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Scotland

Untamed and rugged, Scotland is bounded by the North Sea to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and boasts over 800 islands. The pastoral lands of the borders stretch through the moorland expanse in the south to the lonely grandeur of the Highlands. From shadowy glens and peaceful lochs to dynamic cities and throbbing nightlife, Scotland offers a stunning range of things to see and do.

Scottish Tourist Boards

Travel

Getting to Scotland couldn't be easier. You can choose from one of four international airports or three major ferry ports or, alternatively, cut the costs and travel in by rail or road.

Airports & airlines

Ferries

Trains

Coaches and buses

Accommodation

From country house retreats to simple mountain bothies, from a cabin aboard a luxury yacht to a rugged youth hostel, Scotland can meet every accommodation need.

Dining out and eating in

Scotland is a rich and fertile land where chefs can draw on top quality ingredients to produce innovative and imaginative menus. If you travel round the country, grab any chance to sample the local delicacies - Arbroath smokies, Loch Fyne kippers, Selkirk bannocks, Galloway cheeses and Dundee cake.

Scottish music

From contemporary to traditional, Scotland excels in its musical talents and has something for every musical taste. Folk, Gaelic, pipes, fiddles, jazz, classical, rock or pop, simply take your pick.

Culture

For its size, Scotland has had a vastly disproportionate impact in the field of creativity. This has spawned a rich diversity of artistic and cultural heritage. Scotland has produced writers, painters, sculptors, musicians, composers and dancers whose talents have received both national and international acclaim.

Festivals

Education and a strong work ethic are balanced by the Scots’ deep-rooted love of a good party. Join in a reel at a traditional ceilidh, celebrate the wealth of Scottish arts or dance the night away at a three-day music festival.

Weather

Scotland's weather, though much maligned, is not that different to England’s - Edinburgh's annual rainfall is only slightly greater than London's. However, positioned on the edge of the European continent with sea on three sides, the climate is very varied. Be prepared for days that can be as wet as others can be hot and sunny.

Generally speaking May and June are usually drier than July and August and the east coast tends to be cool and dry, the west coast milder and wetter. The relatively high latitude of Scotland means although winter days are very short, the long summer days have an extended twilight.

History

There are remnants of the past wherever you visit in Scotland. Its dramatic history spans 8,000 years and leaves a visible legacy on the land: a wealth of prehistoric remains, ruined medieval abbeys, majestic castles and fine houses, many bearing the scars of battles.

Genealogy

There are 28 million people of Scottish descent worldwide and your family could sport a Scottish link. Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors or join a gathering of the clans but don’t leave Scotland without exploring your roots.

Sport

For the more energetic visitor, Scotland prides itself on exceptional leisure facilities. It boasts some of the world’s greatest golf courses, stunning mountain walks and thrilling water sports. Fly-fishing and grouse shooting are traditional seasonal activities and the Highlands offer some of the world’s challenging climbs.

Wildlife

From the exhilaration of watching whales, dolphins, seals and birds at sea to enjoying grouse, red deer or a golden eagle on a mountain top, Scotland offers one of Europe’s most exciting wildlife experiences.

Spooky Scotland

Wherever you go in Scotland, there’s likely to be a ghost lurking in the background. From the Seal Women of the Hebrides to the monster of the loch, Scotland is full of the supernatural, the paranormal and myths and legends.

Scottish traditions

Scottish history has handed down a wealth of customs that are alive, well and enthusiastically celebrated even today. Attend a Gathering or Highland Games and you’re likely to experience most of them in one go.

Scottish tipples

The national drink is whisky and, when it comes to the water of life, Scotch is recognised the world over as being without equal. The Scots have perfected the art of distilling, using their natural elements of climate, peat and, above all, soft water. Remember - see the country, taste the spirit.

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