Staycation Scotland: Edinburgh Castle and Arthur's Seat top charts in VisitScotland's most awe-inspiring city sights in Scotland

Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat have topped the charts in a VisitScotland survey which reveals the top five city sights across Scotland that awe tourists.

A VisitScotland survey has revealed the five top awe-inspiring city sights across Scotland.
A VisitScotland survey has revealed the five top awe-inspiring city sights across Scotland.

Out of all the locations, Edinburgh Castle has been voted the most awe-inspiring city sight in Scotland.

More than a quarter (26%) of people chose the landmark in the VisitScotland survey – carried out by Scotpulse in a sample group of 1,000 in early May – created to find out what people are impressed by when visiting the country’s seven cities.

The view from Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh is second with 18%, followed by the National Wallace Monument in Stirling with 16%.

The SSE Hydro lit up at night (10%) nabbed fourth place in the survey (Photo: John Devlin).

The SSE Hydro lit up at night (10%) nabbed fourth place and Stirling Castle (8%) fifth.

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Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “Each of these attractions offer something for everyone as restrictions ease and are all worth a visit – especially when research shows that gazing upon awe-inspiring places helps to improve wellbeing.

“This poll shows just some of the many special spots we can enjoy in our cities across Scotland, as well as the well-known rural sights.

Out of all the locations, Edinburgh Castle has been voted the most awe-inspiring city sight in Scotland (Photo: Shutterstock).

“As we recover from the impacts of the pandemic there will be a focus on protecting mental health, and going on holiday or attending an event will prove popular ways to do that.

“We know that rural experiences and destinations are proving popular with visitors. With this in mind, it is our urban areas that may face challenges and we would encourage visitors to explore our urban destinations.

“With many incredible historical sights, new innovations, wide-open green spaces and country parks found in and around our cities, visitors don’t have to head exclusively to the countryside for that awe-inspiring experience.”

Stirling Castle (8%) came fifth place in the survey (Photo: Lorna Donaldson).

Adam McVey, City of Edinburgh Council leader, said: “Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it’s great to hear our landmarks across the city and our green and blue spaces in and around the capital have been recognised.”

The poll was commissioned after a recent research paper by the national tourism organisation highlighted upcoming tourism trends in the wake of Covid-19.

One of these was the opportunities for “awe trend”, which sees visitors planning to travel to places or take part in activities that inspire awe.

Other sights people were asked to vote on included the view from the top of The Law in Dundee, Leakey’s Bookshop in Inverness, V&A Dundee alongside RRS Discovery, the view from Inverness Castle, and the entrance to the Riverside Museum in Glasgow.

The National Wallace Monument in Stirling was given third place with 16% in the awe-inspiring survey (Photo: Robert Perry).

Andy Scott’s leopard sculpture in Marischal Square and NuArt city-wide murals were among the options in Aberdeen, while in Perth it was the Black Watch Castle and Museum as seen from North Inch park and the frontage of the Salutation Hotel.

Other options people could choose as the most awe-inspiring city sight included the Duke of Wellington statue, which is normally topped with a traffic cone, or the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, Aberdeen Harbour, and St Giles Cathedral or the Scott Monument in Edinburgh.

Reporting by PA.

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The view from Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh achieved second place in the survey (Photo: Scott Louden).