With more and more couples looking for a way to get married and celebrate in a more intimate setting and looking for a place for a small wedding or elopement, I’d love to bring in some of my local expertise and help you with planning your day. Scotland is perfect for many reasons – the landscape is simply stunning everywhere you go, the right to roam allows you to wander off the beaten tracks (while respecting the nature of course) and most importantly – you can legally get married anywhere in Scotland.
Where to elope in Scotland?
Table of Contents
- Where to elope in Scotland?
- Isle of Skye, Scotland
- Mountains, hills and viewpoints for elopement ceremony in Isle of Skye
- Beaches & cliffs to elope at in the Isle of Skye
- Waterfalls of Isle of Skye to elope at
- Unique locations
- Elopement Accommodation & Restaurants in the Isle of Skye
- Where to elope in Glencoe?
- Locations for Loch Lomond Elopement
- Alternative locations for elopement in Scotland
- Intimate Elopement Venues in Scotland
Once your heart is set on Scotland, it might feel intimidating to dive into the details. So I’ve put together this little guide for my couples and all the couples looking at Scotland for their elopement. This is to help you get the idea what are the most popular elopement locations like and introduce you to some other areas which are just as magical but might be less known.
Be sure that almost anywhere in Scotland is absolutely stunning and although some places are really popular and busy a gorgeous secluded spot for your elopement ceremony is usually no further than just couple minutes walk away.
I’ve hiked and explored Scotland for the past 5 years extensively so I am always excited to share my knowledge with my couples and help them to find their unique location. I spend hours looking at maps in search for the perfect hidden spot. Please feel free to get in touch if you’ve got any questions about any location and if you’d like to help you to pick your location. I’ve got almost 100 spots perfect for elopement scouted all across Scotland and would be excited if it can help you to plan your day!
The 10 most popular locations for elopement in Scotland
Here’s a little list of the most popular places and I’ll go into more detail of some of them below. Location recommendations from experienced Adventure Elopement Photographer in Scotland.
- Isle of Skye
- Glencoe & Glen Etive
- Gretna Green
- Loch Lomond
- Castles in Ayrshire & Aberdeenshire – such as Culzean Castle or Dunnotar Castle
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Isle of Skye is the go to if you want to explore the most of Scotland in just couple days. It has beaches and viewpoints, wild landscape and hillsides dotted with sheep. Many of these places are very popular. My magic tip for your elopement is to either visit in off peak times (eg. autumn or spring), wish for really terrible weather to keep everyone at home (haha) or go off the beaten track and find your own unique spot by just going slightly further than the usual tourists go. I’d be happy to help you find your unique secluded spot. 🙂
Mountains, hills and viewpoints for elopement ceremony in Isle of Skye
1. The Old Man of Storr
This place is similarly stunning as Old Man of Storr. The viewpoint sits directly at a recently improved parking lot so no hike needed but you can do a nice walk/hike to reach different viewpoints where it’s pretty easy to more secluded location. There is no need for difficult ascent – path is on the same level of the parking lot. It is suitable even for elderly guests, but it is often very windy.
Possible beautiful circuit hike: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/skye/quiraing.shtml
3. Loch Coruisk
Amazing place surrounded by steep mountains of Blac Cuillins ridge. Can be reached either reached by a hike (with some challenging terrain in parts) or by a 30 minutes boat ride from the village of Elgol in the south of the Isle. Boat tour: Misty Isle Boat Trips – have to be reserved 24 hours ahead and boats are going several times a day so it’s possible to stay for 1-2 hours at the lake and you’ll get a hot drink onboard. You might spot the seals along the way! Please note the tours won’t run in stormy weather.
You can also book a private boat ride. There are several tour operators so there will be tourists around but it’s not that difficult to find a gorgeous secluded spot to say your vows.
4. Sligachan Bridge
This beautiful old bridge is like a gate to the wilderness of Black and Red Cullins. Located right near the main road and pretty busy at times. Very open area and start of tourist hiking trails for Red Cuillins, pretty easy to find a secluded spot by walking a bit further on the trails. There are tiny waterfalls in the riverbed and cozy restaurant just across the road.
