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Scotland Regions

United Kingdom

International Travel / Overseas Tourism Destination

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, located in the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Sharing a border with England to the south, the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest.

The country is divided up into a number of tourism regions,

Historical subdivision of Scotland has included mormaerdom, stewartry, earldom, burgh, parish, county and regions and districts, some still in use today. For local government purposes, there are 32 council areas, whilst the Scottish Parliament recognises 73 constituencies and eight regions.

The main cities in Scotland are Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling. There are over 790 offshore islands in Scotland, most of which are found in the four main groups:
  • Shetland Islands
    — these group of over 100 islands are on the northeast coast of Scotland.
    The largest of the islands is known as Mainland. Other islands include Yell, Unst, Fetlar, Bressay, Whalsay, East and West Burra, Muckle Roe, Papa Stour, Trondra, Vaila, Foula, Fair Isle, and the Out Skerries group.
  • Orkney Islands
    — Orkney is an archipelago just north of Scotland’s mainland and is made up of approximately 70 islands.
  • Hebrides
    — Located off the west coast of Scotland, the Hebrides is a widespread and diverse archipelago, grouped into the Inner Hebrides and the Outer Hebrides.

Over time we will be expanding our listing of wonderful destinations, attractions and memorable experiences in Scotland, in the meantime you can check out our current listing.

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Scotland • Attractions

Aberdeen City Shire and Grampian Highlands
Known as the Capital of the Grampian Highlands, the ‘Granite City’ of Aberdeen offers visitors a perfect destination from which to base yourself for exploring the surrounding region of Aberdeenshire. With the majestic Grampian Mountains dominating the skyline to the west, rolling hills and quaint small fishing villages, plus the dramatic and unspoilt coastline to the east, there is plenty to see and do.

A prosperous and hard-working city Aberdeen has the modern glamour of the larger cities, from first class restaurants, great shopping and exciting nightlife, yet still retaining some of its quaint fishing village charm. With the bordering rivers, the River Don to the north and the River Dee to the south, the city boast a fascinating history, fine architecture, museums, and a vibrant art and culture scene.

If you want to explore Aberdeen’s cultural and natural heritage, there is the City’s Heritage Trails1 to complement the Grampian Driving Trails and Castle Trail (Aberdeenshire being home to Scotland’s only castle trail, as well as their long-standing royal connections). One of the most popular attractions is the Cairngorms National Park, Britain’s largest National Park.

Check out our listing of Scotland Tourism Sites for more information.
Dumfries & Galloway
Located in the south west region of Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway provides a great escape from the stresses of modern life. With its varied landscape of hills, moorland, forest, rivers and coastline, it provides a mecca for golfers, walkers, cyclists and anglers. It is also home to the Mull of Galloway, Scotland's most southerly point. The cities of Dumfries and Kirkcudbright offer a range of activities.
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Edinburgh and the Lothians region is filled with history, culture, attractions, activities and events. Scotland’s Capital City of Edinburgh has a vibrant buzz both day and night. Edinburgh is a city of contrast from the cobble streets of the Old Town and the beautiful Georgian avenues of the New Town. Visitors can relax in the seaside locations of Newhaven, a quiet fishing village with its Newhaven Heritage Museum located in the Newhaven Fish Market, one of the best fish markets in the UK. There is the village of Cramond, some two thousand years old, located on the River Almond on the eastern side entering the Firth of Forth. Other destinations of interest include Leith (to the east of Newhaven), Pencaitland (16 miles to the east of Edinburgh in the East Lothian), Dunbar (on the southeast coast lest than 31 miles from Edinburgh), Stenton (in the East Lothian, near Dunbar).

The Lothian is a region that lie between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills. Encompassing Edinburgh City it also includes West Lothian, Mid Lothian and East Lothian, the region has a rich heritage with prehistoric burial sites, castles and palaces. There is the beautiful Rosslyn Chapel, pretty villages, river valleys, woods, hills, coastline and beaches, where you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities from exploring, cycling, walking and play a round on an Open Championship course.
Outer Hebrides and the Inner Hebrides
Located off the west coast of Scotland, the Hebrides is a widespread and diverse archipelago, grouped into the Outer Hebrides and the Inner Hebrides. The Hebrides are named from the Norse word ‘Harbredey’, that roughly translate to ‘isles at the edge of the sea’.

The Outer Hebrides are the most westerly islands off the Scottish mainland. Made up of a number of many smaller islands in close proximity to each other, they include Isle of Lewis (Eilean Leòdhais), Isle of Harris (Na Hearadh), Isle of North Uist (Uist a Tuath), Isle of Benbecula (Beinn Na Faoghla), Isle of South Uist (Uibhist a Deas), Isle of Barra (Eilean Bharraigh), and The Islands of St Kilda (Hiort).

Check out the Official Tourism Site for The Outer Hebrides.
Shetland Islands
Located on the northeast coast of Scotland is a subarctic archipelago, of a group of over 100 islands known as the Shetland Islands. Less than a third of the islands are populated, the largest island is known as Mainland, a place of stunning beaches, tall cliffs, sheltered alcoves and the friendliest of people. With its unique culture, stunning seascapes and abundant wildlife, the islands have a lot to offer the visitor.

Dominated and influenced by the coast and sea, the islands have a rich history that date back to the Neolithic time. The impressive Mousa Broch on the Island of Mousa, rises to 13 m in height and is over 2,000 years old. There is evidence of even earlier settlements.2

The Vikings influence of course, is everywhere. The ancient Viking parliament, the Althing, once met near Scalloway and even today, Norse Udal law still plays a role in Shetland Life. The Norse influence is also noticeable in the Shetland dialect and on place names and on the last Tuesday of January, Vikings can be seen roaming the streets of Lerwick for the annual Up Helly Aa Fire Festival. This is the world’s biggest fire festival and involves a torchlight procession dragging a Viking longship through the streets before setting it alight in spectacular fashion and retiring to the local halls for a night of revelry.

Of course Shetland is a paradise for wildlife watchers. Home to over a million birds, including over 600,000 fulmars and over 200,000 puffins, this is a haven for birdwatchers. In fact, Shetland is a haven for all kinds of wildlife, as seen in its three National Nature Reserves, four RSPB reserves and 78 Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
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• Scotland Region Related Links and Source

1 Aberdeen City Council: Aberdeen Heritage Trail
Information about a series of walking tails around the City of Aberdeen and includes a series of links to trails and related documents. (Retrieved February 7, 2012)
2 Undiscovered Scotland: The Ultimate Online Guide - Mousa Broch
Informative site that includes a section on Mousa Broch, with images. (Retrieved February 7, 2012)
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