Awe-inspiring landscapes, romantic castles, white sandy beaches – Scotland has all the right shots when it comes to your photography bucket list. Although you might just have to wait that wee bit longer to see them physically, we’ve cherry-picked some of our favorite city hotspots for some much-needed travel inspiration.
When it comes to amazing viewpoints of Edinburgh Castle, The Vennel certainly doesn’t disappoint. Did you know? The word ‘vennel’ is an old Scottish word derived from the French word venelle, meaning ‘little street’.
Edinburgh’s city center is a hub of activity, featuring streets lined with shops, award-winning restaurants and popular visitor attractions right on your doorstep. If you’re looking to venture a wee bit further, head to Circus Lane in Stockbridge. Just a ten-minute walk from Princes Street and Edinburgh’s shopping districts, you will be in your element posing along the pretty cobbled street.
KYOTO FRIENDSHIP GARDEN
Bringing a slice of Japan to Edinburgh, and welcoming visitors since 2002, the Kyoto Friendship Garden can be found on the grounds of Lauriston Castle, which was created to celebrate the twinning towns of Edinburgh and Kyoto.
Fans of Outlander might be familiar with this next photo. Bakehouse Close was used as a filming location when characters Jamie and Claire meet outside Alexander Malcolm’s print shop after years of separation. It is also considered to be the best-preserved close in the city’s Old Town, giving visitors a great insight into what life was like during the 18th century.
ST MUNGO MURAL AT HIGH STREET
Glasgow is home to such a fantastic array of street art that it even has its own Mural Trail. Vacant buildings have now been turned into magnificent pieces of artwork, showcasing some of the city’s artistic talent. One of our favorites is the St Mungo Mural at Glasgow High Street painted by Sam Bates, A.K.A Smug. Mungo is Glasgow’s patron saint and is seen here dressed in modern clothes with a robin perched on his finger. It is believed that when he was young, some boys from his village would throw stones at robins who were pecking at food from the ground.
GLASGOW UNIVERSITY CLOISTERS
Also known as the Undercroft, The Cloisters at Glasgow University connect the East and West Quadrangles with the doorway leading to the Hunterian Museum and Bute Hall where graduation ceremonies take place each summer. Here are the Cloisters looking rather festive with their fairy lights.
THE HIDDEN LANE IN FINNIESTON
If you’re looking for everything in one place, The Hidden Lane is a great community where you will be able to discover and buy lots of goodies from independent businesses. Enjoy a spot of afternoon tea at Hidden Lane Tearoom, for vintage arts & crafts head to Bubblegum Kitschville or if you want to spruce up your pad with decorative art, Pipsylils sell unique abstracts paintings and sculptures. The bright-colored studios are also a bonus for a great photo backdrop!
This magnificent feat of architecture marks the birthplace of the city of Glasgow and is the only medieval building on the Scottish mainland to survive the Reformation of 1560 intact. When it is safe to visit again, visitors can marvel at its beautiful stained-glass window panels.
It’s true what they say, Dundee has got style! It’s also proud to be the first and only UNESCO City of Design in the UK. Get ready to capture multiple angles outside the V&A Museum with the design of the building inspired by the dramatic cliffs along the northeast coasts of Scotland. When the museum reopens its doors again, you will be able to experience the remarkable story of design from the past, present and future through permanent and recurring exhibitions. In the meantime, get creative at home by trying out a range of activities to help keep you busy.
When it comes to spectacular views, it doesn’t get any better than Dundee Law. On a clear day, climb to the summit and take a panoramic shot where you will be able to see almost 45 miles over the city to Fife, Perthshire and the Sidlaw Hills to the north.
TAY RAIL BRIDGE
No good travel photo is complete without the token sunrise or sunset picture! If you’re looking for more inspirational places to photograph, the Tay Rail Bridge is a bonnie location for some good snaps to add to your photo collection.
CAMPERDOWN COUNTRY PARK
You don’t need to travel very far to witness amazing wildlife spectacles. From golden eagles, and snowy owls, to European brown bears, a visit to the park certainly calls for a wild day out. If you’re looking to explore the woodlands and snap up a few more pics, the trees are a great backdrop for any portrait or landscape shot with the park home to no fewer than 190 species of trees.
STIRLING OLD BRIDGE
Once the main crossing point of the River Forth until the early 1800s, Stirling Old Bridge has had its fair share of historical moments, from the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 to the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Today, the Old Bridge remains an important part of the city’s cultural heritage and is used by many pedestrians and cyclists.
Stirling is simply a gold mine when it comes to hidden gems, if you’re looking for some of the best places to take photos, look no further than the Old Town. Exploring here almost feels like stepping back in time with its medieval cobbled streets and stone buildings, making it a picture-perfect backdrop. Don’t forget to smile!
STIRLING CASTLE – THE BACK WALK
Regarded as one of Europe’s finest urban walkways, step outside for some fresh air and fill your camera roll with snaps of this magnificent scenic view. If you have an eye for art, keep your eyes peeled to see where chainsaw carvers have worked their magic on a series of impressive wood carvings, including the Stirling Wolf and The Archer and the Deer, with each carving relating back to Stirling’s historical past.
The historical delights of Stirling don’t stop there. If you’re into your history, then you will no doubt be familiar with Cambuskenneth Abbey. Founded in 1140 by King David I, the abbey was a scene of Robert Bruce’s parliaments in 1314 and 1326. Although the tower is the only part of the abbey you can see today, it is totally worth a pic during golden hour.
ST MATTHEWS CHURCH
Towering over the skyline of Perth is St Matthews Church. This river shot accompanied with its lush greenery and river reflections make this a standout photograph.
Climbing the dizzying heights of Kinnoull Hill is totally worth getting the perfect shot. This magnificent woodland is a quiet area for you to set up your tripod and camera where you will be treated to stunning views of the River Tay. Check out what other iconic Scottish views our wee country has to offer.
NORIE MILLER PARK AND PUBLIC ART SCULPTURE TRAIL
You’ll find everything in one place when you visit Norie Miller Park. From its extraordinary wildlife, beautiful gardens and art sculptures dotted around its green space, you’re bound to come away with lots of photographs to post on your social media. It is also well-known for hosting a series of ‘Walk Night Lights’ throughout the calendar year.
We’re a sucker when it comes to cityscape photography and North Inch is a fantastic example when it comes to glorious views. The Tay Bridge, the city’s rolling hills and its fine architecture play a starring role in every picture you take. If Perth is on your bucket list of places to visit in the future, why not check out what gems our other Scottish cities hold?
Planning a trip to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without adding a castle or two to your itinerary. When lockdown restrictions have eased, enjoy a royal visit to Scone Palace where Scottish Kings were once crowned. The peaceful and serene woodland and gardens aren’t just photogenic – it’s also a great place for a leisurely stroll or for a nice picnic spot.
Adding a splash of color to the city is Nuart Aberdeen. Since 2017, the city has been showcasing local and international talent through a series of murals that resonate with the city, its surroundings and history.
If you don’t get the chance to see the art festival, fear not! Once restrictions ease, free guided walking tours will run weekly every Thursday, Saturday and selected Sundays until the end of September. ‘Endangered Dreams’ by Bodalo II on Union Row is just one of the many highlights you can see as you wander through the city streets – a fitting tribute to Scotland’s National Animal.
PERSLEY WALLED GARDEN
With the ever-changing seasons, no two visits are ever the same at Persley Walled Garden. When the sun comes out to play, take a wander along the nature trail adjoining the River Don and, during the colder months, see the luscious green leaves on the trees turn to fiery golds, reds and oranges.
There is something quite joyful about watching new day dawn, especially at one of Scotland’s beauty spots. Set your alarm early and take a walk up to Loch Muick. Have your camera at the ready as the sun appears over the tranquil freshwater loch where you will be in a prime position for stunning views. Keep your eyes peeled for Glas-alt Shield which was a hunting lodge built for Queen Victoria in 1868.
Originally part of the great hunting forests of Stockett just outside the city, the land was gifted by King Robert the Bruce to thank the townspeople for their support after their victory over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Today the park is a great day out for families offering a wealth of things to see and do, from its woodland walks, getting up close and personal with wildlife at the Mini Zoo, and finding your own way out of Scotland’s oldest maze.
Undisputedly one of Scotland’s best-hidden treasures, Plodda Falls is the tallest and most thrilling waterfall in the region, plunging over a drop of 151 feet. The new viewing platform at the River Affric offers great shots towards the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve.
It’s not just Scotland’s outdoors which help capture amazing and inspiring images, but our indoor attractions, cafes and restaurants hold just as much character when it comes to visual inspiration. Leakey’s Bookshop is definitely worth the wait when lockdown restrictions ease. Established in 1979, it is Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop with a comfortable seating area for reading to help you relax and escape reality for a little while.
INVERNESS BOTANIC GARDENS
Looking for a peaceful spot to photograph away from the busy bustle of the city center? Inverness Botanic Gardens might be the answer. From its Tropical House and wildflower meadow to its Cactus House, their lots of opportunities to discover new and exotic plants from across the globe, and with free entry what’s not to love?
A collection of natural islands that sit in the middle of the River Ness, the Ness Islands are a picture-perfect paradise for photographers. As the temperatures rise, the rhododendrons will be sure to take center stage with lively displays of color, before transforming into a winter wonderland with a festive display of twinkling lights.
FAIRY GLEN FALLS
Wandering through the enchanted forest of Fairy Glen Falls is like stepping into a real-life fairytale! Snap away until your heart’s content to capture its raw beauty. It is also believed that the Fairy Glen was once the scene of a well-dressing ceremony, where the children of the village decorated the pool to ensure that the fairies kept the water supply clean.
We hope that you have enjoyed browsing through these amazing photography ideas and we look forward to welcoming you to Scotland again in the future. Still undecided on which season is best for you to visit? Take a look at our spring, summer, autumn and winter collection of images to help make your mind up.
By: Emily Buchan