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Scottish Heritage

Scotland's rich heritage is one of the many great reasons why it should be on your must-visit list, but with so much to discover, where do you begin? Here's a bit of inspiration to get you started on a journey to see Scotland's amazing heritage!


mitchell lib lit

If you have ancestral ties to Scotland, then why not take the time to uncover more of your family tree and learn more about your ancestors? You could start with a visit to the Local Family History Centre in Glasgow's Mitchell Library to pore over records of births, marriages and deaths, dating back to 1855. Or for a bit of expert guidance, book an ancestral themed tour of Scotland focusing on your family ties to the country. Whichever you decide, you’re bound to uncover details about your ancestry that you never knew!

Discover more during your trip to Scotland with an ancestry themed itinerary.



Historic attractions

If historic sightseeing is what you’re after, there are endless places to see in Scotland and the country’s castles make for a perfect place to start. See the world famous Edinburgh Castle, the picturesque Eilean Donan, historic Stirling Castle, the clifftop splendour of Culzean Castle, the much photographed Dunnottar Castle or the neogothic style of Inveraray Castle, to name but a few!

In addition to these breathtaking sites, take the time to explore more historic attractions. Trace 5,000 years of human history at Kilmartin Glen’s ancient monuments, take in the beauty of Mount Stuart House located on the island of Bute, explore the crypt of St Mungo at Glasgow Cathedral, or travel to the serene Isle of Iona to discover one of Scotland’s most sacred religious sites.

Of course, Scotland is also home to a number of stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites too - scroll down further to find out where you'll be able to experience these magnificent historic attractions in the country.

With simply too much to list, see the best of Scotland’s historic attractions at VisitScotland.


Famous Scots and related attractions


Throughout history, Scotland has produced many inspiring figures with lasting legacies across all walks of life. So once you are here, why not take the time to discover a little bit more about the people who have influenced Scottish and world culture?

Start with Glasgow’s most famous son Charles Rennie Mackintosh – one of the most revered architects and designers of the 20th century and a leading figure in the European Art Nouveau movement. With the majority of his work in his home city of Glasgow, this is the only place in the world where you can fully take in the “Glasgow Style” that he helped create!

Heading a little further back in time, climb the National Wallace Monument to learn more about William Wallace’s hard-won battles, explore the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots at Linlithgow Palace, or read and recite the timeless poetry of Scotland’s National Bard at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire.

See more of Scotland’s historic figures and their associated attractions.


Traditional music in Scotland takes on all sorts of different forms with the creative force of the country’s musicians behind this - and what better way to experience this than a music festival?

Check out Celtic Connections in Glasgow during January; the largest annual winter music festival of it's kind. It's a true gem in the music calendar, offering a range of Celtic, world, and roots music that continually gives a platform to some of the most talented contemporary traditional musicians from around the globe.

Bagpipe fans will love August in Glasgow with the World Pipe Band Championships and Piping Live! resulting in a piping takeover of the city! Elsewhere, take a look at Edinburgh’s TradFest, the lively Shetland and Orkney Folk Festivals, the Hebridean Celtic Festival, ButeFest, and the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.

Of course, live music is not limited to festivals and in Glasgow, a UNESCO City of Music, you’ll find lots of pubs and venues with year-round programmes of traditional music too. Check out our Traditional pubs page for more info.

Experience more of Scotland’s traditional music at VisitScotland.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The coveted UNESCO World Heritage status has been bestowed on six sites across Scotland:

  • Take a glimpse into our ancestor’s lives at the 5,000 year old prehistoric site of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney
  • Walk along the northern most frontier of the Roman Empire at the Antonine Wall
  • Experience life as a millworker at the 18th century New Lanark cotton mill village
  • Wander through Edinburgh’s Old and New Town for some perfectly preserved architecture
  • Marvel at the engineering genius of the Forth Bridge
  • Be astounded by the isolated St Kilda, an archipelago of volcanic islands off Scotland’s north-west coast and one of the most important sea bird reserves in north west Europe.

Find out more about Scotland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

That’s just a taster of what Glasgow and Scotland has to offer – discover more of our country’s heritage at VisitScotland and plan your trip today!