scottish coastal landmarks each with their own unique and breathtaking beauty.

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse, Outer Hebrides

At the far northern point of the Island of Lewis at the edge of the Outer Hebrides, you’ll find the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse (Scottish Gaelic: Rubha Robhanais). On a summer day when the sea is calm, the tremendous views of the ocean from the high cliffs will take your breath away. Around 3000 million years ago, the rocks that have created these cliffs were formed; they are some of the oldest in Europe. On a stormy day, however, this stretch of coastline is battered by waves and winds can reach up to 100 miles per hour – being it once rated as the windiest place in Britain.

The unpainted Butt of Lewis Lighthouse is made of red brick and was built in the 1860s. It was only in 1998 that the lighthouse was finally mechanized. Nowadays it’s a lot easier to reach the Butt of Lewis, but it has still kept its wild beauty.

Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, Shetland

Perhaps the most known, and oldest lighthouse in Shetland, is Sumburgh Lighthouse. The lighthouse, positioned at the most southern point of mainland Shetland, rises above the steep Sumburgh Head cliffs and is visible from land and sea for miles around.

Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, Visitor Center, and Nature Reserve are a prime attraction, providing not only panoramic views out over the cliffs but also an engaging and interactive experience for the whole family. The accommodation in the restored lighthouse keeper’s cottage is the perfect way to extend your Sumburgh Head visit for a few more days.

Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, Galloway

The Mull of Galloway Lighthouse stands on the southernmost edge of Scotland and rises to a height of 26m at the extremity of dramatic cliffs. The construction of the lighthouse started in 1828 and was completed in 1830. The Mull of Galloway is an unspoiled paradise for visitors seeking peace and tranquility. Here you can explore the exhibition of lighthouse history and walk the highly acclaimed Mull of Galloway Trail, a spectacular coastal trail. Don’t miss the climb (via 115 steps) to the top of the lighthouse and be rewarded with the best views of Scotland, Ireland, and the Island of Man.

Tarbat Ness Lighthouse, Moray

It is hard to find a more distinctive lighthouse than Tarbat Ness, its striking red and white bands are eye catching. The lighthouse that stands 53 meters above land beside the small village of Portmahomack was the first coastal lighthouse to have flashing lights. There are 203 steps to reach the top, making Tarbat Ness Lighthouse the third tallest in Scotland.

The Tarbat Peninsula, the most eastern point of the north of Scotland, offers excellent views throughout and great opportunities to spot dolphins and seals. There are lovely coastal walks at either end of the village, and fantastic rock pools can keep children amused for hours. Otters, seals and dolphins compete for your attention, and the sunsets may give an unforgettable end of a beautiful summer day

Bell Rock Lighthouse, Angus

The Bell Rock Lighthouse still stands after 200 years proudly flashing its warning light. This remarkable sight – a white stone tower of 35 meters high – stands eleven miles out to sea off the Scottish east coast. It is the oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse and only completely visible at low tide. The Bell Rock Lighthouse is a masterpiece of engineering and considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World. Bell Rock Lighthouse was lit on February 1st, 1811. It is a creation that was born out of a real labor of love, and until today it stands high as a reminder of man’s ability to create something beautiful.

Lismore Lighthouse, Argyll & Bute

Lismore Lighthouse, situated on the small island of Eilean Musdile off the coast of Lismore, is one of Scotland’s most scenic lighthouse. Thanks to its white facade, it is a striking landmark, particularly if you are on the Oban – Mull ferry, which passes at only a short distance from Lismore Lighthouse. In 1833, when the construction was completed, the light was ready to provide a safer passage of the busy waters around the Sound of Mull.

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, Highlands

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse stands majestically 55 meters above the sea, at the tip of the spectacular and dramatic Ardnamurchan Peninsula, mainland Britain’s most westerly point. A long, winding road travels along the Ardnamurchan Peninsula provides panoramas of the most arresting scenery. The long journey to reach Ardnamurchan Lighthouse is very much worth the effort. The beautiful views towards the islands of Rum, Eigg Mull and Skye are breathtaking. The lighthouse itself was built in 1849, using distinctive pink granite quarried from the Island of Mull, and was automated in 1988.

Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle of Skye

Neist Point is the most westerly point of Skye, renowned for its rock formations which closely resemble the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. On the extremity of Neist Point, quite literally on the edge of the cliff, stands Neist Point Lighthouse that can be reached taking a short walk (about one mile) down the steep steps. Whales and dolphins can regularly be spotted here while the views to the Outer Hebrides are spectacular. Neist Point Lighthouse was built in 1909 and became fully automated in 1990.

The Ultimate 6 Scottish Isles That Should Be On Your List

I know only few places in the world that can rival the dazzling beauty of the Isles of Scotland, especially on a calm sunny day. Every island has its unique atmosphere, character, and scenery. The Inner Hebrides are more gentle and lush than the more savage islands of the Outer Hebrides, while the secluded Isle of Shetland is a flat piece of fertile and green land between vast skies and turbulent seas.

