1. Parallel Roads, Highlands
  2. Electric Brae, Ayrshire
  3. Kagyu Samye Ling, Dumfries and Galloway
  4. The Fortingall Yew, Perthshire
  5. Meikleour Beech Hedges, Perth and Kinross
  6. Staffin Bay Dinosaur Footprints, Isle of Skye
  7. Fast Castle

Tired of boring major Sottish tourist attractions, Looking for offbeat less known but still amazing spots in Scotland?


Visiting Scotland does not mean only seeing the major tourist attractions, and if you know where to look Scotland is packed with awesome hidden gems. So here are a few wee secret spots that I think you will love. Enjoy!

Parallel Roads, Highlands

Parallel Roads of Glen Roy
Parallel Roads of Glen Roy by Nick Rowland (CC BY-ND 2.0)

In a quiet valley, 18 miles to the north-east of the Highland town of Fort William is a geological phenomenon that is unique in Britain.

Glen Roy and its side valley are marked by three strange roads that circle the glen. From the distance, they appear man-made but they are entirely natural, formed as lake terraces around a now long-gone lake that existed during the last ice age.

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Electric Brae, Ayrshire

Electric Brae
ScotlandSep12_288 by Richard Szwejkowski (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Electric Brae, south of Dunure in Ayrshire, is a site where it appears that the laws of physics don't apply. On this part of the A719 cars appear to roll uphill.
This is actually an optical illusion - the road runs downhill but because of the surrounding landscape it appears to be going uphill. It was so named back when electricity had been newly discovered and any strange phenomenon could be described as "electric".

The stone in the parking space ahead is inscribed with the following:

"The ELECTRIC BRAE", known locally as "CROY BRAE". This runs the quarter mile from the bend overlooking Croy railway viaduct in the west (286 feet Above Ordnance Datum) to the wooded Craigencroy Glen (303 feet A.O.D.) to the east.
Whilst there is this slope of 1 in 86 upwards from the bend to the Glen, the configuration of the land on either side of the road provides an optical illusion making it look as if the slope is going the other way.
Therefore, a stationary car on the road with the brakes off will appear to move slowly uphill. The term 'Electric' dates from a time when it was incorrectly thought to be a phenomenon caused by electric or magnetic attraction within the Brae."

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Kagyu Samye Ling, Dumfries and Galloway

Temple
Temple by Scotlandtraveloholic (CC BY-NC 4.0)

The biggest Buddhist Temple in the West and, luckily for us, located in the peaceful valley of Eskadalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway.
Founded by two refugee Tibetan monks in 1967 has host famous people who have made the trip to this temple include John Lennon and Yoko Ono, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen.
The Monastery you can see on the photo was open in 1988 and all the work was done by members of the community which consist 200 people. Under the direction of Sherapalden, resident artists and craftspeople produced all the images, carvings, paintings and decorations.

See Also: Secret Buddhist Temple In Scotland

The Fortingall Yew, Perthshire

The Fortingall Yew
Yew by Jon (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In the graveyard of the small Perthshire village of Fortingall stands a yew tree which many believe is the oldest tree in Britain.

It has been estimated to be up to 5000 years old, although the latest dating evidence suggests it is between 2000 and 3000 years old.

A local tradition has it that Pontius Pilate was born underneath its branches.
It is said that Pontius Pilate's father was serving in a Roman Legion based here when Pontius was born. Oh, well it's a good story anyway!

#Little Sparta Trust, South Lanarkshire

Little Sparta
Little Sparta by Ergonomik (CC BY 2.0)

Little Sparta is a lovely 5-acre garden hidden in the Pentland Hills at Dunsyre, 24 miles from Edinburgh.
Created by artist and gardener Ian Hamilton Finlay, the garden consists of about 275 works of art including many of Finley’s "garden poems".
The Arcadian garden includes concrete poetry in sculptural form, polemic, and philosophical aphorisms, together with sculptures and two temples. It is a wonderful place for a peaceful walk. Little Sparta will reopen on June 2017.

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#The Dunmore Pineapple

Pineaple
Pineaple by scotlandtraveloholic (CC BY_NC 4.0)

In Dunmore Park, one mile from the village of Airth in the vicinity of Falkirk, stands a folly ranked as "the most bizarre building in Scotland".
A "folly" is a building built primarily for its decoration, a 45-feet high pineapple made of stone. This huge royal dockyard was founded in 1761 by the 4th Earl of Dunmore and today it's owned by the Landmark Trust and can be rented as a holiday home.

 See Also: The Finest of Falkirk

Meikleour Beech Hedges, Perth and Kinross

Meikleour Beech
Meikleour Beech Hedge by Sandy Stevenson (CC BY_NC_ND 2.0)

Outside of the village of Meikleour in Perthshire is the world's largest and tallest hedges (they are mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records).
The hedge follows the A93 for more than 600 yards and it's now more than 85 feet high. It was planted by Jean Mercer and her husband Robert Murray Nairne in 1745.
Local tradition says it is so high because the hedge is growing towards heaven as so many of the men who planted it was killed in 1746 at the Battle of Culloden.

Staffin Bay Dinosaur Footprints, Isle of Skye

Dinosaur footprint
Dinosaur footprint on Staffin beach by John Allan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 SCOTLAND)

Staffin Bay, located in the north of Skye, is one of the few sandy beaches on the island. Sheltered and quiet, Staffin Bay will provide a peaceful and tranquil day out for everyone.
At An Corran, close to Staffin Bay, there is a geological formation which you can see dinosaur footprints from 165 million years ago! The bay has yielded numerous dinosaur fossils, some of which can be seen at the community-run Staffin Museum.

Fast Castle

Fast Castle Descent
Fast Castle Descent by Colleysmill (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Located 4 miles from the Berwickshire village of Coldingham stands the ruined coastal fortress of Fast Castle. Cliffs on three sides of the castle and a drawbridge to the mainland must have it almost impregnable.
The fact that it was located in the Scottish borders meant that the castle was fought over by the Scots and English many times.
Although the castle was destroyed in 1515 after the Battle of Flodden, it's colourful history continued - local legends say that it was used for smuggling and ship-wrecking.

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