|Destination||Reasons to Go|
|Edinburgh||Magnificent historic buildings like Edinburgh Castle, Beautiful parks and walks|
|Perthshire||Beautiful gardens, palaces and castles, Dramatic viewpoints and scenery|
|Loch Lomond & the Trossachs||Beautiful historic lochs, Glorious walking, Following in footsteps of romantic poets|
|Northwest Highlands||Jacobite Steam Train, Uncrowded mountain scenery|
|Isle of Skye||Iconic mountains, lochs and rock formations; Dramatic history|
The main airports for international arrivals are located in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Both of these destinations are in the central south of Scotland, with most places of interest to honeymooners lying north of here. Perthshire lies within 1-2 hours' drive of Edinburgh whilst Loch Lomond & the Trossachs lies between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours of Glasgow. The Northwest Highlands and the Isle of Skye are 3.5-6 hours' drive north of Glasgow. Articles that can further help you plan your honeymoon in Scotland include:
- Best of Scotland: Edinburgh & the Highlands - 7 Days
- Hike Scotland's Highlands & Islands: Ben Nevis, Glen Coe & the Isle of Skye - 9 Days
- Discover the Scottish Highlands: Perthshire, Cairngorms National Park, Ben Nevis & Edinburgh - 9 Days
Be Stunned by the Beauty and History of Edinburgh
Edinburgh should be on everyone's Scotland itinerary: simply put, it is one of the world's prettiest capital cities. Its setting is jaw-dropping: set around the two ancient volcanoes of Holyrood Park and Calton Hill, it is edged by the shimmering Firth of Forth on one side and the tussocky Lammermuir Hills on the other. And the city will appeal to honeymooners as much as anyone, and quite possibly more so. Of course, Edinburgh Castle, standing on a crag in the middle of it all, has to be your starting point for explorations. The site's history dates back to the Iron Age and you can see sights such as the Regalia of Scotland, Europe's oldest crown jewels, and the Camera Obscura, Edinburgh's first purpose-built tourist attraction, which offers up some magnificent and unusual views of the city. Next on the list for you and your partner has to be a wander down the historic Royal Mile and the tiny cobbled alleyways that fan off from both sides. The street was once dubbed by writer Daniel Defoe as 'the largest, longest and finest street... not only in Britain but the world." You can follow the thoroughfare down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, official residence of the Royal Family in Scotland. Have a look round the palatial property, including Queen Mary's Bedchamber, where Mary Queen of Scots witnessed the murder of her secretary David Rizzio by her jealous husband, Lord Darnley. And enjoy one of the city's finest champagne afternoon teas together in the cafe afterwards.
For a romantic walk together, head to the Water of Leith which winds through the city: an especially attractive area runs through the Edinburgh Eden of Dean Village and nearby Dean Gardens. And although the two of you might have tied the knot, it is nevertheless interesting to visit St Bernard's Well, one of Edinburgh's most popular places for popping "the question". Pause at the delightful 18th-century Greco-Roman style well, topped by a cupola, with your partner, then treat them to lunch or dinner at one of the city's most elegant restaurants, No 35 at the Bonham, which is close by.
Further afield, beautiful places to spend time with your significant other include the extensive Holyrood Park, where you will find stunning city viewpoint Arthur's Seat. Or you could journey outside Edinburgh to mysterious Rosslyn Chapel or to the romantic ruins of Linlithgow Palace, where Mary Queen of Scots was born.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Wander Beautiful Gardens and Gaze at Gorgeous Palaces in Perthshire
Coming up Scotland's east side, Perthshire is where Scotland's Lowlands spectacularly erupt into the Highlands and, as with Loch Lomond & the Trossachs (below), the topographical contrasts create some of the country's most magical scenery. Regional capital Perth is a handsome starting point for honeymooners. The romantic highlight is the exquisite Branklyn Garden flourishing across two acres of hillside. Developed during the 1920s utilizing seeds sourced from international plant collectors, it displays a vibrant and worldly collection of fauna as a result. Huntingtower Castle should also be on your itinerary. This fortress used to be two separate towers that were joined at a later date, and is known for the Maiden's Leap: the story goes that a girl named Dorothea once leapt from one tower back to the other to avoid her parents discovering her with her lover. Just outside Perth is vast Scone Palace, the historic coronation place of the King of the Scots. The gardens make for a delightful stroll with your spouse: get lost together in the pinetum (ornamental conifer plantation) or the spectacular hedge maze.
But a romantic trip to Perthshire is not complete without a visit to Highland Perthshire. The main town here is pretty Pitlochry, where you could catch a performance in the atmospheric Pitlochry Festival Theatre, sitting scenically on hillside above the River Tummel, and undoubtedly one of Scotland's standout rural cultural venues. A tour of Scotland's smallest and quaintest traditional distillery, Edradour, might tempt you for a memorable insight into Scotland's whisky industry. Or you might just like to watch the salmon leaping up the Pitlochry Fish Ladder, built to aid the fish return to journey upstream after the dam was constructed here. If you and your loved one love gazing at spectacular views together, this region has an abundance of magnificent viewpoints, such as Queen's View, delivering dramatic panoramas over the lovely Loch Tummel.
