Scotland voted most beautiful country in the world
With its vast, breathtaking landscapes and rich history, the country clinched the top spot on the list of beautiful countries in the world by Rough Guides.
Surrounded by the North Sea, the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Scotland is perfectly positioned to enjoy the best of what nature has to offer. Throughout history, the country’s wild, rugged beauty has captured the hearts of many; its natural heritage has even had a hand in shaping poetry, serving as the muse of legendary poets such as Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. For the likes of you and I, though, Scotland could bring a whole new definition to sight-seeing.
According to a poll by London-based publication Rough Guides, Scotland now holds the title of the most beautiful country in the world. Besides its vast landscapes and rich natural scenery, Scotland is also home to some of the world’s most intriguing lore and deep, dark lochs — reason enough for many to make a trip to the country.
Its history is just as entrancing, with Scottish lands being peppered with countless ancient castles and mysterious ruins all across. (In Aberdeenshire’s Castle Country alone, there are 300 castles, stately home and ruins — the most castles per acre anywhere else in the UK.) Scotland also offers a six-day Castle Trail that highlights 19 of the country’s most famous and dramatic castles.
Scotland certainly fulfils many travellers’ love for exploration, but for some, it serves as a source of inspiration. When author J. K. Rowling was working on her world-famous Harry Potter series, she had looked to the cobbled streets and winding alleys of Edinburgh, as well as Scotland’s scenic landscapes. While crafting her magical world, the British novelist also frequented cafés around the country, most of which are stops on a four-day itinerary recently created by Scotland’s tourism office. To mark the 20th anniversary of the fantasy series, participants will also be taken to the filming locations used in the movie franchise, including the Jacobite Steam Train on which the Hogwarts Express was based.
Scotland’s heritage may be hard to match, but other poll-toppers do share some things in common with the country, namely the large, open spaces and beautiful natural scenery as seen in Canada (#2) and New Zealand (#3). The top 20 list also indicates a heavy preference for European countries, with Italy coming in fourth. England and Wales — fellow members of Great Britain — made it to #7 and #10 on the list respectively. Indonesia, on the other hand, is the only Asian country to have made it to the top 10, sitting nicely at sixth place.