11 Amazing Things To Do In Scotland for Solo Travellers

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Scotland is a well-visited country these days and for good reason – it is a beautiful country. Edinburgh is nicknamed ‘the Athens of the north’ due to its wonderful gothic revival and neo-classical architecture. The highlands to the north also offer glorious natural vistas, often used today as an epic backdrop in films and TV.

Beauty is only skin deep however and it is the Scottish people and their sense of hospitality that are the countries secret weapon. It is exactly this hospitality, which makes Scotland an ideal destination for solo travel.

Roll Over Glenfinnan Viaduct

Take the traditional West Coast Railways steam train, made famous by the Harry Potter films, up the west coast of Scotland to see the kind of scenery that makes the locals refer to this area with the phrase ‘west coast is the best coast’.

Climb Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh

The most incredible thing about Edinburgh, is that it has a mountainous park, right in the centre of it. Climbing to the top will take only an hour or so but you will feel like you have transported to the remotest corner of the Highlands, as the city becomes invisible from the centre of the park. (Photo credit Jim Barton and licensed for reuse)

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Old Pultney Whiskey Distillery

With hundreds of whiskey’s to choose from, you’ll be baffled as to which distillery to visit. I personally recommend Old Pultney, as I think it is the finest whiskey made in Scotland but there are plenty of alternatives you can choose from.

People Make Glasgow

Edinburgh might be prettier but Glasgow is the heart and soul of Scotland. The city slogan is ‘People Make Glasgow’ and they are right. If you want to experience the famous Glasgow ‘patter’ that made people like Billy Connolly, Kevin Bridges and Frankie Boyle, world renowned comedians, this is the place.

If you want to experience Scotland’s best music scene, head here.

Sail Through Corryvreckan whirlpool

This strange natural phenomenon is a wonder to behold. The way the sea floor has been formed in this area creates a bubbling whirlpool in open water. A little off the beaten track and not the most well known of sights, go here if you want bragging rights. Just don’t expect to get your head around why it happens.

Cycle round the Isle Of Cumbrae

Cumbrae is the most accessible island in Scotland. Just a couple of hours via train and ferry from Glasgow, it is a popular spot for cycling. Hire bikes and ride round the 10-mile island with few cars in the way to disturb you.

Drive, Cycle or Walk Glencoe Pass

The most beautiful part of Scotland. Photos don’t do it justice. If you don’t see this area, you’ll miss Scotland finest views. As whilst doing so, listening to some incredible Scottish music will enhance the experience.

See Palm Trees In Scotland at Inverewe Botanical Gardens

Did you know that palm trees grow in Scotland? The Gulf Stream brings warm water over from the Caribbean to this small area on the west coast of Scotland and has created gardens you wouldn’t expect to see. (Photo credit Alexandre Dulaunoy)

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Visit Oban

The seaside port of Oban might just be Scotland’s best looking town. As the mainland hub for many ferries to the west coast islands, you can use this place as a base to see a little more of Scotland islands.

Stroll Around Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Venture out from Edinburgh’s tourist jammed Old Town, if you want to see what the city is really like. Head down to the old market area of Stockbridge and shop in the charity stores and op-shops like a local. Then take a stroll up the waters of Leith to the picturesque Dean Village.

Drink Scottish IPAs In Glasgow

There’s more to Scotland than just whiskey. The country is going through a micro-brewing hay-day at the moment. Scotland is creating some amazing beers and head to bars like Clockwork or Glad Café in the Southside or to the area of Finnieston in the West.


P.S. – If you’re travelling to Scotland soon, consider booking for your flights and hotels thru the links in this article. Using the links doesn’t cost you any extra, and it helps keep the site free, fun, and community supported! If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at carlaabanes@justtravellingsolo.com.

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About the Author

Ian Paterson is a journalist, blogger and travel consultant from Resfeber Travel Blog. He was born in Glasgow, brought up in the highlands and has lived in Edinburgh. When he is not traveling or writing about travel, you’ll find him listening to music and writing about listening to music.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Indrani - 7 days ago Reply

Wow I would like to do all of these. Cycling around isle of Cumbrae seems so much fun.
Looks like a great place to connect with nature.

Arienne - 7 days ago Reply

Now I really want to get to Scotland! Thanks for this post. Great suggestions. And palm trees?? Who knew?!

Meagan - 7 days ago Reply

What a lovely mix of things to do! Personally, I think I’d be partial to something like hiking Arthur’s Seat – while I’m pretty sure Luke would do the hike just to get to the whiskey distillery or a pint of Guinness afterwards 😉 The photos are lovely and this is super informative, as Glasgow is one of the places we’re considering for our next jaunt. Saving!

Nicola - 7 days ago Reply

This is a good list! I love Edinburgh, you could spent a fortnight there and never need to leave, there is so much to explore. As a Scot who writes about Scotland you’ve included an excellent collection of things to see, and I agree about Oban, it’s a gorgeous town. Great read.

Shweta - 6 days ago Reply

Scotland is definitely on my travel list. I dont travel solo, but the good part is that your itinerary sounds great for couple / family travel as well. I definitely want to visit Oban, and climb Arthur’s seat. Great ideas!

Alli - 5 days ago Reply

Oh my – this list sounds amazing! I would love to do ALL of these, especially sail through the whirlpool. I am half Scottish and have yet to make it to Scotland! It’s calling my name though, and soon! 🙂

Megan Jerrard - 5 days ago Reply

I loved my time in Scotland! Though I didn’t know about Arthurs Seat while we were in Edinburgh. I do want to get back though so this would be a great thing to add to the itinerary. Totally agree that people make Glasgow – I have such fond memories of chatting with locals over a pint in the pub – everyone’s so friendly and ready to embrace visitors and welcome them! Definitely a great country to be as a solo traveler.

Francesca Murray - 5 days ago Reply

I didn’t know Scotland was considered the “Athens of the North.” I like how you used videos to illustrate some of the things to do. I’ve actually never seen Harry Potter (yesss I know lol) so it was fun to see. Great roundup, I feel like a true insider learning about the whirlpools! I’ll definitely check them out when I go

Paige - 5 days ago Reply

Oh my gosh, you’ve got me so excited for my upcoming trip to Scotland this summer! Even though I won’t be flying solo, I still want to do a lot of these amazing things! I definitely want to climb Arthur’s seat! that’s one I’ve never heard of! AND I’m definitely going over Glenfinnan Viaduct – anything Harry Potter, I’m there! Not to mention, you’re speaking my language with those IPAs!

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