10 memorable places to scatter ashes in Scotland
Scotland is the ideal place to scatter ashes if you’re looking for dramatic scenery and a quiet moment of reflection. Outdoor types will often request to be scattered in the Highlands, and those with close family ties to the Northern tips of the United Kingdom may also want to be laid to rest amongst the heather.
If you’re thinking about scattering the ashes of a loved one in Scotland, you’ll need to consider the location carefully. Do you want a remote spot to say goodbye, or would you like to be able to return time and time again? Scotland has no shortage of beautiful spots to say your goodbyes.
Where can you scatter ashes in Scotland?
You can scatter ashes anywhere in Scotland, provided you have permission from the landowner. You will also need to be respectful of your surroundings and make sure you don’t leave behind any non-biodegradable waste.
Popular spots to scatter ashes in Scotland include:
- Lochs and rivers
- Mountains and hilltops
- Sporting venues
We’ve listed our favourite spots to scatter ashes in this article. You may need to seek the landowner's permission before scattering ashes, but this will often be granted if you are respectful of other visitors.
Is it ok to split the ashes?
If you want to keep some of the ashes and scatter the rest, this is perfectly acceptable. There should be no religious or moral objections to splitting the ashes if that is what the remaining family wants.
Some people have part of the ashes turned into jewellery, so that they always have a keepsake to remember their loved one. You can then scatter the rest of the ashes without feeling like it is a final goodbye.
Best places to scatter ashes in Scotland
Below are some of the most picturesque and stunning locations to scatter the ashes of a loved one.
This stunning coastal castle is said to be the inspiration for Disney’s Brave, but you could also see how it might evoke images of Macbeth. The rocky coastline and dramatic vistas will provide the perfect place to say your final goodbyes to a loved one. The castle ruins are around 30 minutes outside of Aberdeen and there is a car park close by. Once parked, you’ll have to make your way to the ruins on foot.
This beautiful fishing village is an ideal place to find a quiet moment of reflection. Take a boat out to scatter the ashes at sea and there’s a good chance you’ll be joined by seals. For tranquillity and a quiet moment of reflection, this stunning town will provide the perfect setting to say goodbye.
This is one of Europe’s largest areas of wilderness, so be prepared for a long walk to find the right spot to scatter the ashes. If you are saying goodbye to someone who loved the outdoors, you can’t go wrong with this harsh and dramatic landscape. Expect deer sightings as you scatter the ashes amongst the heather.
The city centre might not be the first choice for scattering ashes, but a walk up Arthur’s Seat could provide some tranquillity and perspective. Or you can head out of the city to coastal areas like Portobello beach. This is an easily accessible location that provides a long stretch of sandy beach to say farewell. If you want a place you can easily return to for a moment of reflection, Edinburgh is the obvious choice.
The Orkney Islands might be less accessible than other locations on this list, but that certainly isn’t a reason to avoid the spot. You might spend a day travelling to get there, but once you arrive on this network of islands you will be met with stunning scenery and utter tranquillity. You won’t struggle to find a secluded spot to say goodbye in Orkney.
Bealach na Bà
This famous route through the Scottish Highlands might not seem like a natural point to scatter ashes, but it can be an alluring choice for those who had a keen sense of adventure. Stopping on the road is difficult as it’s a single track pass through the mountains of Applecross. Instead, try pulling off the road at a passing point to enjoy a moment of silence.
Isle of Mull
This small island is a muddle of sea, rock and sky. The picturesque village features brightly painted houses and a dramatic harbour. There are also stark, deserted beaches and plenty of hills to ramble across. You won’t find it too difficult to find a quiet spot to scatter a loved one’s ashes and say your goodbyes. And if you’re feeling in need of a tipple, there is also a Whiskey distillery on the island.
This dramatic lake is nestled just north of Glasgow in the Trossachs National Park. This dramatic body of water is popular with fishing enthusiasts and hikers alike. If your loved one enjoyed the great outdoors, this could be the ideal location to lay them to rest. While Scotland might have an abundance of lochs to choose from, Loch Lomond offers the ideal mix of dramatic scenery and accessibility.
This stunning village in Western Scotland sits in a steep-sided valley, known for dramatic waterfalls and beautiful walking trails. The rocky terrain is dramatic and striking, making it the ideal place to say your final goodbyes. You shouldn’t have a difficult time finding a secluded spot to scatter the ashes and say a few words.
The Isle of Skye
This popular Scottish island is accessible by bridge, making it a popular tourist destination year-round. It isn’t as inaccessible as the Outer Hebrides, but it still offers that sense of remoteness and rugged, untouched landscape. There are plenty of coastal areas and mountainous regions to consider spreading ashes over. The Fairy Pools are a popular series of waterfalls that cascade with blue and green colours.