Historic Scotland car-freeall across Scotland

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Discover historic sites across Scotland, from castles to crofts, by train, bus, bike and foot. Thanks to our partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, you'll enjoy 25% off entry at any of these 15 amazing places. Book online entering code GOOD25 and show a train/bus ticket or bike on arrival. From a remote island croft house, to mills, castles and mansions, discover the people and places which made Scotland.

  • County: all across Scotland
  • Great for: adventure | film locations | history | living history | Picnics | scenic bus and train | Walks |
  • Refreshments: Some sites have onsite refreshments - see Historic Environment Scotland website.
  • Please note: researched/updated December 2023. If anything’s changed or you have tips to share, do get in touch: features@goodjourney.org.uk
  1. 1. The Blackhouse, Arnol

    Visit a traditional thatched croft house, fully-furnished with the peat fire still burning, just as it was left in 1966.

    Join the locals on the W2 bus from Stornoway. Wend your way around the villages and crofts of Lewis, passing the famous Callanish Stones, and step off beside a lone phone box in Arnol 80 minutes later. From there it’s a 10-minute walk up the lane to the atmospheric Blackhouse – arriving on foot, just at the crofters who built it would have done. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to The Blackhouse, Arnol

  1. 2. Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel

    Raised above the sea, island kings used these battlements to scan the horizon in the thirteenth century.

    It’s a spectacular train ride to Oban, winding between remote lochs and granite peaks. You can enjoy an audio tour of the journey and perhaps a cuppa and shortbread from the trolley. From Oban it’s a 10-minute bus ride and then a 20-minute walk to the Castle. Arriving on foot you can spot sailing boats out in the bay and perhaps even an otter on the shore. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel

  1. 3. Fort George

    Experience how the original residents lived, with an audio tour around the reconstructed Georgian rooms. Soldiers still patrol the mile-long perimeter or this working garrison.

    It’s spectacular train journey to Inverness and then a 40-minute bus ride to Ardersier. From there you can follow a shingle path along the sea shore, with great views across the Moray Firth – keep an eye out for the fins of porpoises or dolphins! Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Fort George.

  1. 4. Huntly Castle

    Admire the carved stone sculptures and friezes of this picturesque ruin.

    Comfortable trains roll out of Aberdeen with space to stretch your legs onboard. You could hop off to visit the quaint Insch Station Museum on your way. Once you arrive at Huntly, it’s a 20-minute walk through the town and past the playground to the castle’s park. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Huntly Castle.

  1. 5. Duff House

    The lavish decoration of this baroque mansion, has won it a place in the collection the Scottish National Gallery. There’s a drawing trail and play area for the little ones.

    It’s an epic 2-hour bus ride from Aberdeen to Banff, with great views from the top deck. Then it’s a 25-minute stroll, via a walking trail beside sandy Banff Bridge Beach and through the landscaped grounds, to reach Duff House. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Duff House.

  1. 6. Stanley Mills

    Try your hand at water wheels, pulleys and games to get a taste the life of woman and children in the factories of the industrial revolution. Listen to real workers describe how they used the antique machinery in their jobs. Please note: Stanley Mills is closed during the winter.

    It’s just an hour’s train ride from Glasgow to Perth, where you join the bus, weaving it’s way along the river to Stanley. Finish your journey to the mills on foot, like the workers did, as you wander past the old millers’ cottages. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Stanley Mills.

  1. 7. Huntingtower Castle

    Mary Queen of Scots spent one of her honeymoons in these towers. Today you can still see the painted ceilings she would have gazed up at, but the castle is only home to deer and bats.

    It’s a 20-minute bus ride through Perth to the city’s edge, where the bus will drop you almost right outside the castle. If you’re coming from further afield, it’s an hour’s relaxing riverside train journey to Perth from Glasgow via Stirling. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Huntingtower Castle.

  1. 8. Blackness Castle

    The dramatic coastal location, has made Blackness Castle a popular film location – with it’s own pier, headland beach and panoramic views from the towers.

    The castle gradually comes into view on the 15-minute journey from Linlithgow – look out for Binns Tower folly, on the right, from the bus window. The bus will drop you right outside Blackness Castle. Linlithgow is an easy half-hour train ride from either Glasgow or Edinburgh. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Blackness Castle.

  1. 9. Doune Castle

    As the setting for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it’s appropriate that the audio tour is narrated by Terry ‘the python’ Jones. Visitors can even buy film scripts and borrow coconuts (as props) to play in the ‘minstrel gallery’! Please note: There no bike racks at Doune at the moment, sorry.

    It’s a half-hour country bus ride from Stirling, followed by a pleasant 10-minute stroll. Alternatively, walk or cycle along a traffic-free path from Dunblane. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Doune Castle.

  1. 10. Stirling Castle

    One of the jewels in the crown of our historic sites. You’ll meet costumed palace servants as you explore their kitchen workplace, play in the activity vaults and parkland, or follow the audio guide.

    It’s an easy train ride, past mountains and fields, from Glasgow (30 minutes) or Edinburgh (50 minutes), to Stirling’s pretty city centre. Then walk up the volcanic crag to the castle (15 minutes), take an app-led scenic detour, or hop on the free bus. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Stirling Castle.

  1. 11. Craigmillar Castle

    Explore the epic rooms and grounds – with orienteering and play area – at this well-preserved landmark. Like all Historic Environment Scotland sites, Craigmillar has a downloadable quiz.
    See if you can spot Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat on the 20-minute Craigmillar bus trip from Edinburgh to Craigmillar. There are great train connections to Edinburgh from around Scotland and beyond. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Craigmillar Castle.
  1. 12. New Abbey Cornmill

    The restored 1700s water wheel still grinds oatmeal for summer guided tours. Watch the whole process, then meet the millpond ducklings.

    Enjoy a 20-minute country postcard bus ride from Dumfries. The bus will drop you just round the corner from the Mill. There are regular direct trains to Dumfries from Carlisle and Glasgow. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to New Abbey Corn Mill.

  1. 13. Linlithgow Palace

    The Stewart’s royal home still boasts it’s opulent tapestries and parkland. Events and festivals now raise what was once the roof. There’s also an accessible walking and cycling trail along the loch-side.

    Linlithgow is just 15 minutes by train from Edinburgh, or 30 from Glasgow. You’ll arrive in the middle of town, for a 5-minute stroll along the attractive High Street to the Palace. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Linlithgow Palace.

  1. 14. Aberdour Castle and Garden

    Perhaps Scotland’s oldest castle, Aberdour is still complete with painted ceilings. There’s also a tearoom overlooking terraced lawns, leading to an orchard.

    It’s just a 25-minute train ride from Edinburgh to Aberdour, across the famous Forth Bridge. The Castle is right next to the train station. You can bring your visit to life with Fife’s family-friendly augmented reality app. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Aberdour Castle and Gardens.

  1. 15. Dumbarton Castle

    Dumbarton Castle is at the swirling meeting point of two rivers, between volcanic peaks, with views as far as Ben Lomond.

    The castle is just a 10-minute walk from Dumbarton Central station. It’s a 35-45 minute train ride from Glasgow Central to Dumbarton, from where trains continue up the epic West Highland Line. Here’s our full car-free travel directions to Dumbarton Castle.

  1. Have a good journey!

    We hope you enjoy the adventure of visiting these historic sites car-free. Why not invite friends to join your travels, by sharing this page on WhatsApp, email or Facebook. Thank you for helping us reduce traffic and keep historic places special for everyone.