Not a member?
Register and login now.

Issue 50 - 50 Must See Attractions

Scotland Magazine Issue 50
April 2010


This article is 8 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

Copyright Scotland Magazine © 1999-2018. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.

50 Must See Attractions

Our choice of the great Scottish places.

In the following pages, to celebrate the 50th issue of Scotland Magazine, we have come up with the choicest places to visit, the most momentous events that helped shape the nation and the pick of the most inspirational elements to come out of this great nation.

We hope you enjoy...

ABERDEEN Archaeolink A living history park with a central focus on education, participation and fun, indoor and outdoor exhibitions.

ANGUS Barrie’s Birthplace J. M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan was born in a cottage in the heart of the little town of Kirriemuir.

ARGYLL Glencoe Visitor Centre The long ago massacre of the MacIan Macdonalds of Glencoe by Government troops in 1692 is not forgotten, but there is so much more to this extraordinary and atmospheric landscape of bleak hills and barren mountain slopes.

AYRSHIRE Burns National Heritage Park Embracing the cottage built by Robert Burns’ father William Burnes, the Auld Kirk Alloway, the Burns Monument and the Brig o’ Doon, the National Trust for Scotland has pulled together the life of Scotland’s National Bard to create the full Burns’ experience.

DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY National Museum of Costume This superb costume collection features more than 6000 items.

DUNDEE Discovery Point RRS Discoverywas launched in 1901. Her first mission was the British National Antarctic Expedition, carrying Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackelton.

EAST LOTHIAN Museum of Flight Scotland’s national aviation museum and houses an impressive collection of aircraft, including the De Havilland Comet and Concorde.

Tantallon Castle Spectacularly sighted on a cliff top overlooking the estuary of the Firth of Forth, this was Scotland’s most impregnable castle until visited and dismantled by Oliver Cromwell in 1651.

Scottish Seabird Centre & Bass Rock This award winning Discovery Centre provides a network of webcams to spy on the colonies of gannets and puffins who have their home on the equally remarkable off-shore Bass Rock.

Scottish Flag Heritage Centre Situated inside a 16th century Doo’cot behind Athelstaneford Parish Church is the Scottish Flag Heritage Centre which is funded by the Scottish Flag Trust.

EDINBURGH Edinburgh Castle Dominating the city with more than a 1,000 years of history within its walls. The castle is situated at the highest point in Edinburgh, and offers some great views.

National Museum of Scotland Two centuries of collecting have encompassed an amazing range of treasures from Scottish and international archaeology to decorative and applied arts; from world cultures and social history to science, technology and the natural world.

National Galleries of Scotland Complex The buildings were originally meant to accommodate both the National Gallery and The Royal Scottish Academy, but have now been given over entirely to the National Collection Royal Yacht Britannia HMY Britannia served as the floating home of the Royal Family when visiting overseas until it was decommissioned in 1997.

The Real Mary King’s Close Hidden beneath the Royal Mile of Edinburgh is a warren of 17th century streets and closes where people once lived.

The Scotch Whisky Experience Take a fun journey through the making of Scotch Whisky travelling in a whisky cask.

The Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh Tapestry Company Created from an £8 million refurbishment of a former swimming baths, this is now the home of Scotland’s leading and most innovative tapestry company.

The Scottish Parliament Designed by the Catalonian architect Enric Mirrales, the parliamentary headquarters at Holyrood was opened in 2004. The visitor centre is contained within the Main Hall of the Parliament building, which is immediately after the public entrance.

FIFE Scotland’s Secret Bunker Hidden beneath a farmhouse building, a tunnel leads to Scotland’s Secret Bunker.

One hundred feet underground, are 24,000 square feet of Top Level accommodation, the size of two football pitches from which the UK would have been run in the event of nuclear attack.

Scottish Deer Centre Learn about Scotland’s natural wildlife.

Over 140 deer from nine species, birds of prey demonstrations and Stobo, the Black Highland Cow.

GLASGOW The Willow Tea Rooms Designed by the iconic Edwardian architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, there are two locations in Glasgow’s city centre. Visitors are invited to step into a bygone era.

The Necroplis An extraordinary city of the dead overlooking Glasgow’s city centre.

Glasgow City Chambers A working building for Glasgow City Council, this majestic building was inaugurated in 1888 by Queen Victoria.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum After a major renovation, this remarkable building which opened in 1901, today houses one of the finest civic collections of European and British paintings in existence.

The Burrell Collection In 1944, Sir William Burrell, a lifelong collector of works of art gifted his entire collection to the people of Glasgow.

