As an old Scots saying has it, ‘guid gear comes in sma’ bouk’ (good things come in small packages). And despite its small size, Scotland certainly has many treasures crammed into its compact territory. There’s something for all tastes. For the history buff, few cities compare with Edinburgh and Glasgow; for the hungry, try haggis if you must but don’t miss the Aberdeen Angus beef or smoked salmon from Dumfries & Galloway or, for the thirsty, the peerless malt whiskies of the Isle of Islay or Oban await. There is wild mountain scenery of the Highlands & Northern Islands and cold, sparkling seas washing against the Outer Hebrides. Wildlife watchers will find otters, eagles, whales and dolphins, while hill walkers have almost 300 Munros to bag.
There’s turbulent history and fascinating genealogy, castles and country pubs, canoeing and caber-tossing, golfing and fishing and all-round good craic (lively conversation).
Although an integral part of Great Britain since 1707, Scotland has maintained a separate and distinct identity throughout the last 300 years. The return of a devolved Scottish parliament to Edinburgh in 1999 marked a growing confidence and sense of pride in the nation’s achievements.
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