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people at the top of Arthur's seat pointing at all the things they can see in Scotland

Top 10 Things to See in Scotland on a Small Group Tour

Posted on 21 Mar 2023

There are so many amazing things to see in Scotland. From remarkable feats of human construction to spellbinding natural wonders, visitors are spoilt for choice. The country is also home to fascinating historical sites, and scenic views are never in short supply. With so many amazing things to see in Scotland, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where the expertise of Rabbie’s can help. We combine local knowledge with real experience to show you the very best of Scotland. Read on to discover ten of the best things to see in Scotland and be inspired to visit them for yourself on a Rabbie’s small-group tour.

Table of Contents:

10 Best Things to See in Scotland

With so many wonderful things to see in Scotland, it was hard to come up with a list of our top ten. Whether you are a local looking for a new adventure or coming in for a short visit, here are some top must-see sites:

1. Scottish Castles

There are hundreds of impressive castles in Scotland making it impossible to choose a favourite. One thing’s for certain though, and that’s that Scotland’s castles are a must see. Whether you want to uncover the history, live out your fantasy drama dreams, or admire the building work, castles are one of the best things to see in Scotland. Here are some of the greats:

  • Doune Castle - One of the most filmed castles in Scotland, you may recognise Doune Castle from Outlander, Monty Python’s Holy Grail, or from the pilot of Game of Thrones.
  • Stirling Castle - Known as the “Key to Scotland”, Stirling Castle now offers gorgeous views from its impregnable walls. But in the past, this fortress would have been in the midst of many gory battles.
  • Culzean Castle - Join our Culzean Castle tour and witness the beauty of this magnificent castle and its splendid grounds. There are so many reasons to love Culzean Castle which make it one of the top things to see in Scotland.
  • Eilean Donan Castle - Perhaps one of the most iconic castles in Scotland, this gorgeous 13th-century castle once warded off Viking invasions. Eilean Donan sits on its own little island where three lochs meet and you may recognise it from the popular 80s film Highlander.
a view of Eilean Donan Castle, one of the best things to see in Scotland

2. The Old Man of Storr

The Old Man of Storr is a tall and steep rocky hill that rises dramatically from the surrounding area. Found on the Trotternish Peninsula on the Isle of Skye, this landmark is one of the most photographed places on this Scottish island. The Old Man of Storr is one of the best things to see in Scotland not just because it’s a striking natural formation but also because of all of the myths and stories that surround how it came to exist. See the Old Man of Storr and learn all about it from our friendly driver guides on our Isle of Skye tour from Edinburgh.

the rugged hillside with the Old Man Of Storr jutting steeply up under a blue sky

3. Loch Ness

Loch Ness is possibly one of the most famous things to see in Scotland. Known all over the globe as the home of the mysterious Loch Ness Monster, this huge loch contains more water than all the lakes in England. Even if you don’t spot Nessie herself, visiting the outstanding Loch Ness is well worthwhile. The views across the water and the surrounding valley are breathtaking. Not to mention the picturesque neighbouring villages, ruins of Urquhart Castle, and many Insta opportunities. You can visit Loch Ness on many of our tours ranging from a short but sweet Loch Ness and the Highlands day tour to a longer 5 Day Highland Explorer adventure.

a woman admiring Loch Ness at dusk from aboard a ferry

4. Whisky Distilleries

Scotland is famous for its whisky and a list of the top things to see in Scotland would feel incomplete without mentioning a whisky distillery. Learn about the history of Scotch whisky from our expert guides before seeing the workings of how it’s made in an authentic distillery. From whisky connoisseurs to complete newbies, exploring Scotland’s distilleries can be enthralling for anyone. Join us on our Speyside Whisky Trail or our Malt Whisky tour to learn more about this key part of Scottish culture. And best of all, you don’t have to worry about who is going to drive!

the white building of a Scottish whisky distillery

5. Glenfinnan Viaduct

Another of the top things to see in Scotland is the Glenfinnan Viaduct. This bridge is an impressive example of Victorian engineering and runs 100 ft above the ground. Harry Potter fans will recognise this railway bridge from the second and third movies in which the Hogwarts Express journeys through Glenfinnan. Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan you can still be impressed by the structure’s iconic arches and the stunning surrounding scenery. You can see the Glenfinnan Viaduct on our Isle of Skye and West Highlands tour.

