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Looking Over To The Small Island Of Dore Holm With The Sea Weathered Natural Arch Visible, Off The West Coast Of Mainland, South East Of Stenness, Shetland
Copyright  VisitScotland

World’s first digital UNESCO trail takes you on an epic journey across Scotland

By Jonny Walfisz

The world’s first trail of UNESCO Heritage Sites has been launched in Scotland.

The trail allows you to preview the sites you’ll visit when you take that long-deserved trip to Caledonia.

The trail was launched to give travellers the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the unique historical, geographical and cultural touchstones.

Scotland is the first country to develop a digital trail connecting its UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Created with VisitScotland, the country’s tourist board, the project received around €430,000 from the Scottish government.

The aim of the project is to “rediscover Scotland’s unique treasures, know they are travelling sustainably, and contribute to the communities who maintain these precious places,” said Professor Anne Anderson, Non-Executive Director at the UK National Commission for UNESCO.

The trail takes visitors from the quaint bookshops of Edinburgh to the sweeping landscapes of the highlands.

Here are some of our trail highlights.

North West Highlands

Up in the North West Highlands Geopark lie the Summer Isles. The area is recognised by UNESCO for its astounding beauty and the insights it offers into our planet’s past.

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Summer Isles in Assynt, part of the North West Highlands GeoparkVisitScotland

With rocks that date back to three billion years, geologists can have a field day exploring how the rocks tell the story of the world’s formation.

Although right at the tip of the country and most easily accessed by car, the Highlands are more accessible than you think. There are buses that will take you to local areas like Ullapool, Scourie, Kinlochbervie and Durness.

Romantic Edinburgh

No trip to Scotland is complete without indulging in a long weekend strolling around Edinburgh’s regal architecture.

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Circus Place is a street of Georgian houses located in Stockbridge in Edinburgh's New TownVisitScotland

With its storied literary past, a short walk can take you past key sites in the lives of many writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns, JM Barrie, Muriel Spark, and JK Rowling.

From the Writers’ Museum to the Scottish Storytelling Centre, or any one of Edinburgh’s many eclectic bookshops, literature buffs will have plenty to read up on.

The trail recommends checking out the LitLong app for a tour guide around literary Edinburgh.

Wester Ross

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Kintail is an area of mountains in the Wester Ross BiosphereVisitScotland

A 3,000 square metre biosphere, few places dazzle like the sublime hills of Wester Ross.

Worth extending your trip to the Highlands to visit, Wester Ross features the same astonishing geology as the North West Highlands. You can find Iron Age brooches and ruined villages as well as battles sites and old drove roads.

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Dun Telve Broch is an iron-age broch located in the Wester Ross BiosphereVisitScotland

Forth Bridge

It’s not all just beautiful rocks and historic writers, engineering enthusiasts can also delight in a trip across Scotland’s UNESCO sites.

Over 130 years old, the Forth Bridge is an incredible example of Scotland’s contribution to technology.

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The Queensferry Crossing along with the Forth Road Bridge and Forth Bridge beyond.VisitScotland

After the collapse of the Tay Bridge in 1879, the Forth Bridge was seen as an impressively durable and elegant crossing. It even included six per cent recycled steel - pretty impressive given its age.

The awe-inspiring 2,529 metre long bridge stands beside the 1960s’ Forth Road Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing, taking visitors on a breathtaking journey through the history of engineering in one panoramic landscape.