The ethereal and misty moors of the Scottish Lowlands are reminiscent of a romantic bygone era. This culturally and historically rich region has been a source for many creatives who have drawn inspiration from the fairy-tale architecture of castle ruins perched beside tranquil lochs, heather-clad farmlands and white sand beaches.
Map of The Lowlands
Getting There & Getting Around
Getting to the Lowlands
Travelling over the border into the Scottish Lowlands is easy by train or car. Start your adventure with an overnight journey on The Caledonian Sleeper which runs between Glasgow Central or Edinburgh Waverley and London Euston, offering both luxury first-class cabins and two-person second-class options. To enjoy views of incredible Scottish scenery on route, daytime train routes are also available. If you fancy an epic self-drive adventure, let us arrange a car hire for you and enjoy the freedom of taking to the open road. Alternatively, flights are available to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen from a number of UK airports.
Travelling around the Scottish Lowlands is about the journey as much as the destination. Though vast in size, the region is well connected by extensive road and rail networks which weave through the countryside, making reaching the most popular tourist sites fast and straightforward with some planning. Public bus routes service most Scottish cities and towns as well as some villages and ferry ports, but accessing the more remote corners of the Scottish Lowlands is easiest by car. Let us arrange a hire car for you to begin discovering the wildest corners of this diverse and beautiful country.
Experiences in the Lowlands
Visit Dunnottar Castle
The sight of the ruins of Dunnottar Castle perched precariously on a rocky headland jutting out into the North Sea is a striking view. Steeped in history, this romantic and haunting ruin is a photographer’s paradise, a history lover’s dream and an iconic tourist destination for visitors the world over.
Discover The Hermitage in Perthshire
Enjoy a day exploring this National Trust site in the heart of the Scottish Lowlands. Breathe in the earthy woodland and tang of pine needles as you wander along the banks of the River Braan and between giant Douglas firs which are among the tallest trees in Britain. Discover the picturesque folly known as Ossian’s Hall and spot salmon leaping up the roaring Black Linn Falls in autumn.
Marvel at Belhaven Bridge
The curious 'Bridge to Nowhere' lies across Biel Water and is used to access Belhaven Bay beach at low tide. However, as the tide floods in and isolates the bridge, it takes on a mysterious, ethereal quality as it seems to lead to nowhere. Part of the John Muir country park, the beach is home to a variety of bird species and a great picnic spot in the summer months.
Explore St Andrews
Just a short one-hour's drive from Edinburgh, the romantic city of St Andrews is one of cobbled streets, magnificent ancient castle ruins, enchanting gardens and an idyllic windswept beach which was the site of the opening scene of the famous film Chariot's of Fire. Enjoy a leisurely pace in this 'Home of Golf' as you discover this charming historic, seaside city.
Walk to St Abb's Head
The wildlife, geology and history of St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve should not be missed. Enjoy a scenic walk through heather and wildflower-covered grasslands towards the coast. Take in the lighthouse teetering on the edge of the dramatic coastline; a haven for nesting sea bird colonies and a spectacular vantage point over the rocky cliff edge and crystal-clear waters below.
Go white water rafting on the River Tay
From kite-surfing, coasteering and scuba diving adventures in water to rock climbing, mountain biking and tree-top courses on land, Scotland is not short on thrilling outdoor adventure activities. Hang on tight as you negotiate the churning rapids and rushing waterfalls on a thrilling white water rafting pursuit on the River Tay in Perthshire.
Step back in time at Stirling Castle
Perched high up upon and ancient volcanic rock, visible for many miles in every direction, Stirling Castle is known for its imposing location, impressive architecture and intriguing history. Step back in time and explore this 12th-century fortification, the site for many important battles in Scottish history.
Hike to Scott’s View
Offering magnificent sweeping views across the Scottish borderlands, this lookout is said to be one of the favourite views of poet and historian Sir Walter Scott.
Venture to Lunan Bay
Th lesser-known Lunan Bay on the eastern Angus coastline is an idyllic two mile stretch of sand with pink sandstone tones. Overlooked by a crumbling 12th century fortress, the Red Castle, this remote and peaceful spot is popular for traditional fishing and surfing.
Highlights of The Lowlands
Scotland’s beating heart and capital city effortlessly melds a vibrant cultural scene with charming, cobbled streets of the Medieval Old Town and regency elegance of the Georgian New Town. As well as the city's world-famous International Arts Festival and dynamic, world-class Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh’s sites, from the impressive vantage points of Arthur’s Seat and Carlton Hill to the historic Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, are second to none. As a top gourmet destination when it comes to Michelin stars, expect to discover decadent culinary delights fresh from Scotland's fresh wilderness larder.
Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
Experience a thrilling seaplane adventure, hike up a Munro before sunrise, cycle the loch shores at sunset, wild camp in a misty glen or spend the day fishing, kayaking or climbing. There is no shortage of activities at Scotland’s first national park. From rolling fertile moorlands to sparkling lochs and sprawling forests, the varied geography of this great landscape is due to the fault line that divides the Highlands and Lowlands which runs right across the park. With two forest parks, 22 lochs, and over 50 special nature conservation sites, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park are a wildlife lover's haven and an adventurer's dream.
"To make sure you experience the very best the Scottish Lowlands have to offer, before you travel we'll send you a list of recommendations including natural wonders, suggested activities, local attractions and places to eat."
Stargazing in Galloway
Wander along woodland trails through ancient forest glens by day at Galloway Forest Park. By night, experience sensational celestial displays which dazzle nearly every inch of the ink-black night sky over Scotland’s first Dark Sky Park. An hour-and-a-half by car from Glasgow, the park's vast and unpolluted skies allow for optimum star-gazing conditions and an often breath-taking array of stars, planets and streaking meteors. For those who time their visit right, you might even witness the spectacular dance of the Northern Lights swirling across the sky in a myriad of colours.
"The Scottish Lowlands are home to 80% of the country's population"
Famed for its legendary live music scene, incredible array of free museums and galleries and as home to the country's top creative institutions including the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland, Glasgow is Scotland's national cultural hub. Marvel at the iconic Victorian and art nouveau architecture of the Riverside Museum, Glasgow Cathedral and Gallery of Modern Art. In the evenings, experience the city coming to life with lively entertainment and warm Scottish hospitality across the many revered independent and intimate venues.
The Isle of Arran
At only 20 miles long and 10 miles wide, The Isle of Arran is a microcosm of the Scottish mainland. Beyond picturesque shores and charming villages, Arran is an idyllic haven for a spectacularly-diverse array of 250 bird species. Beautiful Red Throated, Black Throated and Great Northern Divers frequent the coast and inland loughs, whilst thriving populations of raptors, buzzards, kestrels, and sparrow-hawks soar through the skies over the gentler moorlands. Situated just off Scotland's west coast, the island is easily reached by ferry and the perfect destination for those wishing to experience Scotland to the fullest with limited time.