Scotland is a country in North Europe and forms the northern part of Great Britain. Scotland has a dramatic coastline with hundreds of islands. A playground for any outdoor goer, Scotland has a landscape of immense beauty.
Scotland is famous for many things – castles and whiskey to name a few, but is best known the world over for its national dress. We've all seen a lone piper playing the bagpipes and wearing the kilt – the bagpipes have been the traditional sound of the highlands for centuries.
Scotland is rich in history – resulting in a landscape full of amazing castles and forts. Standing upon the summit of an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle overlooks the entire city. This large fortified building has long served as a protector to the Scots and English rulers. Stirling Castle has dominated Scottish History for years. Three miles south of Stirling Castle, Robert the Bruce defeated the English in the famous battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
Scotland has a rich tradition in both food and drink. Haggis is the best-known Scottish dish – made out of the insides of sheep with oatmeal and normally served with turnips and potato. This dish will not be to everyone's fancy – but do not fret they also produce some great drinks. For any true whiskey drinker, the Scottish have truly mastered the art of creating excellent malt whiskey.
The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh. The center of Edinburgh is a great example of Georgian urban architecture, dating back centuries of years.
The main shopping area in Edinburgh lies along Princes Street. Princes street has a large amount of art galleries and museums. Most shops in Scotland open on a Sunday but are closed on public holidays. The currency of Scotland is the pound sterling (£).
Traveling around Scotland is a pleasure – there are direct flights from most parts of the world into Scotland's main airports. Scotland also has a large rail network with is very reliable. If you are planning to use the Scottish rail system frequently – it is a good idea to buy a rail pass.
For any outdoor achiever Scotland hosts a large amount of outdoor activities. Rock climbing and mountaineering are very popular in the west of Scotland and on some of the islands.
Walking is extremely popular in the Highlands of Scotland. The wide open unspoiled landscape is an ideal spot – most parts are open to the public. Pony trekking is also very popular along the Highlands and in the open countryside.
Scotland also hosts great centers for water sports. Most of these centers are suitable for the beginner. Sailing in Scotland is very popular along the coast while inland canoeing is extremely popular.
Golf partnerships thousands of visitors every year, especially to some of the more famous courses in Central Scotland. Other sports include skiing in the winter, football and rugby.
Scotland's national parks are full of amazing wildlife and rare plants. Rare arctic plants flourish on the highlands with many birds of prey, such as eagles and kestrels found in the highlands.
If you do decide to travel to Scotland and would like to avoid wet damp conditions, the months from May to August are best.