The medieval town of St. Andrews was the center of Scotland's religious life for centuries. Surnamed the "home of golf" it is known as the seat where the rules of golf in Britain and the world are codified and arbitrated. Golf was played for the first time in the 1400s, on the site of St. Andrews's Old Course. Visitors come here for the courses ranked amongst the finest in the world, as well as for the sandy beaches. It is also home to Scotland's oldest university, the University of St Andrews
Edinburgh has an almost fairy-tale setting and every step is a revelation. Its magnificent architecture shifts from the proud tenements of its medieval Old Town, to the grace and geometric precision of the Georgian New Town. Above it all stands Edinburgh Castle perched high on its volcanic rock looking down on a city where medieval lanes and elegant, sweeping terraces hold over ten centuries of history, mystery and tradition.
Glasgow is an architectural dream: Victorian red & honey sandstone, Italianate steeples and medieval spires sit harmoniously with neo-gothic towers, the sensuous Art Nouveau of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the titanium, glass and steel of the contemporary city. Glasgow has an amazing portfolio of more than twenty museums and galleries, many of them free, including the unique Burrell Collection, stunning Mackintosh House, and contemporary Gallery of Modern Art. Heritage seekers will enjoy the Museum of Transport, Museum of Scottish Country Life at Kittochside and Clydebuilt, which tells the story of Glasgow and the River Clyde from tobacco to shipbuilding.
The capital of the Highlands, Inverness is one of the oldest inhabited sites in Scotland. On Craig Phadrig are the remains of a vitrified fort, dating from the 4th century B.C. The main attraction of the town is the Balnain House. Don't miss the oldest church, Old High Church, on St Michael's Mount by the riverside, a site perhaps used for worship since Celtic times. Cawdor Castle is only 12 miles away. Another attraction is the lake of Loch Ness. Inverness is a good base for exploring the Highlands.
Surnamed the "Granite City" because of its buildings constructed largely of pink or gray granite, the historic Aberdeen presents a modern cosmopolitan image to visitors, boasting marvelous museums and galleries; a lively nightlife and the best shopping in the northeast. The city is famous for its outstanding parks, gardens, its top attraction being the Winter Gardens at the Duthie Park, home to the stunning Rose Mountain. The city's two miles of sands also ensures it a status of coastal resort.
Located close to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, and the beautiful Glen Nevis, Fort William is a major tourist centre for hillwalking and climbing. The town's attractions include the West Highland Museum with a large number of Jacobite relics including a secret portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and one of the old paneled rooms from the fort has been rebuilt here. Fort William was the first town in Britain to be lit by electricity generated by its own water power scheme.
Originally a Stone Age Settlement, and a former capital of the Kingdom of Scotland, Stirling was a royal burgh until 1975.
Nowadays it has become a centre for government, retail, and light industry. The city is clustered around a large castle and medieval old-town. Stirling is dominated by its impressive castle, perched on a 76m (250-ft.) basalt rock. This city is the perfect gateway for exploring distance from many attractions, including Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, and the Highlands.
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