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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – 700+ entries as of October 2019.  Most entries have links for further information.

Scotland

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WHITHORN ABBEY

The supposed site of Scotland's first church, built by St Ninian in the late 4th or early 5th century and known as the 'Candida Casa' - or 'white house' - hence 'whithorn'. There are the modest remains of a 12th century Premonstratensian abbey church, a shrine to St Ninian, a 19th century parish church dedicated to St Ninian and a small museum which contains the Latinus Stone, Scotland's earliest Christian monument.

This place is for enthusiasts only. The museum has limited opening - check before making a special trip. Whithorn itself has limited facilities.

Region:
Location/Address: 6 Bruce Street
Whithorn
County: Dumfries & Galloway
Post Code: DG8 8PY
Main Historic Period: Dark Ages
Tip/Nearby: Ninian chapel and cave are further on, on the Isle of Whithorn
Primary Management: Historic Scotland
West Port, St Andrews

Said to be the best preserved city gate in Scotland, West Port was built in 1587 and renovated in 1843. St Andrews was never a walled city - more than anything, the gate is a mark of civic pride.

Region:
Location/Address: Junction of South Street and Bridge Street
St Andrews
County: Fife
Post Code: KY16 9EG
Main Historic Period: Tudor
Tip/Nearby: St Andrews Castle, Cathedral, Blackfriars Chapel, University Museum
Primary Management: Historic Scotland
URQUHART CASTLE

Evocative ruins on the western shore of Loch Ness.  Urquhart Castle was involved in the Scottish Wars of Independence and the conflict between the King and the Lords of the Isles, until finally being partially destroyed by Government troops to prevent its use by rebel Jacobites.

Region:
Location/Address: Strone, by Drumnadrochit, near Inverness
County: Highlands
Post Code: IV63 6XJ
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Primary Management: Historic Scotland
Turnberry Aviation Memorial

A WW1 airfield was built in 1917 amidst a golf course that was laid out in 1902, with a luxury hotel being built in 1906. The airfield was initially an aerial gunnery school for the Royal Flying Corps, later the Royal Air Force. The RAF left after the war, but RAF Turnberry was reinstated for WW2, this time for coastal command and torpedo training. The hotel was used as a hospital during both wars. The memorial, standing lonely in the golf course, commemorates aircrew from the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. Park by the entrance to Turnberry Lighthouse and walk across the golf course toward the lighthouse - where you will also find the remains of Robert the Bruce's castle and fabulous views across to Ailsa Craig.

Region:
Location/Address: Maidens Road
Turnberry
County: Ayrshire
Post Code: KA26 9PD
Main Historic Period: Modern
Tip/Nearby: Turnberry Lighthouse and Castle, Culzean Castle & Country Park
Primary Management: Unknown
TOLQUHON CASTLE

Ruined renaissance castle built by the 7th Laird of Tolquhon between 1584 and 1589. It has a particularly interesting gatehouse.

Region:
Location/Address: Tarves
County: Aberdeenshire
Post Code: AB41 7LP
Main Historic Period: Tudor
Primary Management: Historic Scotland
THREAVE CASTLE

14th century stronghold of the Black Douglases, built by Archibald the Grim, Threave Castle stands on an island in the river Dee.  Access is via a small boat, summoned by ringing a bell...fabulous! Not much to see, but worth it for the excitement.

Region:
Location/Address: Kelton Mains, Castle Douglas
County: Dumfries and Galloway
Post Code: DG7 1TJ
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Threave Castle
Primary Management: Historic Scotland
TANTALLON CASTLE

Impressive ruins of the fortress of the Red Douglases, built in the 14th century. Besieged by James IV and V, it ultimately fell to Oliver Cromwell's forces under General Monck in 1651, and was destroyed. It is an unusual castle; situated on a headland, it has a single curtain wall blocking off the entire site, with defence on the remaining three sides relying on the sheer cliffs and the surrounding sea. Tantallon offers great views of the Bass Rock - and a grim pit prison. Ugh!

Region:
Location/Address: North Berwick
County: East Lothian
Post Code: EH39 5PM
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Hailes Castle, Dirleton Castle
Primary Management: Historic Scotland
SUENO’S STONE

Sueno's Stone is a  23 feet (7 metre) high Pictish sandstone block, intricately carved with unique imagery, dating from the mid 9th or early 10th century. The carvings include an elaborate battle scene, which may be a record of a real event. Sueno's Stone is encased in glass and located near a residential estate off the A96, possibly in its original position overlooking the floodplain of the Mosset Burn and River Findhorn.

Region:
Location/Address: Findhorn Road
Forres
County: Moray
Post Code: IV36 3WX
Main Historic Period: Viking
Useful Website Address: Entry on Historic Scotland's website
Tip/Nearby: Fort George
Primary Management: Historic Scotland
STIRLING CASTLE

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland's premier fortresses and oozes history and legend. Built on an intrusive crag known as 'castle rock', it is in a strong defensive position and visible for miles. The castle changed hands several times during the medieval struggles between the Scots and the English and two major battles, Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314) were fought nearby and won by the Scots. Stirling became a royal castle, a residence of the Stuart dynasty. The last siege was by Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 18th century and the present buildings are mainly 15th/16th century. Meticulous restoration work enables us to see parts of the Royal Palace, Great Hall and Chapel as they would have been and there are fabulous views.

Region:
Location/Address: Castle Esplanade
Stirling
County: Stirling
Post Code: FK8 1EJ
Main Historic Period: N/A
Link to featured article: A tour of Stirling Castle
Useful Website Address: Stirling Castle's website
Tip/Nearby: National Wallace Monument, Bannockburn Battlefield
Primary Management: Historic Scotland
St NINIAN’S CHAPEL

St Ninian, Scotland’s first Christian missionary, landed in 397AD on the Isle of Whithorn, at the south-east corner of the Machars Peninsula. A chapel was established for pilgrims nearby. Its ruined shell is 14th century, though there is evidence of an older building underneath – probably an earlier chapel.

Region:
Location/Address: on the edge of the Isle of Whithorn, about 3 miles south of Whithorn village
County: Dumfries & Galloway
Post Code: DG8
Main Historic Period: Dark Ages
Link to featured article: St Ninian's Chapel
Useful Website Address: Website for Whithorn Priory
Tip/Nearby: Whithorn Priory
Primary Management: Historic Scotland
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