Beaches & cliffs to elope at in the Isle of Skye
5. Elgol Beach
Elgol is a tiny village with a port offering tours to the lake Coruisk and the Isles. The beach has gorgeous rock formations and views across the sea to the Cuillin Mountains. It’s perfect spot for intimate elopement as it’s usually not too busy. Mostly visited just by tourist taking the boat tour.
6. Talisker Bay Beach
A 30 min walk needed to reach the beach from parking lot. Usually not busy at all. Possible to have fire or camp on the beach (firewood needs to be brought in). There is a famous Talisker Whisky Distillery nearby.
7. Claigan Coral Beach
The name says it all, Caribbean like white coral beach + seals to be spotted playing in the water. To walk here it’s 30+ minutes walk from car park. Reasonably busy on a beautiful day but very open and wide space so easy to find a spot away from people.
8. Neist Point Lighthouse Cliffs
This is the most westerly point of Skye, beautiful for sunset views, short walk to the viewpoint, longish walk to the lighthouse – but there are interesting rock formations going all the way into the water. Usually pretty busy with photographers for sunset but very open and spacious area.
9. Brother’s Point
This is a much smaller cliffs area on the east coast of the Isle of Skye. Usually not too busy, kind of a hidden gem. It’s 20-30 min walk from a tiny car park. Walk description: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/skye/brotherspoint.shtml
Waterfalls of Isle of Skye to elope at
10. Fairy Pools
Beautiful but very very very popular! It is a set of waterfalls on the river and various pools in the river bed with a backdrop of dramatic Cuillin mountains ridge. There is a single path going all the way along it so it turns into a bit of a tourist highway when the weather is good as it’s favourite spot for wild swimming. The parking lot at this location has recently been enlarged to accommodate the amounts of visitors. Recommend to visit early morning or late in the day oh and also note that in the summer there are often midges.
There is another waterfall down the road in Glen Brittle which is more secluded and more suitable to elope at.
11. Fairy Glen
Fairy Glen is tourist’s favourite “Hobbiton” like area with cute green hills, rocky viewpoint & a lake near Uig in the north of the Isle of Skye. It was a favourite place of locals but became very popular in the past couple of years when listed as “hidden gem of the Isle” in the tour books. Now there are even tour minibuses stopping there and the tiny single lane road leading here suffers from the traffic. The place is still magical, but I’d recommend to arrive early or late in the day. The road is not suitable for large vehicles and caravans.
Elopement Accommodation & Restaurants in the Isle of Skye
- Scorry Breac, Portree
- The Three Chimneys and The House Over-by, Dunvegan – North West of the Island
- Coruisk House, South of the Island
There are many wonderful Airbnbs – self catering cottages and croft houses for you to rent. But make sure you make your elopement accommodation booking with plenty of time as the accommodation on the island tends to sell out.
Where to elope in Glencoe?
Here are my favourite spots for my favourite place in the world – Glen Coe. The majestic mountains and deep history of the place never stop surprising me. I love it the best when there is fog crowning the summits and I imagine the hills are endless. (Well they definitely feel endless when you climb them and I’ve been hiking in the area extensively in the past 5 years and summited most of them.)
1. Glencoe Viewpoints
There is not just a one single viewpoint in Glencoe but several viewpoints with parking lots along the way through Glen Coe, each single one with a different magical view, some of them more busy than the others. Many of them have a hidden gem of a location for an intimate ceremony just a short walk away from them and I’d be more than happy to scout the spot for you and send you a more detailed map.
2. Elopement at Hidden Valley of Glencoe
This one is for more adventurous or ones who have pretty fit guests in attendance & willing celebrant. Getting to Lost Vallery requires a rountrip of 2.5 mile, ~1 hour walking each direction, 335m ascent, there is one tricky place with a bit of scrambling on a rock which can be slippery, but otherwise a decent path.
But this all will get you stunning secluded location, with plenty of space for yourself and only couple hikers passing by occasionally.
