Are you planning a romantic getaway to Scotland? I’ve made a list of the most romantic places in Scotland that we’ve been to. It’s a combination of cute places like from the Love Actually movie with the best choices that give the romance novel genre its true meaning (like Emily Bronte and her Wuthering heights).
Overall I’d say that Scotland is a very romantic destination. You get cozy restaurants, beautiful lochs and incredible scenery all meshed with a lot of rain, fog, and mystical castles. You just have to cuddle up after every outing because you’re not only cold, but also full of overwhelming impressions of this cool country. If that doesn’t sounds like the best place to visit for couples then I don’t know what does!
There are tons of romantic places in Scotland, so unless you’re particularly picky, you can just follow our 7-day itinerary for the best road trip in the Scottish Highlands and call every single stop on it a great couples destination, because every place is so darn picturesque!
But if you are interested in my top picks, take a read below. Here’s a map showing every place I’ll be mentioning on this list. They are literally all over Scotland. Not sure if that makes it easier or harder to choose from… but here ya go!
1. Glenfinnan Viaduct (Glencoe)
I picked the Glenfinnan Viaduct as my no. 1 because it’s in a superb spot and I have yet to meet a girl that doesn’t love Harry Potter books (wait, am I a nerd?). I’m going to place it the top spot for couples under 40, not just because of the affiliation with the kid wizard, but because even if you aren’t into the books/movies, this place is still magical.
The Glenfinnan Viaduct is a 120+ year old railway viaduct on the West Highland Line, about halfway between the Isle of Skye and Glencoe. It’s the longest concrete bridge in Scotland, measuring 380 m (1250 ft). And it’s of course surrounded by some amazing nature.
To get the most out of you Glenfinnan Viaduct visit, time your trip so that you are there when the steam train goes across the bridge. The train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct twice a day—at 10:45 am and 3 pm, and it is well worth being there for the crossing.
There’s also a 3.5 km (2 mile) circular trail that you should definitely spend the hour or so walking. The parts further up look like they could be from the Lord of the Rings. The trail takes you past awesome viewpoints of the viaduct and of Loch Shiel, and the Glenfinnan Monument is just off it close to the parking lot.
Get all the visitor info and details about the Glenfinnan Viaduct in our Glencoe Guide.
Our top tips on visiting Scotland for couples: 🌇 The best sunset? Neist Point Lighthouse on the Isle of Skye 🍗 The best restaurant? Old Pines Hotel & Restaurant in Glencoe 🏞️ Top scenery? This is a tough one, but Stac Pollaidh or Quiraing are at the top of the list!
2. Stac Pollaidh (Northern Highlands)
With Stac Pollaidh, we’re talking about the best hike for couples in Scotland. This is a place that’s romantic Emily Bronte-style. Think freezing cold rain, mist, dozens of lakes and beautiful green nature all around you. You’re remote enough that you meet only few people on the hike and you have plenty of time to talk with your significant other.
I’ve hiked some of the most beautiful places on the planet—Las Torres in Chile, Nevada Falls in Yosemite, Grossglockner in Austria, Cape of Good Hope in South Africa—and Stac Pollaidh is up there with them. My favorite in Scotland. . My favorite in Scotland.
We visited on a really windy day and it was snowing (in the middle of July). It might sound miserable, but it was Scotland at its best.
My tip: The standard direction to hike the trail is a counter-clockwise circuit, but I would recommend going clockwise. The path from that end is better and it has the best views. Walk about ¾ of the path and then turn back. This way you avoid the muddiest/marshiest part of the trail (the western part) and see the best spots.
The hike is 7 km/4.3 miles (or 4.5 km/2.7 miles if doing the full circuit). It’s quite steep and hard, mainly because of the rain and muddy paths. You will also gain about 450 m (1470 ft) elevation on the circuit, or you can summit and you can add another 150 m (490 ft)—but be ready to scramble!
Stac Pollaidh is less than 30 minutes from Ullapool, which is where I recommend you base yourself for exploring the Northern Highlands. Read about the highlights of the Northern Highlands region.
Hotel tip: Aultguish Inn, about 25 minutes from Ullapool, was the first place we stayed at in Scotland, and it was spectacular! The location is so scenic, the rooms were very cozy and comfortable, even large for Scotland.
It’s also where we had the best sleep in the country, it was just so peaceful.
It’s owned by Romanians, which added a nice flare to the food at the restaurant. There’s also a coffee machine in all rooms, which you gotta love.
