VisitScotland Launches New Witch Trail

VisitScotland has introduced a new Witch Trail to mark the “Year of Stories 2022.” The trail highlights 15 locations across the country for visitors to explore year-round.

Scotland’s scenery and wildlife can only be explained with the help of magic—at least for those who choose to believe the old legends. According to one of these, Loch Awe was created when a sleepy witch flooded the valley by accident. And the hills overlooking Blair Castle were rumored to hide a powerful witch who was able to shape-shift into wild creatures.

The folklore surrounding witchcraft inspired some of Sir Walter Scott’s most iconic novels. The 19th-century writer’s home, Abbotsford, features one of the rarest and most important collections of books on witchcraft. Visitors to Scott’s library can still see his treasured “Witch Corner.” Literature lovers can also head to Moray Speyside and stay overnight in one of the five glamping pods at Macbeth’s Hillock, said to be the site where Shakespeare’s Macbeth met the three witches who led him to his fate.

The Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis are over 5,000 years old. The stones are home to a legend about a rumored witch and a fairy cow, and served as inspiration for the magical Craigh na Dun in the TV series “Outlander.”

Visitors with a deep interest in the history around witchcraft can join Invisible Cities Tours in Edinburgh on their “Real Women of Edinburgh” tour to discover the stories of the women that once walked the cobbled streets of Edinburgh, so-called witches included. They can pop into Glasgow Women’s Library, a treasure trove full of historical and contemporary artifacts, and archive materials celebrating the lives, histories and achievements of women.

For tales of historical witchcraft, torture, spells and charms, visitors can head to Orkney, once a hotbed of allegations and accusations. They can peer into Marwick’s Hole where those accused of witchcraft were imprisoned at St. Magnus Cathedral and walk in the footsteps of the condemned to Gallow’Ha on a guided tour with Spiritual Orkney. Or wander through the woods and along trails of Cairngorms National Park with Strathspey Storywalks, tasting wild teas while listening to local stories of kings, witches, fairy folk and highwaymen.

The healing legacy of Scotland includes seaweed, which was likely used by the wise women and healers of times gone by. East Neuk Seaweed offers hands-on workshops in the coastal locations throughout Fife to highlight its healing properties and nutritional value.

Visitors to Glen Dye School of Wild Wellness and Bushcraft can immerse themselves in Aberdeenshire’s countryside. Glen Dye is a private estate surrounded by wilderness and moorland with 30,000 acres of land, making it an ideal place to experience the therapeutic benefits of nature.

Travelers can head to Dumfries and Galloway to visit Galloway Wild Foods and learn about all areas of foraging, from wild foods and tipples to the uses of traditional and modern medicinal plants. They can pick mushrooms and berries, and create concoctions from foraged delights.

At The Root of Magic in Glasgow, guests can tuck into the “Monster Toastie of Monsters” in the Potions café, sip on “Worms Wart Soup” in the bar or brew up some magical concoctions in a Potions Cocktail Class.

For mystical adventure and a bit of fun, visitors can head to the Witchcraft and Wizardry Escape Room. In a classroom full of tricks, puzzles, challenges and spells, visitors must solve the mysteries to escape the grasps of the evil professor. Those who make it out can reward themselves with a stroll through Stirling, a small city with a big history.

Guests can enjoy fine dining in a setting filled with history at The Witchery by the Castle. Located in a 16th-century building at the gates of Edinburgh Castle, The Witchery by the Castle is a unique hotel and restaurant that takes its name from the innocent women accused of witchcraft on Castlehill.

Discover all of Scotland’s Witch Trail locations by downloading the map at

Related Stories

New Sweet Treats in Paris: Alain Ducasse Cookies and Babka Zana

Highland Kings Ultra-Marathon Returns to Scotland

Aurora Expeditions Announces Patagonia Treks

Going Back in Time in Switzerland’s Appenzell