Scotland has many visitors annually for very understandable reasons: buzzing and historic cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow, stunning mountains together with atmospheric lochs and dramatic coastal regions.
There are many beautiful mountainous areas worldwide and Scotland is up there with the best. The Highlands offer Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK and the Cairngorms, a popular skiing centre. The largest national park in the UK, the Cairngorms has a rich history emphasised by the ancient castles dotted about the landscape. The Great Glen is a must to visit with its eerie mistiness and runs from the Moray Firth to Fort William. A visit to the Dunoon Highland Games is recommended with pipers, kilts and caber-tossing in full view. Perhaps celebrate while there with a wee dram.
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and a magnet for travellers. Its solid, stone built architecture dominated by its glowering castle, is full of historic interest, lively bars, restaurants and stylish shops. Perhaps take an Inspector Rebus novel to read in a spare moment to soak up the atmosphere.
Famed and exported all over the world, Scotch whisky must be aged in barrels for at least three years and there are two main types, single malts and single grain. Blended whiskies contain both malt and grain. The first reference to Scotch whisky dates back to 1494. It was referred to then as aqua vitae – or water of life – , a term which I am sure most Scotch drinkers would recognise.