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.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Scotland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
On the fringes of Edinburgh: 8 ways to explore the city's quirky side

On the fringes of Edinburgh: 8 ways to explore the city's quirky side

During August, all rules and social conventions are put to one side when Edinburgh hosts the world’s biggest arts festival. Actors perform improvised solil…

30 Aug 2017 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
A taste of Glasgow's grit: a foodie's guide to the city

A taste of Glasgow's grit: a foodie's guide to the city

Neil McQuillian embarked on a foodie tour of Scotland's "second" city and discovered just what makes the place tick. 

10 Aug 2017 • Neil McQuillian local_activity Special feature
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month