17 Best Books Set in Scotland

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Scotland is known for many things, such as its stunning natural landscapes ranging from mountains and highlands to lochs and rugged coastlines.

It’s a land with a rich history spanning back to ancient times. And it’s home to a unique culture, with memorable food and music.

If you are taking a trip to Scotland, these are some great books to read before you go. These are also books to pick up when you are just dreaming of visiting this beautiful country.

Here are the best books set in Scotland to check out. You’ll find a variety of genres including fiction and nonfiction on this list, so there is something for every reader!

castle scotland
edinburgh scotland

Grab these fantastic books set in Scotland here:

Best Books Set in Scotland


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This bestselling series was turned into a hit television show. It follows Claire, a former British combat nurse who has just returned home from the war in 1945.

However, she finds herself transported back in time to Scotland in the 1700s, in a time of war and raiding by clans.

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the lost queen

The Lost Queen by Signe Pike

This historical fiction novel centers around a remarkable and often-forgotten queen of Scotland, who ruled in the sixth century during a time of upheaval and bloodshed.

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eleanor oliphant is completely fine

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is a young woman living in Scotland whose life is governed by a schedule of avoiding all social interactions.

But this eccentric and regimented loner has her life turned upside down when she meets Raymond, the bumbling yet sweet IT guy from her office.

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the highland witch

The Highland Witch by Susan Fletcher

This historical fiction novel set in 1692 tells the story of Corrag, an accused witch who is imprisoned for her alleged involvement in a massacre in the Scottish Highlands.

Suspected of witchcraft and murder and awaiting her death, she tells her story to Charles Leslie, an Irish propagandist who seeks information to condemn the Protestant King William, rumored to be involved in the massacre. By telling her story, she changes both of their lives forever.

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the highland fling

The Highland Fling by Meghan Quinn

In this romance novel set in an idyllic Scottish Highlands town, an American woman arrives with her best friend to start a new business venture and search for her purpose in life. But she gets more questions than answers when sparks start flying with a brooding yet handsome Scotsman.

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women of the dunes

Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine

Libby Snow has always felt the pull of Ullaness, a remote headland on Scotland’s coast where the legend of Ulla, an eighth-century Norsewoman, has taken root. When Libby comes to Ullaness to do archaeological research, she uncovers more than she bargained for about the legend.

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the winter sea

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

This novel is about an American writer who travels to Scotland to craft a novel about the Jacobite Rebellion, only to discover her own ancestral memories of that time in Scottish history.

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44 Scotland Street

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

This beloved series starring a precocious six-year-old boy chronicles daily life in a corner of Edinburgh, Scotland with remarkable perception, wit, and heart.

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knots and crosses

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

This is a crime novel written by a Scottish author set in Edinburgh. It follows a troubled cop who is being terrorized by a series of baffling murders in the city. But he isn’t just one cop trying to catch a killer, he’s also the man who’s got all the pieces to the puzzle…

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To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

If you are looking for a classic novel set in Scotland, this is a good one to pick up. To the Lighthouse is an enduring story about a family visiting Scotland’s picturesque Isle of Skye.

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the prime of miss jean brodie

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Originally published in 1961, this novel is set in Edinburgh during the 1930s. It follows the life of an eccentric and bold schoolteacher at an academy for girls.

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Under the Skin

Under the Skin by Michael Faber

This dark psychological thriller follows a Scottish woman with a penchant for picking up male hitchhikers and listening to their stories, before taking a darker turn.

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The Sunday Philosophy Club

The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexandar McCall Smith

This popular series is set in Edinburgh and follows Isabel Dalhousie, a philosopher, and detective who always has a case to solve. She uses her knowledge of philosophy to help.

If you are looking for a cozy and charming mystery set in Scotland, these are great books to pick up.

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the legacy of elizabeth pringle

The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle by Kirsty Wark

Elizabeth Pringle lived all her life alone on the Scottish island of Arran. In her will, she leaves her beloved house to a stranger, a young mother she’d seen pushing a pram down the road over thirty years ago. It now falls to Martha, once the baby is in that pram, to answer the question: why?

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the diary of a bookseller

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

This memoir follows the author during his year working at a bookstore in a remote Scottish village. Both wry and hilarious, this book provides a glimpse of small-town Scottish life.

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sea of memories

Sea of Memories by Fiona Valpy

Set between Scotland and an island off the coast of France, Sea of Memories is an engrossing historical fiction novel taking place during World War II.

It follows a young woman who is forced to return to Scotland in wartime after an idyllic summer in France, pulled between two different potential loves.

It’s is a story about the power of memory, love, and second chances.

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Clanlands by Sam Heughan & Graham McTavish

This memoir follows two Scottish friends as they journey all across Scotland by camper van, boat, kayak, bicycle, and motorbike to discover more of their country. It paints a vivid picture of a land full of raw beauty, poetry, feuding, music, history, and warfare.

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Best Books Set in Scotland

These are some of the best books set in Scotland.

Have you read any of these books set in Scotland? Do you have any favorite books set in Scotland that I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Related: 15 Best Books Set in the English Countryside

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Best Books Set in scotland pin

Where next?

Start with this list of the very best travel adventure books. It includes great reads that will fuel your wanderlust and have you staying up late to finish them.

You should also check out the following series of book lists set in and around Europe:

Ireland | Scotland | Spain

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