The word "Scotch" applies only to things - for example, whisky, Scotch eggs, Scotch beef and Scotch Corner (a road junction leading to Scotland).Do not refer to Scotland as England, or to Scottish as English - it is very likely to cause annoyance.

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Scotland is a beautiful country well-known for its dramatic scenery of mountains and valleys, rolling hills, green fields and forests, and rugged coastline.

While everyone knows the Highlands for this, Scotland is beautiful in the Lowlands, islands and the flat lands of the North-East as well.

Scotland has lively and friendly cities, often of great architectural significance, and a rich history and heritage dating back thousands of years with many ancient and historic sites.

Other characteristics that attract droves of visitors include golf (the game was created in Scotland and it has some of the world's best and most famous courses), whisky (many distilleries can be visited), family history (millions worldwide are descended from those who emigrated from Scotland when times were tough in the 18th and 19th centuries), hiking, wildlife and winter sports.

Around Loch Ness in the north of the Highlands, you can also hunt for the Monster... While the sun may not always shine, the warm welcome and wonderful diversity of places, landscapes and experiences mean that Scotland has much to offer any traveller.

Sometimes awe-inspiring and majestic, sometimes ramshackle and faded, proud yet also modest, modern yet also ancient, eccentric yet also charming, few travellers leave Scotland unaffected by their encounter.

A person from Scotland is called a Scot, or described as Scottish.

Scotland (Scots Gaelic: Alba) is a nation in north-western Europe, the second largest of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom.

It has a 60 mile (96km) land border with England to the south, and is separated from Northern Ireland by the North Channel of the Irish Sea.