Sightseeing IdeasScotland Tourist Information

The Most Romantic Places to Visit in Scotland

Scotland is one of the world’s top destinations for couples thanks to easily reachable outdoor attractions like the Nevis and Cairngorm mountain ranges in the Highlands and the equally stunning Trotternish range on the Isle of Skye.

It’s also easy to enjoy romantic city breaks, with Edinburgh and Glasgow just an hour’s drive from each other. Discover the best romantic getaways in Scotland with this guide, which covers the top places to propose, honeymoon, and visit on a weekend break.

The Most Romantic Places in Scotland to Propose

Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris

Out About Scotland visitor guide: Luskentyre Beach

Luskentyre beach

The Isle of Harris sits firmly in my top three favourite Scottish islands, mainly because it’s so drop-dead gorgeous.

As one half of Harris and Lewis (the largest island in the Outer Hebrides), Harris is known for being the more mountainous part of the island and arguably its most scenic. Although Harris is quite a bit smaller than Lewis, I feel it has a bit more charm about it, perhaps because it has some of the most spectacular beaches in Britain

Much of the east coast of Harris has been carved into a series of wide, sweeping bays by ice-age glaciers, and some of the cliffs have been dated to be over 3,000 million years old, making them some of the oldest rock formations on the planet.

But it’s not the geology that attracts lovers from all over the world (unless they’re both geologists, perhaps?). It’s the stunning golden-sand beaches that seemingly stretch for mile after mile in front of vast plains of machair (a type of grassland) and the peaceful bays that offer quiet seclusion.

The machair, in particular, is glorious in summer when it blooms in a riot of colour with a sea of tiny flowers, all backed by the sublime sight of the expanse of Luskentyre beach sweeping away into the distance with the most striking azure-blue sea you’ll find anywhere in Britain.

It’s a magical place – quiet, ethereal, and colourful in ways that are hard to describe – and it’s probably the most romantic getaway in the entire UK, let alone Scotland. Seriously, if you’re going to ask your partner to spend the rest of their lives with you, you might as well ask the question somewhere they’ll never forget.


Out About Scotland visitor guide: Glenfinnan Monument


The wild landscape of Glenfinnan will be immediately familiar to fans of Harry Potter, as this is the location where the famous Hogwarts Express made its magical journey across a viaduct. While you won’t see any boy wizards at Glenfinnan, tourists frequently see The Jacobite steam train thundering through it on its journey north to Mallaig.

While most people go to see the viaduct, many more go to visit the Glenfinnan Monument that sits on the shores of Loch Shiel. The monument was built to commemorate the start of the Jacobite uprising of 1745, when Prince Charles Edward Stuart raised his father’s standard at Glenfinnan in front of an army of Highland warriors.

The uprising came to an abrupt end when the Jacobites were massacred by English Redcoats at the Battle of Culloden just one year later.

The 18-metre-tall monument was built in 1815 as a reminder of the Highlander losses on that day, and the lone kilted Highlander at the top of the column stands as a poignant reminder of the failed rebellion. Loch Shiel is the perfect background to the monument, with a setting that has to be one of the prettiest in Scotland.

Wooded hillsides rise up on either side of the loch, with white summits glistening in winter, while in summer the surrounding Highland peaks are ablaze with flowers.

An abundance of bird species can be seen throughout the year, including white-tailed sea eagles (Britain’s largest bird) and sparrowhawks, kestrels, and ospreys, all on the hunt for the small birds and fish that live in the loch. This place really is a nature lover’s paradise, and thankfully, it has been designated as a National Scenic Area to protect and preserve it for future generations.

The view of Loch Shiel with the nearby monument and ‘Harry Potter’ viaduct makes it a perfect setting for getting down on one knee, and it’s easily one of the most unique romantic getaways in Scotland for anyone looking to book an overnight stay afterwards to celebrate.

Holyrood Park – Edinburgh

Out About Scotland visitor guide: Holyrood Park

Holyrood Park

If you’re looking for romantic getaways in Edinburgh, then the city’s famous park has to be included in your sightseeing itinerary. Situated about a mile to the east of Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty that offers tourists and locals alike a haven of tranquility in the hubbub of Scotland’s capital city.

