My Scotland Bucket List: 50+ Things I Want To See & Do

hiking in the scottish highlands is on my scotland bucket list

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Since there's not a lot of travel happening at the moment, I've been in planning mode. So I finally put together my Scotland bucket list of all the places I want to go and the things I want to see once it's safe to travel again.

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I’ve visited many places in Scotland, but there are still SO many things on my Scotland bucket list.

Scotland is a country you can spend a lifetime exploring; there is so much to see beyond the guidebooks. I’m forever discovering standing stones, stone circles and ancient sites marked on OS maps that passersby fail to notice. It’s thought that there are over 2,000 castles in Scotland- so ticking everything off the bucket list does take some time!

I’ve compiled a list of over 50, and I’m sure I’ll continue to add to this list as I research more hidden gems in Scotland.

Make sure you keep checking back to see which ones I tick off my list. I also hope my list offers you some inspiration for your Scotland travels!

Want to create your own Scotland bucket list? Grab my Scotland Bucket List Printable Pack! It includes 8 planning pages and my 50 Scotland ‘must sees.’

The 50+ things on my Scotland Bucket List

the jacobite train is on my scotland bucket list
The Glenfinnan Viaduct: I’ve seen it in person, however my dream is to ride across it on the Jacobite Steam Train

The Scottish Highlands

  • Visit the Clach na h-Aidhrinn [The Mass Stone] in Cranachan, Glen Roy. My 5x Grandmother grew up in this area, and the stone is steeped in fairy folklore.
  • Ride the Jacobite Steam Train [aka the Harry Potter train] from Fort William to Mallaig.
  • Visit Castle Stalker.
  • Visit the Highland Wildlife Park and see a Scottish Wildcat.
  • Visit Leakey’s Bookshop in Inverness.
  • See the Cairngorm reindeer herd, Britain’s only free-ranging herd of reindeer.
  • Hike Aonach Eagach in Glencoe.
  • Hike to The Lost Valley in Glencoe.

THINGS I’VE CHECKED OFF…

In September 2020 I hiked to The Lost Valley and visited Castle Stalker!

Want to see where I’ve already been in Scotland? Check out my Scotland Travel map.

castle stalker is on my Scotland bucket list
Castle Stalker

Edinburgh & The Lothians

  • Climb the Scott Monument, a Victorian Gothic monument dedicated to writer Sir Walter Scott. I’ve seen it from the ground a million times, but haven’t climbed the stairs to the top yet!
  • Hike the Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill.
  • Have a drink in Scotland’s smallest pub, The Wee Pub, in Grassmarket, Edinburgh.
  • Visit Hopetoun House, Scotland’s finest stately home.
  • Visit Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th century chapel known for playing a fictional role in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
  • Visit Tantallon Castle, a beautiful castle on the coast!
  • Visit the Scottish Seabird Centre so I can indulge my inner bird nerd.

+ Read more: What to pack for a trip to Scotland

Aberdeenshire & Moray

  • Drive The Castle Trail. On this drive you can see 19 different castles over 6 days and 311 miles!
  • Complete the Malt Whisky Trail in Speyside. The trail links eight different whisky distilleries and one cooperage!
  • Hike Ben Macdui, Scotland’s second highest mountain.
  • Visit Craigievar Castle, Scotland’s pink castle!
balmoral castle on the castle trail
Balmoral Castle on The Castle Trail

Argyll & The Isles

  • Visit the Isle of Gigha, the island where some of my ancestors are from!
  • Visit a whisky distillery in Campbeltown.
  • Visit the island of Iona and see where St Columba is buried at Iona Abbey.
  • Do a boat tour of Fingal’s Cave.
  • Spend a weekend in the coastal town of Oban, the gateway to the Isles.

+ Read more: Planning a trip to Scotland? Read this

Basalt rock formation inside Fingal's Cave
Basalt rock formation inside Fingal’s Cave

Ayrshire & Arran

  • Spend a long weekend on the Isle of Arran, which is known as ‘Scotland in miniature.’
  • Hike Goatfell, the highest point of the Isle of Arran.
  • See the Machrie Moor Stone Circles.

Dumfries & Galloway

  • Attend the Wigtown Book Festival.
  • Stargaze at the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, the oldest Dark Sky Park in Scotland.
  • Visit Gretna Green, the marriage capital of the UK and where couples from England used to elope over the border during the 18th century!

+ Read more: How to travel Scotland on a budget

gretna green in dumfries and galloway
Gretna Green

Dundee & Angus

  • Visit Arbroath Abbey where the Declaration of Arbroath was signed and secured Scotland as an independent country.
  • Visit one of Scotland’s most haunted castles, Glamis Castle.

Fife

  • Visit Kingsbarns Distillery and Visitor Centre. It’s an old barn which has been transformed into a whisky distillery!
  • Visit The Scottish Deer Centre to see their 12 species of deer and other protected animals.
  • Visit the cute village of Culross where Outlander was filmed.
  • Visit Robert The Bruce’s grave at Dunfermline Abbey [it was closed off when I first visited the abbey].
  • See puffins on the Isle of May.

THINGS I’VE CHECKED OFF

I visited the Isle of May in August 2020 and created a video about my adventure for my Secrets of Scotland community. I didn’t see any puffins, however, I had a magical day on the island!

