Historic Sites in Scotland

If you’re looking to explore Historic Sites in Scotland and the surrounding area then you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

There’s a fantastic selection of  Historic Sites in Scotland and you can plan some great things to see on your trips by browsing our selection. Once you’ve explored the  Historic Sites in Scotland you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan out your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook.

Our database of historic sites is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other  Historic Sites in Scotland, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our Explore page.
 

Historical sites in Scotland: Regional Index

Scotland: Site Index

Ardoch Roman Fort

Braco Fort - A Roman Fort - fantastic 6 foot high ditches can still be seen although there is now no remaining wooden or stone at all. But this is one of my favourite Roman sites in Scotland

Ardoch Roman Fort, also known as the Braco Fort or Alavna Veniconvm is a well preserved - many say exceptionally preserved - fort in Scotland. The earthworks include six foot high ditches although there are now no remaining wooden or stone structures at the site. ... Read More

Photo by Bert Kaufmann (cc)

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle has been the official Highlands home of the British royal family since the reign of Queen Victoria.

Balmoral Castle has been the official Highlands home of the British royal family since the reign of Queen Victoria. Having fallen in love with the Highlands after their first visit in 1842, it was in fact Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who built Balmoral Castle between 1853 and 1856. Today, parts... Read More

Photo by Shadowgate (cc)

Bannockburn Battlefield

Bannockburn Battlefield was the site where Scottish leader Robert the Bruce defeated the English, repelling their attempts to control Scotland and once again affirming its sovereignty.

Bannockburn Battlefield was the site where Scottish leader Robert the Bruce defeated the English, repelling their attempts to control Scotland and once again affirming its sovereignty. The Battle of Bannockburn was a key clash in the Wars of Scottish Independence. Robert the Bruce had been crowned king of the Scots in... Read More

Photo by kenny barker (cc)

Bar Hill Fort

Bar Hill Fort was one of the Roman forts along The Antonine Wall.

Bar Hill Fort was one of the forts along The Antonine Wall, a second century Roman defensive wall in Scotland. Today, visitors can still discern parts of Bar Hill Fort - once this wall’s highest fort - including its bath complex. It is also a double treat for history buffs, as... Read More

Battle of Drumclog

The Battle of Drumclog was fought on June 1st, 1679 at Drumclog in South Lanarkshire between the army of John Graham of Claverhouse and a group of Covenanters.

A battle of the Scottish Covenanter Wars, Drumclog was fought between the army of John Graham of Claverhouse and a group of Covenanters. The Covenanters were Scots who signed the National Covenant in 1638 to confirm their opposition to the interference by the Stuart kings in the affairs of the... Read More

Bearsden Bath House

The Bearsden Bath House was a Roman bath complex which would have served a fort of The Antonine Wall.

The Bearsden Bath House was a second century Roman bath complex which would have served one of the forts of The Antonine Wall. Today, the remains of the Bearsden Bath House - located innocuously in the middle of a modern housing estate - represent some of the best of this Roman... Read More

Photo by Bert Kaufmann (cc)

Bothwell Castle

Bothwell Castle is a ruined medieval stronghold near Glasgow which played a role in the Wars of Independence.

Bothwell Castle is a stunning ruined medieval stronghold near Glasgow and one of the most celebrated of its kind. Begun by the Morays, an important aristocratic family, in around 1242, Bothwell Castle was intended to be a large and imposing fort. The tower or "donjon" which remains there today... Read More

Photo by Paul Stevenson (cc)

Caerlaverock Castle

Set in truly jaw-dropping Scottish countryside, Caerlaverock Castle was an important fortification, providing defence for the Scottish crown in a period of deep rooted rivalry with England.

Caerlaverock Castle is an impressive a medieval fortress which stands out for its unique triangular design and picturesque location, ensuring it ranks among Scotland’s most remarkable castles. First built in the late-13th century on the site of previous fortifications, Caerlaverock Castle has a long and fascinating history and still bares the... Read More

Photo by Colin Macdonald (cc)

Callanish Stones

The Callanish Stones are a collection of Neolothic standing stones on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

The Callanish Stones are a collection of Neolothic standing stones on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Probably built between 2900 and 2600 BC, the 13 primary stones form a circle 13m in diameter with a solitary monolith standing 5m high at its heart. Within the circle is... Read More

Photo by conskeptical (cc)

Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle played host to Mary Queen of Scots.

