Like Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas before it, Skyrim is huge and full of places to visit. It may pretend to be a quest-and-loot driven RPG, but of the hundreds of hours you'll spend playing it, you'll have the quest pointers turned off so that you can just go wherever you fancy. At heart, it's a game for explorers, and if that's what you're into, make sure you don't miss any of these:
10. The Gate to Morrowind
Like a portal through time, this immoveable gateway leads to the land of Morrowind, the setting of Elder Scrolls III. Much has been made of the fact that the game secretly contains a map of the entire continent of Tamriel, despite being set only in the Northlands-there’s a widely held belief that impending DLC will use the hidden maps to allow your Dovahkin to visit some old familiar places. Maybe that gateway won’t be immoveable for long.
9. The Throat of the World
The main quest will eventually bring you to this towering rock, high above Skyrim’s landscape, and much like the previous entry on the list, it provides a special treat for long term Elder Scrollers thanks to its view straight out of Skyrim and into Cyrodiil, setting of Elder Scrolls IV. Beady eyed players will be able to see Vardenfell and Red Mountain, and will reflect wistfully on the days when Oblivion was the best fantasy RPG they’d played, before big brother Skyrim put it to the sword.
The towns and cities of Skyrim get progressively more interesting as you explore more widely from your early base in pedestrian Whiterun. We at Megabits have a particular liking for Riften, thanks to its many layers. At first glance it’s a wooden town sitting beside a lake, with canals and bridges to keep it interesting. Venture further down and you’ll find the mazelike Ratway, with its mixture of thieves, thugs and trogolodytes, and if you’re feeling like a swim, venture even further down and you can lark about under the water beneath the stilts supporting the town. Just don’t get stuck under a building when your air runs out.
7. Meridia’s Temple
Much like the Throat of the World, Meridia’s Temple gets the nod for its spectacular views. Simply pop Meridia’s beacon into its holder and you’ll be raised up high into the chilly Scandiwegian atmosphere for a confab with a dark old god. Not that you’ll be paying any attention, as you’ll be too busy taking in the incredible view of Skyrim spread out beneath you.
6. Eldergleam Garden
A hidden garden with lush green grass, trickling streams and a community of mellow tree huggers, Eldergleam is one of Skyrim’s best beauty spots. Just make sure you don’t accidentally damage Eldergleam itself, or a horde of angry Spriggans will slaughter the hippies and you’ll be up to your greaves in blood and sap before you can say “Save me o Titschmarsh”.