Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

There are plenty of romantic places in Scotland to take your significant other- and if you’re looking for inspiration for your next couple’s trip, you’ve landed on the right page!

There is nothing I love more than travelling to new places in Scotland with my husband, and there are plenty of romantic things to do in Scotland to keep us entertained, such as hiking in the Scottish Highlands, relaxing at lodge accommodation with a hot tub, and going for a romantic dinner and drinks in the cities.

In this blog post, I’ve included a mix of romantic experiences, accommodation, and places in Scotland as well as romantic places in Scotland for a day out.

Is Scotland a romantic country?

Scotland may have a turbulent past, but there is something undecidedly romantic about a country that has fought for its freedom for hundreds of years; did you know Glasgow is reputedly the final resting place of St Valentine?

It is also the setting for many popular romance novels such as Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley series and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. 

Here are 15 of the most romantic places in Scotland you need to take your best friend or significant other.

15 Romantic Places in Scotland

1. JustB Retreat, Edinburgh

romantic places in scotland justb edinburgh
My incredible room at the JustB bed and breakfast in Balerno

JustB Retreat is the loveliest bed and breakfast in Scotland. I first stayed here solo and brought the Haggis back here for a romantic staycation.

Nestled in the beautiful village of Balerno on the outskirts of Edinburgh, this bed and breakfast is the perfect staycation or long weekend away. The bed and breakfast is tucked away in a leafy and tranquil setting, surrounded by forest and gardens. Balerno is a gorgeous traditional village with a handful of nice pubs and restaurants.

If you want to see Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, there is a bus stop outside the bed and breakfast, and bus 44 takes you directly into Edinburgh’s city centre! After a day exploring the city, head back to JustB to relax.

If you book their Honeymoon Suite, you get free use of the hot tub too!

2. Dunfermline Abbey

dunfermline abbey in scotland
Dunfermline Abbey

One of Scotland’s most beautiful love stories is set in the 11th century and involves King Malcolm III and Queen Margaret (now known as Saint Margaret).

Royals rarely married for love during this time, but for political, social and economical reasons. Malcolm III is said to have fallen in love with Margaret upon meeting her. He proposed, but she declined as she wanted to be a nun. Rather than force her hand, he pursued her for 2 years until she said yes and they were married at Dunfermline Abbey.

Their marriage was a happy and loving one, and it is said the illiterate Malcolm would stare at and kiss Margaret’s most prized books as she read them.

Upon hearing Malcolm and their eldest son had both fallen in battle, Margaret died from grief two days later. They were buried at Dunfermline Abbey, where they were wed. She and Malcolm III were parents to four future kings, including David I, who was responsible for building many monasteries in Scotland.

In 1250, Queen Margaret was canonised. She is the patron saint of the homeless, orphaned, the mentally ill, midwives, and single mothers.

3. Sweetheart Abbey, Dumfries

sweetheart abbey a romantic abbey in scotland
Sweetheart Abbey

Sweetheart Abbey is another abbey associated with a loving marriage. The abbey was named Dulce Cor (‘Sweet Heart’ in Latin) in memory of Lady Dervorgilla, who founded the abbey to pay tribute to her deceased husband, Lord John Balliol.

When Lord John died in 1268, his grieving widow had his embalmed heart placed in an ivory casket and is said to have carried it with her everywhere.

When she died in 1289, Dervorgilla was laid to rest in front of the abbey church’s high altar, holding her husband’s heart to her chest.

4. Killin

village of killin with loch tay in the background
Killin, with views to Loch Tay

Killin is one of my favourite romantic places in Scotland for a nature break with the Haggis. We’ve been twice so far, the first time staying in a cosy woodland cabin (click here to see where we stayed) nestled in nature.

The Falls of Dochart is a waterfall that runs through the centre of the village. If you enjoy hiking as a couple, Sron A’ Chlachain is a short, but steep hike with rewarding views of Loch Tay and the village.

