Scotland’s UNESCO Trail spans the length and the breadth of the country. With so much to see and do, it can be difficult deciding where to start exploring. To make things easy for you, we’ve pulled together individual journeys you can take in every direction, highlighting top attractions, locations to base yourself in, recommendations on where to stay and where to eat, helpful advice on how to get around, and much more.

How to do the trail

4 Ways You Can Explore Scotland's UNESCO Sites on the Trail

There are different ways to experience the UNESCO Trail, depending on how much time you have or which part of Scotland you want to explore. We’ve also got options for families, and ideas for a last-minute break so anyone can look differently at Scotland’s wonders.

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The UNESCO trail geographical journeys

Discover & Experience UNESCO in Central West Scotland

The west of Scotland is highly accessible and a great place to start Scotland’s UNESCO Trail. Arrive into one of Glasgow’s two major rail stations, then use the fantastic public transport network including trains, buses and coaches, which make exploring this UNESCO City of Music and the nearby World Heritage Sites of New Lanark and the Antonine Wall easy. Find practical guidance on getting around and tips on attractions, accommodation and food and drink.

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A woman carrying a walking stick with a backpack looks out over a loch and trees to some hills, from a rocky ledge

Experience the Awe-Inspiring UNESCO Sites of North Scotland

North Scotland is more accessible than you might think, with options to arrive by train or bus. This secluded part of the country has some of the world’s most scenic driving routes, and the journey around the biosphere and geopark’s communities, natural landmarks and attractions is just as spectacular as the destinations. Read our practical advice on how to get around, what to see, and where to stay and eat.

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The buildings around the cobbled Royal Mile, lit up in red and blue colours at night

Discover & Explore the UNESCO Sites of Central East Scotland

To arrive in the east of Scotland from most places in the UK, it’s a simple case of hopping on a train from the nearest station and arriving in Edinburgh Waverley Train Station. There’s also Edinburgh Airport with connections to international hubs across the UK and Europe. From here, reach Dundee by train, or make use of excellent rail, bus, and cycle networks to explore the wider region. Find practical advice and tips on getting around the cities and the region’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, attractions, accommodation, and places to eat.

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Explore South Scotland & Its UNESCO Site

South Scotland is one of Scotland’s most accessible destinations, enjoying proximity to major transport hubs and a superb public transport network. It couldn’t be easier getting around the communities, beauty spots and attractions of Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere. Start planning your journey through South Scotland with our practical advice and tips on what to see and do.

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Experience UNESCO on the Outer Hebrides

After exploring the North West Highlands Geopark, take advantage of regular seasonal ferry services from the mainland and discover the islands of the Outer Hebrides off the north-west coast, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St Kilda. Get around using inter-island ferry services, buses, taxis or by bike. You can even fly to some remote islands. Plan your island-hopping journey with tips on transport, attractions, accommodation and food and drink.

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Cuween Chambered Cairn made of stones, sits on the top of Cuween Hill as the light fades against the water

Uncover the UNESCO Wonder of Scotland's Northern Isles

The north islands of Scotland are closer than you think, with frequent ferry crossings from the mainland and flight connections to and from Aberdeen and Inverness airports. Once here, getting around by car, foot or bike is a breeze thanks to a superb inter-island ferry network, quiet roads, and regular buses. Discover the best way to explore Shetland and Orkney with information on transport, accommodation, places to eat and attractions.

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Other ways to experience the trail

A panoramic image of the hills, mountains and rocky grassy ground, a river running through the middle

6 UNESCO Family Day Trip Ideas

These great attractions and activities will keep the kids entertained for hours and get them learning about Scotland’s top UNESCO sites. See Roman artefacts, climb aboard a ship and enjoy homemade ice cream – it’s the best day of learning your kids will ever have!

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A man cycles past a large Roman head sculpture

7 Ways to Explore Scotland Sustainably on a Last-Minute UNESCO Break

Short on time, or planning a last minute break? It’s possible to enjoy the wonders of Scotland’s UNESCO Trail on a short break, but still travel sustainably.

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