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Is Scotland Worth Visiting?

Is Scotland Worth Visiting?

Like many travelers to Scotland, one of the most memorable situations I encountered during my first trip there almost 20 years ago was the accent. It sounds cliché—it is cliché—but I couldn’t make heads or tails or what many local people were telling me.

This was in the days before Google Maps (and before smartphones at all), the time in history when you often had to ask people where things were. Even in relatively cosmopolitan Glasgow, this ended up proving challenging.

Since then I’ve been back a number of times, so when it comes to the question “is Scotland worth visiting?”, my answer is a definitive yes. (Though, if you’re curious, I haven’t gotten much better at understanding many locals!)

Need help planning your trip to Scotland? Hire me as your Travel Coach!

With Scotland and Me, It Was Love at First Sight

Although I didn’t even contemplate creating a Scotland itinerary until I had returned to the country several times, Scotland always had that “it” factor for me. This was true whether I was walking through Glasgow trying unsuccessfully to get directions, wandering around Loch Ness and wondering (for a second at least) if perhaps Nessie was real or being nearly blown off a cliff on the Isle of Skye.

I suspect it will be true the next time I go back. As far as what that will look like? Well, I’m not really sure. It could take the form of ecotourism, such as walking from coast to coast, or even venturing back into the Hebrides islands. Or I could dig deeper into Scottish cities most travelers miss, be they Aberdeen, Dundee or even places much farther off the beaten path.

My Favorite Places in Scotland



Edinburgh is probably my favorite city in Scotland, and is one of my favorite cities in Europe in general. I just can’t get enough of the ancient vibe, whether I’m walking down the Royal Mile after a trip to Edinburgh Castle, or admiring it all from afar at Calton Hill.

Isle of Skye


Most Scotland trip ideas you come across will have the Isle of Skye listed on them. And with good reason. The scenery here is unforgettable, from the otherworldly Old Man of Storr (which has been featured in several sci-fi movies), or the Fairy Pools, which in spite of not being surrounded by pink leaves (thanks AI!) are gorgeous.



Glasgow is grittier and less obviously touristic than Edinburgh, which leads some tourists to write it off. But this is a mistake for a few reasons. Most importantly, because it’s only an hour away—even if you simply come for the day from Edinburgh, without an agenda, it’s worth it.

The Highlands


Another must-visit on any Scotland travel guide is The Highlands. While the most famous place to go here is probably Glencoe, this is a sweeping and diverse region, which includes (as its name suggests) towering mountains, but also low-lying spots, including Loch Ness.

Other Scotland destinations


Scotland is bigger than it looks on the map—and there’s much more to see and do that I could enumerate here. This is true both for more urban-minded travelers (who might enjoy the cities of Aberdeen and Dundee), to those seeking natural experiences; you can head to other islands (besides Skye) in the Hebrides chain.

How Long Do You Need in Scotland?

Another thing I love about Scotland? You can see it in as many or few days as you have available. Can only manage a long weekend from England or Ireland? You can spend this entirely within Glasgow or Edinburgh, or even split it between the two cities if you don’t mind a very fast pace. If you have a couple weeks, meanwhile, you could take a multi-day excursion in the Scottish Highlands. 

At the end of the day, how many days in Scotland will affect what you’re able to see, more than whether or not you enjoy yourself. As I explained earlier in this piece, I found Scotland charming even when I was scuttling about the country like an idiot without any sense of direction. So if you only have a short while, try not to dwell too much on this, if you can.

Other FAQ About Visiting Scotland

Is it worth seeing Scotland?

Scotland is absolutely worth seeing, whether you stick to cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, or venture toward natural marvels such as the Isle of Skye or the Scottish Highlands. For my money, it’s the most interesting and fulfilling place in the UK, from a travel perspective.

How many days in Scotland is enough?

The question, to me, is not how many days you spend in Scotland, but how you use them. For example, if you only have 3-5 days, split these between a couple of cities, or devote them to a single region, such as Skye or the Highlands. Longer trips, meanwhile, allow you to see a more eclectic range of destinations without rushing.

What is the best month to visit Scotland?

By the standards of most of the rest of the world, Scotland is cold and wet for most of the year. So in one sense, you could argue that it doesn’t really matter when you visit. On the other hand, summers are becoming warmer and sunnier, so if you want even the chance of not having to bundle up, July or August would be your best months.

The Bottom Line

Is Scotland worth visiting? Yes, but do be patient when asking for help! All joking aside, Scotland is the most fulfilling part of the UK, in part because of its linguistic quirks. But also because of its pristine natural beauty—it’s hard to believe the Scottish Highlands begin less than two hours out of Edinburgh—and the surprising variety of destinations in the country, presuming you can manage to spend at least a week or two here. And, presuming you enlist me to plan out a detailed itinerary for you. That’s the gist of what my Travel Coaching service entails, though it’s honestly so much more than that as well.


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