Though geographically linked with England, Scotland has a mesmerising independent spirit. Not simply the home of whisky and golf, you'll be surprised at the diversity to be found here, along with some of the friendliest people you could meet, and some truly quirky and unusual places to stay.
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Irish Sea, Scotland is made up of many islands in addition to the mainland, meaning there is plenty to explore - and with its climate benefiting from the warming Atlantic Gulf Stream, you'll find beach holidays in Scotland aren't quite as cold as often imagined!
Edinburgh and The Lothians offer miles of beautiful countryside and Scotland's charmingly cobbled capital. Rich in history, Edinburgh Castle is the Queen's official Scottish residence, while East Lothian is known as Scotland's ‘Golf Coast', with plenty of watersports on offer too!Further afield, Fife is a golfers' paradise that includes the historic courses of St. Andrews - along with plenty of foodie delights.
Many people picture the Highlands when they imagine Scotland, and with the huge skies, sparkling rivers and supreme scenery uniquely on offer here, it's not hard to see why. Watch dolphins from the Moray Coast, explore Ben Nevis - otherwise known as the highest peak in Britain - oh, and see if you can spot the Loch Ness Monster!
City-wise, Aberdeenshire is famed for its granite buildings and captivating seaside towns. Glasgow is Scotland's largest city, boasting one of the best shopping experiences around. You'll find Dundee bursting with culture, while Perth, situated on the banks of the River Tay, is Scotland's newest city, buzzing with energy.
Perthshire itself is a must-visit; its ‘Big Tree Country' offering vast expanses of forest land, wistful glens, waterfalls and moors to explore, peppered with soaring ospreys and red deer stags. The famed Rob Roy Way allows you to walk the same 92-mile path as the outlaw himself once did.
The serene Scottish Borders allow you to live a slower pace of life, while in the lowlands, the amazing Dumfries and Galloway scenery is loved by writers, artists and wildlife alike. Ayrshire and Arran, on the west coast, is the region responsible for the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns.
Island-wise, cast away to the Outer Hebrides, complete with blissfully untouched coasts, while Orkney is famed as the best spot in the UK from which to view the Northern Lights.
Argyll and The Isles is home to 23 inhabited islands, each boating beautiful beaches and enticing whisky distilleries! Meanwhile, Shetland is where Scotland meets Scandinavia, for scenic drama quite unlike any anywhere else on the planet.
Discover Scotland, and as the locals say warmly, "haste ye back!" (return soon)