People come to this small northern country for many reasons, lured, perhaps, by the promise of spectacular
, friendly natives, and a vibrant arts scene. Some are searching for their family
or others just want to get away from it all and, digging
old memories from their English Lit class of gallant heroes engaging in larger-than-life struggles, their
wander to faraway lands, to somehow familiar yet different destinations.
Why not go to Scotland? But what kind of country are they coming to and what should they expect once they get there?
of an area of 30, 418 square miles - so it's a fairly compact and "doable" country - with a population of about five million people - not too small, not too big. It is one of three countries that form the political
called Great Britain, the other two being, of course, England and Wales, which, along with their fourth partner, Northern Ireland, becomes the United Kingdom.
Scotland is bordered on three sides by water and on its fourth by England, which has had both its advantages and disadvantages. Geographically speaking, the country can be divided into three broad areas, the Southern Uplands, the Central Lowlands, and the Highlands.
Although the rugged Highlands
about two-thirds of the land area, the
majority of the population lives in the Central Belt between Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, and Edinburgh, Scotland's capital.