With its untamed highlands and windswept islands, spectacular lochs and glens, intriguing cities and amazing hospitality, Scotland has much more to offer the tourist than the cliché of kilts and bagpipes. Although part of Great Britain, located north of England, Scotland is a land and culture completely contrasting and historically in conflict with its southern neighbors. Scotland have their own parliament and are constantly contemplating devolution from England.

It is worth making the long journey north if you are planning to discover the extremities that Great Britain has to offer. The ragged Highland landscape and isolated Hebrides islands can rarely be matched and its dramatic landscapes have proved perfect sets for epic films like Braveheart and Local Hero, and an inspiration for Romantic poets.

From the culture capital of Edinburgh (more akin to a little London) to the urban energy of Glasgow with more castles that you can imagine – Scotland is possibly the most beautiful and diverse land to visit in this pocket of Western Europe. Snow capped mountains, heather covered hills, graceful lochs and fresh water streams all make this one of the underrated natural gems of Europe.

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