Killin is home to a handful of restaurants, all of which are dog friendly if you’d like to take your pooch, but if you’re looking for a romantic meal I recommend The Dochart Inn, a traditional pub and restaurant with a roaring fire and good whisky selection.

You can also explore the enchanting ruin of Finlarig Castle, or simply relax and enjoy a weekend in a cosy cabin.

Killin is also the perfect place for a Scottish autumn break– the colours in autumn are majestic!

5. Dunnottar Castle

Dunnottar Castle is one of Scotland’s most spectacular castle ruins.

It’s located in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, it has been described as ‘impregnable’ and famous visitors include Mary Queen of Scots (who visited a second time with her son, the future James VI), William Wallace and King Charles II.

William Wallace once captured the castle from the English. The English garrison took refuge in the church and Wallace set fire to it, killing them all and destroying the castle.

A small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for eight months and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels from destruction. The jewels had been lowered down the cliffs to a local woman pretending to be collecting seaweed. She escaped with the crown jewels safely intact!

The oldest Pictish fort ever was also discovered just north of the castle.

Dunnottar Castle is also a popular wedding location in Scotland to get photos taken.

6. Glencoe

the three sisters of glencoe, scotland
Glen Coe valley

The drive through Glencoe is a romantic experience in itself; Buachaille Etive Mòr is the first hint of greatness, its dark and jagged silhouette watching carefully over the valley. As you venture deeper, the mountains begin to close in over you, black and leering; if you’re in the passenger seat you’re lucky, as whoever is driving needs to keep their eyes on the road and not on the hauntingly beautiful scenery around you.

The Three Sisters (named Beinn Fhada, Gearr Aonach and Aonach Dubh) will certainly distract your eyes from the road, and luckily there is a car park located directly in front of them. This car park fills up fast, and with very few options for turning around, I recommend you head to the car park early to catch a glimpse of the magic.

I wrote a Glencoe itinerary about one of my most romantic getaways in Scotland to date; we hiked to The Lost Valley, which is nestled between two of The Three Sisters (and starts at The Three Sisters car park). This was one of my most favourite trips in Scotland to date, so if you’re looking for a romantic weekend away, I highly recommend this itinerary!

7. Birks of Aberfeldy, Aberfeldy

birks of aberfeldy romantic place in scotland
The Birks of Aberfeldy, a romantic walk in Scotland

The Birks of Aberfeldy is a popular and easy walk and was the setting for Robert Burns’ famous poem of the same name.

Admire the colourful birch, oak, ash and elm trees, the Falls of Moness and several other waterfalls that inspired this Scottish bard to pen some of his most famous words.

8. Loch Ossian, Rannoch Moor

wayfaring kiwi standing beside loch ossian
Loch Ossian

Rannoch Moor is one of the last remaining wildernesses in the United Kingdom. Loch Ossian is located a short walk from one of the most remote train stations in Scotland: Corrour Station. For friends and couples looking for remote romance on a budget, the Loch Ossian Youth Hostel is a fantastic property located right on the loch.

Imagine pouring a wee dram and cosying up by the fire to loch views after a day hiking the Munros in the area. Also, there isn’t any Wi-Fi once you pass the small bed and breakfast next to the station, so you can spend uninterrupted time with your loved one.

9. The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Hiking the Quiraing circuit for sunrise

The Isle of Skye is truly magical. I spent 2 days in the Isle of Skye with a friend during November, and the highlight of our trip was the stunning views of the otherworldly Quiraing.

Try hiking the Quiraing for sunrise, and watch as the first light illuminates the colourful heather on the hills. This is probably one of the most romantic experiences you can have in Scotland- as long as it’s not raining!

10. Arthur’s Seat Edinburgh

the romantic view from arthurs seat in edinburgh

Arthur’s Seat offers a stunning panorama of Edinburgh– and makes for a romantic hike in the centre of the capital city. The hike takes around 2 hours if you start the walk from the Royal Mile; make sure you wear sturdy footwear! The terrain is rocky and can get quite muddy when it rains- which happens quite often in Scotland!

Scenes from the romantic flick One Day, based on the book by David Nicolls, were filmed here.

11. Islay, Argyll and Bute

bunnahabhain whisky tasting on islay
Whisky tasting at Bunnahabhain Distillery

Islay is known as the island of whisky, however, there is so much to do if you’re not a whisky enthusiast. Go kayaking, on a wildlife boat tour, wild swimming at the Singing Sands, or simply relax and take each day as it comes. There are some awesome wee shops in Bowmore and also Islay House Square to take some goodies home with you. And if you love seafood- the seafood platter at The Askaig Hotel is excellent.

If you do enjoy your whisky, you can visit nine working distilleries on the island; they are Ardbeg, Ardnahoe, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin, and Laphroaig.

For the perfect romantic stay, I recommend Glenegedale House. Hosts Emma and Graeme are just lovely, and they pull out all the stops to ensure you have the most amazing time on Islay.

12. Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park

stargazing in south west scotland
Stargazing in South-West Scotland

What can be more romantic than star-gazing in Scotland? Located in South-West Scotland, Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park is just one of four ‘Dark Sky Parks’ in the western world and the largest forest park in Scotland.

Stargazers here have the opportunity to spot shooting stars, the rare Andromeda Galaxy, the Aurora Borealis and stellar nurseries, where stars are born!

13. Dryburgh Abbey

romantic places in scotland
Dryburgh Abbey

Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders is where the historical writer, Sir Walter Scott, is buried.

Sir Walter Scott was a primary figure in the Romantic movement in Scotland and England during the late eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries.

Sir Walter is attributed for being one of the reasons the Dress Act of 1746 (which saw the wearing of Tartan, Kilts and Highland wear outlawed in Scotland) was repealed. His Waverley novels swayed the nation, portraying Highland Scots in a different light: brave and loyal everyday people who fought for their freedom.

It was also Sir Walter who advised King George VI to purchase a Highland outfit for his visit to Scotland in 1822. This helped the kilt to be reintegrated back into Scotland’s national identity.

Sir Walter Scott chose Dryburgh Abbey as his final resting place- a fitting place for a romantic soul.

14. The Witchery By The Castle, Edinburgh

romantic witchery by the castle edinburgh
Witchery By The Castle, Edinburgh

The Witchery by the Castle is one of the most romantic restaurants in Edinburgh– and a personal favourite of mine! The Haggis and I have been here for their decadent Afternoon Tea, which in my opinion, is an absolute must-do when you visit Edinburgh with your significant other.

We were served a three-tier platter filled with sweet and savoury goodies- sandwiches, haggis balls, scones, mini cakes, and more. There are also around a dozen different teas you can choose between.

The atmosphere is amazing- tables decorated with candles, roses and ribbons; mood lighting, comfortable leather seats, and a traditional Scottish aesthetic…you quite literally feel like a King or Queen for the afternoon as you are weighed on hand and foot!

So yes, definitely an experience you should try- you WILL win some brownie points! It does come at a price, however; it costs £40 per person for the Afternoon Tea. It’s well worth it- this is an all-around experience, not just a meal.

Because this restaurant is so lovely, you will need to book in advance– so don’t leave booking too late!

15. Macdonald Houstoun House, West Lothian

macdonald houstoun house west lothian
Inside the pub at Macdonald Houstoun House

Personally, MacDonald Houstoun House is the most romantic place in Scotland for me- because it’s where I got married!

Our wedding in Scotland was the best day of my life- and we were married in the perfect setting of this lovely 16th-century country house surrounded by gardens.

This isn’t just a wedding venue- it’s also a hotel, and a great romantic getaway for couples. There’s a nice restaurant and traditional, cosy pub on site. They also have a gym, pool and spa- so if you feel like pamper weekend with your partner, book a few nights here!


By Lala