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DESTINATION GUIDE TO SCOTLAND

Enchanting Scotland, a vast natural wilderness and a unique heritage waiting to be discovered. Whether you visit Scotland for the historic city-life, to enjoy her glorious Highland panoramas or simply to soak-up an utterly unique culture and heritage, your experience will be truly unforgettable.

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DESTINATION GUIDE TO SCOTLAND

guidemapScotland is a land like no other. Small in stature but brimming with a distinct character, fewer countries can offer as many globally recognized national icons, whether it be the tartan kilt, the highland cow, the scotch thistle, the haunting tune of the bagpipes or a dram of finest malt whisky.

Her geography is equally iconic, a beguiling blend of barren highlands, heather strewn glens and misty lochs where wildlife thrives and landscapes are studded with ancient castles and enshrouded in myth. To experience Scotland is to enjoy an unforgettable feast for the senses.

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PLACES TO EXPLORE

  • Scotch Whisky distillery.
  • Edinburgh, Capital of Scotland
  • Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Festival
  • The rugged beauty of the Highlands and Islands
  • Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest peak
  • Loch Ness

The Scots, with their thick (and sometimes unintelligible) accent are renowned for being stern, dour and fiercely patriotic, but behind this facade they hide a sharp, dry wit and offer an unrivalled and welcoming hospitality. Food and drink play an important role in thishospitality; in Scotland you'll enjoy hearty offerings such as the finest Aberdeen Angus beef, warming Scotch broth, or the national delicacy, Haggis. To be followed up, of course, with a dram or two of the finest scotch whisky (or "Water of Life") distilled locally but renowned internationally. The Scots love their sport, whether it be the raw energy of a Highland Games event or a more refined pursuit such as 18 holes at the spiritual home of golf in St Andrews. The pinnacle of Scottish culture, however, must be the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Festival, a world-famous and truly enchanting celebration of Scottish heritage.

Destination guide to Scotland - Castle Stalker

Castle Stalker, Scottish Highlands

Physically, Scotland is a vast wilderness waiting to be discovered. Accounting for over a third of Britain's land area, but less than 10% of her population, vast swathes of Scotland remain untouched and largely uninhabited leaving them for nature to shape at her will. Often overlooked by visitors, the lowlands provide stunning vistas of undulating hills and lush valleys punctuated with historic border castles and Abbey ruins; a land which inspired many works of national poet Robert Burns. It is, however, the untamed Highlands and Islands which offer the more dramatic and spectacular of Scotland's landscapes. Awe-inspiring in their rugged beauty the Highlands and Islands are home to sweeping, deserted bays, craggy cliff faces, heather-swept moors, towering mountain ranges, thick forests and shimmering lochs not to mention Britain's tallest peak (Ben Nevis) and deepest lake (Loch Ness). Wildlife thrives in these isolated regionsfrom deer and an array of birdlife inland to whales, dolphins and seals off the coastlines. Feeling the fresh, clean air fill your lungs, taking in nature in its rawest forms and glimpsingwildlife in its most natural habitat is an experience to behold.

Scotland's cityscapes can be equally impressive. The Scottish capital's skyline is iconic, Edinburgh is dominated by her castle perched high above the city overlooking the romanticPrinces Street Gardens, the Royal Mile and the city's Old and New Towns both of which are designated as World Heritage sites. Whilst history and tradition resound, contemporary politics and culture are alive and kicking, Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament and one of Europe's largest cultural events at the annual Military Tattoo and International Festival. Glasgow, however is hot on her heels, with a larger population than Edinburgh, a long history and a resurgence in recent years, Glasgow is home to stunning architecture, a thriving commercial scene and vibrant, urban nightlife. Also not to be missed are historic Stirling, Aberdeen's "granite city" and capital of the highlands, Inverness.

Whether you visit Scotland for the historic city-life, to enjoy her glorious Highland panoramas or simply to soak-up an utterly unique culture and heritage, your experience will be truly unforgettable.

MORE GUIDES

arrowOur guides to the places and regions of Scotland and beyond.

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Central Scotland
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Combining cosmopolitan cities, glorious countryside and some of Scotland's finest cultural and historic highlights, central Scotland should not be missed on any trip to Scotland.