If you walk through Holyrood Park, you’ll discover that it’s just like a miniature version of the Scottish Highlands, but although it’s much smaller, it still offers lots of walking trails across its 650 acres.

Wild and open meadows, peaceful lochs, mountain-like ridges, and swathes of gorse take visitors on a cross-country journey all within a few minute’s walk of the historic Royal Mile. In fact, on a quiet day when there are few tourists around, it’s easy to completely forget you’re in the middle of Edinburgh, and you can almost imagine you’re far away in the Highlands.

The park is open every day, although it’s not always possible to drive into it, so your best bet is to walk in the direction of Holyrood Palace. In summer, you’ll find a lot of people having picnics and going for strolls, but in February, it’s much quieter, so you’ll be able to get a bit more peace, especially if you go mid-week.

The park is lovely in all directions, but a tourist-favourite hotspot is Arthur’s Seat. Starting as an extinct volcano that erupted 340 million years ago, it was formed by the effects of weather erosion and glacier movements, which left behind a lone outcrop.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can climb up the 800-foot incline to the summit, which is the highest point in the city, to take in breath-taking views in a full 360-degree panorama. The backdrop of the setting sun against the flickering lights of Edinburgh provides an amazing view that, in my opinion, is almost unrivalled in Scotland.

The Best Places for a Honeymoon in Scotland


Out About Scotland visitor guide: Things to Do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to romantic getaways in Edinburgh, as the city is regularly voted the number one destination for art galleries, museums, and festivals.

As well as hosting 12 major cultural events each year (including The Fringe, the world’s biggest arts festival), Edinburgh was the first-ever city to be granted the title of UNESCO City of Literature, and it’s one of the few cities on the planet to have its centre elevated to UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Have you ever wanted to spend a morning roaming around buildings that are hundreds of years old, then explore one of the biggest castles in Europe before finishing off the day with a walk around an extinct volcano? In most cities, any one of these activities would be worth the cost of visiting, but Edinburgh is home to all these attractions and more in a compact area.

In the city centre, you’ll find award-winning restaurants nestled between some of the friendliest pubs and bars you’ll ever come across, along with live music that can be enjoyed with a dram of spectacularly good whisky.

There are romantic walks for couples to enjoy, both through the winding streets and the numerous beautiful parks, as well as museums, art galleries, and a world-leading zoo.

The Isle of Skye

The Quiraing

This wild and enigmatic island is the setting for some of Scotland’s most beautiful locations, with mountains, lochs, and rugged coastlines all beckoning romantic couples from across the globe. There are a huge number of attractions to visit on the island that will easily entertain you for a week or more, making the Isle of Skye a great place to visit on a honeymoon. One of the best attractions is an area known as Trotternish, home of The Quiraing.

The Quiraing is a stunning area that emerged from a series of enormous landslips thousands of years ago in the northeastern corner of the island. As the mass of rocks broke away from the Meall na Suiramach mountain, they left behind a series of peaks, rocky outcrops, and hidden plateaus that now form one of the most picturesque wilderness areas in Scotland.

Another natural wonder is the Fairy Pools, and if you go to the Isle of Skye, you must visit the beautifully crystal-clear pools of water that lie at the foot of the Black Cuillin mountains. These pools have become a major draw in recent years, and tourists from all over the world go there to walk along the path that follows the River Brittle as it runs off from the hills surrounding it.

Each pool has a waterfall, and because the water is so clear, the surrounding rocks shine with the deepest blue/green colour you’ve ever seen (at least when the sun shines), and it really does look magical. You might even be tempted to jump into the pools for a swim, although you’ll have to be brave as the temperature is very cold unless it’s a particularly warm day.

