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As Glasgow builds up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, it’s a great time to focus on everything else this beautiful country has to offer visitors. Easily accessible from Glasgow, the West Coast of the country boasts some of the most stunning scenery in the whole of the UK and is the perfect place to get away from it all and really immerse yourself in traditional Scottish life.

The west of Scotland often feels like a place where time has stood still. History, culture, festivals and fantastic cuisine all await the eager traveller. This part of the UK boasts some of the best walking country in the world and there are a staggering number of walks through scenery that will quite simply blow your mind – from the stunning coastline to pretty inland strolls.

There is so much to do and see in this corner of the world that it is impossible to do it justice in a matter of weeks. Many people visit year after year and always discover something new.

The highlands and islands are a very popular destination, particularly among German, Scandinavian other international tourists. The region’s famous malt whiskies are often mooted as one of the area’s biggest draws, not forgetting, of course, the glorious natural landscapes, crystal clear air and old fashioned Scottish hospitality that all add up to offer the perfect mix of modern and traditional.

Many visitors choose to learn more about the fantastic landscapes of the highlands and islands via a guided tour. There are several different options available, taking in highlights such as Loch Ness, Pitlochry, Inverness, Oban and numerous others. A tour of the islands adds a whole new perspective – form the isolated beauty of Skye to the prehistoric jewel that is Orkney. A world away from the vibrancy and modern culture of Glasgow, this is an opportunity to get a whole new perspective on this lovely country, The ferry service is second to none, with clearly time-tabled schedules and comfortable craft that are all-weather ready.

There is a whole plethora of quality hotels, guest houses and other accommodation options across the west of Scotland. Many of the key locations have stunning views over the sea; - in the summer months you may even feel brave enough to take a dip from one of the many award winning beaches.

There are plenty of activities on offer for those looking for an active holiday. Sailing, horse-riding, and famously, golf are all extremely popular in this part of the world. Add in rock climbing, windsurfing and mountain biking and you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice.

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