17 July 2024

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Scotland is a land of contrast, offering both bustling cities and remote countryside of spectacular beauty. Scotland covers an area of some 30,000 square miles, with the border between Scotland and England running upwards in a diagonal line from the Solway Firth on the West Coast to just above Berwick-upon-Tweed on the East Coast. The main cities of Scotland are Edinburgh and Glasgow. Edinburgh has a magnificent castle and historic Old Town, and in August hosts the famous Edinburgh Festival, the largest arts festival in the world. An hour's travel to the West of Edinburgh is Glasgow, which became the powerhouse of Scotland during the industrial revolution, and today offers an impressive architectural heritage, as well as lively social and cultural scenes.

Running diagonally from Stirling in the Centre of Scotland to Aberdeen on the North East Coast, is Strathmore, which means 'Great Valley' in Gaelic. This acts as the dividing line from Lowland southern Scotland, to the Highlands in the North, where the country rises into the Grampian mountain range which includes Britain's highest peak, Ben Nevis at 1,343 metres (4406 feet). The Highlands are largely formed from Old Red Sandstone, the oldest exposed rock in the world, which has been worn down by millions of years of glaciation. Whilst a popular destination for climbing, walking and cycling, The Highlands of Scotland are never overrun with tourists. You can find glens covered with purple heather, ancient castles, and a wealth of wildlife including Red Deer, Grouse, Buzzards and Golden Eagles. Much of this romantic region remains one of Europe's last great wildernesses. The Grampians are separated from the Northern Highlands by the Great Glen, a chain of deep lochs, including the moody waters of Loch Ness, running from Fort William on the West Coast to the mouth of the Moray Firth on the East Coast.

On the East coast of Scotland can be found deep estuaries, the prosperous oil town of Aberdeen, tiny fishing villages nestled in picturesque bays, fertile farm land and golf courses, including the famous course at St Andrews, golf's spiritual home. The jagged North West Coast consists of the innumerable islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides, which include Skye, Mull and the Pilgramage Centre of Iona. The Hebrides are the last bastion of Gaelic language and culture. Off the North Coast of Scotland lie the islands of Orkney and Shetland, which both have a rich Norse heritage. These are isolated, windswept islands, with some of the best bird watching and archeological sites in Scotland.

For wildlife enthusiasts, Scotland is a veritable paradise. The bird population includes Ospreys, White-Headed Sea Eagles, Puffins, Guillemots and Great Skuas. Sea otters, seals, porpoises and dolphins can be spotted off the Scottish Coast, whilst in the rivers and lochs can be found brown trout and salmon.

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If you are looking to visit Scotland, then these Edinburgh hotel offers may be of interest.