Another recommended attraction on Skye is The Old Man of Storr, an iconic landmark high up on a hill that has one of the best viewpoints on the island. Located in Trotternish, around 6 miles north of the main town of Portree, The Storr is another remnant of an ancient landslide that resulted in a dramatic cliff face, with the ‘Old Man’ sitting in a prominent position looking out across the landscape of Loch Leathan and the Isle of Raasay.

The Isle of Harris and Lewis

Hushinish Harris

The West Coast Islands are a great place to begin an adventure together if you’re the type of couple that loves the great outdoors and historic attractions. This island is full of beautiful stretches of peaceful meadows, moon-like plateaus, and rugged coastlines, yet it’s also blissfully quiet and relatively tourist-free when in the off-season.

Lewis is the largest island of the Outer Hebrides, and it offers the perfect opportunity to experience life on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, with a rich cultural history and enough natural wonders that it’s easy to fill a honeymoon with unforgettable memories.

Take the Callanish Stones. This ring of monoliths is one of the most complete stone circles in Europe and it has to be one of the most atmospheric places in Scotland, especially if you visit the site in winter to watch the rising sun break over the windswept landscape at dawn. Amazingly, these stones have stood at Callanish for over 5,000 years and are made of some of the oldest rocks in Britain that were formed during the earliest days when the planet was formed.

Although the Outer Hebrides are famed for their history, there are plenty of modern features across the island, most notably in the town of Stornoway on the east coast of Lewis. At the pretty harbour, you’ll find coffee shops and cafés, as well as shops selling one of the island’s most famous products, Harris Tweed.

This strong and versatile material has been made the same traditional way for centuries and is now used in clothes the world over, so if you’re looking for a memento of your honeymoon that’ll last for years, a souvenir of Harris Tweed could be just the thing.

The Top Places in Scotland for a Romantic Weekend


Out About Scotland visitor guide: Things to Do in Glasgow

Attractions in Glasgow for couples

Aside from Edinburgh, Glasgow frequently features as one of the top destinations for couples taking a short break. It’s the largest city in Scotland, both in size and population, with around 600,000 people living in this cosmopolitan urban sprawl on the banks of the River Clyde.

Once famous for its shipbuilding industry, the city is now more famous for its bustling shopping malls and world-class theatres, museums, and galleries.

Second only to Edinburgh for the amount of green space per acre, Glasgow also boasts some of the finest parks of any British city, and a wide range of traditional and modern music events can usually be found playing somewhere in this busy metropolis.

Glasgow is a truly historic place, and mediaeval buildings and architecture can be seen in many districts like the Trongate and Saltmarket, while some of the city’s best Gothic architecture and sculptures can be seen at the 37-acre Victorian Necropolis. Nearby, you’ll find the 18th-century Merchant City, which was once an important trading place for the shipping of goods to the Americas and the Caribbean.

In addition, the River Clyde plays host to several museums celebrating Glasgow’s rich cultural heritage, including the Riverside Museum and the sailing ship Glenlee.

You’ll find some of the finest museums in Scotland in the city centre, including Kelvingrove Museum which is often regarded as one of the best in the country, and Glasgow’s proud heritage is celebrated in the wonderful People’s Palace. The Gallery of Modern Art is the main gallery of contemporary art and is one of the most-visited attractions in the city, while the peaceful oasis of plant life in the Botanic Gardens is the perfect antidote to the hectic buzz of the city centre.

If you’re the type of couple that enjoys the arts, then make sure you visit the House for an Art Lover which is based on a 1901 design by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Situated on land in Bellahouston Park in central Glasgow, this building has become a focal point for displaying art exhibitions by some of Scotland’s leading artistic talent.

The Isle of Arran

Out About Scotland visitor guide: The Isle of Arran

Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran lies to the west of Glasgow in the Firth of Clyde, which makes it one of the easiest west coast islands to get to, and it’s large enough that you can travel to its extremities and feel like you’re completely isolated from the rest of civilization.

Arran is one of the larger Scottish islands at 167 square miles and is often referred to as ‘Scotland in miniature’, thanks to its mountains, lochs, forests, and beaches, and there’s even a Buddhist retreat tucked away on a secluded island to the east.

