Classic sites

Oops – you’ve stumbled on a website section that was archived in October 2017 when we developed the ‘Best Places to see Scotland’s Geology’ section. Please go there for up-to-date information.

Scotland has world-class geodiversity that underpins our landscape, biodiversity and culture. There is simply no other country of comparable size in the world with such diversity in rock types, ages and landscapes. Scotland can also rightfully claim to be birthplace of the geological sciences, through the work of James Hutton in the late-18th century and many other subsequent advances in our understanding of how the Earth works and life evolved.

The classic geodiversity sites on this page are locations in Scotland of great importance for the development of geological science, that are associated with famous geologists and which together tell a great story of the development of our bit of the Earth’s crust.  Most of these are freely accessible to visit, to delve deep into Scotland’s past; please be aware though that at some sites there may not actually be very much for the average visitor to see and understand. Visit the Where to go map to see all the sites and attractions in Scotland that have trails and explanations.

Southern Uplandswee_map_south

Siccar Point
Dob’s Linn
Girvan to Ballantrae coast

wee_map_midlandMidland Valley

Arran (Hutton’s Unconformity and Judd’s Dykes)
Fossil Grove
Lesmahagow (fossil fish localities)
Carstairs Kames
The South end of Loch Lomond (geomorphology)
Callander (Highland Boundary Fault)
Edinburgh (Hutton’s Section & Hutton’s Rock, Salisbury Crags and Agassiz Rock)

wee_map_grampGrampian & Argyll

Glen Tilt
Sands of Forvie
River Feshie
West coast of Jura
Elgin (Scaat Craig, Cutties Hillock and Spey Bay)
Bow Fiddle Rock, Portknockie
Sea of Stones, Binn of Garmouth


Mull (Ardtun Leaf Beds, Loch Ba Ring Dyke and MacCulloch’s Tree)
Glen Roy
Great Glen Fault
Knockan Crag
Caithness (fossil fish sites including Achanarras)

wee_map_hebWestern Islands

Isle of Rum
Isle of Eigg
Isle of Skye (the The Cuillin Hills, Trotternish, and Jurassic dinosaur footprints at An Corran)
The Uists

wee_map_niNorthern Isles


Old Man of Hoy