I also walked a section of the Fife Coastal Path from Kincardine to Culross.

hiking the fife coastal path
The Fife Coastal Path

Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley

  • Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
  • Cycle from Edinburgh to Glasgow via the Union Canal and Forth and Clyde Canals. I’ve walked it, but would love to cycle it in a day.
  • Complete the Glasgow Mural Trail. I’ve completed parts of it on past visits to Glasgow, but I’d love to do the whole walk in one day!

Stirling, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

  • Visit the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre to learn about the historic battle where Robert the Bruce’s army defeated the army of King Edward II of England in the First War of Scottish Independence.
  • Visit The Devil’s Pulpit to see the crimson water.
  • Have a picnic in Balmaha.
  • Visit The Scottish Crannog Centre to see a modern example of a crannog, an artificial island/dwelling built over a loch.
  • Walk the wildflower trail at Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve.
the scottish crannog centre on loch tay
The Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay

Orkney & Shetland

  • Visit Skara Brae, a stone-built Neolithic settlement in Orkney.
  • Visit the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness in Orkney.
  • Visit the Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement in Shetland, known as one of the most remarkable archaeological sites ever excavated in the British Isles.
the ring of brodgar in orkney
The Ring of Brodgar

Outer Hebrides

Perthshire

  • Visit The Black Watch Castle and Museum.
  • Visit Huntingtower Castle.

+ Read more: 22 books about Scotland you’ll love

Scottish Borders

  • Visit Abbotsford, once home to Scottish historical novelist, Sir Walter Scott.
  • Visit Floors Castle and Gardens.
  • Visit Kelso Abbey, the last of the Four Border Abbeys I’m yet to visit!
  • See The Great Polish Map of Scotland, a huge three-dimensional, outdoor concrete scale model of Scotland, located in the grounds of the Barony Castle Hotel.
Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott
Abbotsford

Long Distance Hikes I want to complete

  • The Cape Wrath Trail– Britain’s toughest hike. Sections I need to complete: Fort William to Glenfinnan, Glenfinnan to A’Chuil, A’Chuil to Barrisdale Bay, Barrisdale Bay to Morvich, Morvich to Maol Bhuidhe, Maol Bhuidhe to Craig, Craig to Kinlochewe, Kinlochewe to Shenavall, Shenavall to Inverlael, Inverlael to Oykel Bridge, Oykel Bridge to Inchnadamph, Inchnadamph to Kylestrom, Kylestome to Rhiconich, Rhiconich to Sandwood Bay, Sandwood Bay to Cape Wrath.
  • Complete the Fife Coastal Path hike. These are the sections I still need to complete: Kincardine to Culross, Culross to Limekilns, Limekilns to Burntisland, Burntisland to Buckhaven, Buckhaven to Elie, Elie to Cambo Sands, Cambo Sands to Leuchars, Leuchars to Wormit Bay, Wormit Bay to Newburgh.
  • The Great Glen Way. Sections I need to complete: Fort William to Gairlochy, Gairlochy to Laggan, Laggan to Fort Augustus, Fort Augustus to Invermoriston, Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit, Drumnadrochit to Inverness.
  • The John Muir Way. Sections I need to complete: Helensburgh to Balloch, Balloch to Strathblane, Strathblane to Croy, Croy to Falkirk, Falkirk to Linlithgow, Linlithgow to South Queensferry, South Queensferry to Edinburgh, Edinburgh to Prestonpans, Prestonpans to North Berwick, North Berwick to Dunbar.
  • Complete the Rob Roy Way. The sections I still need to complete are: Drymen to Aberfoyle, Aberfoyle to Callander, Callander to Strathyre, Strathyre to Killin, Killin to Ardtalnaig, Ardtalnaig to Aberfeldy, Aberfeldy to Pitlochry.
  • The Skye Trail.
  • The Southern Upland Way.
  • The Speyside Way.
  • Complete the St Cuthbert’s Way hike. The sections I still need to complete are: Melrose to Harestanes, Harestanes to Kirk Yetholm, Kirk Yetholm to Wooler, Wooler to Lindisfarne.
  • The West Highland Way.

Other things on my Scotland Bucket List

Not everything falls under a location category, and so here are some more things I want to tick off my Scotland bucket list:

  • Go glamping
  • Spend a night in a Scottish castle

I’ll continue to update my Scotland bucket list as I discover more things I want to see and do, and check off the things I have done. Make sure you keep checking back to see my progress!

Create your own Scotland bucket list

If you’d like to create your own Scotland bucket list I’ve created the perfect printable for you! It includes 8 pages to help you plan, organise and tick off your experiences in Scotland.

My Scotland Bucket List Printable Pack includes:

  • 50 ‘must-see’ locations in Scotland
  • Scotland bucket list
  • Scotland activity planner
  • Scotland planning map
  • Completed activities checklist

You can grab it here.

Tag me on Instagram @wayfaringkiwi11 so I can see you using your bucket list printable.

My Scotland Bucket List: 50+ Things I Want To See & Do

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ABOUT YVETTE

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Hello, I’m Yvette and I’m from New Zealand. In 2016 I left home to travel the world; I met my husband after hiking the length of Scotland, and now we live in a wee Scottish village with our pup, Angus. I’m a full-time blogger and travel Scotland for a living! Read more about me here.

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