The Regions of Scotland

Scotland is a country rich in culture, history, wildlife, and landscapes. From the Scottish Borders in the south to the Highlands in the far north, this is a land that’s begging to be explored.

Visitors have a huge range of attractions to choose from when they’re touring Scotland, whether they’re looking for serene lochs or dramatic mountain ridges, so it makes sense to do a little research before leaving home.

This page will help you, with a collection of categories that will take you to comprehensive visitor guides about the top tourist attractions in all the regions of Scotland.

Click each region in the map below, or keep scrolling to see each region in greater detail.

Interactive map ↓

The Regions of Scotland 1

The Regions of Scotland

Regions of Scotland Map

You can also search for tourist attractions with an interactive map of Scotland

The Scottish Borders

The Regions of Scotland 4

The Scottish Borders is a region that’s best known for its beautiful abbeys, tranquil forests, and gorgeous coastline. It can be reached within an hour from Edinburgh so it’s ideal for visitors that want to escape the city to enjoy the world-class 7Stanes mountain biking trails or walk along rolling hills on the John Muir Way.

Recommended attractions: Glentress Forest, Melrose Abbey, Cove Bay

Recommended reading


Central Scotland, Tayside, & Fife

Central Tayside Fife

The regions of Central Scotland, Tayside, and Fife are absolutely chock-a-block full of beautiful landscapes. From the pretty coastal villages of the East Neuk of Fife to the serene waters of Loch Leven Nature Reserve, visitors have endless choice when it comes to finding things to do.

Recommended attractions: Tentsmuir Nature Reserve, Culross Village, Schiehallion Mountain.

Recommended reading


Dumfries & Galloway

Dumfries Galloway

Dumfries & Galloway is a very popular tourist destination, partly because of its undulating coastline and partly because of its vast stretches of unspoilt forest. The region plays hosts to a number of festivals each year including the superb Big Burns Supper, and it’s one of Scotland’s top destinations for nature lovers thanks to the stunning Solway Firth.

Recommended attractions: Gretna Green Blacksmith’s Shop, The Solway Firth, Caerlaverock Castle.

Recommended reading


Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Edinburgh needs no introduction. As Scotland’s capital city it’s home to many of the county’s top tourist attractions, including Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, not to mention beautiful green spaces like Holyrood Park and stunning viewpoints such as Calton Hill.

Recommended attractions: Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Holyrood Park.

Recommended reading


Glasgow

Glasgow

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and is home to a dizzying number of tourist attractions – most of which are completely free. The GOMA will keep art fans entertained for hours while children will be fascinated by the activities in the Glasgow Science Centre. There’s also the Riverside Museum and the Tall Ship, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, and The People’s Palace, to name just a few.

Recommended attractions: The Riverside Museum, Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Science Centre.

Recommended reading


Grampian

Grampian

Grampian is a diverse region that includes the city of Aberdeen, part of the Cairngorm National Park, and the superb coastline between Fraserburgh and Nairn. As well as being an outdoor-lover’s paradise it is highly-rated by whisky enthusiasts thanks to the Speyside area which is one of Scotland’s biggest producers of single malt.

Recommended attractions: Braemar Village, Dunnottar Castle, Elgin Cathedral.

Recommended reading


The Highlands

Highlands

The Highlands is one of the largest areas of Scotland, yet it’s also the least inhabited. Visitors to the Scottish Highlands can lose themselves in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, where dramatic mountain ranges and vast glassy lochs are waiting to be discovered around every corner.

Recommended attractions: Bealach na Ba, Loch Morar, Glen Etive.

Recommended reading


The Lothians

The Lothians

The Lothian region is perhaps best known as the home of Edinburgh, but that shouldn’t stop tourists from exploring beyond the city as there are a multitude of attractions waiting to be discovered. Whether it’s water sports on the Firth of Forth or castle tours in East Lothian, this is one area of Scotland that’s an absolute must-visit.

Recommended attractions: Linlithgow Palace, Blackness Castle, Tantallon Castle.


Strathclyde

Strathclyde

Strathclyde has a lot going for it. In addition to its amazing castles, coastline, forests, mountains, and lochs, this region is the best place in Scotland to use as a base for sightseeing tours. The gorgeous Loch Lomond and Trossachs lie to the south, Glasgow sits near its centre, and the northern section extends deep into the Scottish Highlands.

Recommended attractions: Ben Cruachan, Inveraray Castle, New Lanark World Heritage Centre.

Recommended reading


Western Isles

Western Isles

Scotland’s Western Isles offer visitors some of the best experiences in the United Kingdom. The stunning scenery of the Isle of Skye is perhaps the highlight, but there’s also the golden beaches of Tiree, the whisky of Islay, the coastline and mountains of Mull, and the jaw-dropping vistas of Lewis and Harris to enjoy, to name just a few.

Recommended attractions: The Isle of Skye, The Isle of Rum, The Isle of Arran.

Recommended reading


landscape

Things to see when visiting Scotland

Click the links in each region to open visitor guides about each attraction.

Central Scotland

Dumfries & Galloway

Edinburgh

Glasgow

Grampian

Orkney & Shetland

Strathclyde

The Highlands

The Lothians

Scottish Borders

Western Isles


Scottish attraction categories

Click the links in the table below to see archives of Scotland’s best tourist attractions.

Amusement ParksAnimalsAquariums
BeachesCastlesForests
Art GalleriesHistoric BuildingsHistoric Sites
IslandsKirks (Churches)Landmarks
LandscapesLochsMilitary Sites
MonumentsMountainsMuseums
Nature SitesParks & GardensRivers
Science & Industry SitesSports SitesThe Arts
Family AttractionsTowns & VillagesWhisky & Distilleries
Woodlands

Even more things to do! Find the best attractions in and around Scotland’s cities with Google Maps of Scotland.

FAQs about the regions of Scotland

How many counties are there in Scotland?

There are 32 counties in Scotland. These are:
Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland Isles, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirlingshire, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian, Western Isles.

What are Scotland’s regions?

The regions of Scotland are:
Strathclyde (including Glasgow), Dumfries & Galloway, Scottish Borders, Lothian (including Edinburgh), Central Scotland, Fife, Tayside, Grampian, Highland, Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney.

What is the smallest county in Scotland?

Clackmannanshire is the smallest county in Scotland. It is also the smallest county in Britain. Clackmannanshire (often abbreviated to Clacks) has a total size of 61.4 square miles, or 159 square km. The population is around 51,000.

How many cities are there in Scotland?

There are 7 cities in Scotland. These are:
Inverness: Location – Highland. Size – 26.6 sq km. Population – 47,000.
Aberdeen: Location – North-east. Size (including council area) – 185.7 sq km. Population – 198,000.
Dundee: Location – South-east. Size – 51.8 sq km. Population – 150,000.
Stirling: Location – Central. Size – 16.7 sq km. Population – 38,000.
Glasgow: Location – South-west. Size (including council area) – 175 sq km. Population – 632,000.
Edinburgh: Location – South-east. Size – 119 sq km. Population – 507,000.
Perth: Location – Central. Size – 17.5 sq km. Population – 47,000.