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Scottish Borders
destination guide

Offering subtle beauty and an intriguing history, spending time in the south of Scotland and her lowlands makes for a rewarding Scottish experience. Once host to endless shifting borderland battles between the English and the Scots, the Scottish Lowlands are intrinsically connected to historic Scottish figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots.

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Scottish Highlands
destination guide

Captivating scenery, spell-binding wildlife, an abundance of national icons and rich national history make the Highlands an integral part of your Scotland experience. The wild, untouched countryside offers invigoratingly fresh air and an unrivalled tranquillity ideal for those seeking a peaceful retreat.

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Scottish Islands
destination guide

Experience the ultimate escape to tranquillity, nature in its rawest forms and a truly enchanting history and culture – the Scottish Islands make for a unique holiday experience. Pure, clean air, complete peace and tranquillity, remote and untamed landscapes and thriving natural wildlife are all to be discovered on your escape to the Scottish Islands.

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city guides

Edinburgh
city guide

Soaking up the history of Edinburgh and its surrounds is a "must" during any visit to Scotland. Synonymous with the nation's ancient culture, the capital of Scotland is also visually spectacular, bristling with elegant architecture and hallmarks of a long and turbulent history.

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St Andrews
city guide

Famed as the spiritual home of golf and a mecca for fans of the sport, St Andrews also holds a much wider appeal with its host of historic visitor sites and an upbeat social scene. Besides the sporting heritage however, St Andrews has so much more to offer visitors.

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Inverness
city guide

With its excellent rail and road links reaching to all corners of Scotland and particularly the far North, the charming city of Inverness provides an ideal base for exploring the Highlands and a host of iconic Scottish attractions.

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Glasgow
city guide

Scotland's largest city, Glasgow is a thriving urban centre home to the hallmarks of a rugged history of trade and industry whilst remaining at the fore-front of modern Scottish culture. Glasgow is also home to traditional and unique architecture, world renowned museums and some Scottish icons.

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tourist attractions

Edinburgh Castle
attraction guide

Edinburgh Castle is one of Britain's most popular tourist attractions and is inextricably linked with Scottish history. A visit to Edinburgh Castle will be a highlight of any Edinburgh city break or Scottish vacation.

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Portree
city guide

A charming harbour town set against the breathtaking back drop of the Cuillin Mountains, Portree is the main town of the Isle of Skye and offers the perfect base from which to explore this enchanting island. Offering a quaint slice of Scottish island-life and an ideal hub for exploring, Portree is a natural destination for anyone visiting the unmissable Isle of Skye.

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Fort William
city guide

Scenically set between Loch Linnhe and Ben Nevis, Fort William is a bustling harbour town renowned as the Outdoor Capital of Scotland. Fort William provides an ideal base from which to explore the great outdoors and an ideal stopover on route to the northern highlands.

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Stirling
city guide

The beautiful city of Stirling lies at the heart of Scotland both figuratively and literally. With an enchanting Castle to rival Edinburgh it was once the Royal seat of Scotland and has played a pivotal role in the nation's turbulent history.

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Britain
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Comprising the nations of England, Scotland and Wales, Great Britain is a land of rich history, diverse cultures and glorious vistas just waiting to be discovered. Together these three countries and their peoples combine to create an unforgettable visitor destination which should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

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England
destination guide

Eccentric England, humming with history, heritage, pageantry, pomp and tradition. England is a place to sit back and enjoy quirky hospitality and past-times, to see first-hand a host of world-famous sites, to uncover hidden gems, to soak up glorious history and a place in which to simply indulge in the great outdoors.

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Wales
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Undiscovered Wales, an ancient Celtic culture and stunning panoramas in abundance. To hear the sing-song of the Welsh language, to uncover an ancient celtic culture, to travel from the peaks of Snowdonia to the Cliffs of Pembroke to the galleries of Cardiff, touring Wales is the ultimate journey of discovery.

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London
city guide

Whether it's iconic sites and historic landmarks, the pomp and pageantry of English tradition, the modern world of politics, culture and sport or simply to soak up the sights and sounds of a city with a life of its own, to experience London is to experience every aspect of English life and will make a highlight for any trip to England.

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