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20 Stunning Places to Watch a Scottish Sunrise

Each morning when we wake up, we have a choice: curl up in the covers for a bit longer or jump out of bed and seize the day! It’s true, both options have something going for them – we all like a lie-in now and then. But if ever there was a reason to get out of bed, it would be to watch the sun rise in a beautiful Scottish setting. Bliss!

So set your alarm and check out some of the best places to see the sunrise in Scotland.


1. South Uist, Outer Hebrides 

The Outer Hebrides are full of mystery and magic, standing stones, ancient landscapes and fascinating history. The island of South Uist has a desolate beauty, with magnificent mountains and long stretches of barren coastline. Stunning!

Explore South Uist


2. Lewis, Outer Hebrides 

With dramatic landscapes and a unique Gaelic culture, Lewis is a great place to start a Hebridean adventure. You will be blown away by wild mountains, immense white beaches, rugged coastlines and lunar landscapes.

Explore Lewis, Harris & Stornoway


3. Kirkwall, Orkney 

You won’t have seen anything quite like an Orkney sunrise! From stunning landscapes to ancient stone monuments, this place is magical. Kirkwall, the island’s capital, is home to a stunning cathedral, charming shops and Viking heritage at every turn.

Explore Kirkwall


4. Skye, Highlands

Skye is full of one-of-a-kind activities, from incredible walks to local history, this much-loved island is truly a stunning place to see the sunrise. Discover more about the Isle of Skye on our dedicated page.

Explore the Isle of Skye



5. Kinnoull Hill, Perthshire  

Rising sharply from the banks of the River Tay in Perth, Kinnoull Hill is the highest of the five hills to the east of Perth. The surrounding park features grassy paths and waymarked nature trails through fine mixed woodland.

Explore Kinnoull Hill


6. Inverness, Highlands 

Fascinating city, captivating skies – a visit to Inverness promises cosmopolitan living with the beauty of the Highlands on your doorstep. Take a stroll along the River Ness or a day trip to Loch Ness to enjoy the beautiful water around this northerly city. A sunrise in the Highlands will not disappoint!

Explore Inverness


7. Moray Speyside, Highlands 

One of the best areas in Scotland for experiencing rural life (and whisky!) Moray has some truly beautiful natural vistas. Take a thermos and head out early to watch the sun come up in this pretty part of Scotland.

Explore Moray Speyside


8. Glenshiel, Highlands 

Visit Glenshiel for lochs, glens and mountains – the quintessential Highland experience. Start your day early to create lasting memories with the dawn chorus as a soundtrack!

Explore Glenshiel


9. Assynt, Sutherland

Tucked away in the far north west corner of mainland Scotland, Assynt is an otherworldly region of mountains and rugged coastline. Famous for iconic hills such as Suilven and Stac Pollaidh, this place has some epic sunrises.

Explore Assynt


10. Cairngorms National Park, Highlands 

The Cairngorms National Park is packed with mountains, forest paths, rivers, lochs, wildlife hotspots, friendly villages and distilleries. Twice the size of the Lake District, you’re sure to find a special spot to watch the sun come up.

Explore the Cairngorms National Park


11. Torridon Hills, Highlands 

What could be more exciting than waking up early in a dramatic and desolate setting like the Torridon Hills? This part of the Highlands contains some of the most awe-inspiring peaks in Scotland as well as cliffs, gorges and forests.

Explore the Torridon Hills



12. Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire 

This castle photographs well at any time of day, but at sunrise it is particularly evocative. An impregnable fortress that holds many rich secrets of Scotland’s colourful past, Dunnottar Castle was the home of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in the land.

Explore Dunnottar Castle


13. Aberdeen Beach

Just a short distance from Aberdeen city centre, you’ll come across the beautiful sandy stretch of Aberdeen Beach. Start your day early and marvel at the horizon for an experience you’ll never forget. Catch a sunrise in Aberdeen at this magical spot.

Explore Aberdeen Beach



14. St Abbs, Scottish Borders 

Watch the sunrise over the sea by the lighthouse at St Abbs. This Borders fishing village is a pretty place year-round and the stone harbour completes the picture. Those wanting to get out on the water can book sea angling, sub-aqua diving, bird-watching and sightseeing boat trips.

Explore St Abbs


15. Eildon Hills, Scottish Borders 

Some would say the triple peaks of the Eildon Hills are the most distinctive single landmark in the Scottish Borders. At their feet in the valley of the Tweed lies the bustling Borders town of Melrose. Those with an interest in Scottish history could also visit Sir Walter Scott’s romantic mansion of Abbotsford, which is nearby.

Explore Melrose



16. Conic Hill, Stirlingshire 

Catch a Conic Hill sunrise right at the heart of The Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. This sharp little summit is the perfect place to see the early sun surrounded by some of Scotland’s most breath-taking scenery.

Explore Conic Hill


17. North Berwick, East Lothian

Where better to see the sunrise in Edinburgh than by the beach? Take a trip to the East Lothian town of North Berwick and you’ll find Scotland at its most photogenic. If you’re a golfer, why not squeeze in an early round of golf afterwards?

Explore North Berwick


18. Forth Bridge, Fife

The Forth Bridge is one of Scotland’s major landmarks, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This magnificent railway bridge was built between 1883 and 1890 by Sir John Fowler, Benjamin Baker and over 4,500 men. Head for a walk along the bridge and start your day with a sunrise in Fife.

Explore the Forth Bridge


19. Finnieston, Glasgow 

One of the coolest neighbourhoods in Scotland, Finnieston is a thriving hub of exciting bars and restaurants, trendy shops and friendly people. Catch the sunrise in Glasgow over the iconic Finnieston Crane before going for coffee in this lively part of the city.

Explore Glasgow



20. Luss Pier, Loch Lomond

Catch a sunrise in Loch Lomond at the picturesque Luss Pier. This pretty little village boasts a historic background and is a popular spot for a picnic during the day or admiring the glowing skies in the morning for a stunning sunrise.

Explore Luss


Have we convinced you to get up early? Maybe! If you want to find out more about stunning Scottish scenery check out our landscapes and nature page. And if you’re more of a night owl take a look at our dark skies page.