I’d stay there again in a heartbeat!
Prices from GBP 140 (USD 160) for two people with breakfast.
3. Quiraing walk (Isle of Skye)
It’s hard to imagine a more romantic movie than Braveheart and this place, though the movie was actually filmed in Glencoe and elsewhere, reminded me of Braveheart on every step. You need to come here, preferably with a special someone!
What you see during the Quiraing Walk is what you imagine when you hear the name Scotland—epic, grassy cliffs that dramatically tower up over the sea, getting lost in the clouds. And wind, lots of wind.
It reminded us of our hiking adventures in South Africa and we ended up calling it (because nobody can pronounce Quiraing!!) the Scottish Drakensberg.
We had really bad weather and it was beautiful anyway, but I don’t recommend going when it’s raining. Those paths are narrow, dusty (which turns to mud) and steep!
Actually, if you can’t or don’t want to walk the trail, the views even from the parking lot are amazing, so make the trip here if only for a stationary stare. If you can walk, walk. You’ve never seen anything like this before!
The full walk is called the Quiraing Circuit and is about 11 km (6.8 miles) long, the shorter version is the Prison Walk (romantic, right?), which is the last 4 km (2.4 miles) of the circular (out and back).
Both choices are easy to moderate and doable by anyone in relatively good physical condition.
Hotel tip: If you base yourself in Portree, you’ll have the Quiraing Walk almost at your doorstep, as well as other places that are on the A855 scenic drive. The Cuillin Hills Hotel is, in our opinion, one of the top hotels in the area. Great views, great restaurant, great value for money.
4. Neist Point Lighthouse (Isle of Skye)
The longer the Neist Point Lighthouse has taken up a spot in my memories, the fonder they grow. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I mean really beautiful—with all the waves and rocks in the sea below and the views to the lighthouse, which is honestly there just to make the view even prettier (I know it has a real purpose, but for our intents and purposes, it’s just a decoration, since you can’t even visit it).
The Neist Point Lighthouse is the westernmost point of the Isle of Skye, which protrudes so dramatically into the sea, and is best experienced at sunset. Think beautiful scenery and the gorgeous colors of a Scottish sunset. Ultra-memorable and ultra-romantic.
The walk is short, easy and suitable for couples of any age and almost any ability.
There are several trails at Neist Point. We ended up spending of about 2 hours walking around and taking pictures (and saying hi to the sheep). That said, you can walk to the lighthouse in about 20 minutes, so it’s not so much a long distance than it is photo op after photo op of the incredible landscape.
Don’t skip the side trails to get more viewpoints, complete with—not kidding—a fairytale landscape with waterfalls going directly into the sea. Yeah.
You can also try to spot the odd whale or dolphin in the water. We didn’t see any, but we wish you the best of luck.
It’s worth the sometimes tricky drive—lots of kms spent on shared-lane roads. Read more about driving in Scotland in this article.
5. Greyfriars Bobby Statue (Edinburgh)
Greyfriars Bobby is a statue of a dog, which doesn’t sound romantic, but wait until you hear the story behind it. It’ll melt even a cold heart (I have been told I have a heart of ice and can attest to this). It’s basically a monument to loyalty. If you struggle with commitment, this could be a great spot to get inspired! Or not.
Bobby (the Skye Terrier or Dandie Dinmont Terrier, depending on who you believe) belonged to a night watchman at the Edinburgh City Police named John Gray. His trusty dog would stay by his side during all his shifts, and then, when John died, stayed by his grave at Greyfriars Kirk. For no less than 14 years!! Incredible! Committed! Loyal!
Bobby died in 1872 and is now buried at the same cemetery as John Gray.
Read more about Bobby and why some people are skeptical of the story in our Best Places in Edinburgh article.
The statue is close to Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle.
Hotel tip: If you’re visiting Edinburgh, I can highly recommend the hotel we stayed at during our trip: the Leonardo Edinburgh City. I don’t think there’s anything comparable in Edinburgh value-wise. Room size was large for Scotland and the exterior was so typically Scottish with its stone façade.
- Greyfriars Bobby statue: corner of Candlemaker Row and George IV Bridge
- Greyfriars Bobby grave: near the entrance at the Greyfriars Kirkyard, 26A Candlemaker Row
6. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
The Trossachs National Park is only 1.5 hours away from Edinburgh (and even closer to Glasgow), making it a great day trip from the city. Come here for hiking opportunities and the beautiful beaches and water sports at Loch Lomond.
Tip: Interested in more things to do close to Edinburgh? Read our guide to the best day trips from Edinburgh. It also includes extra details on the hikes and activities in Trossachs NP.
The hiking trail we recommend the most is Ben Aan. It has an elevation of about 350 meters (1100 ft) and can be steep at some points, but the great views totally beat any feelings of fatigue along the way. The path is also in very good condition, so I think it is the right fit for almost everyone—even the unfit.
The surrounding mountains and lakes are truly picturesque and the views on the Ben Aan hike never stop. You have amazing things to look at from the moment you start until the very end (it takes about 2 hours total).
Loch Lomond is actually one of the largest bodies of freshwater in Britain, so it provides plenty of room for paddling in a rental boat. You can also ride a jet ski, cycle along the lakes, swim, or go kayaking.
Tip: A wakeboard rental costs around GBP 80 and a kayak or paddleboard rental costs around GBP 25. For more information check the Loch Lomond website.
7. Beinn Eighe hike (Northern Highlands)
Beinn Eighe is quite a strenuous hike, but it’s in a very beautiful gorge full of unusual trees and fern, looking like a Lord of the Rings, so that counts as a cool place for a romantic 3–4 hour hike for an adventurous couple.
Be ready for almost 600 m (2000 ft) elevation gain over 5.5 km (3.5 miles) on this circular hike. The good thing is that the trails on the Beinn Eighe hike are some of the best we saw in Scotland, and even if it rains, you’ll never have to wonder which way you’re supposed to go. No disappearing into the mud, proper signage and clear directions.
If you get rain and fog, don’t fret! It’s a place of great imagination. Sometimes it was so foggy that you literally couldn’t see what was hiding in the clouds—there could be a loch, the sea or maybe Mount Everest—who knows! The peace and quiet was incredible.
Also, very random, but Beinn Eighe is where we encountered the highest number of frogs in a day, and we’ve been to quite a few jungles before. You could literally build an army of frogs, like with the newts from Karel Capek’s novel!
8. Holyrood Palace (Edinburgh)
I’m not a male chauvinist, but from my experience girls are—far more than guys—are into things like royalty and all the stories of kings and queens (and all the fairytales and tea that goes with them). Holyrood Palace is feels like a real fairytale, because it’s an official royal palace and it’s full of stories about Queen Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots and others. And they’re juicy!
Official palaces can be boring, but this one is set up well for tourists. The history of the palace and current royal family and how they use it are all nicely explained and the exhibits are beautiful and interesting. Even for a guy.
Tip: If visiting palaces and castles is your idea of romance, we have a full article on Scotland’s best castles right here for you. Get all the visitors details and my impressions of 13 castles all over Scotland.
Holyrood Palace is on the eastern end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and it stands in the shadow of the inactive volcano of Arthur’s Seat. You could hike up there after visiting the palace and get a bird’s eye view of the city center.
Get all the details about visiting Holyrood Palace (and Arthur’s Seat) in our Best Places in Edinburgh article.
9. Falls of Measach (Northern Highlands)
This place speaks for itself—it’s just pretty. A simple trip with a great effort to good impression ratio. I feel like waterfalls are always a great spot for couples. Any body of water ups the romance level somehow.
The Falls of Measach are located in the Corrieshalloch Gorge, very easy to find and access. If you stay in our recommended Aultguish Inn during your time in the Northern Highlands, you’ll be just 10 minutes from the falls.
The trails start right from the parking lot. It’s a very good path that should be easy enough for everyone to take (very slight elevation gain), plus if you just want to get to the bridge, take a look and go back—if it’s raining, for example—, you can be back in the car in 30 minutes or so.
But when you do get to the bridge…wow, it’s a very dramatic drop of about 70 m (230 ft), with a limited number of people that can be on the bridge at any given time. And there, in the middle of the gorge, is the spectacular waterfall!
After the bridge, you can (and should!) keep going to another viewing platform, which basically hangs in the middle of the gorge. It’s awesome, a little scary for the faint of heart, but I 100% recommend it. A great place to hold on tight to your better half!
You can go back to your car the same way or take another path that’ll make your trip slightly longer.
10. Torabhaig Distillery (Isle of Skye)
So I think whisky is the best couples drink and the most romantic one, and that’s why there’s a distillery on the list of best places in Scotland for couples. Plus the people that run and work at the Torabhaig Distillery are all wonderful humans!
