Glasgow is Scotland's biggest city and major tourist destination, possessing some of Britain's finest architecture and hosting a variety of cultural events and attractions.
Glasgow has been described as the finest surviving example of a great Victorian city. Of particular interest is George Square - lined by several buildings constructed in the Italian Renaissance style. Few buildings pre-date 18th century. The most prominent of these are Glasgow Cathedral, and Provand's Lordship, which is the city's oldest house (c. 1471) and now a museum. The cathedral, situated on high ground to the east of the city and dating in parts from 12th century, is an outstanding example of Gothic architecture. The city has numerous parks and ornamental open spaces, including the Botanic Garden and zoological gardens. Glasgow grew around a church built in the 6th century by St Kentigern, who converted Scots to Christianity. The commercial growth of the community dates from the union of Scotland and England in 1707 and the opening up of trade in the 18th century when Glasgow became a major port and shipbuilder.
Dominated by the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, this picturesque city offers shopping on Princes Street, the grandeur of the Royal Mile, St. Giles Cathedral and historic Palace of Holyrood House, where Queen Mary lived and many Scottish kings were wed. Or venture across the moors to marvel at the scenic Highlands.
Inverness is an excellent tourism destination. With its suspension bridges across the River Ness and old stone buildings, it is a pretty place well-known for its floral displays. Walk along the river banks and to the Ness Islands for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the shops. Cross the river on little bridges and visit Bught Park. The Floral Hall has a sub-tropical horticultural extravaganza with a small waterfall, fish and all sorts of plants and trees. Walk up the river in the other direction and see Ben Wyvis on the skyline. Inverness has an excellent museum and art gallery. Local history talks take place here. Eden Court Theater, situated near the cathedral, has events listings and incorporates part of the old Bishop's Palace and is said to be haunted by the 'Green Lady' ghost of a wife of one of the bishops who hanged herself there. Also check out art.tm which is an art gallery and studio. The Spectrum Centre has a cafe and is the meeting place for local clubs and education classes. Look out for Scottish Showtime music and dance performances during the summer.
Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye in northwestern Scotland, the largest of the Inner Hebrides, separated from the mainland by a narrow channel. The capital of the island is Portree. A popular tourist resort, Skye is also home to the Dunvegan Castle, which was erected during the 9th century. Dunvegan Castle is said to be the oldest inhabited castle in Northern Scotland, having been occupied by the Chiefs of MacLeod continuously, for over seven centuries and still today remaining the Ancestral home of the present chief, John MacLeod of MacLeod, the 29th of the line, and his family. Breathtaking in every respect, the Castle should not be missed. Maybe while at the Castle you’ll learn the secret of the precious Fairy Flag.
Craignure (Isle of Mull)
The third-largest island in the Hebrides, Mull is rich in legend and folklore, a land of ghosts, monsters, and wee folk. The island is wild and mountainous, characterized by sea lochs and sandy bars. Mull was known to the classical Greeks, and its prehistoric past is recalled in forts, duns, and stone circles. Bring a raincoat: Mull is known as one of the wettest islands in the Hebrides. Mull has varied scenery with many waterfalls. Its highest peak is Ben More, at 3,169 ft., but it also has many flat areas. Mull is also a jumping-off point to visit Iona and Staffa. Guarding the bay is Duart Castle. In the bay lies the Florencia, a Spanish galleon laden with treasure. Many attempts have been made to find it and bring it up, but so far all have failed. To the southeast, near Salen, are 14th-century ruins of Aros Castle, once a stronghold of the MacDonalds, lords of the Isles. On the far south coast at Lochbuie, Moy Castle has a water-filled dungeon. Enjoy a dram from the Tobermory Malt Whisky Distillery, in Tobermory.
Thurso is mainland Scotland's most northerly town, and home to the country's most northerly railway station. Located on the north coast of Caithness, its seaward views are dominated by the distant cliffs of Dunnet Head to the north east, and those of the island of Hoy to the north. In more recent times the arrival of the Kylesku Bridge and many stretches of road wide enough to boast white lines down the middle have made the far north west much more accessible. But recent developments have done nothing to diminish the utterly superb scenery the area has to offer; and there remain some stretches of single track road to add interest to the trip. Also of interest, the sometimes turbulent seas of the Pentland Firth have led to Thurso becoming an unlikely center for surfing.