Craigmillar Castle was built from the fourteenth century and is now a pretty and well-preserved medieval ruin. The most famed aspect of Craigmillar Castle was that it played host to Mary Queen of Scots when she was recovering from an illness. It is also the namesake of a pact between... Read More

Photo by Hotfield (cc)

Crichton Castle

Crichton Castle is a distinctive fourteenth century castle.

Crichton Castle is a distinctive medieval castle built as the residence of the aristocratic Crichton family in the fourteenth century. It would later pass to the Earls of Bothwell. For visitors to Crichton Castle, there is its impressive tower house, unusual facade and fifteenth century great hall.... Read More

Croy Hill

Croy Hill was the site of one of the Roman forts of The Antonine Wall.

Croy Hill was the site of one of the Roman forts of the Antonine Wall, a vast second century defensive barrier in Scotland which ran from West Kilpatrick to Carriden, along what is now Scotland’s central belt. The wall was constructed to control trade and offer protection from the more... Read More

Photo by snigl3t (cc)

Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield was the site of the final battle of the Jacobite uprising and resulted in the defeat of the Jacobites by government forces.

Culloden Battlefield was the site of the final battle of the Jacobite uprising and resulted in the defeat of the Jacobites by government forces. The Battle of Culloden was the culmination of years of fighting for succession to the British throne. Other factors, such as a war with France and... Read More

Photo by PhillipC (cc)

Dirleton Castle

Dirleton Castle was an imposing medieval fortress and noble residence, which is now a picturesque ruin not far from Edinburgh.

Dirleton Castle was an imposing medieval fortress and noble residence, which is now a picturesque ruin not far from Edinburgh. First built in the thirteenth century by royal steward John de Vaux, Dirleton Castle became the home of the de Vauxes, under whose ownership it was severely damaged and captured... Read More

Photo by jgonzac (cc)

Doune Castle

Doune Castle in Perthshire, central Scotland is a 14th century military stronghold built by Robert Stewart, Regent Albany and includes one of the best-preserved great halls in the whole of Scotland.

Close the Scotland’s geographical centre in the village of Doune in Perthshire, Doune Castle is a medieval castle with one of the best-preserved great halls in Scotland. It was originally built in the 13th century, most likely damaged during the Scottish Wars of Independence (1296 – 1357) and rebuilt in its... Read More

Photo by baaker2009 (cc)

Dumbarton Castle

Dumbarton Castle served as a wartime prison, a royal shelter and a defence against both foreign and local threats.

Dumbarton Castle was a medieval stronghold which served as a wartime prison, a royal shelter and a defence against both foreign and national threats. Even the site upon which Dumbarton Castle sits -Dumbarton Rock - has an illustrious past. Little survives of the medieval castle - most of it is... Read More

Photo by andy muir (cc)

Dumfries House

Dumfries House is a beautiful Palladian stately home in Scotland, particularly noted for its collection of original 18th-century furniture.

Dumfries House is a beautiful Palladian stately home in Scotland, particularly noted for its collection of original 18th-century furniture. Although previous structures existed at the site, the house as we know it today was built in the 1750s for William Dalrymple, 5th Earl of Dumfries. It remained as a private residence... Read More

Photo by phault (cc)

Dunfermline Abbey and Palace

Dunfermline Abbey and Palace was a royal residence and the final resting place of many a Scottish monarch.

Dunfermline Abbey and Palace have a royal connection dating back to the eleventh century, when a priory was established there under Queen Margaret (now known as St Margaret). This was elevated to being an abbey in around 1150 by her son, David I. The picturesque remains of Dunfermline Abbey - now just... Read More

Photo by gorriti (cc)

Dunstaffnage Castle

Dunstaffnage Castle is a medieval stronghold once captured by Robert the Bruce.

Dunstaffnage Castle is a medieval stronghold built by the MacDougall clan at a time when Scotland was under constant threat from Norwegian attack. Begun in the 1220s, Dunstaffnage Castle was made of stone and its curtain wall remains a highly impressive and imposing sight. In the Scottish Wars of Independence, Robert... Read More

Photo by Bernt Rostad (cc)

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a medieval fortress and royal castle turned national monument and World Heritage site.

