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Keyword2 - Country, travel and tourist information.

City tours and things to do in Keyword2   SCOTLAND - TRAVEL AND DESTINATION INFORMATION

SCOTLAND:- What makes Scotland such a hugely popular tourist destination is the sheer range of attractions and activities packed into such a small and accessible country.

Getting to and from Scotland by ferry is fast, comfortable, conveninet and affordable.

Ferries to and from Sctoland
Ferries to and from Scotland
  10 Ferry routes to Scotland from England, Ireland and the Channel Islands.
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About Scotland

Scotland comprises the northern part of the island of Great Britain, off the coast of North West Europe. The total land mass is around 78,772 square kilometres (30,414 mi²). Scotland's only land border is with England, and runs for 96 kilometres (60 miles) between the River Tweed on the east coast and the Solway Firth in the west.

Languages:- English, Gaelic, Scots
Capital:- Edinburgh
Largest City:- Glasgow
First Minister:- Jack McConnell
Area:- 78,782 km²
Population:- 5,062,011
Currency:- Pound sterling (£) (GBP)1
National Flower:- Thistle
Patron Saint:- St Andrew
Calling Code:- 441

The island of Ireland lies around 30 kilometres (20 mi) off the south west tip of Scotland, and Norway is around 400 kilometres (250 mi) to the north east. Scotland lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea.

Map of Scotland                    The Royal Arms of Scotland.

The country consists of a mainland area plus several island groups. The mainland can be divided into three areas: the Highlands in the North; the Central Belt and the Southern Uplands in the South. The Highlands are generally mountainous and are bisected by the Great Glen into the Grampian Mountains. The highest mountains in the British Isles are found here, including Ben Nevis, the highest peak at 1,344 metres (4,409ft). All mountains over 3,000 feet are known as Munros. The Central Belt of Scotland is generally flat and is where most of the population reside. The Central Belt is often divided into the West Coast, which contains the city of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Lanarkshire; and the East Coast which includes the city of Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians. The Southern Uplands is range of hills and mountains almost 125 miles (200 km) long, stretching from Stranraer in the Irish Sea to East Lothian and the North Sea.

Scotland has over 790 islands, divided into four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, and the Hebrides, divided into the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides. The Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth also contain many islands. St. Kilda is the most remote of all the Scottish islands, being over 150 miles (240 km) from the mainland.

Scotland City Tours & Activities

Ferries.org have partnered the biggest online city tour and activity agency on the Internet, Viator, to offer you access to exciting tours and activities in all major destinations around Scotland.

Tour / Product Name



Prices Starting From


City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off Tour of Edinburgh 24 hour ticket Starting from GBP £8.51 per person
Click here for more information. Explore the historic capital of Scotland with this 24 hour ticket aboard an open-top double-decker bus. See all the main sights of Edinburgh as you hop on and hop off 24 conveniently located stops around the city. Listen to the multilingual commentary and learn interesting facts. Spend as much or as little time at places of interest before jumping aboard for the next stop - the choice is yours! Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland
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Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands by Minicoach 11 1/2 hours Starting from GBP £37 per person
Click here for more information. A visit to the famous Loch Ness is an absolute must! On the way, visit Glencoe and admire the spectacular Highlands. This is your chance to pursue the famous and intriguing legend of the Loch Ness monster, nicknamed "Nessie". Join the quest to unlock the secrets of this mystery, perhaps you will capture Nessie on film, don't forget your camera! Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland
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St. Andrews and the Fishing Village of Fife by Minicoach 9 hours Starting from GBP £30 per person
Click here for more information. Enjoying the ancient Kingdom of Fife and the medieval city of St. Andrews, famous as the home of golf. Highlights include St. Andrews itself, the Forth Rail Bridge, the beautiful fishing village of Crail and Falkland Place. Stops on the edge of the Old Course, the oldest in the world and where the Dunhill Cup is played every year, and on the edge of the white sandy beach made famous in the film "Chariots of Fire". Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland
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Murder and Mystery Walking Tour of Edinburgh 1 1/4 hours Starting from GBP £8.00 per person
Click here for more information. Take a look at Edinburgh's dark side, including tales of witchcraft, plague and torture. Visit the scenes of many horrific tortures, murders and supernatural happenings as you walk along eerie alleyways and creepy courtyards of the Old Town. Your ghostly guide will blend history with humor and facts with fables, while "jumper-ooters" provide guaranteed ghastly appearances.
This tour operates all year round
Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland
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Highland Waterfalls, Gorges and Whisky by Minicoach 8 1/2 hours Starting from GBP £30 per person
Click here for more information. A day out sampling Scotland's finest assets - its whisky, its scenery and its history. Visit the Famous Grouse Experience, the oldest (legal!) distillery in Scotland, established in 1775. Find out the secrets to making Scotland's national drink and indulge in a taste to enlighten the senses! Experience a stunning nature walk through a gorge at the Birks of Aberfeldy and a stop in the historic medieval city of Dunkeld. Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland
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Highland Lochs and Glens by Minicoach 9 hours Starting from GBP £32 per person
Click here for more information. A journey through the Celtic heartlands in the Scottish Highlands taking in the waterfalls in Birnam forest, Pitlochry, the Queen's View and the splendor of Loch Tay, an area abundant with standing stone circles. Discover the postcard scenery of Scotland's Highland Lochs and Glens. Today is an in depth small group tour which will leave you with wonderful memories of this beautiful and fascinating region. Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland
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Loch Lomond National Park and Stirling Castle by Minicoach 8 1/2 hours Starting from GBP £30 per person
Click here for more information. Tour in the land of Scots heroes Rob Roy, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. Highlights include a visit to Stirling Castle, Scotland's most important medieval stronghold and home to the greatest Renaissance building in Scotland - the palace of James V. Also experience touring through the beautiful Trossachs and along a spectacular remote single track road to Inversnaid on its remote North East side of Loch Lomond, where you can enjoy a walk on its bonny, bonny banks. Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland
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Isle of Skye Tour by Minicoach 3 days / 2 nights Starting from GBP £199 per person, twin share
Click here for more information. A visit to the Highlands of Scotland is like travelling through a living history book. Each page enlightens and allows you to explore the fascinating history of Scotland. This in depth small group tour will introduce you to Skye, Glencoe, Loch Ness and the famous Eilean Donan Castle. Pass the set of Monty Python's 'Holy Grail', as well as the set of the film "Highlander". You will have the time of your life on this Scotland Adventure! Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland
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West Highland Lochs and Castles by Minicoach 10 hours Starting from GBP £34 per person
Click here for more information. Capture the spirit of Scotland and explore some of its best lochs and castles. This fabulous small group tour passes Stirling Castle and Doune Castle, set of Monty Python's "Holy Grail". Take in the superb ruins of Kilchurn Castle, stunningly situated at the head of Loch Awe and visit Inveraray, an 18th Century white-washed town. A fantastic day in the heart of the scenic Western Highlands. Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland
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Edinburgh Pass 1, 2 or 3 day pass Starting from GBP £26 per person
Click here for more information. Be free in a beautiful city with the Edinburgh Pass, it's your passport to exploring Edinburgh, allowing you to see more and save more. Pass holders can visit as many attractions as they wish from museums, art exhibitions, fine dining and shopping. Using this electronic smart card is a quick and hassle-free way to see the best of Edinburgh. Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland
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More Edinburgh tours ....

