Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. Standing at 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) above sea level, it is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William.
The mountain is a popular destination, attracting an estimated 100,000 ascents a year, around three-quarters of which use the Pony Track from Glen Nevis. The 700-metre (2,300 ft) cliffs of the north face are among the highest in the United Kingdom, providing classic scrambles and rock climbs of all difficulties for climbers and mountaineers. They are also the principal locations in the UK for ice climbing.
The summit, which is the collapsed dome of an ancient volcano, features the ruins of an observatory which was continuously staffed between 1883 and 1904. The meteorological data collected during this period are still important for understanding Scottish mountain weather. C. T. R. Wilson was inspired to invent the cloud chamber after a period spent working at the observatory.
Discover a magical place where you can explore majestic glens, championship golf courses and ancient forests. Spend an afternoon tumbling down swift currents on a white water raft before enjoying an evening of local cuisine in a first-class restaurant. Find all that and much more in Perthshire with its captivating history, magnificent wildlife and stunning array of events and festivals.
Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland from its position on the Castle Rock.
Archaeologists have established human occupation of the rock since at least the Iron Age (2nd century AD), although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. From the 15th century the castle’s residential role declined, and by the 17th century it was principally used as military barracks with a large garrison. Its importance as a part of Scotland’s national heritage was recognised increasingly from the early 19th century onwards, and various restoration programmes have been carried out over the past century and a half. As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite Rising of 1745. It has been besieged, both successfully and unsuccessfully, on several occasions.
St Kilda is an isolated archipelago 64 kilometres (40 mi) west-northwest of North Uist in the North Atlantic Ocean. It contains the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The largest island is Hirta, whose sea cliffs are the highest in the United Kingdom, and three other islands (Dùn, Soay and Boreray) were also used for grazing and seabird hunting. The islands are administratively a part of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar local authority area.
The origin of the name St Kilda is a matter of conjecture. The islands’ human heritage includes numerous unique architectural features from the historic and prehistoric periods, although the earliest written records of island life date from the Late Middle Ages. The medieval village on Hirta was rebuilt in the 19th century, but the influences of religious zeal, illnesses brought by increased external contacts through tourism, and the First World War all contributed to the island’s evacuation in 1930. The story of St Kilda has attracted artistic interpretations, including Michael Powell’s film The Edge of the World and an opera.
Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland.
The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has made it an important fortification from the earliest times. Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defences fronting the town date from the early eighteenth century. Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542. There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle. Stirling Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and is now a tourist attraction managed by Historic Scotland.
The Edinburgh Book Festival began in 1983 and is now a key event in the August Festival season, celebrated annually in Scotland’s capital city. Biennial at first, the Book Festival became a yearly celebration in 1997.
The Edinburgh International Festival is an annual festival of performing arts in Edinburgh, Scotland, over three weeks from around the middle of August. By invitation from the Festival Director, the International Festival brings top class performers of music (especially classical music), theatre, opera and dance from around the world to perform. The festival also hosts a series of visual art exhibitions, talks and workshops.
The Edinburgh Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival, with this year’s event spanning 25 days totalling over 50,459 performances, 23,314 shows from 47 countries in 313 venues. Established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, it takes place annually in Scotland’s capital, in the month of August. The Fringe is a showcase for the performing arts, particularly theatre and comedy (which has seen substantial growth in recent years), although dance and music are also represented.