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24 Incredible Fairytale Destinations in Scotland

Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland. | ©  Westend61 / Getty Images
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 truly 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

Natural Feature
Stunning Views of Old Man of Storr in Scotland
Stunning views of Old Man of Storr in Scotland | © DejaVu Designs/Getty Images
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.
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Ben Venue

Natural Feature
Ben Venue across Loch Achray
A view of Ben Venue across Loch Achray in the Trossochs | © Andrew1Norton/Getty Images
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.
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Devil’s Pulpit

Natural Feature
The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland.
The Devil’s Pulpit, Scotland | © Westend61/Getty Images
The stunning hidden cliff rivers of Finnich Glen evoke a sense of otherworldliness, displaying the natural world at its finest. One particular spot, aptly known as the Devil’s Pulpit, perfectly captures the glen’s supernatural. Folklore has it that ancient Druids congregated at this mystical spot, as did Satan when he preached to monks.
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Loch Earn

Natural Feature
Loch Earn calm blue waters, highlands, Scotland.
Loch Earn calm blue waters in the Highlands | © Andrew1Norton/Getty Images
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.
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Neist Point Lighthouse

Building
Clifftop lighthouse at Neist Point.
Clifftop lighthouse at Neist Point | © David Tomlinson / Alamy Stock Photo
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.
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Buachaille Etive Mòr

Natural Feature
Buachaille Etive Mòr, Glencoe
Buachaille Etive Mòr, Glencoe | © Billy Currie Photography / Getty Images
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’.
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Sound of Raasay

Natural Feature
Sound Of Raasay
Sound Of Raasay | © Joe Dunckley / 500px / Getty Images
Whimsical and hypnotic, The Sound of Raasay gracefully separates the islands of Skye and Raasay, while resembling an alternate universe.
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Aonach Eagach

Natural Feature
Looking up Glen Coe at Loch Achtriochtan, with the Aonach Eagach
Glen Coe at Loch Achtriochtan | © Neale Clark / robertharding / Getty Images
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.
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Ring Of Brodgar

Archaeological site, Ruins
The Ring of Brodgar is a Neolithic henge and stone circle in Scotland
The Ring of Brodgar is a Neolithic henge and stone circle in Scotland | © Pako Mera / Alamy Stock Photo

While the age of this stone circle is unknown, the mystique that surrounds the historical artefact transcends time. Forming part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Sit in Stennes, the world-renowned circle of standing stones range between seven and 15 feet, bearing a number of ancient carvings. Though likely to have once served a ritualistic purpose, the true purpose is still unknown, cloaking these pillars of rock in intrigue.

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The Quiraing

Natural Feature
The Quiraing in the Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Quiraing in the Isle of Skye, Scotland | © fallbrook / Getty Images
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.
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Loch Awe

Natural Feature
Loch Awe, Scottish Highlands
Loch Awe, Scottish Highlands | © Westend61/Getty Images
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.
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Loch Etive and Ben Cruachan

Natural Feature
Loch Etive
Loch Etive | © AlasdairJames/Getty Images
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.
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Sgurr na Stri

Natural Feature
View over Loch Scavaig towards the Island of Rum from the summit of Sgurr na Stri on the Isle of Skye, Scotland
View over Loch Scavaig towards the Island of Rum from the summit of Sgurr na Stri on the Isle of Skye, Scotland | © Stewart Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
Wizardly and imposing, 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.
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These recommendations were updated on December 20, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.