Description of the route & map: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/lostvalley.shtml
3. Glencoe Mountain Chairlift
Not particularly keen on hiking in your wedding dress but still want the views? There is an all year round running chair lift in Glencoe which will take you to the summits with gorgeous views over Rannoch Moor and all the way to Ben Nevis. A great compromise if you’d like to take to the hills without being all sweaty or take along your guests. The ride is slow and cold – bring along some whisky or hot beverage!
4. Pap of Glencoe
This is a longer hike requiring more of ascent – the roundtrip is 4.25 miles, ~3-4 hours, 716m ascent but offers gorgeous views over sea loch at Glencoe village and you’re surrounded by mountains. Route description.
5. Buchaille Etive Mor
This one is for experienced hikers and adventurers as hiking up a munro in your wedding gear is probably not for everyone. Roundtrip of 8 miles, ~7-9 hours, 1110m ascent. There are several route options – the most used is this one, but there are some exciting routes including scrambling (Curved Ridge) or climbing if that’s what you’d be up for that on your wedding day!
6. Elope at Steal Waterfall (Ben Nevis Area)
This is a gorgeous place reached by 2 mile hike through Glen Nevis to the third highest waterfalls in Scotland. The route is well maintained but can be rough at times, so suitable footwear is a must. There is also a wire bridge in the final part to reach the waterfall itself and great care is needed for crossing. You can simply have a ceremony on the meadow before the bridge without crossing all the way to the waterfall. Route description can be found here. It can get busy as it’s quite easy and gorgeous walk, I recommend aiming for early or late in the day.
7. Glen Etive Elopement
This is alternative to Glencoe, a gorgeous valley with river popular for wild swimming and mini waterfalls and a sea loch at the end. If you’re fan of James Bond, the famous scene was shot here. There are often herds of wild deer near the road which are quite tame and often keen for a photo. You can easily spot a great secluded location for elopement here and it’s definitely much less busy than Glencoe as only a windy single lane road goes through there.
View Eleanor & Alex’s Glen Etive elopement here.
Locations for Loch Lomond Elopement
1. Ben A’an
This is a perfect combination of amazing views and pretty short and straightforward hike. Offering great views over Loch Kathrine. It is highly popular on the weekends.
2. Conic Hill
Another smaller hill which can be reached with a bit of effort. Ofers 360° views over Loch Lomond and surrounding area. It is a popular spot.
3. Millarochy Bay and Rowardennan Beach Elopement
The bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.. there are several spots to stop at, some with beaches and some with bigger rocks.
4. Rest And Be Thankful viewpoint in Arrochar Alps
This is a perfect spot if you don’t want to travel far into Highlands and still have gorgeous views.
5. Rob Roy’s View
One of the options for more secluded location with views of Loch Lomond.
Alternative locations for elopement in Scotland
Located in the far north of Scotland, this area is one of my personal favourites: wide open spaces, glacial landscape with several scattered monolith mountains, remote lochs and cozy bothies. Not many tourists go all the way here so it’s perfectly remote and quiet. The popular North Coast 500 route goes through here and the calmness and mood of the landscape is just captivating. My favourite mountains here:
Stac Polliadh – easy/moderate walk (for a fit person) with stunning views, ~2h roundtrip, exposed terrain at times
Suilven – longer walk, possible overnight stay in a bothy (Mountain Bothy Association – https://www.mountainbothies.org.uk)
3. Applecross Peninsula
Very scenic drive and beautiful views and great Fish & chips in the harbour, not accessible in winter.
4. Cairngorms and Glen Affric
This one is rightfully National Park, wilderness of rolling mountains with remote lochs. Walks of various difficulty and beautiful secluded locations are super easy to find here. Some of places to look at:
- An Lochan Uaine
- Loch Morlich
- Glen Clova
- Glen Affric – The true Scottish wilderness, lakes and hills lined with Scots pines
Intimate Elopement Venues in Scotland
Dunnotar Castle, Aberdeenshire
St. Mary’s Space, Glencoe, Scottish Highlands
Riddle’s Court, Edinburgh
Find more inspiration for your elopement or wedding venue in Scotland in a dedicated post over here.
Any updates to this list? Let me know your elopement tips in the comments!