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Scotland

SCOTLAND

Scotland’s six cities are spread out over a spectacularly diverse landscape and include two of the finest urban centres in Europe, Glasgow and Edinburgh, each with its own distinctive appeal. Edinburgh’s complex history and elegant tone is emphasised by its ancient castle and five Michelin-starred restaurants.  Glasgow, 50 miles west, is Scotland’s largest city with a particularly vibrant arts scene. Both have huge appeal for shoppers and museum and gallery-lovers, with easy access to exquisite countryside, too. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park lie close to Glasgow, while an hour north of Edinburgh the Highlands of Perthshire rise.

Those dramatic peaks become especially scenic towards northerly Inverness, Capital of the Highlands, where wonderful hill-walking opportunities surround iconic lakes such as Loch Ness. To the west, Oban offers a gateway to other-worldly islands including Mull and the Inner Hebrides. Nearby Fort William, close to the gaunt rocks of Glen Coe and Ben Nevis, is known as the Adventure Capital of Europe.

Quieter enjoyment lies on the east coast where the whisky country of Speyside near Aberdeen contains half of Scotland’s distilleries. And it’s also worth exploring the far northerly islands of Orkney and the Shetlands, where Scottish and Nordic backgrounds mix intriguingly. Scotland’s vast numbers of walking trails include the highly popular West Highland Way, leading from near Glasgow past the foot of Ben Nevis; also the Fife Coastal Path, starting above Edinburgh, passing fine seascapes and good food areas towards St. Andrews, the home of golf.

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January
Big Burns Supper
Big Burns Supper

One of Scotland’s fastest growing cultural events embracing the fresh, the different, and diverse. A fistful of top notch shows for hungry audiences who help make it the World’s biggest Burn’s Night Celebration. (photo - VisitEngland/VisitDerby/Matthew Jones Photography)

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Up Helly Aa
Up Helly Aa

A fire festival held in Scotland in the middle of winter to mark the end of the yule season. Processions of up to a thousand guizers form into squads and march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes. (photo - Up Helly Aa)

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February
Glasgow Film Festival
Glasgow Film Festival

The anniversary of the Cosmo cinema, which became the Glasgow Film Theatre in 1974, sees a celebration of a different theme of film each year. (photo - VisitEngland/Isle of Wight Festival)

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May
Scottish Highland Games
Scottish Highland Games

A way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands through the recreation of the old Highland Games. (photo - Scottish Highland Games Association)

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June
Bannockburn Live
Bannockburn Live

Prepare for battle! 700 years after the Battle of Bannockburn, the new Battle of Bannockburn experience puts you right at the heart of the action. (photo - The National Trust for Scotland/The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre/ Historic Scotland)

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August
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Set against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, a spine-tingling presentation will include pipers, drummers, singers and dancers. (photo - edintattoo.co.uk/)

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World Pipe Championship
World Pipe Championship

The World's biggest Pipe Band Championships, The Worlds takes place in Glasgow each August. (photo - World Pipe Championship)

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