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Scotland, one of four constituent nations of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), occupies the northern part of the island of Great Britain.
Scotland, divided into three main regions; the Highlands, the Midland Valley and the Southern Uplands, includes 787 islands, of which most belong to groups known as the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland. Tay, Spey, Clyde, Tweed, Dee, Don and Forth are famous rivers of Scotland.
Edinburgh is the capital, Glasgow is the largest city, and Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and Stirling are the other major cities of Scotland. English is the official language, although Gaelic is spoken, primarily in the North and West of Scotland.
Scotland, poetically known as Caledonia, is also known as “the land of cakes” for its world famous oatmeal cakes. Scotland, also known for its lochs (this name is generally used for lakes in Scotland), is one of the most coveted tourist spots in the world. Loch Lomond, Loch Ness and Loch Awe are famous lochs of Scotland. Scotland, the land of beauty and romance, is home to the finest hotels in the world.
The Caledonian countryside is a wild, beautiful tumble of raw mountain peaks and deep glassy lakes. Scotland is a place where one can watch golden eagles soar over the rocky peaks of the Cuillin and play golf on some of the world's most hallowed courses. The beautiful Caledonian land reveals her true depth and complex flavors only to those who relish her slowly and feelingly.
Scotland is widely known for its mountainous and beautiful scenery. Much of the upland within the UK is contained within the borders of Scotland, along with the highest peaks. The highest mountains in Scotland include Ben Nevis (1343m or 4406 feet high), Ben Macdhui (1309m or 4296 feet), Braeriach (1296m or 4252 feet), Cairntoul (1293m or 4241 feet), Cairngorm (1245m or 4084 feet), Ben Lawers (1214m or 3984 feet).
Major attractions of Scotland include Hardrian's Wall, Iona Abbey, Melrose Abbey, The Isle of Lewis, Eilean Donan, Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, The Forth Rail Bridge, Buliding of the river Clyde, The ruins of the Cathedral of St Andrew in St Andrews, Fife, The University of Glasgow, Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the British Isles, Parliament House, Greenock Municipal Buildings etc.
Climate— The climate of Scotland is temperate and oceanic, and very volatile. The temperature is generally lower than in the rest of the UK. Tiree, in the Inner Hebrides, is the sunniest place in the country. Rainfall varies widely across Scotland. The western highlands of Scotland are the wettest place, with annual rainfall exceeding 3,000 mm (120 inches), but lowlands receive less than 800 mm (31 inches) annually. Heavy snowfall is not common in the lowlands, but becomes more common with altitude. Braemar experiences an average of 59 snow days per year, while coastal areas have an average of less than 10 days.
Traveling to Scotland—Glasgow, Edinburgh, Prestwick and Aberdeen International Airports serve the major European and intercontinental routes. Scotland also have regional airports serving the more remote locations.
Scotland have no national airline, however Loganair, Flyglobespan, Air Scotland and ScotAirways have their base in Scotland.
Scotland have a large and expanding rail network that managed independently from the rest of the UK.
Scotland also have regular ferry services between the Scottish mainland and island communities. Caledonian MacBrayne runs most of these services, but some are operated by local councils. International ferry travel is available by a daily Superfast Ferries service from Rosyth (near Edinburgh) to Zeebrugge in Belgium, and by a weekly Smyril Line service from Lerwick (Shetland Islands) to Bergen in Norway, and also to the Faroe Islands and on to Iceland.