A gorgeous view of Loch Lomond in the Scottish Highlands

The readers of the influential travel guide Rough Guide voted the country as ‘the most beautiful country in the world’, beating Canada to the number one slot. In its listing which also includes places like New Zealand, Finland, Norway and South Africa, the guide says: ‘And finally, the world’s most beautiful country is revealed: Scotland.

We are delighted that Scotland has received this remarkable accolade from Rough Guide readers, but of course it will not be a surprise to anyone who has encountered our wonderful country.

 Who can deny that these wild beaches, deep lochs and craggy castles are some of the most wonderful and beautiful sights in the worlds?’ In contrast, England only came in at number 7 in the readers’ poll. Wales was number 10 in the list.

From our awe-inspiring landscapes to our remarkable historic attractions, to our bustling but beautiful urban centers, Scotland takes people’s breaths away. ‘Our latest campaign, the Spirit of Scotland, was based on feedback from visitors that they get a special feeling while in the country – whether it’s in the wilds of Glen Coe on a stormy day or taking part in a ceilidh on Burns’ Night – there is something different about Scotland that they can’t experience anywhere else in the world. ‘Of course, with great beauty comes great responsibility, and we urge both visitors and residents alike to respect Scotland’s natural assets to protect and preserve them for many generations to come.’ So, in honor of the most beautiful country being right on our doorstep, here are our favorite places and things to do in Scotland.

Sunset over Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe

Lovely Loch Lomond

Loch Awe and Kilchurn Castle are awe-some

Loch Ness
No monsters, just a stunning scene.

Glen Coe

Ben Nevis, the highest peak on the British Isles, is absolutely stunning.

John O’Groats
The Stacks of Duncansby in John O Groats are beautiful.  Right on the northern tip of the UK.

Urquhart Castle
This beautiful ruined castle is right on Loch Ness.

Edinburgh Castle
A historic beauty spot right in the center of Edinburgh.

Glasgow Necropolis
A bit of a somber and spooky spot, from which you can see the whole city.