A royal residence, a vital stronghold and an iconic structure, Edinburgh Castle is one of the most famous castles in the world. Known by its English name since the invasion of the Angles in 638AD, the first mentions of Edinburgh Castle occurred in 600 AD during Roman Britain, when it... Read More

Photo by beltzner (cc)

Falkland Palace

Falkland Palace was the country retreat and hunting lodge of the royal Stuart dynasty.

Falkland Palace was the Renaissance country retreat and hunting lodge of the royal Stuart dynasty for around two centuries. Begun in 1450 and completed in 1541, Falkland Palace was the work of kings James IV and James V and was very much a favourite of Mary Queen of Scots. The highlights of... Read More

Photo by Glen Bowman (cc)

Glamis Castle

A magnificent castle in Glamis, Scotland, the French chateau styling and the historic setting provides an excellent day out.

A stunning medieval fortification set in the beautiful Scottish countryside, Glamis Castle has a fascinating history as well as a strong connection to the British royal family. Though the area upon which it stands has been occupied from at least the 11th century, Glamis Castle itself traces its roots back to... Read More

Photo by Anosmia (cc)

Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral is one of Scotland’s most impressive surviving medieval structures.

Glasgow Cathedral is an impressive medieval creation, perhaps most remarkable for surviving the Protestant Reformation of 1560 in such an excellence state of preservation. After this event, Glasgow Cathedral was used to house several parish kirks. One of the earliest mentions of Glasgow Cathedral relates to Saint Kentigern - often known as... Read More

Photo by SidewaysSarah (cc)

Hailes Castle

Hailes Castle was a medieval stronghold, the pretty ruins of which date back mostly to the fourteenth century.

Hailes Castle was a medieval stronghold, the pretty ruins of which date back mostly to the fourteenth century. However, some of the stonework at Hailes Castle is thought to have been constructed as far back as the thirteenth century, making it some of the oldest of its kind in Scotland. It... Read More

Photo by ToniaYu (cc)

Holyroodhouse Palace

Holyroodhouse Palace is the Scottish royal residence famed as having been home to Mary Queen of Scots.

Holyroodhouse Palace has a history stretching back to the twelfth century. Now the official Scottish residence of the Queen, the story of Holyroodhouse Palace is intertwined with that of the monarchy, particularly that of Mary Queen of Scots. Holyroodhouse Palace is said to have been founded as an Augustinian monastery by... Read More

Photo by Andy Hawkins (cc)

Inchcolm Abbey

Inchcolm Abbey is a well-preserved twelfth century Augustinian monastery turned abbey located in an important defensive position.

Inchcolm Abbey was established as an Augustinian monastery in the twelfth century by David I, becoming an abbey in 1235. During the wars between England and Scotland, the location of Inchcolm Abbey meant that it was constantly under attack. The island of Inchcolm Abbey continued to play a defensive role in... Read More

Photo by arthurmoodyuk (cc)

Inchmahome Priory

Inchmahome Priory was a medieval monastery which once sheltered a young Mary Queen of Scots.

Inchmahome Priory was first founded as an Augustinian monastery in approximately 1238 under the instructions of the Earl of Menteith. Over the centuries, Inchmahome Priory’s secluded location made it an ideal refuge. Even royals saw Inchmahome Priory as a sanctuary, including King Robert Bruce. However, it is more famous for the... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Kinneil House and Museum

Kinneil Estate is a fantastic historic site, centred around the 15th century Kinneil House. Also at the site are a Roman fortlet, the ruins of a medieval church, a museum and the cottage of inventor James Watt.

Kinneil House and Museum, part of the Kinneil Estate, has a rich history spanning almost 2,000 years. The Kinneil Estate holds a wealth of historic sites, including a Roman fortlet - part of the Antonine Wall - the ruins of a medieval church, a cottage belonging to inventor James Watt... Read More

Liberton Tower

Liberton Tower is a 15th century tower in Edinburgh.

Liberton Tower is a 15th century tower in Edinburgh built by the Dalmahoy family, who owned the estate of Upper Liberton from around 1453. In 1587, Liberton Tower was sold it to William Little, a Burgess of Edinburgh and, within 20 years, he commenced the building of the more comfortable Liberton... Read More

Photo by DaGoaty (cc)

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and host to most of the Stuart kings.