The picturesque Glenfinnan Viaduct is one of the best things to see in Scotland

6. The Fairy Pools

One of the most unforgettable things to see in Scotland, the Fairy Pools are as magical as their name suggests. These crystal-clear rock pools on the Isle of Skye are fed by spring water from the Cuillin Mountains. With the backdrop of the amazing mountains and the serenity of the water, it isn’t hard to imagine fairies making this their home. We certainly wish we could. Although we can’t guarantee it because sometimes the pools are flooded, there’s a chance you can see the Fairy Pools on a few of our tours such as the 3 day Isle of Skye tour from Glasgow.

the mesmerisingly beautiful azure blue water of the fairy pools in Skye is one of the best things to see in Scotland

7. The Kelpies

Made from 300 tonnes of steel, The Kelpies are a pair of giant horse head sculptures. Although they may not be one of the first things that come to mind when you think of the Scots, the Kelpies are still one of the top things to see in Scotland. In Scottish lore, Kelpies are fearsome water beasts that take on horse form to lure their prey to a watery death. Standing at a staggering 30 metres tall, these sculptures do well to convey some of the power of the mythical beast. Learn more about Scottish water monsters from our driver guides and marvel at the Kelpies on our Loch Lomond and Kelpies day tour from Edinburgh.

the large silver metal sculptures of the kelpies under a blue sky with fluffy white clouds

8. The Wallace Monument

The Wallace Monument near Stirling is another of the top things to see in Scotland on a small group tour. This tower honours the Scottish hero William Wallace, who played a key role in Scotland's fight for independence in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Built between 1861 and 1869, the Wallace Monument is made from sandstone and stands 220 ft high. You can climb to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding area that will blow you away. Speak to us about organising a private group tour to visit the Wallace Monument and any other sites of your choosing.

the sandpaper tower of the Wallace Monument breaks through from behind the trees

9. The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms is the largest national park in the UK and is a treat for any age to explore. Located between Pitlochry and Inverness, the park stretches over 1,748 square miles. The area boasts dramatic mountain scenery, luscious forestry and mesmerising rivers. One of the most wonderful natural things to see in Scotland, you won’t regret getting lost in the beauty of the Cairngorms. Discover the landscape with us on our Cairngorms National Park tour.

a group of people sitting at a bench in the Cairngorms national park with a loch and hills behind them

10. Scottish Wildlife

Scotland is home to some amazing creatures and if you are lucky, seeing these animals can be a highlight of your tour of Scotland. From adorable puffins to seal pups and Highland cows, there are so many animals to spot. Whilst there’s a chance of seeing some of these beautiful Scottish animals on our tours, we don’t ever promise it. There’s an unwritten rule that if a traveller on the tour asks to see a Highland coo, they never do. But if nobody asks, then they’re often out. The good thing is that because our mini-coaches are smaller than conventional buses, we can get off the beaten track as well as be far less intrusive to the animals. Causing minimal disturbances to the wildlife is a key part of our responsible travel ethos.

puffins are just some of the Scottish wildlife you can see on a small group tour

Benefits of Seeing Scotland on A Small Group Tour

There are so many amazing things to see in Scotland and what better way to visit them than aboard a small group tour? Ok, we may be slightly biased, but we do truly think a small group tour is one of the best ways to experience the country. Here are our reasons:

  • Our friendly and helpful guides - Our driver-guides have insider knowledge of the best spots. They can share fascinating stories and tall tales of all the places you’ll see. Plus they’re armed with top tips to make sure you get the best out of your trip.
  • Our well-designed buses - We drive mini-coaches that are perfect for adventures. They’re small and fit only 16 passengers, so they can go off the beaten track and reach hidden gems. They have comfortable seats with air conditioning and heating, so you can easily relax onboard after exploring the outdoors. And their large windows help you make the most of the views as we drive along. We simply love our mini-coaches and think they play an essential role in delivering the best tour experience possible.
  • We take care of the planning - Don’t stress about planning routes, avoiding tolls, and driving on unfamiliar roads. Our team will handle all of that. All you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
  • Meet other travellers - Whether you are solo travelling or on a romantic getaway, our tours are the perfect opportunity to meet other like-minded travellers. Sharing stories and experiences is what travelling is all about at the end of the day.

Hop aboard a small group tour from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, or Aberdeen and make memories to last a lifetime.

Explore Scotland and Beyond with Rabbie’s

Exploring sites from the list of the best things to see in Scotland could be just the beginning of your adventure. The United Kingdom is a treasure trove of sites and Rabbie’s are making it easier than ever to explore them all. We offer small group tours around England, Ireland, Wales, and beyond to Europe. Have an amazing holiday as you see all the best sights from the comfort of our mini-coaches. Book a tour now or sign up to our newsletter to hear the latest updates about new tours and departure points.

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