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Touring The Scottish Highlands

Apr 11, 2008
Misty Lochs, landscapes rich in history and heritage and tartan-clad locals proud of their unique traditions - in 'bonny Scotland' you'll discover a country that is refreshingly different from many other UK destinations. The city of Glasgow is the ideal base from which to plan your travel adventures through Scotland. Driving through the Scottish countryside, you'll encounter a plethora of picture-perfect landscapes, mirror-like lakes and brooding mountains. Wherever you travel in the Highlands, you're always guaranteed to find beautiful backdrops and inspirational scenery. It's easy to see why this region of Scotland has long been a popular retreat for artists and musicians. The peaceful, tranquil scenery as well as the easy pace of life offers a welcome break from the stressful hustle and bustle of the big city. With car hire in Glasgow, the city becomes a gateway to a range of scenic getaways. The following four are among the prettiest itineraries you'll encounter on your travels.

1. Loch Lomond

From Glasgow, head out on a scenic drive through the villages of Doune and Callander, until you reach The Trossachs area of lochs and mountains. This route takes you past some spectacular areas of natural beauty including Loch Venachar, Dukes Pass and the picturesque village of Aberfoyle. Finally you'll come to Loch Lomand where you can pay a visit to the Loch Lomond National Park Visitor Centre or take a cruise at your leisure from Balloch.

2. Loch Ness

Driving northwards from Glasgow, follow signposts to the stunning Glen Coe Valley. From here, drive as far as the town of Fort William, situated at the foothills of Ben Nevis. Continuing your journey from here will take you to Inverness. On the way you'll pass Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness. Follow signs for Fort Augustus, the pretty village, which leads into Loch Ness. A visit to the nearby Urquhart Castle recommended. Loch Ness itself provides many opportunities for photographs and you can even take a cruise on the famous lake. Who knows-you might even spot 'Nessie'! Cruises on the lake are possible, costing around 15 per person, an experience that is guaranteed to be memorable.

3. Border Country

Travelling South from Glasgow, follow signposts for New Lanark, the World Heritage site, where a restored 18th century cotton mill can be visited. From here, drive on through the town of Peebles, where you'll witness spectacular views of the Tweed Valley. This whole region is steeped in history and legend, from stories of Rob Roy to tales of Ivanhoe. Continuing south from Abbotsford will take you directly to the heart of Border country, where you're guaranteed to be dazzled by the breath-taking scenery.

4. West Coast Tour

Leaving Glasgow, head for the city of Paisley, where local attractions include the Abbey and the weavers' cottages where the famous Paisley textile patterns originated. From here make a journey to the west of Loch Lomond until you reach the town of Inveraray, where the pretty fairytale castle is guaranteed to catch your eye. Driving a little further on you'll come to Kilmartin, the home of ancient stone circles and burial chambers.
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