Exploring Scottish cities via rail!


From buzzing cities to spectacular landscapes, Scotland is a beautiful country that’s right on your doorstep. With wild-camping legal and free just outside of it’s cities you don’t even have to pay for accommodation!

So, next time you plan a holiday why not cut down on planes and carbon emissions? Head to one of the seven Scottish cities, you can reach all seven of them by rail!


The exceptionally hilly capital of Scotland. Edinburgh is unique because although it’s a city it is surrounded by the nature of dramatic hills. Climb Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that offers beautiful views over the city.

One of the pulling factors of Edinburgh is there’s no shortage of culture – there are museums galore. The city also has a large festival scene celebrating everything from comedy to science.

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Edinburgh’s edgier brother – a cultural and social hub with a no shortage of quirky bars and vintage shops. Arguably the artiest city in Scotland – full of galleries and art museums. You can’t miss Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work dotted around the city, famous for creating the ‘Glasgow Style’.




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A port city located in the North East of Scotland. The city is full of interesting buildings to explore – its nickname is ‘the city of granite’ due to the grey architecture.

At the heart of Aberdeen is its ancient history. You could spend your time exploring the 12th century castle or learn Doric, an ancient Scottish dialect still spoken by locals.

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The perfect place to learn all things nautical, with several museums. The port is home to the award-winning RRS Discovery, the last three mast ship built in the UK. If you’re not really a nautical person Dundee is also known for its arty side. Dundee has the only V&A museum outside London and The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum.

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Located in the Scottish Highlands, the train journey to Inverness is an adventure of its own. Learn all about Victorian times in Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. Fancy finding Nessie? You can get a bus directly to the Loch Ness Centre from Inverness. The area is a great base for exploring the Scottish Highlands.


Scotland’s youngest city, based on the River Tay – if you like water sports and salmon fishing, Perth is a great place to experience both. The River Tay is known as the best place to fish for salmon in Scotland. Discover it’s military and royal history, learn about tales of treason and romance at Huntingtontower Castle or view the Black Watch’s uniforms and weaponry at Balhousie Castle.

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Right in the centre of Scotland, Stirling is an iconic city. Known for the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge when William Wallace defeated the English. There is regular public transport to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The park is a beautiful place to wild camp and enjoy the views.


If you’re planning a trip to Scotland, don’t forget you can get the cheapest train tickets at NationalRail.com. You can also check out our Stationmaster’s recent blog about Dundee here or find the best wild-camping spots here.