Scotland is the most northerly of the four parts of the United Kingdom. The name Scotland derives from the Latin Scotia, land of the Scots, a Celtic people from Ireland who settled on the west coast of Great Britain about the 5th century CE.

Scotland is a land rich in lore, scenery and culture. Although it has been part of the United Kingdom, Scotland was independent for centuries with its own monarchs and has a fascinating history of its own.

Although Scotland’s attractions are spread throughout the country, its population is concentrated in two cities: Edinburgh, the capital, and Glasgow, to its west. Edinburgh was originally built atop a volcano as a means of fortifying the city. Today, it is still marked by Edinburgh Castle, one of Europe’s most famous and impressive castles.

Scotland also boasts some of the most beautiful mountainous areas in the world. The Scottish Highlands are a mountainous region encompassing northwest Scotland. Loch Ness is at the centre, overlooked by the ruins of medieval Urquhart Castle and known for mythical monster “Nessie”.

Northeast, near the city of Inverness, dolphins swim in the Moray Firth. Southwest, in the Western Highlands, trails wind up Ben Nevis, the U.K.’s highest peak, and red deer roam Glencoe valley with its waterfalls.

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