Linlithgow Palace was built in the fifteenth century on a site with a history dating back thousands of years. Now a dramatic ruin, its royal connection makes it an enduring tourist attraction. It was James I who began building Linlithgow Palace in 1424. With its location between Stirling Castle and Edinburgh... Read More

Photo by kyz (cc)

Lochleven Castle

Lochleven Castle was a medieval stronghold most renowned for being the prison of Mary Queen of Scots.

Lochleven Castle was a medieval island stronghold, the dramatic ruins of which can be reached by boat. Whilst being most well known for being the prison of Mary Queen of Scots, Lochleven Castle’s role within Scottish royal history extends far further. Many royals were guests - as opposed to prisoners... Read More

Photo by Shadowgate (cc)

National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland has a diverse collection of artefacts and pieces relating to the history and culture of Scotland.

The National Museum of Scotland has a diverse collection of artefacts and pieces relating to the history and culture of Scotland. From prehistoric and ancient pieces to Viking invasions and the story of Robert the Bruce, the National Museum of Scotland covers a wide range of themes and periods, chronicling... Read More

Photo by dun_deagh (cc)

Rothesay Castle

Rothesay Castle is a distinctive medieval ruin with strong links to the royal Stewart dynasty.

Rothesay Castle was originally built by Walter, 3rd High Steward and ancestor of the royal Stewart line, in the thirteenth century. It was intended as a stronghold against the ongoing threat of Norwegian invasion and was taken by attackers from Norway in both 1230 and 1263. In 1371, Rothesay Castle attained... Read More

Photo by HBarrison (cc)

Scone Palace

Scone Palace was once the coronation site of the Kings of Scotland and today operates as an historic house and garden.

Scone Palace was once the coronation site of the Kings of Scotland and now operates as an historic house and garden. Located on the banks of the Tay, and only a short distance from Perth, Scone Palace offers a unique insight into the lives of a millennia of Scottish Kings. Originally... Read More

Photo by yellow book (cc)

Skara Brae

Skara Brae is Northern Europe’s best preserved Neolithic village and a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Orkney Isles.

Skara Brae is an incredibly well-preserved Neolithic village in the Orkney Isles off the coast of mainland Scotland. Characterised by sturdy stone slab structures insulated and protected by the clay and household waste which holds them together, Skara Brae is a stunning example of the high quality of Neolithic workmanship. Skara... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is an iconic royal palace, a medieval stronghold and a focal point for many of the most important events in Scotland’s history.

Stirling Castle is an iconic royal palace and stronghold, seen to represent Scottish independence and a focal point for many of the most important events in Scotland’s history. Famous Events at Stirling Castle It was the site of royal deaths such as that of King Alexander I in 1124 and William... Read More

Photo by Sandy__R (cc)

Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle was the imposing medieval stronghold of an influential Scottish family.

Tantallon Castle was the imposing medieval stronghold of the influential Douglas Earls of Angus for around three centuries. Built in the fourteenth century by the first such earl, William Douglas, and later updated to deal with more modern warfare, Tantallon Castle would survive numerous sieges before being utterly devastated by... Read More

Photo by starsrus (cc)

The Antonine Wall

The Antonine Wall was a Roman defensive wall, the remains of which can now be seen in Scotland.

The Antonine Wall was a Roman defensive wall which ran from Old Kilpatrick to Carriden, along what is now Scotland’s central belt. In 138AD, under the orders of Emperor Antoninus Pius, the Roman 6th and 20th legions began building The Antonine Wall. They would complete it a mere two years later,... Read More

Photo by John Wells (cc)

Torphichen Preceptory

Torphichen Preceptory was an important base in Scotland for the Knights Hospitaller.

Torphichen Preceptory in Scotland was a compound built in the 12th century around an existing church and, in the 13th century, became an important northern base for the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. In fact, it is said that the only other such headquarters maintained... Read More

Photo by Eileen Henderson (cc)

Trimontium Museum

The Roman fort of Trimontium no longer stands, but the nearby museum uses artefacts and replicas to tell a story of a military power and the struggles that took place on the border with Scotland.

Unfortunately no upstanding stones remain of the Roman fort at Newstead, but visitors to the Trimontium Museum in nearby Melrose can still get a tangible insight into life in the Roman frontiers through a wide variety of artefacts and reproductions. A guided walk run by the Trimontium Museum also points out... Read More