• Scotland covers an area of just over 30,000 square miles, has a 2300-mile-long coastline and contains over 31,460 lochs. Of its 790 islands, 130 are inhabited. The highest point is the summit of Ben Nevis (4406ft), while the bottom of Loch Morar is 1017 feet below sea level.

• The capital is Edinburgh (population nearly 480,000), and the largest city is Glasgow (population 580,000). While the number of people worldwide who claim Scottish descent is estimated at more than 25 million, the population of the country is just over 5 million – 1.2 percent of whom (roughly 60,000 people) speak Gaelic.

• Scotland is a constituent territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. It is a parliamentary democracy whose sovereign parliament sits at Westminster in London, with elements of government business devolved to the separately elected Scottish Parliament which sits in Edinburgh.

Whisky accounts for 13 percent of Scotland’s exports and is worth over £3 billion annually.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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Scotland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

11 Apr 2017 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
7 must-visit places in Scotland you've probably never heard of

7 must-visit places in Scotland you've probably never heard of

Scotland sports such a strong selection of tourist attractions – from castles and cabers to kilts and whisky – it’s easy to forget that there is much mor…

01 Mar 2017 • Robin McKelvie insert_drive_file Article
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