Scotland is most definitely one of the most fascinating, beautiful and historical countries on the planet with its separate regions each having its own exclusive attractions and characters.
This country may well be relatively small but it just bursts with variety including dramatic towering peaks, rugged coasts and gentle cascading hills all surrounding towns and vibrant cities that sit side by side with monuments and ancient castles.
Scotland is divided into five regions:
The borders and lowlands
The Western Isles
The Northern isles
The Lowlands and Borders
These can be overlooked when visiting Scotland but the lowlands and borders have seen a number of the biggest dramas in the whole of Scottish history.
It is here that there were violent battles and feuds with the Romans and English and the battlegrounds, abbeys, historic houses and castles are visible reminders of this past.
Nowadays you will find that towns like Jedburgh and Pebbles flourish on their history that is associated with Bonny prince Charlie and Walter Scott. Whereas around Galloway and Dumfries you will find the tranquility of mountain scenery and rolling countryside.
For fans of Robert Burns, the national bard of Scotland, you can follow his life and times through mauchine, Auldgirth and Alloway.
The Ayrshire coast offers several vacation resorts such as Largs, Troon and Ayr.
This is Scotland’s heart and where you will find Edinburgh and Glasgow. The countryside that spreads out to the north exudes a timeless beauty.
Loch Lomand is a mere half hour from the suburbs of Glasgow and the secluded lochs that make up the Trossachs can be reached easily from Stirling, an historical university city.
A great day out for all the family is a trip to New Lanark. New Lanark is a cotton mill village from the 18th century that has been beautifully restored. Here you will gain an insight into the industrial heritage of the area.
Rosslyn Chapel, south of Edinburgh, has recently been brought back to the publics eye thanks to Dan brown’s Da Vinci Code and its links to the Knights Templar.
Heather, lochs, porridge, bagpipes, whiskey, tartan and clans all originated in the highlands. The highlands stretch north of Edinburgh and Glasgow to John O’ Groats.
It is in the highlands that you will witness some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. There are many National Parks in this regions and plenty of unspoiled wilderness.
Inverness offers wild and untouched beaches on the North Sea as well as being a handsome and fascinating city.
The highlands are a great place to visit if you enjoy hiking, mountain biking, sailing and for skiers the Cairngorms are perfect in the winter.
The Western Isles
The Western Isles are made up of hundreds of islands.
Included in the Inner Hebrides is the Isle of Mull where the children’s show Balamoray is set. Mull is where the colorful harbor township of Tobermoray is situated and it is here that you can take dolphin and whale trips.
Iona is considered as ‘the cradle of Christianity’ and is a place of pilgrimage.
Jurra, although over populated with red deer, is extremely popular with adventurous hikers.
An isle to visit should you be interested in archaeology and whiskey (there are a number of whiskey distilleries) is Islay
The westerly isles of Tiree and Coll have some fabulous beaches and get more hours of sunshine than all of Great Britain.
The isle of Skye is famous for its connections with Bonny Prince Charlie.
Staffa is home to Fingal’s Cave one of Scotland’s natural wonders.
Lewis and Harris, an island whose capital is the busy Stornaway are part of the Outer Hebrides.
Barra has a dramatic beach that is also the island’s airstrip and more than a thousand types of flowers.
The Northern Isles
Shetland and Orkney have kept much of their Norse personality both in culture and dialect. These islands are desolate and present the traveler with some of Scotland’s wildest scenery and a wonderful group of archaeological areas as well as some great bird watching opportunities.
Orkney is actually a group of seventy islands and the citizens of Orkney look upon the biggest of these islands as the Mainland as opposed to Scotland.
Most visitors visit the Shetland Isles for the landscapes and wildlife. Its capital is the bustling harbor town of Lerwick.
It is pretty easy to reach the islands that are populated either by ferry.