Get out from under Edinburgh’s shadow and welcome in a world of mysterious history, ancient hills and idyllic loch-side towns.
Seven miles south of Edinburgh lies the unassuming village of Roslin, home to the beautiful Rosslyn Chapel, the jewel in the crown of scenic Midlothian.
The mystical chapel is a gothic masterpiece, shrouded in theories of connections with Freemasonry and the Knights Templar, and was even featured in the Hollywood adaptation of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
Between the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow lies the stunning idyll of West Lothian, where you’ll find rolling countryside full of prehistoric burial sites, palace ruins and castles.
Head up to the Bathgate Hills if you’ve packed your hiking boots, where on a good day it’s possible to see the Isle of Arran.
If the weather’s nice, pack your swimmers and head to one of the sandy beaches of East Lothian, officially the sunniest place in Scotland.
The region is dominated by 40 or so miles of beaches stretching from Musselburgh round to Dunbar. Wonderful seaside towns pepper the coastline, offering plenty of quaint streets to stroll down, bustling shops, galleries and places to stop for a bite to eat.
You won’t find many places in Scotland with more history than Clackmannanshire, a strategic location for settlements since the prehistoric age.
Take the Tower Trail, a tour which encompasses four medieval towers and one manor house, each with its own fascinating history. The Ochil Hills provide a fantastic backdrop while you’re winding your way through the sleepy villages.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
If it’s secluded beauty you’re after, there’s no better place than the mountains and glens of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, where, in the early 18th century, outlaw Rob Roy famously hid from his pursuers.
Lining the shores of the park’s 22 lochs are countless pretty villages. Head up to Breadalbane to follow the mystical Falls of Dochart through the picturesque village of Killin.
1 hour 39 minutes