Robert Louis Stevenson described the capital, Edinburgh, as 'a dream in masonry and living rock'; Alexander Smith wrote of Victorian Glasgow: 'A sacredness of love and death, Dwells in thy noise and smoky breath'. (Glasgow today is a much cleaner dame.) These southern cities have sturdy histories, stately monuments and effervescent festivals. Beyond them, the grand landscapes of the Scottish Highlands have been moving poets and artists for centuries. Read more...
The land of bagpipes, rolling hills and the elusive Loch Ness monster
People don't only come to the Highlands to be inspired, they come in search of 'Nessie' in the world's most famous loch: Loch Ness. To glimpse life on the northern-most inhabited point of the country, you need to venture well into the North Sea and stop at the Shetland Islands.
It's not just geography that entices visitors to this constituent country of Great Britain – alongside England and Wales – a holiday in Scotland is also easy on the palate. Angus beef finds its original home here, Highland salmon is as fresh as it comes, the whiskey is peerless and the shortbread is long on melt-in-your-mouth tradition. Grab one of the finest curries outside India in Glasgow, a city in which there's no shortage of pubs to find a pint to wash it down.