Not just that, but every distillery has its own story which is connected to the land where it was established. Torabhaig is connected directly with the Gaelic people of Scotland.
The father of the distillery is Sir Ian Noble, a major Skye landowner and innovative businessman, who famously wanted to keep the English off of Skye to keep the Gaelic bloodline pure and English-free.
He did a huge amount of work to keep the Gaelic language alive, like founding Gaelic College, the only higher education institute to teach exclusively in Gaelic, and generally practiced “positive discrimination” on behalf of Gaelic speakers.
Sir Noble died in 2010, but the distillery lives on as a realization of his dream.
The Torabhaig Distillery tour explained the interesting story of whisky-making. So much so that even though we weren’t into drinking whisky that much before we came there, we are now whisky lovers.
The tours at Torabhaig distillery are amazing and always sold out, so book ahead of time. Full details about the tour in our Isle of Skye article.
Tip: The Torabhaig Distillery is in southeastern part of the Isle of Skye and is on our 2-day Isle of Skye itinerary. We packed a lot into two days, so if you spread the activities out more, you can use this itinerary for 3–4 days, easy!
11. Eilean Donan Castle
The Eilean Donan Castle is full of stories of sad lives and destruction and then those of restoration to the glory and success. And it sits on its own little island with an old stone bridge leading to it. Especially when it’s foggy out you just can’t say it’s anything less than fascinating!
The fact that many weddings take place here every year (even in the winter!) is a testament to just how perfect of a location it is to visit as a couple. So make sure to check wedding days on the website before you visit, because the castle is closed for visitors on those days.
Eilean Donan Castle was originally built to protect the area against Vikings, because it is in a strategic location at the meeting point of 3 lochs/fjords. What used to make the location a vulnerable spot now makes the scenery incredible and one of the reasons to visit it.
Don’t skip the castle interior (I saw some people just walk around the outside—big mistake!), it’s really interesting and modern. It’s done up really nicely to show how life in the castle would feel like, fully furnished, with mannequins cooking dinner and discussing business over some documents, and even projections on the walls.
Tip: Don’t forget to visit the viewpoint above the castle. You can drive or walk there (on the road).
For full visitor details, see Eilean Donan Castle on this list of Scotland’s best castles.
12. Old Pines Hotel & Restaurant (Glencoe)
I rank Old Pines Hotel & Restaurant as the best restaurant in Scotland, and one that you have to visit with your person. It’s truly one of the most magical places in Scotland.
Old Pines is in the middle of a glen (valley) with stunning views of Ben Nevis—Scotland’s highest mountain.
The 360 views just add to the already stellar service and value for money. You basically sit there staring out of the window while your food gets cold in front of you. We paid about GBP 100 for the two of us (5 course degustation menu and 2 drinks per person).
It’s also obviously also a hotel and a fantastic place to stay if you’re exploring the Glencoe area of Scotland’s Highlands. If you don’t book a stay at Old Pines because you prefer less cabin-chic and more hotel vibes, I strongly recommend the Clan Macduff Hotel near Fort William.
Clan Macduff Hotel is 4-star, clean, and with a great staff. Some rooms come with loch views and balconies, but everything comes with great value for money and all the amenities you could ask for in this category.
Both hotels are the perfect place to stay in Glencoe, for instance as part of your Scottish Highlands road trip.
13. Glencoe Valley drive (road A82)
Speaking of Glencoe, a drive through Glencoe Valley is suitable for anyone and honestly it’s one of reasons that everyone even visits Scotland in the first place. I’m sure you and your man/woman have seen the pictures and were like “Damn, we need to visit this place some day!”
And you would be right—you have to visit Glencoe. Our Glencoe article lists the top places in the valley and surrounding area.
If you stick to just the sights off the A82 road, you’ll be able to:
- hike up the Pap of Glencoe for jaw-dropping views of the mountains and lochs,
- go to Signal Rock—read our 32 Fun Facts About Scotland to learn about the MacDonald Massacre and Signal Rock’s significance,
- take some very pretty walks through Hidden Valley or, if you’re a more serious hiker, continue on into the Bidean Nam Bian mountain range, or
- make like 007 and drive up and down James Bond Road.
All of these places are within a few kilometers of each other. Details on where, how, why and what in our Glencoe article. If you want extra hows, check out our Scottish Highlands road trip itinerary where everything is already planned out for you (it includes not only Glencoe, but also the Isle of Skye and the Northern Highlands area).
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