Central Scotland & Tayside

Doune Castle

Central Scotland

Central Scotland encompasses the country’s central belt, sitting north of Edinburgh and Glasgow and including both Lowland and Highland areas. The geography of Central Scotland is a delightful mix of rolling hills, lush farmlands, and vast lochs. The Grampian Mountains to the north and the Southern Uplands to the south define the area and offer a variety of different terrains for all types of adventurers.

The landscape of central Scotland is nothing short of breathtaking. The Campsie Fells (north of Glasgow) and Ochil Hills (north of Stirling) offer a combination of rugged beauty and tranquilly, as does the River Forth, a major waterway that flows through the region and merges with the River Teith a few miles west of Stirling.

Central Scotland also boasts a multitude of cities, towns and villages, each with their own unique charm. Stirling, known as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’, is a city steeped in history, just like Falkirk, which is another must-visit thanks to the impressive Falkirk Wheel, the world’s only rotating boat lift that connects the Forth and Clyde Canals with the Union Canal.

Perth, once the capital of Scotland, is a great tourist destination as it features stunning architecture, a friendly community atmosphere, and the beautiful River Tay which separates the city from Scone Palace, the former crowning place of Scotland’s royalty.

Stirling Castle, a beautiful palace-fortress that rivals Edinburgh Castle, is an absolute must-see, just like the National Wallace Monument which commemorates the famed Scottish national hero, William Wallace.

For a unique experience, Helix Park and The Kelpies, the world’s largest equine sculptures, are just a stone’s throw away, while ancient sites like Dunblane Cathedral and Doune Castle (famous for appearing in TV shows such as ‘Outlander’) are a short drive away.

Stirling Castle


Tayside, a region in eastern Scotland, is a mesmerising combination of gorgeous scenery and rich history, yet it’s one of the least visited areas in the country. Tayside is strategically located between the Central Lowlands to the south and west, the Grampian Mountains to the north, and the North Sea to the east. Its location makes it easily accessible from major cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as Aberdeen and Perth, so it’s a great area to use as a base to explore Scotland.

Geographically, Tayside is a study in contrasts. The landscape varies between rugged mountains, the fertile plains of Strathmore (also known as ‘Scotland’s larder’), an exceptionally pretty coastline from Carnoustie to Montrose, and the 120-mile River Tay, Scotland’s longest river, which flows through the region.

This diverse geography provides a habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna and makes it a haven for nature enthusiasts, especially at places like Seaton Cliffs Nature Reserve which is well known for its spectacular red sandstone cliffs.

Tayside also hosts a variety of towns and villages. Dundee, the region’s largest city, is a cultural hub that has become synonymous with innovative design thanks to the V&A Dundee which is Scotland’s first design museum. The city is also home to the RRS Discovery, Captain Scott’s Antarctic Expedition Ship, and the McManus which is one of the finest museums in the country.

The picturesque villages of Blairgowrie and Kirriemuir, meanwhile, are renowned for their quaint charm and offer a slower pace of life, even though they’re close to major tourist attractions like Glamis Castle which is widely regarded as being one of Scotland’s most beautiful fortresses. Additionally, nature lovers can explore the Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve or hike into the depths of Cairngorms National Park, while golfers can test their skills at the world-renowned Carnoustie Golf Links.

River Tay


  • The Best Things to Do in Stirlingshire for Families

    The Best Things to Do in Stirlingshire for Families

    Located in the middle of Scotland, Stirlingshire provides a wide variety of fun things to do for the whole family. From the historic Stirling Castle to the peaceful Trossachs National Park, this amazing county has plenty to offer all ages. In this article, you’ll discover the best family-friendly activities in Stirlingshire, from visiting ancient castles…

    Read more…

  • The Birks of Aberfeldy Visitor Guide

    The Birks of Aberfeldy Visitor Guide

    The Birks of Aberfeldy offers a circular walk through mixed woodland on the outskirts of Aberfeldy in Perthshire. The scenic landscape inspired Scots poet Robert Burns to write one of his most famous works in 1787. Visitors to the Birks of Aberfeldy will find good facilities, including a large car park and partially-gravelled paths.

    Read more…

  • The Enchanted Forest Visitor Guide

    The Enchanted Forest Visitor Guide

    The Enchanted Forest is a spectacular outdoor event set in the beautiful Faskally Wood just north of Pitlochry. This popular nighttime show uses the dramatic background of the autumnal woods as the stage for incredible light and sound experience. Discover everything you need to know about the Enchanted Forest in this complete visitor guide.

    Read more…

  • The Falkirk Wheel Visitor Guide

    The Falkirk Wheel Visitor Guide

    The Falkirk Wheel is situated 23 miles from Edinburgh and Glasgow. As the world’s only rotating boat lift it has become a popular tourist attraction since opening in 2002. The wheel lifts boats 115 feet into the air between Scotland’s Forth & Clyde and Union canals and visitors can experience it in action on a…

    Read more…

  • The Hermitage Visitor Guide

    The Hermitage Visitor Guide

    The Hermitage near Dunkeld in Perthshire is a managed woodland inside Tay Forest Park that was designed as a leisure area for the 18th-century Dukes of Atholl. The forest is easily accessed from the A9 and it offers walks on gravel paths alongside the River Braan and through a woodland nature reserve to a waterfall.…

    Read more…

  • The Kelpies Visitor Guide

    The Kelpies Visitor Guide

    The Kelpies are two 30-metre steel sculptures of horse heads that stand in a custom-built extension of the Forth and Clyde canal near Falkirk. The sculptures are based on Clydesdale horses that were used extensively for heavy farming and industrial work in the 18th and 19th centuries, but they also represent water kelpies, which are…

    Read more…

  • The McManus Visitor Guide

    The McManus Visitor Guide

    The 1867-built McManus is Dundee’s main art gallery and museum. It is located close to City Square and takes visitors on a journey through 400 million years of history. The museum features exhibits and artefacts from the region surrounding Dundee as well as further afield in Scotland. Entry is free. Discover The McManus with this…

    Read more…

  • The National Wallace Monument Visitor Guide

    The National Wallace Monument Visitor Guide

    For over 150 years The National Wallace Monument has fascinated visitors with its exhibits that tell the story of Sir William Wallace. The monument is situated on a hill overlooking Stirling and stunning views of the surrounding countryside can be seen from the top-level viewing platform. Inside the monument are a series of rooms that…

    Read more…

  • V&A Dundee Visitor Guide

    V&A Dundee Visitor Guide

    The V&A Dundee is a design museum on the city’s waterfront that celebrates Scotland’s design heritage and promotes Scottish design talent. Entry to the permanent exhibitions is free but there are frequent temporary exhibitions that have a small charge. The attraction is situated next to the restored sailing ship Discovery. Discover the V&A Dundee design…

    Read more…

Search for Things to Do in Scotland

Looking for something specific? Try a search.

Find things to do in Scotland by clicking each region on this map.