4. St. Andrews
St. Andrews is well-known as one of the world’s top golf destination. Golfers from around the world make the pilgrimage to St. Andrews’ 7 classic links courses, drawn by the prestige of playing the par-72 Old Course – the world’s oldest golf course – and the chance to play where so many golf greats have teed off before them. It’s also one of the most dramatic courses, its spectacular scenery including a stretch of rugged coastline and the attractive old Clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the world’s oldest golf club founded in 1754.
Remember to visit the nearby British Golf Museum. This modern facility is something of a shrine to the greats who’ve played the St. Andrews’ courses, as well as detailing the history of the sport over the centuries.
St. Andrews is also famous as a university town. Be sure to spend time exploring the many fine old buildings associated with the University of St. Andrews. One of the best free things to do in St. Andrews is to wander the university grounds, admiring the well-preserved medieval architecture, checking out on-site attractions such as its natural history museum and art galleries. The ruins of St. Andrews Castle and the town’s old cathedral are also worth exploring.
5. Loch Ness
Scotland’s beautiful Loch Ness, shrouded in myth and legend, remains one of the country’s top places to visit. Despite there being no definitive evidence that “Nessie,” the world’s most famous sea monster, actually exists, that first glimpse of the water doesn’t stop excited tourists from scanning the horizon excitedly… just in case.
But even without a monster sighting, you won’t be disappointed. Places like Urquhart Castle are enough to make the journey to this Highland attraction worthwhile. Built in the 1100s, the castle lies in ruins after being devastated by fire about 500 years ago, but not before featuring in some of Scotland’s most important historical events.
Spend at least a day exploring the old castle and other attractions in Loch Ness. Other fun things to do include a boat cruise along the loch and the Caledonian Canal, visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition in the village of Drumnadrochit.