Stand on a rocky shore on the West Coast of Scotland on a summer’s day, with seals perched on rocks, mainland mountains and off islands stretched out in the distance, most probably a white sand beach as beautiful as any in the Caribbean and quite possibly a small castle in the frame, and you will surely rate the scene as the loveliest you have ever been privileged to gaze upon.

Scotland is awesomely beautiful, incredibly varied, full of history and marvellous for the sporting life. If you think only of tartan, shortbread and Scottish terriers, it will only be until you go. And what a time in the country’s history to visit. Having lost the independence referendum, the SNP went on to scoop 56 of 59 parliamentary seats in last year’s election and this May they won a historic third term. One thing is for sure: the Scots are rightly proud of their country and of their principal cities, edgy Glasgow and elegant Edinburgh, both beacons of cultural life.

hotels in scotland