Scotland

Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageFind places to visit in Britain by name, location, type of attraction, or other keyword.

Tap/Click ‘find listings’ for a detailed search – or just have a browse. 

ABBOTSFORD

Abbotsford  was the extraordinary home of the 19th century novelist Sir Walter Scott, who was born in 1771 and died at Abbotsford in 1832. The works of ‘Great Scott’ included 'Waverley' and 'Ivanhoe'. Scott also popularised tartan, saved the Scottish banknote and rediscovered his country’s Crown Jewels ('the Honours of Scotland'). Abbotsford is in the Scottish Borders and was built - or developed - as a family home, as well as Scott's workplace and somewhere to keep his collection of curios, artefacts and books.

Image credit: Historic Houses

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Melrose
County
Borders
Post Code
TD6 9BQ
Main Historic Period
Georgian
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Melrose Abbey, Dryburgh Abbey, Selkirk
Primary Management
Independent – Historic Houses member
ADAM SMITH, statue

Statue of Adam Smith outside St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh.  Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790) is probably best known as the author of 'Wealth of Nations'. The bronze statue is by Alexander Stoddart and was unveiled in 2008.

The post code is for St Giles' Cathedral.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Outside St Giles' Cathedral
The Royal Mile
Edinburgh
County
Lothian
Post Code
EH1 1RE
Main Historic Period
Modern
Tip/Nearby
St Giles' Cathedral
Primary Management
Local Authority
Alloway Auld Kirk

Alloway Auld Kirk, the ruined old church at Alloway dates from the 16th century, though the site could be much older. It is most famous now due to it being featured in Robert Burns' poem 'Tam o' Shanter' (1791), as the place where witches and warlocks gather. The churchyard is fascinating and includes the graves of Burns' father, William Burnes, and sister, Isabella Burns Begg. Combine with a visit to the Robert Burns' Museum, his birthplace, Burns Monument and Brig o' Doon.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
40 Alloway
County
Ayrshire
Post Code
KA7 4PQ
Main Historic Period
Tudor
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
The Robert Burns' Museum, the cottage where he was born, the Burns Monument and Brig o' Doon are all within walking distance.
Primary Management
National Trust for Scotland
ANTONINE WALL

The Antonine Wall has World Heritage status alongside Hadrian's Wall to the south. It was built in 140 AD on the orders of Hadrian’s successor, Emperor Antoninus Pius. It ran 37 miles (60km) from Old Kilpatrick in the west to near Bo’ness in the east and formed the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire, but was abandoned after 20 years and the frontier shifted back south to Hadrian’s Wall. Unlike the latter, the Antonine Wall was constructed mostly out of layers of turf. These ramparts reached a height of almost 10 feet (3 m). In front, to the north, ran an enormous ditch, up to 16 feet (5 m) deep. Behind the wall ran a road to enable the movement of troops and supplies. There were 17 manned forts along the wall, plus additional ‘fortlets’. The Antonine Wall website calls it “the biggest, most awe-inspiring building project the people of Scotland had ever seen” – which is true but for the fact that Scotland did not exist at the time. There are several stretches of the wall that can be seen today – one of the best is at Rough Castle (address below). See the World Heritage website for details of all locations. The largest collection of Antonine Wall artefacts is held by the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Bonnyside Road
Bonnybridge
County
Stirlingshire
Post Code
FK4 2AA
Main Historic Period
Roman
Tip/Nearby
Runs through Scotland's Central Belt.
Primary Management
Historic Scotland
ARNISTON HOUSE

Arniston is 6000-acre estate 11 miles from Edinburgh which has been home to the Dundas family for almost 450 years.  The present Palladian style mansion was designed by William Adam and replaced a former Tower House.  The house features a world class art collection, with pieces by Raeburn, Nasmyth and many more, as well as collections of china and period furniture.   Arniston welcomes visitors.  Tours of house and gardens are often conducted by family members.

Image credit: Historic Houses

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Gorebridge
County
Midlothian
Post Code
EH23 4RY
Main Historic Period
Georgian
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Rosslyn Chapel, Pentland Hills
Primary Management
Independent – Historic Houses member
Atlantic Bridge

This is the Bridge over the Atlantic, also known as the Atlantic Bridge; I daresay someone’s referred to it as Atlantic Crossing too. You’ll find it in Argyll, about 10 miles south of Oban. Atlantic Bridge’s real name is Clachan Bridge and it joins the Hebridean island of Seil with the mainland, spanning what is technically a section of the Atlantic Ocean, albeit a very narrow one. We Brits are known for our sense of humour; just look at how we still agree to pay our politicians.  The bridge was designed by Robert Mylne (1733-1811) – who also designed Blackfriars Bridge in London - and was built in 1792.

