Scotland Regions and landscapes
The Lowlands are the rolling, rolling lowlands south of the big cities, made up of Ayrshire, Dunfries, Galloway and the Borders. These regions offer visitors many historical sights and opportunities for an active holiday. “Lowlands” is a somewhat misleading name because the so-called “lowlands” include mountains up to 700 meters high. The beautiful landscape with the Victorian country houses, ruined monasteries, castles and green valleys was extensively praised by Scottish poets and is now wrongly neglected by visitors to the country in favor of the Highlands.
Central Scotland lies between the southern hill country and the highlands to the north. The Central Belt with the metropolises Edinburgh and Glasgow is also located in this region, a fertile lowland with isolated ranges of hills. The regions of central Scotland are Stirling and its environs, the Fife peninsula, Angus and Dundee. The historic center of the old royal city of Stirling, which consists almost entirely of buildings from the 16th to 18th centuries, is highly recommended. But also East Neuk, the easternmost tip of the island of Fife, attracts with its fishing harbors, beaches and cliffs. There are other ports and resorts along the Angus coast and the ruins of Dunnottar Castle. Pictavia is in the hinterland; here are the legendary Pict stones of St. Vigean’s, Meigle and Aberlemno.
The highlands are mainly characterized by strong landscape contrasts. It includes mighty mountain massifs, southern-looking bays, beautifully situated inland lakes, estuaries, castle ruins and magnificent castles. In the Highlands are also the cities of Aberdeen, Perth, Invergordon and Inverness as well as several tourist centers such as Fort William and Pitlochry.
The country is very sparsely populated and the residents are extremely hospitable and helpful. An excursion to the peaks of the Gairngorm massif, where there are many rare animal and plant species, is impressive. Blair Castle with its bagpipers and soldiers is one of the great Scottish castles. The mysterious highland lake Loch Ness is a must for every visitor, just as beautiful is the picturesque Loch Assynt in the northwest and the famous Inverewe Gardens are an outstanding plant paradise. Take a scenic tour of Speyside to the Whiskey Trail distilleries, or drive Scotland’s most beautiful scenic road, the Road to the Isles, from Fort William to Mallaig. The Moidart and Ardnamurchan peninsulas impress with their wild, lonely mountain landscapes.
Auction in Lairg
In the village of Lairg in the Northern Highlands, a huge animal auction takes place once a year. For this purpose, around 15,000 sheep are brought here by their breeders and auctioned for just one day. This auction is a huge festival that is attended by numerous spectators. A total of 6.7 million sheep live in Scotland
The Scottish Islands include the Orkney Islands, the Shetland Islands, and the Outer and Inner Hebrides. For more information, see above under: Islands
Region around the Glenco Gorge
In the region around the Glenco Gorge in the Scottish Highlands, which is one of the most beautiful regions in Scotland, a massacre of the members of the Mac Donald clan took place in 1692. The head of the clan and 37 men, women and children were killed, while around 200 residents managed to escape to the mountains. The act caused great outrage in Scotland less because of the murder of many people, but rather because the murderers from the Campbell clan were guests at the Mac Donalds for a few weeks.
The political background of the fact was that after the uprising of the Scots in support of the deposed King James II, the English King Wilhelm III. was careful to make sure the Scots would not rebel again. All Scottish clan leaders were therefore guaranteed an amnesty as soon as Wilhelm III. had sworn an oath of allegiance by January 1, 1692; otherwise they would be viewed as treason. Alexander MacDonald von Glencoe, the clan chief of the Mac Donalds, had not taken the oath of allegiance by this deadline. Thereupon the order came to kill himself and the clan members.
The beautiful valley of the River Dee inspired the Queen to make the nearby Balmoral Castle one of her summer residences. A detour through the valley leads past salmon-rich rivers through the royal town of Ballater and partly into the Grampian Hills. A visit to Crathes Castle and Gardens, the seat of the royal foresters, is highly recommended.