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Scotland is a nation in northwest Europe and one of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom. It occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shares a land border to the south with England. It is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest. Apart from the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands.

Edinburgh, the capital and second largest city, is one of Europe's largest financial centres. Scotland's largest city is Glasgow, which is the centre of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Greater Glasgow is home to approximately 40% of Scotland's population. Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union.

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The historic centre of Edinburgh is divided into two by the broad green swath of Princes Street Gardens. To the south the view is dominated by Edinburgh Castle, perched atop the extinct volcanic crag, and the long sweep of the Old Town trailing after it along the ridge. To the north lies Princes Street and the New Town. The gardens were begun in 1816 on bogland which had once been the Nor Loch.

To the immediate west of the castle lies the financial district, housing insurance and banking buildings. Probably the most noticeable building here is the circular sandstone building that is the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

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Aberdeen Hotels and Accommodation Aberdeen Hotels and Accommodation ABERDEEN Hotels and Accommodation

Aberdeen, often called The Granite City or The Silver City, is Scotland's third largest city. Aberdeen is the chief commercial centre and seaport in the north-east of Scotland. The city is often referred to as the Oil Capital of Europe thanks to becoming a major service base for the extraction of crude oil in the North Sea in the 1970s

The city is blessed with amenities which cover a wide range of cultural activities and boasts a selection of museums. The city is regularly visited by Scotland's National Arts Companies. The Aberdeen Art Gallery houses a collection of Impressionist, Victorian, Scottish and 20th Century British paintings as well as collections of silver and glass.

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Glasgow Hotels and Accommodation Glasgow Hotels and Accommodation GLASGOW Hotels and Accommodation

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland. It is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands. People from Glasgow are known as Glaswegians; Glaswegian is also the name of the local dialect popularly referred to as the "Glasgow Patter".

Glasgow was historically based around Glasgow Cathedral, the old High Street and down to the River Clyde via Glasgow Cross. Very little of medieval Glasgow remains, the two main landmarks from this period being the 14th century Provand's Lordship and Glasgow Cathedral. The vast majority of the city as seen today dates from the 19th century.

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Inverness Hotels and Accommodation Inverness Hotels and Accommodation INVERNESS Hotels and Accommodation

Inverness is the only city in the Highland council area and the remote Highlands of Scotland. Inverness is the self-proclaimed "Capital of the Highlands".

Inverness is an important centre for bagpipe players and lovers. Every September the city hosts the Northern Meeting, the most prestigious solo piping competition in the world. The Inverness cape, a garment worn by pipers the world over in the rain, is not necessarily made in Inverness. Another major event in calendar is the annual City of Inverness Highland Games.

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Stirling Hotels and Accommodation Stirling Hotels and Accommodation STIRLING Hotels and Accommodation

Stirling is a city and ancient burgh, in the Stirling council area of Scotland. The city is clustered around a large castle and mediŠval old-town. It is a centre for government, retail, and light industry. Stirling is the smallest city in Scotland.

Originally a Stone Age Settlement, Stirling has been strategically significant since at least the Roman occupation of part of Britain, due to its easily defensible hill (latterly the site of Stirling Castle) and its commanding position beside the River Forth. A former capital of the Kingdom of Scotland, Stirling was a royal burgh until 1975. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee, Stirling was granted city status.

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Honed by long competition with its English neighbors, buoyant Scotland has survived encroachment, brass-monkey weather and invasion by stand-up comedians. Its people are feisty, opinionated and fiercely loyal. The countryside is a beautiful tumble of raw mountain peaks and deep glassy lakes.

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