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, Glasgow Glasgow’s social history museum is packed with intriguing insights into the past of this great city.

HEBRIDES Iona Abbey, Isle of Iona Saint Columba arrived on the island of Iona bringing Christianity from Ireland in 563AD. Restoration was begun in 1938 by the Reverend George MacLeod and it has been a place of pilgrimage ever since.

Clan Donald Centre, Isle of Skye Armadale Castle Gardens are set in the heart of a 20,000 acre Highland estate and centred on the ruins of Armadale Castle.

Fingal’s Cave, Island of Staffa In prehistoric times, the island of Staffa was covered in ice sheets which somehow formed the extraordinary basalt columns which feature today.

There are boat trips during the summer months from Oban, Dervaig and Fionnphort on Mull, or from Iona.

Standing Stones of Callanish, Isle of Lewis Created between 2900 and 2600 BC, nobody accurately knows their origin, but the site on the edge of the sea is both beautiful and spiritual.

HIGHLAND Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre On 16th April 1746, the battle fought here between the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart and British Government forces led by the Duke of Cumberland.

Loch Ness Monster visitor centres The fascination that surrounds the legendary Loch Ness Monster remains undiminished. At the recently refurbished Loch Ness Centre, there is an automated walk through telling the whole story of Loch Ness from the beginning of the Ice Age to the present day.

Eilean Donan Castle Eilean Donan resonates with romance and history. Dating from the mid-thirteenth century, but destroyed in a Jacobite Rising in 1719, it was lovingly restored and re-opened in 1932.

Glenfinnan Monument It was at the head of Loch Shiel in Lochaber that Prince Charles Edward Stuart arrived on 19th August 1745 to muster the Highland clans and re-claim the throne of Great Britain for his father.

Inverewe Garden On the wild, remote banks of Loch Ewe, there is a breathtakingly beautiful garden oasis warmed by the passing Gulf Stream.

KINCARDINESHIRE Dunottar Castle There has been a fortified site here since the Picts ruled the east of Scotland between 5000 BC and 700 AD.

LANARKSHIRE David Livingstone Centre This tenement block, once home to 24 families including the Livingstones, was converted into a museum in 1929.

New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde A 19th century model village created by cloth merchant David Dale, inventor Richard Arkwright, and Dale’s son-in-law Robert Owen.

MIDLOTHIAN Rosslyn Chapel Rosslyn Chapel, correctly named the Collegiate Church of St Matthew, was raised in the 15th century by Prince William St Clair, last Jarl of Orkney. Since then the astonishing beauty of its interior carvings have resonated with romance and intrigue.

Scottish Mining Museum Based on the Lady Victoria Colliery, this museum with its library is a celebration of Scotland’s coal mining industry.

ORKNEY Pier Arts Centre, Orkney Following a £4.5 million Lottery funded redevelopment of its buildings, the building re-opened in July 2007 and alongside the permanent collection runs a programme of educational events relating to the islands.

Italian Chapel, Orkney In 1943, a group of POWs led by Domenico Chiocchetti transformed a basic Nissen hut into a chapel, creating an interior of astonishing beauty.

Skara Brae, Orkney Designated part of the UNESCO “Heart of Neolithic Orkney” World Heritage Site in 1999, the settlement of Skara Brae lies near the dramatic white beach of the Bay of Skaill and is considered the best preserved group of prehistoric houses in Western Europe.

PERTHSHIRE Round House and Fergusson Gallery Since 1992, Perth’s former waterworks tower has housed over 5,000 artworks, including 150 oil paintings, hundreds of watercolours and drawings, and 23 sculptures by the Scottish artist J. D. Fergusson. The building itself is considered a masterpiece of Scottish industrial architecture.

Meikleour Beech Hedge Located four miles south of Blairgowrie on the A93 main road, and ten miles north of Perth, is the tallest and longest hedge in Scotland. It was planted in 1745 by Jacobite supporters.

Scottish Crannog Centre Crannogs were ancient loch dwellings that existed throughout Scotland over 5000 years ago, and this unique reconstruction, based on the discovery of an early Iron Age lochdwelling, was built by the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology(STUA).

STIRLING The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum One of Scotland’s most innovative and original exhibition spaces.

Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park An unforgettable opportunity to go on safari in Scotland.

SUTHERLAND Timespan Museum and Arts Centre, Sutherland A colourful insight into the crofting history of the district, the gallery showcases international and local art.

WEST LOTHIAN Falkirk Wheel, A triumph of engineering, this consists of a rotating boat lift which ingeniously connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The canals were previously connected by a series of eleven locks.


Claim your free Scotland Magazine trial issue