Scotland Tourist Information, tours and activities in Scotland

Other Scotland Tours & Activities of Interest
(Click on the city name below for more information)

Transportation in Scotland

Scotland has four main international airports (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Prestwick and Aberdeen) that serve a wide variety of national, European and intercontinental routes with scheduled and chartered flights. Highland and Islands Airports operate 10 regional airports serving the more remote locations of Scotland. There is no national airline, however various small airlines have their base in Scotland including Loganair (operates as a franchise of British Airways), Flyglobespan and ScotAirways.

Scotland has a large and expanding rail network, which is now managed independently from the rest of the UK. All three of the UK's national routes (the East Coast and West Coast Mainlines and the Cross Country Line) serve the major cities of Scotland. First ScotRail operate services within Scotland. The Scottish Executive has pursued a policy of building new railway lines, and reopening closed ones since devolution.

The road network is managed by the Scottish local authorities in each of their areas. The M74 motorway connects Glasgow with the North of England; the A1 road connects Edinburgh with London. The country's busiest motorway is the M8 which runs between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Ferry services operate between the mainland and the Scottish island communities. A ferry service from Rosyth connects Scotland to mainland Europe.

Sport In Scotland

Scotland also has its own sporting competitions distinct from the rest of the UK, such as the Scottish Football League and the Scottish Rugby Union. This gives the country independent representation at many international sporting events such as the football World Cup, although notably not the Olympic Games.

Association Football is the most popular sport in the country, both played and watched. The Scottish Football Association is the second oldest national football association in the world, with the Scottish national football team playing and hosting the world's first ever international football match. The Scottish Cup is the world's oldest national trophy.

Scottish professional rugby clubs compete in the Celtic League. However, the country retains a national league for amateur and semi-pro clubs. Shinty is run by the Camanachd Association and is played primarily in its Highland heartland, but also in most universities and cities. Scotland is often considered the "Home of Golf", and is well known for its many links courses, including the Old Course.

Scotland is the home of curling (current Olympic Champions, female) which, though not as popular as in Canada, remains more popular in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe. Snooker, hockey, basketball and increasingly, tennis, are popular in Scotland too. There are also about 12,000 active cricketers in Scotland.

Scottish Inventions

Since before the Industrial Revolution, Scots have been at the forefront of innovation and discovery across a wide range of spheres.

Scotland and Scots are credited with the invention of, amongst other, all of which changed the life and course of mankind:-

  • The steam engine
  • The bicycle
  • Tarmacadam roads
  • The telephone
  • Television
  • The transistor
  • The motion picture
  • Penicillin
  • Electromagnetics
  • Radar
  • Insulin
  • and calculus are only a few of the most significant products of Scottish ingenuity.