Explore some of Scotland's Prettiest Countryside in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs
Whilst the Scottish Highlands are unquestionably lovely, the most beautiful parts of the region are actually the transition zones between Lowland and Highland Scotland. Often known as the 'Gateway to the Highlands', this was the first of Scotland's two national parks and blends the drama of the Highland mountain scenery with the gentle, lush landscapes of the Lowlands. Start your special time away with your spouse at Loch Katrine, Scotland's most romance-tinged loch and the setting of both Sir Walter Scott's fabled narrative love poem, The Lady of the Lake, and Gioachino Rossini's subsequent opera, La Donna del Lago. Take a boat trip on the lake and discover how it inspired the likes of William Wordsworth and Queen Victoria, besides being the birthplace of Scotland's legendary outlaw, Rob Roy. The lake has been a visitor attraction since the Victorian era, with several scenic trails and viewpoints. The other loch in this region, Loch Lomond, has also inspired verse, famously in the shape of the 18th-century Jacobite love song The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond. This is the UK's largest freshwater lake, and you and your loved one could escape on a boat trip across it or hike a stretch of the West Highland Way which runs along its eastern shore in the shadow of Ben Lomond, Scotland's most southerly Munro (mountain over 3000 ft / 914 m). To hike a longer stretch along the divide between Lowlands and Highlands, the two of you could explore some of the Rob Roy Way linking Drymen near Loch Lomond with Pitlochry in Highland Perthshire. To enjoy the region's beauty with your partner at leisure, head for perhaps Scotland's prettiest driving tour, the 7-mile, 11-kilometer Three Lochs Forest Drive.
Go Wild on the Beaches and Mountains of the Northwest Highlands
If you are wildly passionate about your partner, then the wildest region of Europe outside Scandinavia will make the perfect backdrop to your romantic time away together. Part of the Scottish Highlands which is rightly the main draw for visitors with its seemingly endless swathes of dramatic mountains, glorious glens and lovely lochs, the Northwest Highlands is far-less frequented than the south-eastern part along Loch Ness. Begin your romantic trip together by traveling west from Fort William on a beautiful train journey by Jacobite Steam Train to Mallaig, which masqueraded as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films. Along the way you will pass Glenfinnan, made famous by its striking viaduct as featured in Harry Potter. More traditionally, the village is charged with the moving memories of the Jacobite Rebellion, the last great attempt to place a Scottish monarch on the throne of Scotland. The Glenfinnan Monument marks the lives of the Highlanders who perished in the conflict and the place where the standard of Bonnie Prince Charlie was raised. Further towards Mallaig you will pass the stations of Arisaig and Morar between which are fabulous gold sand beaches, including Camusdarach Beach, a setting for romantic comedy flick Local Hero. From Mallaig you could catch the ferry to the Isle of Skye (below) then forge further north into the Northwest Highlands via the Skye Bridge.
Just over the Skye Bridge is one of Scotland's most romantic castles, Eilean Donan Castle, beautifully set on a tidal island jutting into a loch. Further north, the mountainous country around Loch Torridon, Loch Maree and Loch Ewe is especially romantic. Torridon is the perfect Highlands village for you and your love to linger in, backed by what in-the-know mountaineers refer to as the most glorious mountain country on the Scottish mainland. You will scarcely see another soul as you hike the nearby Munro peaks like Beinn Alligin with sea loch waters glimmering like mirrors below. Follow tiny moorland roads north to Loch Maree, the region's largest loch, famous for its love story about a Viking prince and princess, and attracting visitors for its superb kayaking. Further north near Poolewe is one of the country's most beautiful gardens, Inverewe Gardens, where exotic plants flourish within a stark surrounding landscape thanks to the warmth of the Gulf Stream.
Discover Poignant History and Dramatic Landscapes on the Isle of Skye
Even for those who have not (yet!) made it to Skye, this island ramparted by Scotland's most sheer and dramatic mountains looms large in the imagination. This could be thanks to the famous Skye Boat Song. The song's lyrics recall the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie, on the run from government troops, from the Outer Hebrides to Skye, aided by local lass Flora MacDonald. For anyone enamored with this iconic Scottish tale of the girl who helped the prince, stop at Flora MacDonald's Grave to visit near Skye's main town Portree. There is also the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle and Gardens where you can discover more about Flora's clan, once the most powerful family in Scotland and the reason Skye was once center of the realm of the 'Lords of the Isles.'
Skye is mainly about the gorgeous scenery, however, and newlyweds heading here have countless pretty places to walk, picnic and spend time together. Try the stroll to the crystal clear waters of the Fairy Pools, framed by the pointy peaks of the Black Cuillins range. Or venture to the north and Trotternish Peninsula for some of Scotland's most striking rock formations, the Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing, both considered amongst Skye's most beautiful spots. Or treat your significant other for a boat trip on Loch Coruisk, widely deemed Scotland's finest loch due to the proximity and majesty of the surrounding mountains.
Nor is Skye short on romantic means of approach: travel via the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William or via Eilean Donan Castle near Skye Bridge (detailed in the above section).