Mainland Scotland covers the entire area north of the English Border all the way up to the north Scottish Coast, and from the eastern shores at the North Sea to the western shores on the Atlantic Ocean. The Highland Boundary Fault splits Mainland Scotland in two halves, the Highlands in the north and west, the Lowlands and Central Belt to the south and east. From a touristic point of view we have made a split into the following distinct areas of Mainland Scotland. These area pages have further info to more detailed local information.
The North of Scotland
The North of Scotland is the part above the Central Belt, the low lying area with Glasgow in the West and Edinburgh in the East, which has a dense population and it’s the area where the majority of Scots live and work.
The North covers everything from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the first National Park to be created in Scotland, to the North Highlands which are the remotest parts of Scotland. Here you’ll find only a few towns and villages, which are mostly connected by single-track roads. Most of these towns and villages can be found on the coastline, a result of the Highland Clearances where people were forced to move away from Central Highland areas to become fishermen and crofters leaving the empty glens as we still see them today.
The Central Part of Scotland
The central part of Scotland is where most of the people live and work. Edinburgh, the capital city, is famous for its Castle sitting on top of Castle Rock and the Royal Mile that stretches down the slope to the Palace of Holyroodhouse where the queen stays when she visits the city. Edinburgh is also home to the new Scottish Parliament as well as a number of internationally renowned festivals that take place during the summer. Glasgow in the west is the largest city of Scotland with its many museums and shopping areas.
The South of Scotland
In the south east you will find the The Scottish Borders, in the south-west Dumfries and Galloway. It is well known for its rolling hills, beautiful villages and its many castles and abbeys, especially in the Borders. While not as high an area as the Highlands it is also sparsely populated and is mainly made up of farmland.