Where to live in Scotland?
In the far north, the Highlands & Islands region offers some of the country’s wildest scenery and includes islands such as Shetland and Orkney. The way of life here is largely rural, with farming and tourism the main sources of income.
In the north-east of the country lies the Grampian region, famous for its synonymous mountain range and Scotland’s third-largest city, Aberdeen. The ‘Granite City’ has recently been named the best city in Scotland to live in, thanks in part to its good employment prospects and low cost of living.
Moving south, you’ll find Glasgow to the west and Edinburgh to the east. As the country’s two largest cities, both are obvious choices for great places to live in Scotland, with Glasgow offering the lower cost of living out of the two.
Even further south and towards the border with England lie the cities of Ayr and Dumfries. Dumfries is just 25 miles by road from the border, and offers residents a charming and characterful market town set amidst the unique beauty of the Scottish lowlands.
Best places to visit in Scotland
We don’t have space to list all the best places to visit in Scotland but we can offer a few highlights that shouldn’t be missed.
The enduring legend of the Loch Ness Monster brings many visitors to Inverness. This city can be found where the River Ness flows over the northeast coast of Scotland into the Moray Firth. Even if you don’t spot the beast, Loch Ness itself is a stunning natural feature at 23 miles long and containing more water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined.
Whiskey is another famous product of Scotland’s plentiful water. Make sure you take in a distillery tour or two – the oldest sites are Strathisla, Bowmore and Glenturret. The latter has had a distillery on the site since 1775.
Edinburgh and Glasgow are two obvious city destinations visitors to Scotland should try to take in. Other cities well worth a visit include Inverness, Perth, Stirling and Ayr.
For natural scenery, the Isle of Skye is hard to beat. Orkney and Arran are also spectacularly beautiful islands to visit. Other sites offering stunning scenery and outstanding hiking options include Glencoe, Loch Lomond, The Cairngorms National Park, The Trossachs and Kintail.
Best castles in Scotland
Scotland has more than its fair share of stunning castles. From beautifully preserved examples like Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle or Dunrobin Castle, to ruined fortresses like the craggy Dunnottar Castle, there’s plenty here for history buffs. Even Balmoral Castle – holiday home of the Royal Family – opens its doors to the public for visits each year from April to July.
What is the population of Scotland?
The population of Scotland is around 5,466,000, according to the latest figures from National Records of Scotland. The capital city of Edinburgh is the second largest city in the country, with a population of 524,930. Glasgow is the largest with a population of 633,210.
Best schools in Scotland
The best school in Scotland is currently Jordanhill School Glasgow, according to league tables for 2021. Other top schools making up the top ten include St Ninian’s High School East Renfrewshire, Gryffe High School Renfrewshire and Dunblane High School in Stirling.
The highest-ranked universities in Scotland for 2021 are St Andrews in the top spot, followed by the University of Edinburgh in second and Glasgow University in third. Heriot-Watt University and the University of Dundee take up fourth and fifth places.