Scottish Literature

Scottish literature has had a long and successful history. In Scotland, the most famous works are perhaps those of Robert Burns, widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland.

The works of Burns, written in the Scots language is celebrated annually on Burns' Night (January 25). Other famous Scottish writers include Walter Scott, James Hogg, Robert Louis Stevenson; and more recently, Irvine Welsh (author of Trainspotting)

J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book, The Philosopher's Stone, in a coffee shop in Edinburgh.

History of Scotland

It is believed that the first group of humans in Scotland appeared around 8,000 years ago. A group of permanent settlers began building villages on Scottish soil around 6,000 years ago. The written history of Scotland largely began with the arrival of the Roman Empire in Britain, when the Romans occupied what is now England and Wales, administering it as a Roman province called Britannia. Part of southern Scotland was briefly, indirectly controlled by Rome. To the north was territory not conquered by the Romans—Caledonia, peopled by the Picts, with the Scots of Dalriada in Argyll. Pictland became dominated by the Pictish sub-kingdom of Fortriu, but the Kingdom of Scotland is traditionally dated from 843, when Kenneth I of Scotland became King of the Picts.

In the following centuries, the Kingdom of the Scots expanded to something closer to modern Scotland. The period was marked by comparatively good relations with the Wessex rulers of England, intense internal dynastic disunity and, despite this, relatively successful expansionary policies. Sometime after an invasion of Strathclyde by King Edmund of England in 945, the province was handed over to king Malcolm I. During the reign of King Indulf (954-62), the Scots captured the fortress later called Edinburgh, their first foothold in Lothian. The reign of Malcolm II saw fuller incorporation of these territories. The critical year was perhaps 1018, when king Máel Coluim II defeated the Northumbrians at the Battle of Carham.

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 initiated a chain of events which started to move the Kingdom of Scotland away from its originally Gaelic cultural orientation. Malcolm III married Margaret the sister of Edgar Ætheling the deposed Anglo-Saxon claimant to the throne of England, who subsequently received some Scottish support. Margaret played a major role in reducing the influence of Celtic Christianity. When her youngest son David I later succeeded, Scotland gained something of its own "Norman Conquest". Having previously become an important Anglo-Norman lord through marriage, David I was instrumental in introducing feudalism into Scotland and in encouraging an influx of settlers from the Low Countries to the burghs to enhance trading links with continental Europe. By the late 13th century, scores of Norman and Anglo-Norman families had been granted Scottish lands.

King James VI inherited the English throne in 1603, uniting the thrones of Scotland and EnglandAfter the death of the Maid of Norway, last direct heir of Alexander III of Scotland, Scotland's nobility asked the King of England to adjudicate between rival claimants to the vacant Scottish throne, but Edward I of England, instead, attempted to install a puppet monarchy and exert outright control. The Scots resisted, however, under the leadership of Sir William Wallace and Andrew de Moray in support of John Balliol, and later under that of Robert the Bruce. Bruce, crowned as King Robert I on March 25, 1306, won a decisive victory over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn on June 23 - June 24, 1314, but warfare flared up again after his death during the second Wars of Scottish Independence from 1332 to 1357 in which Edward Balliol attempted unsuccessfully to win back the throne from Bruce's heirs, with the support of the English king. Eventually, with the emergence of the Stewart dynasty in the 1370s, the situation in Scotland began to stabilise.

By the end of the Middle Ages, Scotland was showing a split into two cultural areas — the mainly Scots-speaking Lowlands, and the mainly Gaelic-speaking Highlands. However, Galwegian Gaelic persisted in remote parts of the southwest, which had formed part of the kingdom of Galloway, probably up until the late 18th century. Historically, the Lowlands were closer to mainstream European culture. By comparison, the clan system of the Highlands formed one of the region's more distinctive features, with a number of powerful clans remaining dominant until after the Act of Union 1707.

In 1603, the Scottish King and Queen James VI and Herron II of Scotland inherited the throne of the Kingdom of England, and became James I and Herron III of England. With the exception of a period under the Commonwealth, Scotland remained a separate state, but there was considerable conflict between the crown and the Covenanters over the form of church government. After the Glorious Revolution and the overthrow of the Roman Catholic James VII by William and Mary, Scotland briefly threatened to select a different Protestant monarch from England. In 1707, however, following English threats to end trade and free movement across the border, the Scottish and English Parliaments enacted the Acts of Union, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain. Two major Jacobite risings launched from the north of Scotland in 1715 and 1745 failed to remove the House of Hanover from the throne. The deposed Jacobite Stuart claimants had remained popular in the Highlands and north-east, particularly amongst non-Presbyterians.

Following the Act of Union and the subsequent Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, Scotland became one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Its industrial decline following the World War II was particularly acute, but in recent decades the country has enjoyed something of a cultural and economic renaissance, fuelled in part by a resurgent financial services and electronics sector, the proceeds of North Sea oil and gas, and latterly the devolved parliament. In 1997 the people of Scotland voted to create a new devolved Scottish Parliament, subsequently established by the UK government under the Scotland Act 1998.



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