Why you need to visit Scotland’s cities this summer

18 Jun 2018
Share:

Here’s our quickfire guide to spending the summer in Scotland’s seven cities - take your pick to discover places to eat, things to do, and what's on.

Aberdeen
Dundee
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Inverness
Perth
Stirling

Aberdeen

Spot dolphins in the harbour, admire the striking architecture and discover the cosmopolitan side to this east coast city by the sea.

A walk

Wander the cobbled streets of Old Aberdeen to admire the cathedral-like grandeur of King’s College and explore Cruickshank Botanic Garden.

The food

The city's restaurants have a fantastic array of local produce to play with. Succulent Aberdeen Angus beef and fresh seafood dishes await at locations such as the Silver Darling Restaurant.

The views

Head to Torry Battery, which was used for defence during World War Two, to admire city views and see if you can spot dolphins in the harbour.

The attractions

Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Moray Firth boat trips and delightful parks and gardens await in the city. Aberdeenshire is home to over 250 castles, including Dunnottar Castle, just south of the city.

Summer events

The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, 11 – 15 July

Stonehaven Highland Games, 15 July

Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen Run, 26 August

Stonehaven Highland Games, 15 July

Discover more about Aberdeen.

Dundee

Named one of the Lonely Planet’s Top Ten 'Best in Europe 2018' destinations, Dundee is a UNESCO City of Design and home to the hotly anticipated V&A Dundee.

A walk

A walk or cycle along the River Tay provides excellent waterside views and passes some of the city's top attractions. Walk further to reach Broughty Ferry, a charming seaside town.

The food

Try The Flame Tree Café for their famed rainbow bagel, Jessie's Kitchen for delightful afternoon tea, and Castlehill Restaurant for the dinner tasting menu.

The views

Scale Dundee Law to enjoy views over Dundee, across the river and beyond.

Attractions

There are plenty of places to explore the city's rich history, such as Discovery Point and Verdant Works. Performance spaces, gardens and boat trips are all on offer too.

Summer events

The Open, Carnoustie, 15 – 22 July

Alba Real Ale Festival, 24 – 26 August

Dundee Flower & Food Festival, 31 August – 1 September

The 3D Festival at V&A Dundee Opening, 14 - 15 September

Discover more about Dundee.

Edinburgh

Scotland's capital has recently been listed as one of TripAdvisor's Most Excellent Cities, and quite rightly. Edinburgh thrives in summertime, when the world-famous Edinburgh Festivals take centre stage. 

A walk

Calton Hill is a fascinating place for a walk, home to a cacophony of monuments and the soon to be opened Collective gallery, as well as some of the finest panoramic views of the city.

The food

In Edinburgh you'll find four of Scotland's Michelin Star Restaurants, as well as plenty of other culinary delights such as The Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh Gin Distillery and Six by Nico.

The views

Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park offers a birds-eye view of the city as well as Duddingston Loch and the medieval ruins of St Anthony's Chapel.

Attractions

Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Yacht Britannia and The Palace of Holyroodhouse are a must for history lovers, while fans of a certain Harry Potter may prefer to tour sites associated with J.K Rowling.

Summer events

Scottish Real Ale Festival, 5 – 07 July

The Edinburgh Festivals, 20 June – 27 August

Rip it Up, 22 June – 25 November

Discover more about Edinburgh.

Glasgow

Did you know that the name Glasgow actually means 'dear green place'? Home to over 90 parks and gardens, it's the perfect place to be on a summer's day and was recently listed as one of TripAdvisor's Most Excellent Cities.

A walk

Take the Heritage Trail through Glasgow Botanic Gardens and return to the tea room for refreshments.

The food

Glasgow is home to foodie institutions, such as Crolla’s Gelateria, as well as reimagined pubs and bars providing a modern twist on seasonal Scottish food and drink, such as The Finnieston.

The views

Enter The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture, to explore the exhibitions, visit the Mackintosh Centre, and take in the city from the viewing platform.

Attractions

Join a Glasgow School of Art Tour, visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, or follow the City Centre Mural Trail for creative insight into the city.

Events

World Pipe Band Championships, 17 – 18 August

Piping Live!,  13 – 19 August

European Championships, 2 – 12 August

Discover more about Glasgow.

Inverness

Known as the capital of the Highlands, Inverness is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding area, and has plenty of attractions of its own.

A walk

Head upstream along the River Ness by foot or by bike and cross the footbridge to the delightful Ness Islands. Keen walkers can continue on to the Caledonian Canal.

The food

Tuck into seasonal dishes at the Kitchen Brasserie, enjoy coffee and cake at Velocity Café and Bicycle Workshop, or sit back and listen to traditional Scottish music at the award-wining Hootananny pub.

The views

The striking Inverness Castle in the city centre offers excellent 360 degree views along the River Ness.

Attractions

The city is home to the impressive Inverness Cathedral, the historic Victorian Market and Fort George. Nearby you can also visit Clava Cairns, Culloden Battlefield and Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness.

Events

Inverness Highland Games, 21 July

Inverness Highland Games, 21 July

Loch Ness Film Festival, 27 – 28 July

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, 2 – 4 August

Glenurquhart Highland Games, 25 August

Discover more about Inverness.

Perth

Perth is Scotland’s newest city and located on the banks of the River Tay, an easily accessible city which can be reached in 90 minutes by 90 percent of Scotland’s population.

A walk

Follow the River Tay Public Art Trail to find specially commissioned sculptures along the way, each inspired by the history and natural landscapes of Perth.

The food

Dine in restaurants such as The Bothy and Tabla and browse the amazing selection of goods in Provender Brown, an award-winning delicatessen.

The views

Walk through the woods up Kinnoull Hill for a variety of veiwpoints, including views across the city, and along the River Tay. The clifftop Kinnoull Tower is a particularly impressive sight.

Attractions

Perth Museum and Art Gallery, Black Watch Museum, Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre will keep you entertained, as well as activities on the River Tay and around surrounding Perthshire.

Events

Rewind Scotland, 20 – 22 July

Southern Fried Festival, various locations, 26 – 29 July

Perth Show, 3 – 4 August

Perth Highland Games, 12 Aug

Discover more about Perth.

Stirling

Stirling is a must for fans of Scottish history and lovers of the outdoors, with Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park right on its doorstep.

A walk

Dumyat, at the end of the Ochil hill range, is a rewarding short hike that offers views across the city and along the River Forth.

The food

Stirling is home to some historic pubs, including Nicky-Tams, as well as great spots for lunch, like Cisco’s. Head to Port Street for the regular farmers’ market to pick up some local treats.

The views

Scale the 246 steps to the top of The National Wallace Monument to be rewarded with fantastic views.

Attractions

History abounds, with Stirling Castle, the site of the Battle of Bannockburn and the Old Town Jail open to visitors. Into the National Park plenty more attractions can be found.

Events

Doune the Rabbit Hole, 13 – 15 Jul

Bridge of Allan Highland Games, 5 August

Stirling Highland Games, 18 August

Great Scottish Swim, 25 August

Discover more about Stirling.

See more of Scotland’s cities.

Related content

symbolset/rightCombined ShapePage 1Page 1MAP/CLOSEMAP/CLOSEyoutube black circleGroup