Historic sites of Scotland

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Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 ››

Discover the talent across Scotland this year with YIAD 2016.

  • The inscription on a memorial cairn at Culloden Visitor Centre marking the site of the Battle of Culloden in 1746 near Inverness
    The inscription on a memorial cairn at Culloden Visitor Centre near Inverness
  • Looking through trees to New Lanark World Heritage Site, South Lanarkshire
    New Lanark World Heritage Site, South Lanarkshire
  • Some of the remaining stones of the Ring of Brodgar at sunset, on the Mainland of Orkney
    The Ring of Brodgar on the Mainland of Orkney

Discover over 5,000 years of Scotland’s incredible history by visiting famous battlefields, Neolithic sites, Roman frontiers and hundreds more fascinating historical sites. 

Explore the five millennia of Scotland’s ancient and turbulent past by visiting the hundreds of historical sites across the country.

The legacy of Scotland’s turbulent and often bloody past with its neighbour, England, has left the country scarred with battle sites. One of the most important battles in Scotland was fought at Bannockburn in 1314. Discover all about this historic engagement with the Auld Enemy during the First War of Independence at the site’s informative visitor centre and hear how Robert the Bruce’s victory over a superior English force was decisive in the subsequent establishment of an independent Scotland in 1328.

Learn about the last full scale battle to be fought on British soil at Culloden in April 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army were defeated by government troops, ending any hope of restoring the Stewarts to the throne.

Explore Scotland’s wonderful historical tales at the country’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The oldest site dates back more than 5,000 years and includes the four monuments of the Neolithic Heart of Orkney, one of the most important Neolithic sites in Western Europe.

Remnants of the some of the earliest settlers can be seen across our landscapes. In many parts of the country you’ll find mysterious standing stones and stone circles, as well as other fascinating prehistoric landmarks and relics.

Uncover the north west frontier of the Roman Empire, the Antonine Wall in central Scotland. Built around 140 AD, the ancient wall runs for 60 km from Old Kilpatrick on the north side of the River Clyde to Bo’ness on the Firth of Forth. See what else the Romans got up to in Scotland.

You can also discover important sites such as the 18th century utopian cotton mill village at New Lanark, the beautiful architecture of Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns and the UNESCO Dual World Heritage site of St Kilda, with its rich culture linking us to a way of life now lost.

Witness the stunning Forth Bridge, an engineering marvel which has spanned the Firth of Forth for 125 years, connecting Fife with Edinburgh. Made up of 53,000 tonnes of mild steel, this immense red structure is a iconic part of the east coast skyline and has been named as Scotland’s sixth World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

If you are planning to visit a number of historic locations, it might be worth your while to buy tickets which allow access in to a number of attractions, such as the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass and Scottish Heritage Pass.