For a relatively small country, Scotland has an incredible variety of attractions. The north of course is dominated by The Highlands and Islands. The most northerly coastline of Scotland and Britain offers storm-swept high cliffs and headlands as well as amazingly calm sandy bays. Such natural variety continues inland which plays host to low-lying windswept bogs, numerous tranquil lochs and soaring frost-laden mountain peaks. Off the northern coast lie the island's of Orkney with their ancient history and rugged countryside, and the Shetland Islands, Britain's most northerly point, a home to numerous wildlife of all description. To the West lie the spectacular islands of Skye, Mull, Jura, Iona and Islay with their rugged landscapes, castles and whiskey tours.
The Eastern Region not only is host to some great cities, including the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, but also some stunning scenery. From the wild Grampian Mountains to scattered farmsteads and fishing communities that border the rich land of the Moray Firth, the 'Granary of the North'. The River Spey's soft peaty waters supply a host of malt whisky distilleries, while its rocky pools are alive with salmon and trout.
The Southern Region comprises of the administrative areas of Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders. An area to the south of Edinburgh, it is dominated by the two great rivers of the Tweed and Teviot, where the green lushness of the river valleys exist in striking contrast to the bare, rounded peaks and weather-beaten heather hills of the Southern Uplands. The ruined abbeys and numerous castles of the region provide an atmospheric reminder of the turbulent past of this region.
To the south west of the Borders lies the former region of Dumfries and Galloway. This is Scotland's pastoral corner where tranquility abounds amongst remote lochs, glittering like hidden jewels set in the gentle rolling hills of Annadale, Eskdale and neighbouring valleys. These 'Debatable Lands' have a turbulent history, witnessed by the many ruined fortresses and castles that litter the area, and remembered in the passion of haunting ballads of clan battles, and most especially of Robert the Bruce, hero king of Scotland, whose every footfall lingers.
The Western Region is marked by dramatic contrasts. In the north is the Clydeside area of heavy engineering and shipbuilding, together with the bustle of the city of Glasgow. All this stands in stark contrast to much else that is Strathclyde. The gently rolling, seemingly empty landscape of the Lowther Hills, frequented mainly by sheep and grouse, make a tranquil contrast to the urban sprawl further north. West Strathclyde enjoys a mild climate where holiday resorts are dotted among rocky coves and sandy beaches. Further inland, swift flowing rivers cut through lofty hills and the fingers of wooded valleys reach down toward the coast. This landscape, the towns and villages located here, the ruined strongholds, reminders of feuds long past, were inspiration for the poems and ballads of Robert Burns
The western borders of the former Central region are consumed by the vast expanse of Loch Lomond's waters, a major attraction in the region. The largest loch in Scotland at 23 miles in length, it is accompanied by the dramatic grandeur of the West Highland Way, where wooded slopes and waterfalls tip into the sparkling calm of the ancient loch.
If you're after spectacular scenery, adventure and ancient history, Scotland is the place for you.