Historic Scotland Guide

Find heritage attractions and historic sites in Scotland, including castles, roman sites and neolithic remains.

Welcome to Scotland. This ancient, mysterious and historically impenetrable land has a long and proud history. After all, even the Romans couldn’t conquer it; just a quick trip up to the Antonine Wall near Glasgow shows that they only hung on for 20 years or so before retreating back to the north of England!

Visitors to Scotland will find some of the finest and most complete castles in Britain, although it is worth noting that there are only a handful of historic sites from before the Middle Ages. These include the Neolithic settlements on Orkney, the Anglo-Saxon Ruthwell Cross in the Scottish Borders and Dere Street Roman Road.

To begin your journey of historic Scotland, simply click around on the interactive map below.

Explore the Scottish Regions

If driving from England, most people will enter Scotland from Dumfries & Galloway or the Scottish Borders. Our advice? Don’t drive past them, because these two regions have some of the most wonderful castles in the whole country! Take Caerlaverock Castle for example, with its impressive moat and huge 13th century curtain walls. Best of all, it’s within just a short drive of the A74(M).

Moving north and into the central belt are the cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling. Edinburgh is famous for its historic buildings, imposing castle and great restaurants, whilst Glasgow boasts some fantastic nightlife and a beautiful city centre. Stirling is the smallest of the three cities and is considered the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’. Also in this central belt are the remains of the Antonine Wall and the various Roman forts that lined its route.

North east Scotland is home to Aberdeenshire, the county with the most castles per square mile in the whole of the UK. This region is also home to a myriad of battlefields including the Battle of Hawlaw in 1411 and the Battle of Alford in 1645.

North west Scotland is a region known as the ‘Highlands and Islands’, and – as its name suggests – is home to lochs, mountains and islands. It is also one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe and has a reputation for being a rather mysterious place… take a peak at our Eilean Mor Lighthouse article for just one example!

Selected tours of Scotland

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The mysterious disappearance of the Eilean Mor lighthouse keepers.

By Ben Johnson

What drove three experienced lightkeepers to abandon their post on a remote island in the Outer Hebrides?

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