Welcome to Scotland
Travel website Rough Guides asked its readers to vote on the most beautiful country in the world, and the people have spoken: Scotland was voted number one, beating out other beauties like Canada, New Zealand, and Italy. In case you need any convincing, we’ve rounded up some stunning landscapes (like the Quiraing mountains in Isle of Skye, shown here) to show why it earned its title.
Loch Ness might have gotten its fame for its mythical sea monster, but the real-life scene is just as magical. The historic Urquhart Castle has been keeping watch over the loch since the Middle Ages. If that sounds like a fairy tale to you, don’t miss these Airbnb castles you can stay in overnight.
In Gaelic, Sligachan means “shelly place,” referring to the shells found in the area. During a sunset, the purple riverside flowers practically match the sky’s bright colors.
Legend has it, if you dip your face into the water beneath Sligachan Bridge, you’ll be blessed with eternal beauty—just like Scotland itself is.
Autumn in the Highlands
Scotland might have a reputation for being green, but autumn brings even brighter hues as the fall foliage turns the Highlands a patchwork of reds and yellows.
Imagine living in a port town in the world’s most beautiful country. Residents of Portree—the biggest town on the Isle of Skye—get to enjoy rolling hills and crystal waters every day.
You might complain about morning fog on your morning commute, but in the village of Glencoe, a misty sunrise is breathtaking.
Eilean Donan Castle
The Eilean Donan Castle was built first in the 13th century and expanded over the centuries until destroyed in 1719. The current structure is a reconstruction built between 1912 and 1932, but it’s just as breathtakingly beautiful as it looms over the Isle of Skye.
Green landscapes aren’t the only beauties you’ll find in Scotland. In the Old Town in the capital city, you’ll find the Balmoral Hotel’s landmark clock tower and centuries-old buildings.
Happy cows just might come from Scotland. Highland cattle—like this one in the Trassachs by the Arrochar mountains—have much thicker coats than you’d see in the United States.
The Ben Lomond mountain towers over Loch Lomond, Britain’s biggest freshwater lake. Talk about the perfect hiking path!
Near Killearn the gorge Finnich Glen, whose mysterious look earned one rock the title of Devil’s Pulpit.