Central Scotland, the strip of mainland north of the densely populated Glasgow–Edinburgh axis and south of the main swathe of Highlands, has been the main stage for some of the most important events in Scottish history. Stirling, its imposing castle perched high above the town, was historically the most important bridging point across the River Forth. From the castle battlements you can see the peaks of the forested Trossachs region, with its wild and wonderful archetypal Scottish scenery. Popular for walking and, in particular, cycling, much of the Trossachs, together with the attractive islands and “bonnie, bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond, form the core of Scotland’s first national park.

To the east, between the firths of Forth and Tay, lies the county of Fife, a Pictish kingdom that boasts a fascinating coastline sprinkled with historic fishing villages and sandy beaches, as well as the historic university town of St Andrews, famous worldwide for its venerable golf courses. A little to the north, the ancient town of Perth has as much claim as anywhere to be the gateway to the Highlands. Spectacular Highland Perthshire begins north and west of Perth – an area of glorious wooded mountainsides and inviting walks, particularly around Rannoch Moor.

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Scotland features

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8 alternative UK winter breaks

8 alternative UK winter breaks

The UK gets pretty grim during the winter, with its dark, early nights and splutteringly cold weather. But if you can’t wait until spring to start having fun …

07 Nov 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
8 spectacular remote places in Scotland

8 spectacular remote places in Scotland

Scotland’s seven cities offer myriad urban charms, but if you want to really get to the heart of a complex country that makes up 69% of the UK coastline and o…

19 Sep 2016 • Robin McKelvie videocam Video
Video: 5 reasons to road trip Scotland

Video: 5 reasons to road trip Scotland

Scotland is undeniably beautiful. From famous landscapes like Glen Coe and Loch Ness to unheard of islands scattered off the far reaches of the Highlands, there…

05 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors videocam Video
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