This year The Lonely Planet revealed that the Shetland Islands had secured the sixth place in its top 10 “Best in Europe” destinations for 2019 - the only spot in the UK to be included - but these aren't Scotland's only incredible island locations.
It may be cold outside, but there is something undeniably magical about Scotland in winter. Here are our top reasons for visiting Scotland at this time of year.
A conversation on one of Scotland's many golf courses in the late 1980s, unlocked years of family history and roots to relatives across the Atlantic for the Landels family.
Home to a population of 229,000 Aberdeen is a thriving, cosmopolitan port in the North-east of Scotland and the country's third largest city after Glasgow and Edinburgh. Built at the mouth of two rivers, the Dee and the Don, the so-called Granite City owes its distinctive appearance to the famous, locally quarried stone.
Highland Games, which take place from Cowal to Tomintoul and all points in between, are a unique mix of the sporting, the cultural and the social. They usually comprise a programme of field and track events, piping and Highland dancing competitions and 'heavy events' like the tug-o-war, the hammer throw and tossing the caber.
When Glasgow painter Richard Wright scooped the prestigious Turner Prize at the Tate Gallery in London in December 2009, he cemented Scotland's place at the forefront of the contemporary art scene.