Scotland might be small but it packs in a hugely diverse landscape including fabulous coastlines, rolling hills, wild moorlands, majestic mountains, atmospheric forests and all kinds of natural wonders in between. The very fact that it is a small country means it’s also easy to access a wide variety of countryside locations, especially if you like fantastic views. Really, it’s difficult to suggest a shortlist of Scottish locations with great views (there are so many) but we have picked 10 of the best. You can drive and hike, walk trails or cycle stunning routes to see these Scottish landscapes. There are many options for walking holidays in Scotland.
1. Loch Katrine
Steeped in history and legend, Loch Katrine is home to the famous Steamship, Sir Walter Scott, and surrounded by a superb landscape of hills and mountains. You can walk or cycle the traffic-free road along the northern shore of the loch or board the Sir Walter Scott. Loch Katrine is situated in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, where superb views are found around every corner. You can explore Loch Katrine on our Lochs and Glens cycling trip.
Loch Katrine from Ben A'an. pic credit: John McSporran
2. Queen’s View, Loch Tummel
The Queen’s View in Highland Perthshire overlooks Loch Tummel and is said to have been named after Queen Victoria, following her visit to the area in 1866. As well as a stunning view over the loch and beyond to the iconic mountain of Schiehallion, the area is great for walking amid the Tay Forest Park.
Queen's View, Loch Tummel, Perthshire. Pic credit: Phillip Capper
3. Kyles of Bute
An area of outstanding natural beauty, this narrow stretch of water separates Bute from Argyll. A glorious viewpoint can be enjoyed on the hill road (the A8003 to Tighnabruaich), high above the Kyles of Bute, where there is also an information indicator. You can see this exact view by partaking in a Five Ferries Cycle Ride
You can cycle to the viewpoint high above the Kyles of Bute. pic credit: FionaOutdoors
4. Buachaille Etive Mòr
Buachaille Etive Mòr, meaning "the herdsman of Etive", is a mountain at the head of Glen Etive in the Highlands. Its pyramid shape, as seen from the superbly scenic A82 road when travelling towards Glencoe, makes it one of the most recognisable mountains in Scotland. In fact, any view in Glencoe leaves a lasting impression on visitors. The Buachaille is just one eye-catching highlight of the West Highland Way.
The mighty Buachaille.
5. Arthur’s Seat
Although located in a city, Arthur’s Seat offers fabulous views over Edinburgh. Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills, which form most of Holyrood Park and was described by Robert Louis Stevenson as "a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design".
View over Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat.
6. Coire Lagan, Skye
The Isle of Skye has so many amazing views, including the Fairy Pools at Glenbrittle and the Quiraing, but if I have to choose one to recommend it is the views up and down Coire Lagan, one of the most impressive corries in the Cuillin. If you walk the footpath from the campsite you’ll reach a lochan circled by gigantic rock peaks and craggy dinosaur-backed outline of the Cuillin mountain ridge. Walking on Skye is an immersive experience, one not to be missed.
Superb Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye
7. Fingal’s Cave, Isle of Staffa
Fingal’s Cave is an impressive natural rock formation on the remote Isle of Staffa. The caves comprise towering hexagonal columns that catch the eye and lend themselves well to impressive photographs. There’s also rich history and legend surrounding these caves, so it’s worth taking a visit to fully experience this part of Scottish culture. A trip to visit Fingal's cave is included on our Mull & Iona: Walking and Wildlife trip.
Fingal's Cave, Staffa.
8. Loch Ness
The legends of the Loch Ness monster bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the shores of the loch yet the views over the vast waterway should still be seen to be believed. You can enjoy many beautiful vistas on the Great Glen Way or Great Glen Escape, whether by walking or cycling the route or simply head to Urquhart Castle for a splendid outlook over the moody waters.
Loch Ness from Urquhart Castle. Pic credit: Sam Fentress
The North Coast 500 has put many scenic locations in north-west Scotland of the world tourism map. Again, it’s hard to choose the best views, but Torridon’s glens and mountains are definitely hard to beat. See Favourite Finds on the NC 500
Magnificent Torridon on the NC500.
10. Outer Hebrides
The sparkling white sandy beaches and turquoise seas of the Outer Hebrides have brought great fame to this chain of Scottish islands. On a sunny day you could be forgiven for imagining you had discovered a Hawaii in Britain. A drive and hike tour of the Outer Hebrides will reveal a vast array of fantastic beach views.
Just one of the many white sandy beaches in the Outer Hebrides.
Why not take further inspiration from our top 21 of bucket list gems in Scotland? If this fills your heart with the desire to head to Scotland's wild places, then don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our Scotland specialists.