Europe

Major Cities in Scotland

Edinburgh
For more details see above under UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Paisley
The small university town of Paisley has become famous for the tie pattern named after it. Paisley is only about eight miles from Glasgow and has had its own university since 1992, with 10,000 students now enrolled.

Inverness
Inverness is a city in the Scottish Highlands with around 130,000 residents. Inverness is talked about as the fastest growing European city: it was not until 2000 that the Queen granted it city status. Tourism in the Scottish Highlands is an important pillar of the city’s economy, which has proclaimed itself the capital of the Highlands. Particularly worth seeing is Inverness Castle, a castle that was only built in 1847. The River Ness flows through the city and you can take a trip to the Ness Islands.

Perth
The city of Perth is located on the banks of the River Tay. From the 12th century on, Perth was the capital of Scotland, with the important Scone Palace nearby. There are several interesting museums in Perth including the Perth Museum & Art Gallery. St. John’s Kirk is one of the oldest buildings in the city and was built in the mid-12th century. You can make excellent bike trips along the river and also climb Kinnoul Hill, from where you have a wonderful view over the picturesque landscape.

East Kilbride
East Kilbride is located in South Lanarkshire about 15 km from Glasgow. At the beginning of the 20th century, the city only had 900 residents. However, due to its proximity to the industrial metropolis of Glasgow, it has developed into a commuter city, in which around 80,000 people now live. Since the city as such can only look back on 100 years of history, it has hardly any historical building fabric. It is dominated by “The Town Center”, the largest shopping center in Scotland.

Greenock
Greenock is located in the Inverclyde district on the banks of the River Clyde in western Scotland. Greenock was a major shipbuilding site and had several large shipyards. There were also sugar refineries in the area from 1850, the last of which ceased operations in 1997. Greenock has a lovely promenade called the Esplanade, from which one has a beautiful view of the landscape north of the Clyde. There are two beautifully located golf courses near the city center.

Ayr
The small town of Ayr is a bustling market and seaside resort town and is the capital of the Ayrshire coastal landscape on the Firth of Clyde in south-west Scotland. Due to its favorable location, the city has one of the most important ports in the region. Ayr is also home to a well-known racecourse where the Scottish Grand National and the Ayr Gold Cup are held.

Stirling
Stirling is located about 45 km northeast of Glasgow, right at the beginning of the Highlands. There are a total of 15 battlefields in the vicinity of this once strategically important location. The Stirling Castle, which stands above the city on the volcanic rock is used the largest castle in Scotland and has long been of the Stuarts as a residence. South of the castle is the Church of the Holy Rood, built in 1270, where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned Queen of Scotland at the age of nine months. Another building worth seeing is Argyll’s Lodging, built by William Alexander and one of the best preserved Renaissance buildings in Scotland. The Tolbooth Cultural Centerwas built between 1703 and 1706 as a court, town hall and prison. In the course of the renovation, modern architecture and historical buildings were successfully combined. In the northeast of Stirling is the Wallace Monument: a square tower visible from afar, which is supposed to commemorate the winner of the battle against the English invaders.

Gretna Green
The marriage laws of Scotland were and are, in comparison to those of England and most countries in Europe, liberal, and so since 1754 generations of those willing to marry have benefited from the “runaway marriages” possible here. The marriage age is 16 years even without parental consent. In 1967 z. B. the former German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, his first wife in Gretna Green. There is a museum in the village that shows the history of the marriages – accompanied by many documents and sculptural figures – also in German. A special exhibit is the village blacksmith’s anvil in front of or on which those willing to marry made their marriage vows and still do this now and then.

The town is located in the south of Scotland just before the “border” with England and can be reached south from Glasgow on the M74 motorway.

Glasgow
Since Glasgow became European Capital of Culture in 1990, both its external image and its cultural offerings have changed for the better. After Glasgow was primarily known as an industrial city in the past decades, a lively scene for live art as well as performing and visual arts has developed here, which is gaining more and more recognition both nationally and internationally. Tourist highlights of the city include the medieval Glasgow Cathedral and the Burrel Collection, see Glasgow for a full description of the city.

Aberdeen
The port city of Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland and is mainly known for its oil industry and fish trade. It has the largest fish market in all of Scotland. Also worth seeing are the beautiful main building of King’s College, founded in 1495, the city’s first university, and St. Andrews Cathedral, the mother church of the American Episcopalists.

Dundee
Dundee is the fourth largest city in Scotland and is located on the River Tay. In the course of its history, the city was ravaged and plundered several times by the English, so that hardly anything of its history can be seen today. Dundee is a modern city with a delightful riverside promenade. Attractions in the city include Dudhope Castle, a 16th century castle, and the old cemetery “The Howff”, created by a decree of Mary Queen of Scots.

Dundee