• 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.

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
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