8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Scotland In 2023

Where else can you visit a brand-new city, be part of a world-first sporting event and have an eco-friendly stay?

Scotland has so much to offer, but here are some of our top reasons why you should visit in 2023.

  1. Be part of a world-first at the UCI Cycling World Champs Across Scotland

    The Riverside Museum, Glasgow

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    August 2023 will see Glasgow host the UCI Cycling World Championships!

    Experience a world-first as road, track, BMX, mountain bike and para-cycling races are brought together, making it the biggest cycling event ever. Watch on the edge of your seat as the world’s greatest riders compete in 13 individual events. There will also be events held across the rest of Scotland, so keep your eyes peeled for more information.

  2. Plan a “snowcation” on Scotland’s slopes 5 ski centres

    Skiier at Nevis Range Mountain Resort

    © Ski Scotland / Steven McKenna

    With five ski resorts to choose from and forecasts for fresh powder, what better way to start the year than with a ski trip to the crisp Scottish Highlands? There are runs to suit all abilities, whether you’re new to the slopes or a seasoned professional.

    The Cairngorms, Glencoe, Glenshee, the Nevis Range and the Lecht are all accessible from Scotland’s cities and offer up stunning views. The Highlands also have plenty of cosy accommodation and food and drink options to cater to your downtime off the slopes.

  3. Take a trip to Scotland’s newest city, Dunfermline Dunfermline

    Pittencrieff Park

    © Fife Council / Damian Shields

    In 2022, Dunfermline became Scotland’s 8th city, but don’t let its new status fool you – it’s one of the country’s most ancient and historic sites.

    What to see & do

    • Dunfermline Abbey and Palace – a must-visit in Dunfermline, explore the rich history and romantic ruins of the Abbey. It’s also the famous resting place of Scottish hero, Robert the Bruce.
    • Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries – this free 5-Star Visitor Attraction has won architectural awards for its new building and houses a museum and library. The mezzanine café is an ideal spot to watch the world go by, with engaging views across to Dunfermline Abbey.
    • Pittencrieff Park – take a stroll around the 76 acres of pristine parkland, gifted to the people by Dunfermline-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie.
    • Culross – just a 20-minute drive from the city, get inspired by the colourful cottages and cobbled streets of one of Fife’s most picturesque villages.
  4. Go on an adventure with Scotland’s UNESCO Trail 13 sites across Scotland

    Carrick Drive along Loch Doon

    © Galloway Cycling Holidays / Warren Sanders

    Follow the UNESCO trail, which connects 13 unique sites across Scotland including World Heritage Sites, Biospheres, Global Geoparks and Creative Cities.

    From ancient Roman structures to cutting-edge design, amazing landscapes to beautiful cities, you can take on the full trail or tackle it in smaller chunks.

  5. Visit a new attraction or exhibition Across Scotland

    V&A Dundee

    Scotland is full of cutting-edge museums, galleries and attractions to discover in 2023, displaying old treasures as well as new exhibitions to interact with.

    • V&A Dundee’s Tartan Exhibition (now open) – Tartan will explore the rich history and design behind Scotland’s best-known fabric.
    • Scottish National Gallery project (summer 2023) - the new space has been designed to best showcase the Scottish collection alongside some special loans, right in the heart of Edinburgh city centre.
    • Kilmartin Museum (summer 2023) – Kilmartin Glen has long been a place of historical and mythical significance. Travel back in time at the reopened museum to investigate their collection of ancient objects and artefacts excavated nearby.
    • Pitlochry Dam viewing point (summer 2023) – this will afford visitors a wonderful view of the site and surrounding scenery. It will help teach visitors about the lifecycle of salmon.
    • Paisley Art Centre – Paisley’s popular Arts Centre will soon be ready for a diverse programme of events and workshops. Keep your eyes peeled for their other major refurbishment, Paisley Museum & Art Gallery.
  6. Attend a world-class event or festival Across Scotland

    Performer on The Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    • HebCelt (12-15 July) – there are few settings so uniquely inspiring for a festival than HebCelt on the Isle of Lewis! Lews Castle and the Hebridean seas provide the backdrop for this traditional Scottish folk music festival.
    • Tall Ships Lerwick Festival (26-29 July) – this year sees Shetland host the incredible Tall Ships Races. Admire the classic sailing vessels as they make port in Shetland, before heading to Arendal in Norway.
    • Edinburgh International Festival (4-27 August) – visit Scotland’s capital in August to soak up the very best theatre, dance, music, opera and more with the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival.
    • World Pipe Band Championships (18-19 August) – it doesn’t get more Scottish than the World Pipe Band Championships! Taking place across two days in Glasgow Green, it’s a unique opportunity to hear the best bagpipers in the world compete for this prestigious title.
    • Nuart Aberdeen 2023 – Aberdeen’s street art festival attracts artists from around the world to create spectacular pieces of public art in local spaces.
  7. Take it slow Across Scotland

    Kelvingrove Park

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Experience Scotland like a local and do your bit for the planet at the same time by being a responsible tourist. Read on for a few ideas on how to plan a sustainable holiday in Scotland.

    • Find a greener way to travel - from electric cars to cycling, there are plenty of ways to see Scotland and limit your carbon footprint in the process.
    • Support local businesses - staying and spending locally is a great way to engage with Scotland’s communities and groups. There are plenty of innovative and eco-friendly businesses to check out during your stay.
    • Book an eco-friendly stay - minimise your impact on the environment without compromising on quality! Scotland has a huge range of accommodation options that are kind to the environment, from hotels in our fabulous cities to camping adventures in the countryside.
  8. Taste Scotland's best local produce Across Scotland

    Dhoom

    © Welcome to Fife / Luigi Di Pasquale

    Good food and drink are holiday essentials – luckily Scotland has many exciting restaurants, bars and cafés for you to explore this year.

    Why not embrace the local produce and find a food and drink experience that connects you with Scotland’s best produce?

    • Try a green foodie business - many restaurants in Scotland use seasonal, local produce for you to try, but some go the extra mile. Look out for businesses such as Inver, nestled on the shores of Loch Fyne, who hold a Michelin Guide Green Star for sustainability.ttend a world-class event or festival.
    • Follow farm to fork - few places embody the farm to fork ethos so well as the Free Company in Balerno, just outside Edinburgh. They open for a spring and a winter series, serving the very best seasonal produce in their trendy barn from the farm right outside.
    • Go wild foraging - take a wander along Scotland’s rugged coastline or deep woods and you will be sure to find plenty of treasures to forage, from plump purple brambles to rich emerald samphire.

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