You can consider this a hint at the route I’m taking on my long term travel journey. I’m considering Scotland as one of my very first stops. This list of best Scotland books is perfect for armchair traveling or to take with you in your carry-on to Edinburgh.

Scotland is beckoning me with the perfect recipe for travel. Beautiful and rugged landscapes. A bustling social scene. Notoriously friendly people. A rich and storied (literally!) history. Without further ado…

Best Scotland Books to Read Before You Visit

How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman

This book explores how one of the poorest societies in the world built the institutions of the Western world today. Take it at what it is, a love letter to Scottish history, and read up on the Scottish legacy before you go.

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

McCall Smith has a knack for finding the humor in the everyday life of a place. His take on Scotland is no different. P.s. if you happen to be heading to Italy too, give this light read a look.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This is a polarizing and popularly steamy series. Scotland itself is as rich a character as any in this time-traveling romance. It wouldn’t be a list of best Scotland books without mentioning Outlander though.

A History of Scotland by Neil Oliver

The renowned stories of Scotland, Mary Queen of Scot’s tragedy and Bonnie Prince Charlie’s cause, get a second look. The book also explores how Scotland has maintained its individuality despite more than 300 years of union with England.

Reunion by Ryan Littrell

If the clans are in your blood, you’ll want to give this ancestral search story a read. Our author follows the footsteps of those that go before him, from country graveyard to old ledgers. Read this particularly if your own past is intriguing to you.

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

This one’s for the historical fiction fans. A spellbinding love story set in the Scottish Highlands as World War II devastates the country. Certainly worthy of a spot on a list of best Scotland books.




  1. Babak Fakhamzadeh
    August 16, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    The website Visit This Read That is a collaborative, crowd-sourced, effort, to determine what books best to read when visiting a place.

    Here’s the page for the UK:

    • adobberteen
      May 14, 2020 at 2:54 pm

      I’ll have to look into it! Love the concept and community driven aspect.

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