The Scottish landscape is renowned worldwide for its unspoilt beauty. Glen Coe, Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye are particularly popular destinations with tourists, but there are other, lesser-known and equally stunning locations, including the small village of Torridon in the North-West Highlands, the picturesque seaside town of North Berwick, and Arrochar, a village overlooked by the rocky summits of the Arrochar Alps. There is plenty of natural beauty to be found closer to Edinburgh as well:
- Holyrood Park, in the city-centre, is home to the famous extinct volcano, Arthur's Seat, which offers unrivalled views of the city and surrounding coastline.
- The Pentland Hills are just south of Edinburgh and offer excellent walking and views of the city.
- The nearby town of Linlithgow is attractively sited on the shore of a small loch, and is also the home of Linlithgow Palace, the royal palace that was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.
A whole range of outdoor sports and activities can be enjoyed in Scotland, including:
- Rock climbing
Scotland has a fascinating social and cultural history, which can be explored through its many castles, palaces, museums, monuments and architectural sites. The city of Glasgow is famed for its Victorian and art-nouveau architecture and its ship-building industry, and is just a short train journey from Edinburgh. There are ancient castles all over the Scottish highlands, including the famous Braemar Castle in the Cairngorms, and Cawdor Castle, the fictional home of Thane Cawdor in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Engineering marvels come in the form of the Forth Rail Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans the Firth of Forth, and the Glenfinnan Viaduct, across which the Hogwarts Express travels in each of the Harry Potter films.