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The 46 best places to visit in Scotland

Scotland is a dream destination for those who love exploring historic houses, castles and gardens, with some of the finest in the UK

Dunrobin Castle near Inverness in Scotland

A visit to Scotland isn’t complete without a visit to it’s illustrious historic houses, castles and gardens. From Skaill House in the Orkneys to Floors Castle on the Scottish Borders, it’s worth taking account of where you can visit when making a day trip to Scotland or a longer excursion. Here, we list the best places to visit in Scotland, with links to each house and garden in their specific region. You can also view a map of all the houses and gardens on our webpage here.

The Highlands, West Highlands & Islands

Discover behind the scenes at Scottish historic houses

Historic Houses offers members behind the scenes videos of life behind the scenes at houses and gardens across the UK, including at several houses and gardens in Scotland. In the below video, we look behind the closed gates of Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull during the 2020 lockdown.

...also in the Highlands, West Highlands & Islands

Visit Scotland sustainably

We’re really keen to ensure that your trip to historic houses and gardens in Scotland doesn’t have to cost the earth, so we’ve teamed up with Good Journey to help you start planning your days out in Scotland using the cheapest, greenest means possible. Good Journey are adding new guided routes all the time, so take a look at their website for to start planning your trip to Scotland.

Grampian and Central

Scottish historic houses in the cinema

There are few paintings which attract as much interest and admiration as the portrait of Lady Elizabeth Murray and Dido Elizabeth Murray, by the Scottish artist David Martin, which hangs in the Ambassador’s Room at Scone Palace. The story of Dido Belle’s life is brought to life by British director Amma Asante and producer Damian Jones in the film ‘Belle’,  which was released in the UK on 13th June 2014.

...also in Grampian and Central

Modern art meets historic architecture at Kelburn Castle

The idea was simple and original: take the vibrant and often transient art form of Brazilian graffiti, out of its predominantly urban context and apply it to the ancient and permanent walls of a historic rural castle in Scotland.

Kelburn Castle in Scotland

Strathclyde and Dumfries & Galloway

Book your events tickets in Scotland

While visiting castles and gardens in Scotland is one way to make the most of your visit to the country, booking yourself onto an event run by a historic house is by far the best means of creating new memories. We have a dedicated page for exploring events at historic houses across the UK, and here you can find a pre-filtered list of events at Scottish venues.

Lothian and the Scottish Borders

Scotland's choice for Garden of the Year 2021

Voting for the 2021 Garden of the Year Award is underway, with eight nominees from across the UK. Scotland's choice for the award is Gordon Castle Walled Gardens in Moray. If you love Scotland and Scottish gardens then why not vote for them in this year's award.

Gordon Castle Garden of the Year

..also in Lothian and the Scottish Borders

Hopetoun House in Scotland projects the Scottish flag on the walls

Sign up to our Scottish Newsletter

Do you love reading about historic houses & gardens in Scotland? Sign up to our free Scottish newsletter and enjoy monthly updates on the activities and stories behind our member houses in Scotland.

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