With over 800 islands it may be difficult to choose which one to visit, so we share here the list of our favorites.

Islay, Inner Hebrides

For whisky connaisseurs

Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides and is known as The Queen of the Hebrides and the whisky isle. Located around the coastline, you’ll find eight distilleries that are producing some of Scotland’s finest and most distinctive single malts. Perhaps the most famous are the three southern distilleries – Ardbeg, Lagavulin, and Laphroaig – that make use of local peat to produce full-body whiskies with glass-filling smokiness.

However, there is more to Islay. Add a broad range of sandy beaches, some easy walking trails, and picturesque whitewashed villages, and it is an attractive cocktail.

Arran, North Ayrshire

For outdoor lovers

Rightly labeled ‘Scotland in miniature’ Arran has it all, from dramatic mountain peaks to rolling hills, verdant forests, and sheltered beaches. The Highland fault line splits the island into the verdant south and the wilder mountainous area of the north providing plenty of great hiking opportunities. The temptation may be to head straight up Goatfell, the island’s highest point (874m). It’s well worth challenge if you’re fit (and the weather is behaving); on a clear day, you even can see Ireland from here. There are also plenty of other easier walking routes like the Arran Coastal Way, which loops around the island for about 100 kilometers, passing beautiful sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, caves and waterfalls.

But that is not it. Arran offers more activities for ‘outdoor play’ such as gorge walking, rock climbing or sea kayaking, one by one great ways to explore the beauty of this island.

Mull, Inner Hebrides

For wildlife enthusiasts

Mull is the second largest of the Inner Hebridean Islands and the third largest in Scotland, with 300 miles (480km) of coastline. Mull is a wildlife haven on its land and in its waters, including curious puffins, great whales, and sharks that swim nearby the coast. You might be even lucky enough to spot indigenous wildlife such as eagles, dolphins, and otters.
In the center of the island of Mull lies the mountain Ben More, with an elevation of 1.174m, it is a popular place for hiking lovers.

On top of the imposing mountain scenery, the Isle of Mull has plenty of beautiful beaches, and bays in the north and the south.

But probably the most famous landmark of Mull is its main town, Tobermory, noted for the colorful waterfront buildings and the yachts floating in the natural harbor.

Harris, Outer Hebrides

For keen photographers

Off the Scottish west coast, lies the chain of islands called the Outer Hebrides. Barra, Uist, Harris, and Lewis are one by one beautiful island, but as a chain, they offer a wealth of natural attractions, an ever-changing scenery, as well as wildlife.

The island of Harris is, however, the jewel in the crown. It offers wonderful landscapes and the most incredible display of light and color. It is the ideal place for great pictures.

South from the town of Tarbert (arrival point of the ferry from Skye) meanders the narrow “Golden Road” through an attractive landscape of rocky hills, lochs, and whitewashed houses. On Harris west coast you’ll find vast stretches of pristine white sandy beaches – like Scarista beach – bordered by Caribbean blue waters and rugged mountains, where often only seals and birds keep you company. The east coast cannot be different; areas that can be described as a ‘lunar’ landscape, alternate with beautiful lochs and inlets. When you visit the Isle of Harris in summer, you may capture great shots of the fabulous sandy grasslands on the coast (Machair) boasting many thousands of colorful wildflowers.

Skye, Inner Hebrides

For foodies and fun

Whether you arrive by car over the bridge, or by ferry, the north-western island of Skye is a truly magical place. The largest of the Inner Hebrides has countless ways to enchant you with a spectacular coastal scenery, a stunning landscape of high-rise mountains (such as the Old Man of Storr, the Quiraing, and the Cuillin), and captivating history.

The stunning scenery is the main attraction of Skye, but when the mist closes in, there are plenty of castles, museums, and charming villages to explore. Or what about its offer of exquisite shellfish, quality meats, and tasty cheeses. Indeed Skye is home to one of Scotland’s most famous restaurants, The Three Chimneys, acknowledged far and wide to be the best place to eat on the island.

Shetland, Northern Isles

For those that embrace wilderness

The Shetlands, Scotland’s wild, awe-inspiring islands are an archipelago made up of more than 100 islands that are closer to Norway than mainland Scotland. The Old Norse language pops up everywhere, from practically every place name to the local dialect. And its beautifully preserved archaeological sites are vivid reminders of the islands’ Viking past.

It is no surprise that throughout history the sea has dominated life on Shetland like the fishing industry has always been important to the islands and remains the largest contributor to its economy.

The rugged and secluded Shetland Islands are home to a landscape that is quite unlikely to find anywhere else in the world. Imagine kilometers of breathtaking coastlines, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear, blue shores. In addition to its unique rock formations, moorlands and high cliff tops shaped by millennia of wind, sea, and sand.