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Scotland’s UNESCO Sites Through an AI Lens

a large waterfall

AI art has been taking the art world by storm in recent years. It works by learning specific aesthetics and analysing thousands of images of a certain object or in this case, location. Artists will curate images and then feel the algorithm, and the AI then tries to generate new images in line with the aesthetics of real-life photos that it has learned!

Last year saw the launch of the world’s first ever UNESCO trail, bringing together some of Scotland’s most world renowned, iconic, and historic sites. Now, national tourism organisation VisitScotland, hosts the digital trail on, has set out to discover what each of the 13 designations looks like according to AI.

Do you think the AI captured the beauty of our UNESCO destinations correctly? Discover some of the generated wonders below, then hop over to Scotland’s UNESCO Trail to uncover the unbeatable awe of the real thing!



The vibrant city of Glasgow is a hub of music and culture. For those familiar with the city before, it will be no surprise that it was crowned the first UNESCO City of Music in 2008. World renowned for having the most enthusiastic and energetic audiences, its adoration of music across all genres is undeniable. Hosting events across all genres ranging from traditional Ceilidh Bands to world-class Orchestras at the Glasgow Royal concert Hall, there is something tailored to everyone’s tastes.

Glasgow is unique in its ability to strike the perfect balance between culture, nature and green space and awe-inspiring architecture. The AI generated imagery accurately captures the dense green spaces which exist synonymously with the marvelous variety of galleries, shops, and venues. Despite being a city, Glasgow is a great hub for those looking to explore the outdoors. Take a look at our Tours From Glasgow to see the wonders, you can visit when staying there – they’re just a stone’s throw away!

a close up of a busy city street


You simply cannot visit Scotland without visiting the infamous Edinburgh! This UNESCO City of Literature is host to an endless range of exciting sites and activities. You cannot visit this city without climbing Arthur’s seat, a grand hill towering over the capital. There are vast opportunities for literature lovers to immerse themselves in the rich literary culture that Edinburgh is home to, there are everything from themed bar crawls to cafes where JK Rowling wrote her globally recognised whimsical novels.

There is still plenty to do even for the less avid readers! Why not enjoy a Scotch whiskey experience or take a tranquil walk around Malleny Gardens. The AI generated imagery successfully depicts the magnificent architecture and iconic cobbled streets that are so strongly associated with this spellbinding city, as well as the natural marvels and green spaces which exist woven throughout.

For more to do in Edinburgh, head over to our recommendations. We’ve partnered with local tour and activity providers to offer you unique and exciting experiences during your visit there.

a tower with a mountain in the background

Heart of Neolithic Orkney

This breathtaking prehistoric site combines four main sites near Stromness on the Orkney Mainland. One of these mesmerising sites is Skara Brae, this domestic settlement still houses stone passageways and furnishings which resemble beds and dressing tables. These preserved sites are illustrative of and pay homage to the skills of the prehistoric people of Orkney and the foundations they built on the land. Beyond the sites themselves there is a range of green tourism attractions, including the Broch of Gurness.

As you can see, the AI imagery replicates the costal landscapes and rocky terrain present at this site, it does however fail to capture how the changing angles of sunlight and fluctuant weather alters your perception of the henges. Of course, no imagery can replace witnessing these transformative marvels in the flesh.

a large waterfall

So, what are you waiting for, book your next adventure with Highland Experience Tours. With our 2023 tours being imminently announced, there has never been a better time to escape reality with a tour of the most breathtaking sites Scotland has to offer. Spoiler alert: Orkney might be on that list. We challenge you to compare the AI generated imagery with your own sightings.