Scotland: things to do for free

Last updated 9th June 2017

Where to visit

In Edinburgh there’s the National Museum of Scotland, made up of over 36 galleries; the Royal Botanic Garden, full of wild animals, tropical plants and Talking Trees Storytellers, and the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Walk past the castle, Holyrood Park and Palace, all steeped in history – much of which is gruesome enough to capture the imaginations of reluctant sightseers. It’s the starting point for many of the city’s ghost walks.

Glasgow is equally as generous in its offerings. See horse-drawn carriages, vintage fire engines and classic cars at the Riverside Museum or crane your neck inspecting gargoyles at Glasgow Cathedral.

It’ll cost you nothing to get back to nature and boy does Scotland have some nature. Just north of Glasgow is Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park with stunning waterfalls, mountains and lakes, where you’ll see otters, deer and scores of birds. Travel north to Oban, and Knockan Crag, which is run by the Scottish Natural Heritage, and tells the story of how the main principles of geology were discovered. There’s a visitor’s centre, hands-on exhibitions and walking trails leading from the centre around breathtaking scenery. There’s also a centre run by The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (a second site is at Spey Bay) where families can spot bottlenose and common dolphins, minke whales and harbour porpoise from special viewing points and listen to them using underwater microphones.

More information: VisitScotland

Pictured: The Riverside Museum, Glasgow