Many visitors to Scotland are motivated by a search for their family history, the lure of visiting the birthplace of golf, Harry Potter scenery up close and personal or finding the springs that create what locals call the water of life ... Scotch whisky.
Further north, another of Scotland's storied fortresses, Sterling Castle, gained new fame in modern times for its associations with the Hollywood film ‘Braveheart’, starring Mel Gibson (so be sure to pay homage at the William Wallace monument near the castle grounds while you're here!)
Major tourist attractions in Scotland include mysterious Loch Ness (left); visits to the mighty
Edinburgh Castle (middle); and driving tours around the picturesque Scottish Highlands (right).
Meanwhile, for art and architecture lovers, Glasgow wins in popularity for its singularly beautiful Gothic cathedral, plus Victorian and art nouveau building design at every turn -- not to mention the prestigious Burrell Collection of art and the historic turn-of-the-century Tenement House.
Of course, a trip to Scotland wouldn't be complete without a tour of the Scottish Highlands offer breathtaking beauty and vistas of Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain (towering at 1,344 metres or 4,409 ft.) For sport and nature lovers the Aviemore area beckons with scenic walks and mountain ski resorts, while the Inner Hebrides just off the western coast features mysterious ancient ruins and awesome landscapes.
Scottish Tourist Board - The official site with interactive maps, online hotel booking, sample itineraries including golfing vacations, outdoor adventure, walking tours, Scottish history, practical travel tips, weather information.
Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board - Online guide to Inverness, Loch Ness, Skye, and the Northern Highlands with facts & information on major attractions, Scottish history & cultural highlights, hotels & restaurants.