Scotland comprises the northern one-third of the island of Great Britain as well as 790 surrounding islands encompassing the major archipelagoes of the Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands and the Inner and Outer Hebrides.
Scotland contains the majority of mountainous terrain in the UK. The topography of Scotland is distinguished by the Highland Boundary Fault - a geological rock fracture – which traverses the Scottish mainland. The fault line separates two distinctively different physiographic regions; namely the Highlands to the north and west and the Lowlands to the south and east. The more rugged Highland region contains the majority of Scotland's mountainous terrain, including the highest peak, Ben Nevis. Lowland areas, in the southern part of Scotland, are flatter and home to most of the population.
The stunning Ardnamurchan peninsula which these days is often taken to include the neighbouring districts of Morvern, Ardgour, Moidart and Sunart is the most westerly part of the British mainland and is quite literally the end of the road. This is a beautiful but unforgiving and remote corner of Scotland, with amazing seascapes at every turn. The harsh landscape is relieved by a whole series of superb sandy beaches.
The Cairngorms are the focal point of a national park in northeast Scotland, established in 2003. It was the second of two national parks established by the Scottish Parliament, after Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, set up in 2002. The park covers the Cairngorms range of mountains and surrounding hills. Already the largest national park in the British Isles, in 2010 it expanded into Highland and Perth and Kinross.
The Isle of Mull is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides and has an incredible coastline of 300 miles. Iona was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquillity and natural beauty.
Wester Ross is one of the most remote and beautiful parts of Britain - many say the world. Largely unpopulated and surrounded by high peaks and sea lochs, the area is recognised as one of Europe's last wildernesses.
The two areas of Sutherland and Caithness form Scotland's northern wilderness. Their scenery varies from wild cliffs and tiny islands to lonely moorland and remote sandy beaches with superb panoramic mountain views, plus tree-lined twisting roads and foaming rivers.