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Scotland is a country of enormous variation and enchanting beauty. It contains easily the most remote and wild areas of Britain amongst the staggeringly impressive landscapes of the Northern Highlands. The jumble of mountains, snow-drizzled peaks, lochs, seacliffs and rocky outcrops sears itself in visitors' minds. This is a place to lose yourself in a genuine European wilderness. But Scotland's allure is so much more. The dynamism of Edinburgh and Glasgow, its two principal cities, is found in their style bars, classic pubs, pumping live music and creative arts scene, highlighted by the world's greatest arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe. ...

Scotland is a country of enormous variation and enchanting beauty. It contains easily the most remote and wild areas of Britain amongst the staggeringly impressive landscapes of the Northern Highlands. The jumble of mountains, snow-drizzled peaks, lochs, seacliffs and rocky outcrops sears itself in visitors' minds. This is a place to lose yourself in a genuine European wilderness. But Scotland's allure is so much more. The dynamism of Edinburgh and Glasgow, its two principal cities, is found in their style bars, classic pubs, pumping live music and creative arts scene, highlighted by the world's greatest arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe. Edinburgh, with its centuries-old castle melded seamlessly into a volcanic plug, is surely one of the world's most beautiful and startling cities with breathtaking vistas. The country is also a portal into the not-so-distant past, littered with historical ruins, impregnable castles, brochs, forts, standing stones and ancient burial chambers. Magical Perthshire is a good place to start, encapsulating much of the country's landscapes, from its bleak, rugged peaks to the remote splendor of Glen Lyon, and the postcard-perfect scenery around exquisite Kenmore.

Alan Murphy
About the Expert

Alan Murphy is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Britain, Scotland, India and North India. He has been writing and updating travel guidebooks for the past 12 years.

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Alan Murphy for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Scotland is part of the UK and sits on the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England and is bounded by the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. It is also made up of more than 790 islands.
  • Language: Scots, English and Gaelic
  • Currency: Pound Sterling
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall