Looking for unique and memorable solo travel ideas? Thinking about solo travel in the UK? Then Scotland could be just what you’re looking for!
Travelling alone offers the chance to discover and connect with yourself more deeply. In the myth inspiring land of Scotland (location of many a famous movie set for good reason!), you’re guaranteed an ideal solo getaway for any budget or preference. From wellness breaks to vibrant city culture and outdoor adventures, Scotland provides so many amazing solo travel experiences you’ll love.
Read on for our top reasons why you should solo travel in Scotland.
Safety first: where to find tips on travelling alone
First things first, you want to feel safe in order to really relax and enjoy your solo trip. As a safe and inclusive nation, solo travel in Scotland is very safe, for women and LGBT+ solo travellers alike. Street harassment and theft are rare, as is the potential for picking up any diseases or infections. And we not only have very friendly and helpful locals, but there’s provision of excellent public services too. Just be sure to apply common sense, such as if you are sampling Scotland’s lively and diverse nightlife. Some useful information:
- Emergency treatment at NHS hospitals and clinics is free for everyone, regardless of residency status. Read more about health services for visitors.
- Walkhighlands offer great safety advice for the outdoors if you’re walking alone rather than in a guided group, as weather in Scotland can be very changeable (all part of Scotland’s unique and photogenic charm of course!).
- You can refer to VisitScotland’s practical information tips for visiting Scotland.
Best solo travel destinations in Scotland
Seriously, there is just so much to do! From historic attractions where you can learn about our incredible past, world-class arts and culture to see and experience, unbelievably beautiful landscapes to discover, and exceptional food & drink to indulge in – the possibilities go on.
- Walking is a perfect way to soak in the magic of Scotland’s ancient (and urban) landscapes. For example… Climb Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views across the capital of Edinburgh… Escape to the atmospheric and rugged Highlands… Enjoy gentle walks like the east coast Fife Coastal Path which will lead you through charming villages… or enjoy ambling alongside one of our beautiful canals… Get more inspiration for walking in Scotland.
- Experience the one and only Jacobite steam train (aka The Hogwart’s Express), which runs along the very scenic green and mountainous west coast, giving you unforgettable views.
- Visit the beautiful Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in the incredibly cool city of Glasgow for free, and appreciate this extensive and significant collection of art and artifacts.
- Explore some of our legendary castles, like Cawdor Castle of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or Balmoral Castle where the Queen loves to escape every summer with her family.
- We have plenty of insta-worthy independent book shops, coffee shops and cafes, where you can enjoy the relaxed hipster culture while reading some Scottish literature.
Find out more about what you can see and do in Scotland.
Unique experiences for solo travellers on a budget
With a thriving hostel scene full of young, international travellers to meet, and plenty of low-cost activities to enjoy, make sure Scotland is on your list of stops! You’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable time here, and plenty of stories to share.
- Read about Scotland’s cities, full of insta-worthy iconic sights and hidden gems.
- Discover some of our very trendy Scottish hostels.
- Experience culinary delights at some of our cool street food markets, such as Platform at the Argyle Street Arches, or try one of our awesome seafood shacks which you can find across the country.
- Scotland has a world-renowned music and festival scene to discover.
- Get the most ‘bang for your buck’ in Scotland with budget getaway ideas – we have plenty of things you can do for free! And learn about fantastic ‘off-season’ experiences you can have here too.
- Try glamping or wild camping in some very epic landscapes.
First solo travel trip in Scotland? Here are our top tips
You’ll find that our cities, wild landscapes and islands are all very easy to get to. It certainly helps that Scotland is a small and compact country (but not in spirit and character, of course!).
If you’re not a driver, or just want to sit back and relax rather than worry about navigation and parking, Scottish public transport has got you covered. There are excellent rail networks, bus services, ferries, domestic flights to the northerly islands, and subway or tram networks in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Find out about getting around Scotland, and read our top picks of easy public transport trips to take.
Please note that some public transport providers may have cancelled certain services or routes and may be operating on a reduced schedule.
If you do like to drive, the completely free road network in Scotland is excellent, with a low incidence of accidents. There are many scenic drives in Scotland to enjoy. Watch our helpful video on driving in Scotland.
Scotland has long summer days which are ideal for getting out and about to take in the many sights. But even during our mild winters, the Scottish outdoors remain wonderful to explore – and the shorter daylight hours also mean you can enjoy time just relaxing and feeling cosy indoors with no guilt at all!
- Scotland’s nature really comes alive in the spring.
- Get ideas for an amazing summer trip.
- Autumn adventures in Scotland are breath-taking as the leaves change colour.
- Learn why Scotland is so great to visit in winter, with guaranteed snow up in the highlands.
Also check out the best times to see wildlife in Scotland with our Wildlife Calendar.
Check out solo travel tours
One of the easiest ways to take in the sights with logistics sorted for you, and also meet fellow travellers, is to join a tour. And we have so many to offer! Whether it’s a city walking tour, or several days across country, there’s definitely one for you.
Please check with the tour providers directly the confirm if tours are scheduled or subject to cancellation.
- Mary Meanders is well suited to female travellers.
- For 18 – 35-year-olds on a budget try Haggis Adventures, and MacBackpackers for 18 – 40s.
- Join a free walking tour of Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen.
See all our tour listings, where you can filter based on whatever type of experience you’re looking for.
There are also local Meetup activity groups to join, depending on your interests and where you visit, many of which are free.
Feel inspired with our solo travellers’ ideas & activities
Scotland is the perfect place to reconnect with and discover yourself. Whether it’s indulging in a luxury spa break, or getting away from it all to just read books or be mindful in a space of tranquillity, you can benefit from a truly revitalising retreat here.
- Pamper yourself with a luxury country escape, or find a spa hotel.
- Take a restorative EcoYoga retreat in the peaceful Scottish Highlands.
- Energise your body with a detox retreat at the award-winning The Body Toolkit in the Highlands.
- Completely unwind your body and mind at the Dhanakosa Buddhist Retreat Centre on the beautiful shore of Loch Voil, within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
- Try forest bathing in Scotland, or get some ‘off-the-beaten-track’ destination ideas.
- Release your inner creativity with a writing retreat, or enjoy the beautiful Gartmore House in Stirling for an arts & crafting retreat.
- Stay in a peaceful rural cottage surrounded by nature, snuggle into cosy accommodation with a log fire, or try some comfortable eco-friendly accommodation.
Read more about wellness breaks in Scotland.
Here’s some more inspiration for a weekend or short break in Scotland, and ideas for a quirky back-to-nature escape. We also have a very useful map for exploring what you can do and experience across Scotland.
It’s all here just waiting for you! We hope to see you soon.