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Buachaille Etive Mòr | © john mcsporran/Flickr
Buachaille Etive Mòr | © john mcsporran/Flickr

25 Incredible Fairytale Destinations in Scotland

Picture of Tori Chalmers
Updated: 20 July 2017

Scotland, a catalyst for the imagination and a daydreamer’s playground, is worthy of a fairytale. Draped in intrigue and exalted upon high, one glance at the unfathomable transcendental essence of this bonnie land can quite literally transform any cynic. For a dose of sublime inspiration, Culture Trip has searched across Scotland far and wide to find the most magnificent fairytale destinations. And yes, they’re all real!

An Stòr

Watching over his kingdom, the ‘Old Man Of Storr’ is an ominous pinnacle of rock and one of the most photographed landscapes out there. Part of the Trotternish Ridge, this gracious chap came about from a leviathan ancient landslide.

Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland

You might also like: The Beautiful Scottish Locations Showcased In Outlander

Ben Venue

What a venue indeed. Situated in the Trossachs close to Loch Katrine, the name ‘Ben Venue’ comes from the Scots Gaelic for ‘The Miniature Mountain’. A popular place for walkers, two summits and ferocious cliffs lurk within this beauty.

Ben Venue, Stirling, Scotland

Devil’s Pulpit

Dancing with the devil never looked so appealing. Alluring and sinfully beautiful, this shot was taken near the Devil’s Pulpit at Finnich Glen, a location featured in Outlander. Folklore states that ancient Druids congregated here, as did Satan when he preached to monks.

Devil’s Pulpit, Drymen, Scotland

Loch Earn

Notably narrow and exceptionally magnificent, Loch Earn in the central Highlands is ruled by Mirror Man, a wondrous sculpture by artist Rob Mullholland. This enchanting loch is bestowed with its own tidal system or seiche, making it rare and stunning.

Loch Earn, St. Filians, Scotland

Neist Point Lighthouse

The kind of place featured in a great novel, this lighthouse waved to the world when it was first lit in 1909. Operated remotely from Edinburgh since 1990, an aerial cableway was put in place to transport supplies to the cottages and lighthouse.

Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle Of Skye, Scotland

Buachaille Etive Mòr

A sanctuary where faeries flock, Buachaille Etive Mòr is circled by the River Etive and sports steep ascents and vertigo-inducing ridges. Derived from Scots Gaelic, the name translates as ‘the Big Boy Of Etive’.

Buachaille Etive Mòr, Ballachulish, Scotland

Buachaille Etive Mor | © john mcsporran/Flickr

Buachaille Etive Mor | © john mcsporran/Flickr

Sound of Raasay

Whimsical and hypnotic, The Sound of Raasay gracefully separates the islands of Skye and Raasay, while resembling an alternate universe.

Sound of Raasay, Scotland

Aonach Eagach

Astonishing and dominant, Aonach Eagach – a precarious rocky ridge and adventurer’s dream – sits to the north of Glen Coe in the Highlands. Unsurprisingly, this beauty has quite the reputation as being one of the the most difficult horizontal ‘scrambling’ ridges in Scotland.

Aonach Eagach, Ballachulish, Scotland

Aonach Eagach | © john mcsporran/Flickr

Aonach Eagach | © john mcsporran/Flickr

Finnich Glen

Frightfully stunning and beholden to the devil, this body of water supersedes the natural realm and enters the supernatural. It’s an impeccable display of nature at its finest.

Finnich Glen, Drymen, Scotland

Finnich Gorge | © john mcsporran/Flickr

Finnich Gorge | © john mcsporran/Flickr

Ben Nevis

Regal and renowned, Ben Nevis takes the crown as the highest mountain in the British Isles. It hosts approximately 100,000 ascents every year and boasts sublime variety, allowing for numerous scrambling, rock climbing and mountaineering routes. Ruins of an old observatory still punctuate the summit – a dilapidated ancient volcano dome.