Nearby on the island side is the Tigh an Truish Inn - the house of trousers. The name allegedly comes from the time after the 1745 rebellion, when the Government banned the kilt. So islanders travelling to the mainland for work would change into trousers at the inn before crossing the bridge, and back into traditional plaid when returning home.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Clachan
Seil
County
Argyll
Post Code
PA34 4TJ
Main Historic Period
Georgian
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Slate Islands and Heritage Centre. Oban 10 miles to the north.
Primary Management
Historic Scotland
BALMORAL CASTLE

Balmoral is a 50,000 acre estate and the private Scottish home of the British Royal Family. It was purchased from the Farquharson family by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1852, close to the Highlands they both loved.  The current castle, a classic example of Scottish baronial architecture, is new - Victoria and Albert had it constructed between 1853 and 1856; the old castle was then demolished. There is limited public access to the grounds, gardens and exhibitions (including access to the castle ballroom only) between spring and early summer, when the Royal Family is not in residence. Apart from the ballroom, the castle is not open to the public.  Cottages in the grounds can also be hired.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral on 8 September 2022.  She had habitually spent her summers there, with her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (until his death in 2021) and family.  The Queen and the Prince spent their last, 73rd, wedding anniversary there in 2020.  It was a place of happy memories for the Queen, from the time she first visited her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, there when she was a small child.

The Queen accepted Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation and invited his successor, Liz Truss, to form a government at Balmoral on 6 September 2022, just two days before Her Majesty’s death.

The Royal family often worship at nearby Crathie Kirk and are familiar faces in the village of Ballater.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Crathie
Nr Ballater
County
Aberdeenshire
Post Code
AB35 5TB
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Useful Website Address
Primary Management
Independent – Historic Houses member
BATTLE of BANNOCKBURN

The Battle of Bannockburn took place over the 23rd and 24th June 1314 between the Scots, under Robert the Bruce, and a significantly larger army under Edward II of England. The English were under siege by the Scots at Stirling Castle and Edward's army was intended to relieve the siege. Instead, Bruce inflicted a massive defeat. This ultimately led to the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.

Much of the probable site of the battle is now built over. However, the National Trust for Scotland operates a visitor centre that offers a hi-tech battle experience (ticket only), a shop and a cafe. There is memorial to the battle on the site as well as a statue of Robert the Bruce. Note - there is no museum or exhibition.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Glasgow Road
Whins of Milton
Stirling
County
Stirlingshire
Post Code
FK7 0LJ
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument
Primary Management
National Trust for Scotland
BATTLE of ROSLIN

Memorial to the Battle of Roslin, erected in 1994. The battle was fought on 24th February 1303 between the Scots and English during the Wars of Scottish Independence. It was a Scottish victory, but it does not figure in many history books and few people have even heard of it. Some accounts of the battle suggest that a divided force of 30,000 English troops was picked off in 3 separate engagements by a rapidly assembled Scottish army of 8,000 fighting on terrain they knew. However, evidence is lacking and the above story may be a myth; the battle could have been a skirmish, or series of skirmishes.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Nr Dryden Cottages
Roslin
County
Midlothian
Post Code
EH25 9PP
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Rosslyn Chapel and Castle
Primary Management
Unknown
BATTLE of STIRLING BRIDGE

The battle was fought on 11 September 1297.  Following Scots support for the French, Edward I of England invaded Scotland, deposed the King, John Balliol and left an army of occupation. Sir William Wallace and Sir Andrew Moray led a rebellion and met an English army outside Stirling. The English advanced over a narrow bridge over the River Forth. The Scots fell upon the English from the high ground on Abbey Craig, cutting the invading army in two. The English commander, the Earl of Surrey, could not reinforce because of the narrowness of the bridge. The portion of his forces that had crossed the bridge were cut down, though some of managed to escape by swimming back across the river. The Scottish victory destroyed the myth of English invincibility.  Legend has it that the hated English treasurer, Hugh de Cressingham, was flayed after the battle and that Wallace made a belt from the skin.

The actual bridge of the battle was destroyed at the time. The current 'old' bridge was built downstream of it in the 16th century and is still in use by pedestrians. There is a plaque on the east end of the bridge, with a small portion of meadow adjacent, but it is thought that most of the fighting took place on ground that is now built over. It's a nice bridge, though. Post code is very approximate.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Bridgehaugh Road
Stirling
County
Stirlingshire
Post Code
FK9 5AL
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Tip/Nearby
Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument

This is a growing listings directory – over 950 entries have been listed as of September 2022. 

Entries have links for further information, such as opening times and entry fees.

If your favourite attraction is not listed yet, and you have a good quality digital photograph of it that you are able to freely send, please get in touch

%d bloggers like this: