We round up the top ten Scottish attractions as suggest by data released by Glasgow Caledonian University in 2018.
1. Edinburgh Castle
According to the data, this castle in the capital topped the ranks. And it’s no surprise. Perched atop a hill, overlooking the noble city, the castle draws in crowds daily. When visiting you will learn about its history, from ruling the kingdom to seeing many sieges and wars. Groups can enjoy guided tours - look out for The Great Hall, Royal Palace, National War Museum, and the Scottish National War Memorial.
2. Edinburgh Bus Tours
One of the best ways to see Edinburgh is on one of its bus tours. Ranked as the second most used paid attraction in Scotland, these trips will take you all over the city, visiting many of the great sights. These will include Edinburgh Castle, The Palace of Holyroodhouse, and The Royal Mile. The tours operate all year round, so whenever you visit is planned, you can book a trip with your group. Other Edinburgh tours are available too and these could take in The Royal Yacht Britannia, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Scottish Parliament.
3. Stirling Castle
The attraction’s origin dates back to ancient times and over the centuries has seen many royal residents and rulers. Battles such as Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn took place within the sights of the castle, so you’ll be sure to learn lots when visiting. Guided tours are available with attendants who will be on hand to answer all your questions. When visiting, head to The Great Kitchens, Queen Anne Gardens and The Castle Exhibition.
4. Edinburgh Zoo
Groups who love furry friends will be pleased to see that Edinburgh Zoo is on the top ten list. Set in more than 82 acres of landscape in the capital, the zoo is home to more than 1,000 rare and endangered animals. This includes the UK’s only giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, which you can see in the Giant Panda Exhibit. Group bookings are available.
5. Urquhart Castle
This castle boasts more than 1,000 years of history. Located in the Scottish Highlands with views across Loch Ness, your group will get some great photos. When visiting the attraction, climb the Grant Tower, step into a prison cell and envision yourself dining in the Great Hall where lavish banquets would have taken place. As a lot of the castle is now in ruin there is a visitor centre too, in which you can learn about the stronghold in more detail at the centre.
6. Glasgow Science Centre
Heading over to Glasgow and for those who enjoy discovering wonders it is the Glasgow Science Centre that you’ll want on your radar. At the centre, enjoy the Planetarium, Glasgow Tower, A Question of Perception exhibit and more. Group discounts are available too.
7. Glenfinnan Monument
Looked after by the National Trust, the Glenfinnan Monument and Visitor Centre will teach you about a history which dates back to 1815. The monument was built as attribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and lost their life for Prince Charles Edward Stuart. The visitor centre holds displays and audio guides and an exhibition tells the story of the Prince and the Jacobite Rising in 1745.
8. Royal Yacht Britannia
If you’re visiting Leith, located two miles from Edinburgh’s city centre, head to The Royal Yacht Britannia and explore the five decks of the ship with an audio tour. The guide will unveil Britannia’s history and stories, whilst you peruse the ship at your own pace. Special rates are available or pre-booked groups and free coach parking is available.
9. The Scotch Whisky Experience
If your group love a glass of whisky (and if you’re heading to Scotland it’d be rude not to!) then visit The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. During which you journey through the distillery, becoming part of the whisky making process, and along the way you’ll discover the stories behind the drink and the craft. Tour guides will take you round, and you’ll of course get to try a tipple for yourself.
10. Scottish Seabird Centre
If your group are interested in birdlife, head to this attraction. Venture into the Discovery Zone and use the interactive cameras to zoom in on puffins, seals and Bass Rock gannets. Groups can benefit from discounted rates for those with ten or more people, plus guided tours are available.