Getting to Arran is easy thanks to the ferries operated by CalMac that sail out of Tarbert, Claonaig, Ardrossan, and Campbeltown, with the Claonaig ferry crossing taking a mere 30 minutes to sail to Lochranza. However, most visitors coming in from the Scottish mainland will most likely choose to make the crossing from Ardrossan, which sails into Arran’s main village of Brodick in around an hour.

While Brodick is a nice enough coastal village with plenty of bars, restaurants, shops, and beaches, your best bet for really experiencing the island is to get your hiking boots on and head out onto one of the many trails that crisscross the landscape.

A personal favourite walking trail is the ever-popular Goatfell mountain range, which offers (in my opinion) one of the nicest walks in Scotland. Meanwhile, if you’re a couple that enjoys mountain biking, or golf, then you’re in for a treat thanks to the golf courses and numerous cycling trails that the island has become famous for.

Adventure sports enthusiasts are well catered for with outdoor activities including gorge walking, rock climbing, sea kayaking, and canyoneering, while photographers can get their shutter fingers going crazy with the ever-changing coastlines, awe-inspiring mountain ranges, and the stunning Brodick Castle.

Inveraray, Loch Fyne

loch fyne

Loch Fyne is situated on the Cowal Peninsula on Scotland’s southwest coast, where it has earned a reputation for being a bit of a hidden gem. The loch is renowned for its hand-caught oysters, and it offers picturesque views from many of the restaurants that border it.

The shores of the longest sea loch in Scotland have served as the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell, since the 18th century. It’s there that Inveraray Castle, possibly the prettiest castle in Scotland, has been a focal point of the area since the very first foundation stone was laid in 1746. The castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Argyll, and visitors flock to see its famous conical roofs and beautifully manicured 16-acre gardens.

Highlights include the Armoury Hall, which has the highest ceiling of any building in Scotland at an incredible 21 metres, and the State Dining Room with its collection of elaborate paintings.

A short distance away from the castle are conifer woodlands, which offer very peaceful walks where you’ll also find the remains of limestone kilns that were last used over a hundred years ago. The tracks leading out from there go all the way up to the 248-metre summit of Dun na Cuaiche, a hill that can be seen for miles around. The views from the top are stunning, and with the castle visible below and the town of Inveraray and Loch Fyne just behind it, you’ll have a photo opportunity you won’t soon forget.

Heading back down to the shoreline of Loch Fyne will place you at the edge of Inveraray, which is a great place to use as a base to explore the area, and there are enough restaurants and bars along the small harbour that it’s always easy to find a good place to eat.

Speaking of which, while you’re in this part of Argyll, make sure you order a plate of Loch Fyne oysters, which are a local delicacy. The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and Deli at Clachan offers some of the best seafood in Scotland and also sells salmon and oysters to take back home with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the most romantic places in Scotland?

Scarista Beach, Isle of Harris, Glenfinnan, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, Gretna Green Blacksmiths Shop, Lochranza, Isle of Arran, the Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye, The Queens View, Perthshire, and Loch Achtriochtan, Glencoe.

At what age can you get married in Scotland?

You can get married at age 16 in Scotland if you’re in an opposite or same-sex partnership, are not already married or in a civil partnership, are not closely related, give consent to the marriage, and understand what marriage means.

Where are the best places for a weekend break in Scotland?

Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Isle of Mull, Isle of Arran, Isle of Skye, Braemar-CCairngorms, Balloch-LLoch Lomond, Ullapool-NNorth Highlands.

What are the most romantic hotels in Scotland?

Edinburgh: The Witchery, The Balmoral, and The Scotsman.
Glasgow: Blythswood Square, Crossbasket Castle, and Sherbrooke Castle.
Highlands: Fife Arms, Braemar, Rocpool Reserve, Inverness, Arisaig House.

Related Posts

Craig Neil

Craig Neil is the author, photographer, admin, and pretty much everything else behind Out About Scotland. He lives near Edinburgh and spends his free time exploring Scotland and writing about his experiences. Follow him on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.