Vacations in Scotland. Scotland at a Glance

Scotland at a Glance

Aberdeen, the Hebrides, Orkney, St Andrews and many more
Vacations in Scotland. Scotland at a Glance

Scotland at a Glance

Scotland at a Glance

Essential information for visitors to Aberdeen, Applecross, Inner Hebrides, Orkney, Dundee, Outer Hebrides, Shetland, Saint Andrews. Our brief overview of Scotland covers highlights such as St Andrews, the idyllic place where Price William and Kate Middleton met, and the rugged, dramatic landscapes of the Inner Hebrides. The list does not include Edinburgh, Glasgow, or the Scottish Highlands which have their own individual pages and can be found here.

Read, in this section, about:

St Andrews

Prince William and Kate Middleton met at university in this idyllic burgh, world-famous for its golf.

Despite enjoying international fame as the ‘Home of Golf’ and being the location of one of the world’s leading universities, St Andrews remains a tiny, independent gem.

Whether you’re visiting to play the Old Course, to discover the places where Prince William and Kate Middleton fell in love or for a recharging break from normal life, St Andrews will deliver.

You’ll find one-off shops and award-winning food as well as ancient relics, beautiful coastline and eye-catching architecture.

The beautiful ruins of St Andrews Castle and Cathedral are well worth a visit. Make sure you climb to the top of St Rule’s Tower for a spectacular view.

St Andrews is about 1 hour 40 minutes north of Edinburgh by a combination of train and bus. It is served by Leuchars Station, just outside St Andrews. Buses meet every train arrival to transport passengers to the royal burgh.

UK Map, Saint Andrews, Scotland

Inner Hebrides

These unspoiled islands, stretching along Scotland’s western coast, are a haven for wildlife.

Tobermory, Mull Island, Inner Hebrides, Scotland, UK
Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Inner Hebrides, Scotland, UK

These idyllic isles are a dream come true if you’re into the great outdoors. Nature lovers will also get to see all sorts of lesser spotted species in the wild, from otters to white tailed eagles.

From the castles and mountains of Mull to the spiritual heritage of Iona, there’s plenty here to capture the imagination.

The Isle of Skye is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides, and a big draw for photographers who come to capture its magical landscapes.

On the Isle of Mull, you’ll find Tobermory, known for its colourfully painted buildings.

The Inner Hebrides are best reached from Glasgow, via a prearranged tour package which – depending on which island you’re going to – should take around 5 hours.

The Isle of Skye is connected to the mainland by bridge. You can reach its main town, Portree, in around 5 hours by hire car or coach.

Inner Hebrides on the Map


Ancient stone circles, breathtaking landscapes and seals - escape to the wild on the Orkney islands, Scotland.

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is a UNESCO World Heritage
The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is a UNESCO World Heritage

This wild and windswept group of more than 70 islands off the northern tip of Scotland’s mainland are well worth the journey, with history and wildlife galore.

You will get a real sense of getting away from it all in Orkney. Only 17 of the islands are inhabited and most locals live in the main towns of Kirkwall and Stromness.

The quiet sandy beaches, stunning scenery, abundance of wildlife, fresh, quality cuisine and warm welcoming hospitality make these islands an ideal place for a relaxing visit or an action-packed holiday.

Orkney’s history goes back more than 4,500 years to the earliest dwellings of Neolithic people. The most impressive of these is at Skara Brae. The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is a UNESCO World Heritage Site made up of Neolithic monuments, stone circles, tombs and a settlement.

The easiest and quickest way to get to Orkney is to fly from Edinburgh, which takes just over an hour.

The Isle of Skye is connected to the mainland by bridge. You can reach its main town, Portree, in around 5 hours by hire car or coach.

Orkney Isles on the Map


Scotland's third largest city is famous for its glittering granite skyline and rich maritime history.

Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven is a short 25 minute drive from Aberdeen
Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven is a short 25 minute drive from Aberdeen

Take your pick from some excellent museums, have a day at one of Britain’s only cities with a proper sandy beach or tour one of Aberdeenshire’s famous whisky distilleries.

You’ll want to explore the city’s historic maritime connections and check out the old town with its cobbled streets and graceful granite buildings.

With a busy harbour and huge fish market, the city is also great for seafood. Try the Silver Darling for super sea views or the Ashvale which stakes a claim as the best fish and chip shop in Scotland.

The county of Aberdeenshire is home to over 50 golf courses including the prestigious Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay and Murcar Links.

Aberdeen is approximately 2 hours 30 minutes north east of Edinburgh by train.

Aberdeen, Scotland, on the map


This peninsula’s Gaelic name means ‘the sanctuary’.

Applecross, Scotland

The lush greenery and unspoilt beaches of this region certainly live up to its name, which means ‘the sanctuary’.

Take in the mountain views and look over the sea to the nearby Isle of Skye as you explore this gorgeous part of the Scottish coast.

Miles away from the demands of modern life, you can hop in a kayak and explore at your leisure.

Or visit local craft shops and a walled garden café.

Situated in the far north west of Scotland, your best bet is to hire a car and enjoy the spectacular scenery on the way as a road trip. By public transport, you can get there in about 7 hours from Edinburgh, by flying to Inverness and then getting a bus on to Applecross.

Applecross, Scotland, on the map


With plenty of independent shops, markets, eateries, and a ton of galleries including the brand new, architecturally breathtaking V & A museum, Dundee boasts a homegrown creative culture unlike any other.

V&A Museum in Dundee, Scotland.
V&A Museum in Dundee, Scotland.

Dundee is home to countless world-renown museums and galleries. Exlore the Jute Museum at the Verdant Works, fine art masterpieces at The McManus, the staid Broughty Castle and the stunning new V & A museum, right at the city’s epicentre!

Gorge on delicious local produce, haughty concoctions from around the world and a range of more familiar restaurants in the city centre. Elegant, chic or casual – the choice is yours.

Dive straight into a number of innovative concert and venue spaces, including the local cultural centrepiece, The Caird Hall.

The ‘walkable city’ boasts plenty of shopping centres accessible without transport, like Overgate and Wellgate Shopping Centres, the latter of which is famous, of all things, for the 40-year old nursery rhyme clock on its top floor.

The Discovery Point pier in Dundee is home to RRS Discovery, the last three-masted wooden ship built in the country. There’s a museum with tours and beautiful scenic views of the waterfront.

The city of Dundee is 1 hour and 20 minutes from Edinburgh by train. has more ideas and info for all sorts of trips!

Dundee, Scotland, on the map

Outer Hebrides

A breathtaking chain of islands off Scotlands' northwest coast.

Outer Hebrides, Scotland

The Outer Hebrides are loved for their wild coastlines and gorgeous natural scenery.

The National Nature Reserve on St Kilda is a particular highlight, and you can spot seals, whales and basking sharks around Barra.

Each island has its own distinct character. The Isle of Lewis, for instance, is known for its sea stacks and caves, whilst the Isle of Harris is famous for its top quality tweed.

The Isle of Lewis is the largest island in the Outer Hebrides. There you can see its ancient standing stones, walk incredible stretches of coastline and visit fascinating craft villages.

You can fly to Stornoway, the largest town on the Isle of Lewis, in just over an hour from Glasgow.

Outer Hebrides, Scotland, on the map


The Shetland Isles are far from the mainland but remain distinctly Scottish. Take an adventure...

Shetland Ponies in Cardigans

An archipelago to the far north of Scotland, Shetland is geographically closer to Norway yet retains a very distinctive Scottish culture. Made up of more than 100 islands, just 15 of which are inhabited, with dramatic scenery and more than 6,000 years of history, the Shetland Isles make the ultimate adventure destination.

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