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

    La strada panoramica sul Loch Bee

    © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

    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!

  2. Isle of Lewis Outer Hebrides

    Il Broch Dun Carloway, Ebridi Esterne

    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.

  3. Kirkwall Orkney

    Traghetto Northlink, Kirkwall

    © Northlink Ferries

    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.

  4. Isle of Skye Highlands

    Tramonto a Fairy Glen, Isola di Skye

    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.

  5. Kinnoull Hill Perthshire

    Kinnoull Hil, Perth

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    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.

  6. Inverness Highlands

    Il River Ness nel centro di Inverness

    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!

  7. Moray Speyside Highlands

    Covesea Skerries Lighthouse sits on a rocky headland on Lossiemouth's West Beach.

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    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.

  8. Glenshiel Highlands

    Kintail Lodge Hotel On Shore Of Loch Duich

    © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

    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!

  9. Assynt Sutherland, Highlands

    Vista della cima di Stac Pollaidh, Assynt

    © Unsplash

    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.

  10. Cairngorms National Park Highlands

    The Watchers a Corgarff, Aberdeenshire

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    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.

  11. Torridon Hills Highlands

    The houses of Torridon are dwarfed by the sheer mass of Liathach, its upper slopes wreathed in cloud, seen across Loch Torridon

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam, all rights reserved

    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.

  12. Dunnottar Castle Stonehaven

    Dunnottar Castle on top of cliffs

    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.

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  13. Aberdeen Beach Aberdeen

    Aberdeen Beach and Queens Links is famous for its golden sand and its long curved length between the harbour and the River Dons mouth.

    © Kenny Lam, VisitScotland. All rights reserved.

    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.

  14. St Abbs Scottish Borders

    Eb Carr's Cafe in St Abbs

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam, all rights reserved

    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.

  15. Eildon Hills Scottish Borders

    The red sandstone ruins of the imposing Melrose Abbey, stands in a grassy graveyard under bright blue skies

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam, all rights reserved

    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.

  16. Conic Hills Stirlingshire

    Loch Drunkie visto nel Parco Nazionale di Loch Lomond e The Trossachs

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    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.

  17. North Berwick East Lothian

    North Berwick Beach with the law in the background.

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam. All rights reserved.

    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?

  18. Forth Bridge Fife

    The Forth Bridge in South Queensferry at sunset

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam, all rights reserved

    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.

  19. Finnieston Glasgow

    Il Finnieston Crane e il Clyde Arc sul fiume Clyde, 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.

  20. Luss Pierre Loch Lomond

    The sandy beach at luss which is located on the west side of loch lomond. The loch Lomond hotel and lodges is visible beyond.

    © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins, all rights reserved.

    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.

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