Scotland takes up the northern third of the island of Great Britain. The country is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. Scotland also is made up of over 790 islands.
Loch Ness is a fresh water loch located in the Scottish Highlands. The loch is 23 miles long and 754 feet deep. Perhaps it is best known for the legendary Loch Ness Monster sightings. Loch Ness also has one island called Cherry Island. The island was man made back in the Iron Age. The loch also is home to two lighthouses located at Lochend and Fort Augustus. Fishing and looking for the elusive Loch Ness Monster are two of the favorite past times to enjoy while visiting Scotland.
Urquhart Castle sits high upon a hill over looking the murky waters of Loch Ness. It is not known exactly when the castle was built. The first recorded existence of Urquhart Castle was documented in the early 1200's. Most of the castle was destroyed in 1692 by Williamite troops. The structure lay in ruins and was never repaired. A large part of the walls were then plundered for the stonework and reused by locals to build houses. Urquhart Castle is the third most visited site in Scotland.
Stirling Castle is the jewel of all castles to visit while in Scotland. The castle is built on the plain of a now extinct volcano. Stirling Castle was a key to the military and keeping a watchful eye on the kingdom of Scotland. The castle is filled with the history of past monarchs. One most notable is Mary, Queen of Scots. The queen spent her childhood here and it is also where she was in 1543. The Royal Chapel is the best preserved Renaissance buildings in Scotland. The Stirling Castle is a good place to start when visiting Scotland for the first time.
Sakra Brae Prehistoric Village is a little known Scottish treasure. The village is the most well preserved in all of Europe. The village is over 5,000 years old and gives visitors a glimpse of how life was in the old days of Scotland. Sakra Brae is so well preserved that even some of the stone furniture has survived. The village flourished before Stonehenge, and even before the pyramids were built it Egypt. Sakra Brae was first discovered in 1850 when storms ripped through the grasslands and exposed the stone ruins of the village.
The construction of St. Andrews Cathedral was first started in 1160 by Bishop Arnold. It took roughly 150 years to complete and was the most magnificent of its time. St. Andrews is one of the best examples of medieval architecture in Scotland. The cathedral is also surrounded by a graveyard and is encircled by an imposing wall. Even though time has had its way with the church, the ruins are still quite impressive and attract many visitors.
The Inverlochy Castle Hotel is located in the West Highlands of Scotland. The hotel is close to lochs, glens, and mountains. This luxurious hotel wraps its guests in comfort and exemplary five-star service. The Westin Turnberry Resort and Spa is located on the Irish Sea. The hotel has two championship golf courses and a world class spa. For the outdoorsy type the resort even offers an outdoor activity center filled with things to do.
The country of Scotland has many historical sites and attractions to visit. The castles and cathedrals are a delight to behold. Scotland is also the birthplace of golf and this activity draws in thousands of tourists each year. The wonderful country has many things to offer the first time traveler in search of a location swathed in mystery and tradition.