Ben Nevis, Lochaber, Scotland

Dunnet Head

The sort of place to evoke existentialist thoughts, Dunnet Head, a peninsula of Caithness, is home to the most northerly point of mainland UK. Although frightfully vertigo-inducing, the jagged cliffs were made to be admired.

Dunnet Head, Thurso, Scotland

The Quiraing

The perfect fusion of wild and wondrous, the name ‘Quiraing’ stems from the Old Norse ‘Kvi Rand’, meaning ‘Round Fold’. Legend has it that the fold was a perfect place to hide cattle from Viking raiders. Unknown to many but avid adventurers, this is Game Of Thrones land.

The Quiraing, Isle Of Skye, Scotland

Loch Awe

The longest freshwater loch in Scotland and appropriately named, Loch Awe holds schools of salmon surrounded by unfathomable beauty and intriguing ruins. Hypnotic reflections resemble an other-wordly portal into uncharted territory.

Loch Awe, Argyll, Scotland

Loch Awe | © john mcsporran/Flickr

Loch Awe | © john mcsporran/Flickr

The National Wallace Monument

Sitting proudly atop Abbey Craig near Stirling, the National Wallace Monument was built in commemoration of 13th-century Scottish hero Sir William Wallace and resembles a scene from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

The National Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland

Loch Etive & Ben Cruachan

The kind of beauty worthy of a bucket list, Ben Cruachan is the tallest summit in the beautiful range of peaks amidst Loch Awe and Loch Etive. The dancing reflections of the mirrored waters juxtaposed with the all-seeing mountains is therapy at its finest.

Loch Etive & Ben Cruachan, Argyll and Bute, Scotland

Cùl Mòr

Jaw-dropping and perfectly ruggedCùl Mòr is the kind of place that helps muster up that perfect epiphany. An ideal spot to fall off the grid.

Cùl Mòr, Assynt, Scotland

Sgurr na Stri

Wizardly and demanding, Sgurr na Stri may only be 494 metres tall, and yet, it is considered one of the best spots in Scotland for outstanding views. The all-encapsulating skies add that extra touch.

Sgurr na Stri, Isle Of Skye, Scotland

Sgurr na Stri | © john mcsporran/Flickr

Sgurr na Stri | © john mcsporran/Flickr

The Hermitage

The kind of rabbit hole you want to fall into, the Hermitage is a picture perfect wonderland overflowing with tribes of regal trees adorned with soulful leaves.

The Hermitage, Perthshire, Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle

The queen of all castles, Eilean Donan Castle inhabits her own wee island with views towards the Isle of Skye. A true star, this jewel is featured on many a shortbread tin.

Eilean Donan Castle, Inverness-shire, Scotland

Suilven

Divinely profound and drenched in dreams, even the stars shine with astonishment as they delicately dance over Suilven. After all, it is one of the most precious mountains of Scotland.

Suilven, Lairg, Scotland

Loch an Rusgaidh

An alternate universe, you can’t help but admire the kaleidoscope of dazzling colours as they flicker and taunt around Loch Rusky, or Loch an Rusgaidh in Gaelic, meaning ‘Lake Of The Peeling’.

Loch Rusky, Stirling, Scotland

Ben Lomond

With intoxicating views of Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond first became frequented by explorers in the late 18th-century. Today, it is one of Scotland’s most raved-about munros.

Ben Lomond, Stirling, Scotland

The Fairy Pools

Fairies really do exist in Scotland. Enchanting little crystal clear pools of magic water, the Fairy Pools of Skye are so gracious they will render even the chattiest of folk speechless.

The Fairy Pools, Isle Of Skye, Scotland

Sron na Creise

Sacred to the core, the magnificent picture belwo shows Sron na Creise and Buachille Etive More in all their glory. When ice engulfs the area, only an ice-axe, crampons and intuition will suffice.

Creise, Ballachulish, Scotland

Flanders Moss

The gold at the end of the rainbow, Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve, a natural treasure, possesses the type of ineffable beauty akin to fairytales and dreams.

Flanders Moss, Stirling, Scotland