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9 Magical Landmarks & Attractions in Scotland

From mystical stone circles to fairy tale castles, Scotland simply oozes magic.

We’ve rounded up some of Scotland’s most captivating real-life landmarks that you can visit, so let’s journey to a kingdom far, far away…

1. An Lochan Uaine (The Green Loch)

Where

In the Glenmore Forest Park, near the small Scottish town of Aviemore.

What makes it so magical?

  • Legend has it that An Lochan Uaine (The Green Lochan) got its emerald hue when Dòmhnall Mòr, the king of the pixies, washed his clothes in its waters
  • Another explanation for the loch’s green tint is the algae generated by decomposing wood, but we think the fairy story is much more fun!

Visit Glenmore Forest Park.

2. Mount Stuart

Where

Set on the Isle of Bute, against the backdrop of the striking Firth of Clyde.

What makes it so magical?

  • Mount Stuart is one of the most extraordinary pieces of Gothic architecture in Britain
  • Inside this palace you can find dazzling designs inspired by astrology, art and mythology
  • There’s a map of the stars made with glass crystals on the ceiling of the Marble Hall
  • See what’s believed to be the world’s first domestic heated swimming pool

Discover more about Mount Stuart.

3. Jupiter Artland

Where

Set within the picturesque 80-acre estate of Bonnington House, a short drive outside Edinburgh.

What makes it so magical? 

  • The sprawling outdoor contemporary sculpture garden and gallery showcases thought-provoking artworks
  • Picture snowstorms on a midsummer’s day, 12 ft-high multicoloured orchids rising above the horizon, or enormous landscaped mounds.

Find out more about what Jupiter Artland has to offer.

4. National Wallace Monument

Where

The imposing tower stands on the shoulder of the Abbey Craig, a hilltop overlooking the scene of Scotland’s victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

What makes it so magical? 

  • This world-famous attraction immortalises the memory of William Wallace, one of Scotland’s historical heroes
  • Climb the 246 steps via a spiral staircase
  • Explore the exhibits and displays to discover the legendary story of William Wallace
  • See Wallace’s epic battle sword, the centrepiece of the magnificent Hall of Heroes
  • Admire stunning panoramic views from the top over Stirling and beyond

Learn more about the National Wallace Monument.

5. Dawyck Botanic Gardens

Where 

Nestled in the depths of the enchanting Scottish Borders countryside.

What makes it so magical?

  • These beautiful gardens are a treat in any season
  • Garden terraces and woodland paths feature both native and exotic plants
  • It boasts one of Scotland’s finest tree collections, including some of Britain’s tallest and oldest trees.

Find out more about Dawyck Botanic Garden.

6. Caerlaverock Castle

Where

Set within a beautiful nature reserve, just south of Dumfries.

What makes it so magical?

  • The striking structure on the triangular grounds is an atmospheric medieval castle dating back to the 13th century
  • With its vivid green moat and picturesque ruins, the old fortress looks like it belongs in a fairy tale.

Get inspired and find out more about Caerlaverock Castle.

7. Kelburn Castle

Where

Situated in Largs, Ayrshire, Kelburn Castle is the historic seat of the Earl of Glasgow.

What makes it so magical?

  • Kelburn will captivate you with its storybook-like world and imaginative exterior designs
  • It’s one of the best examples of urban art in the world
  • You can explore the secret forest in the castle grounds with winding pathways, deep gorges and cascading waterfalls
  • Discover enormous houses fit for giants, a gingerbread cottage, or come face to face with crocodiles that inhabit magical swamps

Find out more about visiting Kelburn Castle.

8. The Pineapple

Where

Standing in Dunmore Park, near Falkirk.

Why is it so magical?

  • The 18th-century Palladian-style summerhouse was once crowned Scotland’s most bizarre building
  • Its interesting history. Lord Dunmore included the fruity addition to the folly on his return from the Caribbean – a grander version of the traditional pineapple sailors would carry back on their return home
  • It is known for being an oasis for wildlife, including newts and frogs

Find out more about The Pineapple.

9. Kilmartin Glen

Where

The glen surrounds the village of Kilmartin, on the west coast of Scotland.

What makes it so magical?

  • The glen is considered one of Europe’s most concentrated areas of prehistoric remains and is home to over 800 structures – some more than 5,000 years old
  • Kilmartin features a multitude of stone formations, varying from cairns (Scottish burial sites) and carved rocks to standing stones, stone circles, forts and castles
  • Look out for Dunadd Fort, where ancient kings were crowned and the early Scottish nation was forged

Learn more about Kilmartin Glen.

Only a few questions remain… Will they sip tea with the tiny colourful fairies that live in Scotland’s woods; will they spot and make friends with the green, long-neck creature with black humps that lurks in Scotland’s mysterious loch; or perhaps they will find a secret sword that will transport them to a battlefield? Who knows… who knows.

Has your imagination been sparked by these magical spots? Discover more things to see and do in Scotland. 

 

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