When you think of countries with beautiful sunsets, Scotland may not be one that immediately comes to mind.
It has a reputation for being rainy, foggy, and chilly most of the year, which doesn’t usually pair well with good sunset conditions.
But Scotland is one of those countries that just feels magical.
The rolling green countryside looks like something out of a fairytale and the beautiful old historic buildings make you feel like you are in a movie.
When the sun goes down, you can’t help but marvel at the gorgeous light no matter where you are.
Don’t discount Scotland as a great place to see some fantastic sunsets. Whether you are taking a road trip through the Highlands or spending some time in one of the cities, there are so many great options.
Here are 13 of the best spots to see the sunset in Scotland!
The 13 Best Places to Watch Sunset in Scotland
1. Laig Beach, Isle of Eigg
The Isle of Eigg is located in the Scottish Inner Hebrides, a group of islands south of the more well-known Isle of Skye.
This underrated isle is the perfect place to visit for those looking to get off the beaten path.
When the sun starts setting, head to Laig Beach, a white sand beach on the western side of the island. This beach is the perfect choice for a gorgeous view of the neighbouring Isle of Rum surrounded by all the evening colours.
2. Calton Hill, Edinburgh
This well-known landmark in the heart of Edinburgh is a popular place to get a panoramic view of the city, but it’s also a fantastic location to view the sunset.
Wander around the various monuments and find the perfect spot to watch the sun set on the sprawling city.
The Dugald Stewart Monument and Nelson Monument are popular viewing areas.
3. Oban Bay, Oban
With views over the Isle of Kerrera and beyond, Oban Bay is a great place to spend some time at the end of the day.
Watch the ferries travel back and forth, walk along the north pier, and grab a bite to eat at one of the many seafood restaurants.
Just before sunset, head up to McCaig’s Tower and Battery Hill for panoramic views of the bay.
4. Neist Point, Isle of Skye
Neist Point Lighthouse is one of the most recognizable and popular lighthouses in Scotland and
is located at the westernmost point of the Isle of Skye.
A path will take you all the way to the lighthouse, but the best views are found at the viewpoint at the beginning of the trail.
This spot is a must on any Scotland road trip but is extra special at the end of the day. A great option for exploring this area is to arrive early, spend some time walking down to the lighthouse, and then make your way back to the viewpoint for sunset.
5. Lyle Hill, Greenock
Located less than an hour from Glasgow, Lyle Hill offers beautiful views of the River Clyde and the town of Greenock. You can also visit the Memorial Cross, a memorial honouring WWII French forces.
If you decide to head to Greenock early, spend some time wandering the McLean Museum & Art Gallery or the Beacon Arts Centre.
If you’d rather be outside, you can meander the Greenock cemetery or drive a few minutes south to the Greenock Cut Waterfall or RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve.
6. The Forth Bridges, South Queensferry
The Forth Road Bridge, Forth Railway Bridge, and Queensferry Crossing make up the famous ‘three bridges spanning three centuries’ located just outside Edinburgh.
These bridges cross the Firth of Forth (say that 3 times fast!) and make a majestic foreground for the sunset.
The only bridge you can walk or bike across is the Forth Road Bridge, so this is the best spot to watch the sunset if you’d like to be right over the water.
If you’d prefer to see the bridges during sunset, there are a couple of beaches along the River Forth where you can sit and relax as the sun goes down.
7. Lochinver, Sutherland
This tiny village in the highlands of Scotland is the perfect place to visit if you want some peace and quiet.
Situated on the west coast of Scotland, this fishing village has beautiful mountain views and white sandy beaches.
Come to relax and stay for the sunset! Wander down by the harbour and along the rocks while imagining what it would be like to live in such a place. Don’t forget to check out the local seafood too!
8. Dornie, Wester Ross
Most people might not recognize the name of the town, but many would probably know the famous Eilean Donan Castle just down the road.
Dornie sits right at the meeting place of Loch Duich, Loch Alsh, and Loch Long and is only a few miles from the bridge that takes travelers to the Isle of Skye.
