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Top Destinations in Scotland, United Kingdom

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Scotland is a country located in the United Kingdom. The area is known for its views of nature and wildlife with mountains, national parks, nature reserves, highlands, and lochs.[3] Potentially the most popular attraction in Scotland is Edinburgh Castle. Other well-known exhibits and activities are the city of Inverness, the Isle of Skye, the Northern Highlands, the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle, and Skara Brae.[1] Within the boundaries of Scotland are two national parks, over three national nature reserves, and Unesco global geo parks.[2] Scotland has around 109 distilleries that produce whisky, which is one of the things Scotland is known for.[3] Temperatures in Scotland range from anywhere between 24 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The country receives rain throughout the year, and snow falls in the winter months.[5] Plants and animals that inhabit the area include various mammals and plants, some of which are North Atlantic right whales, Atlantic white-sided dolphins, European fallow deer, great horsetails, common moonwort, and Hart's-tongue ferns.[6]

What Scotland is known for

Known for its whisky, castles, highlands, and the fabled Loch Ness Monster, Scotland has mountains, cities, and many different landscapes.[3] Scotland is also known for the many activities that are available to tourists and commoners alike. One of the more popular of these attractions is Edinburgh Castle. Having been around since the 12th Century, the castle is one of the most prominent national monuments in the country. The Loch Ness monster is a creature of legend that is said to live in the city of Inverness. According to the legend, the Loch Ness Monster has called the area home for centuries. At an exhibition dedicated to this creature, there is a detailed portrayal of the monster. In the Northern Highlands, people can view the uninhabited mountainous region while hiking and mountain biking. Also in the highlands is the coastal town of Dornoch, which is known for its cathedral ruins and castle. These are only a few of the many exhibits in Scotland.[1] 

Cairngorms National Park and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park are the two country-run national parks in Scotland. Cairngorms National Park encompasses a relatively large part of the easter highlands, along with the west Aberdeenshire. It is the largest national park in the United Kingdom. With mountains, sub-arctic habitats, forests, rivers, lochs, and wildlife hotspots, all of which have been known to draw in multiple visitors a year. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park has views, immense mountains, and natural environments. The national park is most known for containing evidence of people that lived in the area centuries ago. Scotland also has several national nature reserves. Some of these include the Abernethy NNR, Caerlaverock NNR, and Beinn Eighe NNR. With three geo parks, Unesco biospheres, and other landmarks, some tourists come to the area to admire nature and animals.[2] 

In 2019, there were reportedly 151 million visitors to Scotland. Out of these people, around 133.6 million visited Scotland for a day, while the remaining 17.5 million stayed for at least one night. Over 7.6 of the visitors are from Scotland and are simply traveling to other parts of the country. Around 6 million of the visitors are from England. Around half of the total visitors come to see the landscape or to learn about the history and culture of the country. Because Scotland has more than 11,000 miles of coastline, many tourists to the area visit those sites.[4] 

As of 2019, the population of Scotland was around 5,463,300 people. The main three languages that are spoken in the country are English, Scottish Gaelic, and Scots. Members of the country identify themselves differently, though the most common identification is as Scottish only.[7]


Scotland, a country in the northern section of the United Kingdom, is made up of mountains, forests, lochs, lakes, rivers, and multiple islands. Overall, the country has little to no deserts. Instead, forests are typical. Islands that are a part of Scotland are located a few miles off the mainland. Most of them have at least one large city, though some only have villages. Edinburgh and Glasgow are the two main cities on the continent of Scotland, followed by Inverness, Aberdeen, and Dundee. Also in the country are two national parks, which are Cairngorms National Park and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. 

Within Scotland are many animals, amphibians, plants, bugs, and other living creatures. So far, 4,635 out of 5,152 known species are reported to have been observed. As far as plants go, there are around 1,741 different species that live throughout Scotland. Most of these plants are located in more forested areas. Common moonworts, European royal gerns, great horsetails, brittle bladder ferns, common brackens, and Hart's-tongue ferns are only a few of the many types of plants in the area. Mammals are common, but there are fewer species of them. Red-necked wallabies are some of the most common to be found. Hares, rabbits, and squirrels are also occupants of the land. Eurasian beavers, caribou, western roe deer, European fallow deer, sika deer, and European water voles are other land mammals. Because oceans surround Scotland, water mammals can also be found. Some of these include mink whales, North Atlantic right whales, North Atlantic bottlenose whales, harbor porpoises, and Atlantic white-sided dolphins are some of the mammals that have been observed.[6]

Annually, the weather in Scotland is warm and humid in the summers, while winters are snowy and cold. Partial cloud cover is common year-round. Over the course of a year, the average temperatures range from 24 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees. In Scotland, the hot season typically lasts for about four months, from May to September. July tends to be the hottest month, with average highs of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally, the cold season lasts around three months, from December to March, with an average high temperature of below 47 degrees Fahrenheit. January is the coldest month, with an average low of 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain falls throughout the year in Scotland, though the wetter season generally lasts five months, from March to August. Drier seasons last around seven months. June receives the most rain, while snow falls specifically in February.[5]


Pytheas, a Greek sailor, was the first person to write a reference to Scotland. Written in 320 BC, the reference called the area "Orcas." During the first millennium BC, society changed to a chiefdom model. During the time, the consolidation of settlements led to more wealth for people, bringing more underground stores and a surplus of food. Because the Roman conquest of Britain was never completed, most of Scotland was never under Roman political control. However, the Scottish participated in the Great Conspiracy against Roman rule.[7] 

Scotland was given its name around the 10th century. When the Normans conquered England in 1066, the majority of the Anglo-Saxons retreated to the lowlands of Scotland. It was in that area that the Scots adopted English ways. Feudalism was established, allowing for the chiefs of clans to become nobles. For the next few years, the town grew, trading increased, and Scotland became more prosperous than it had been in the past.[8] 

Over the next few centuries, Scotland continued to develop. For instance, battles for independence took place from 1290 to 1542. At the end of these battles, Mary Stuart became the ruler of Scotland. Her son, James VI, later became the ruler of England, becoming known primarily as James I. Though the two nations had a single king, they remained separate with their own parliament and government. Other events would occur over time. In the 18th century, Scotland experienced the Scottish Enlightenment, which resulted in Edinburgh becoming one of the intellectual powerhouses of Europe. In the late 18th century, the Highland Clearances took place. This process made it so that tenants were evicted from their small holdings, making it so that they had to emigrate to the New World.[8] 

In more recent times, Scotland has improved its industrialism by constructing oil rigs, support services, and refineries. After WWII, Scotland sought more political independence. A referendum was held in 1979 for the reintroduction of the Scottish Parliament. However, the vote was lost as a result of the minimum number not being reached. Another referendum was held in 1997 and succeeded where the other one had failed. Since then, a new Parliament building has been constructed. In June 2016, the decision was made for the UK to leave the European Union. This has resulted in an increased desire for a second referendum on Scottish independence.[8] 

In the 2011 census, Scotland's population stated their national identity in one of four different types. Around 62% of the population identified as Scottish only, while 18% classified as Scottish and British. Those who chose British only made up around 8% of the population, while those who identified as something else only made up 4% of the population.[7]

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