A visit to the castle is a must, but I’d also highly recommend heading up to the Eilean Donan lookout for sunset. The view is spectacular any time of day but especially beautiful as the sun sinks below the hills of the highlands.
9. Holyrood Park, Edinburgh
This beautiful parkland in Edinburgh has a multitude of places to view the sun setting over the city.
The most popular place is Arthur’s Seat, the highest point in the park and the remnants of an extinct volcano.
If you have more time, I’d highly recommend spending several hours walking around the park, stopping to see St. Margaret’s Well, Saint Anthony’s Chapel Ruins, and Duddingston Loch.
10. Necropolis, Glasgow
This Victorian-era cemetery is a hauntingly beautiful part of the city that makes the perfect location to end your day.
Wander the gravel pathways and read the names of Glaswegians from days past while also appreciating the panoramic view of Glasgow.
Don’t miss exploring Glasgow Cathedral, a stunning medieval church with breathtaking stained glass. You can also swing by the William Wallace Memorial across the street from the cathedral, honouring the famous Scotsman leader of the First War of Scottish Independence.
11. Riverside, Dundee
After exploring the city of Dundee and all the nautical museums and history, find your way to Riverside Nature Park, located along the Firth of Tay. This peaceful spot overlooks the water and is a great place for birdwatching.
Another great option is to wander down the Riverside Walk, which is a 3-mile walkway and bike path between Riverside Nature Park and Discovery Point. If you get the chance, visit the RSS Discovery, an Antarctic research ship from the early 1900s.
12. Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire
Perched on a rock and almost completely surrounded by water, Dunnottar Castle is arguably one of the most picturesque castle ruins in Scotland. The setting sun only makes the castle more magical and romantic.
Take the time to wander the castle grounds, but also make sure you spend some time hiking around the paths
and trails along the coast. The best views of the castle can be found when you venture beyond the grounds and hike along the cliffs.
13. Torridon Hills, Highlands
This off-the-beaten-path spot is ideal for hikers and outdoor lovers. Surrounded by lochs and mountains, Torridon offers a remote option that can’t be beaten.
Take your pick of hiking trails and discover your favourite one to watch the sunset. Or, for those who would rather do something less strenuous, find your way down to Upper Loch Torridon and enjoy the view from the Am Ploc Open Air Church or the Deer Museum.
Where do I find the sunset times for Scotland?
Due to its location, Scotland can have pretty late sunsets in the summer and early ones in the winter.
The times can vary from as early as 3:40 pm in the winter to 10:00 pm in the summer.
I like to use timeanddate.com to find out when the sunset will be on the day and location so I can plan accordingly.
Most weather apps will also show the time of the sunset at your current location.
When is the best time to visit Scotland?
I personally think there is never a bad time to visit Scotland, but depending on what kind of experience you want to have will determine when you should go.
Summer is always a fantastic time to visit. The days are very long which means you can fit in more outdoor activities and the weather is warmer. Most attractions will be open too. However, summer brings the crowds so it will be busy with tourists.
Spring and autumn are great options if you don’t mind a higher chance of rain and understand that
some attractions won’t be open.
This is my personal favourite time to go because the crowds are less and I don’t mind exploring in the rain.
You can also road trip on a budget during this time of year and save money.
Winter brings the chance of snow which could be a pro or con depending on what you like. The Christmas markets will be set up in the cities which are wonderful to experience. However, a lot of attractions will be closed and you won’t have as much daylight to explore outdoors.
No matter when you decide to visit Scotland you are sure to have a fantastic time!
While this list of locations is in no way exhaustive, I hope it gives you a few ideas of places you can go while in Scotland to watch the sunset.
Regardless of where you find yourself in the country, I hope you take the time to enjoy the sunset and the beauty all around you!
13 Best Sunset Spots in Scotland | Final Thoughts
This post is a guest post written by the lovely Stef from Open Road Odysseys.
Stef is a huge fan of road trips and aims to show anyone with a desire for adventure that an unforgettable road trip is possible on a budget.
Her blog has tonnes of content, not just about Scotland, but the United States as well, so be sure to go and check out her content if you want to know more about planning the perfect road trip!
Until next time,
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