Scotland's natural landscapes

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Year of Natural Scotland 2013
Year of Natural Scotland 2013

Celebrate Scotland's natural beauty throughout 2013

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Watch our TV ad

See Scotland's stunning scenery brought to life

  • Looking across to the Bow Fiddle Rock at Portknockie on the Moray Coast
    Bow Fiddle Rock, Portknockie, Moray Coast
  • Thousands of stars visible in Scotland's Dark Sky Park at Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries & Galloway © James Hilder
    The Aquila Milky Way, Craignell, Dumfries & Galloway © James Hilder
  • Looking across Loch Carron and the snow-covered hills near Stromeferry, north-west Highlands
    Loch Carron, near Stromeferry, north-west Highlands
  • Two people canoeing at Loch Lomond Shores, with Ben Lomond in the distance
    Canoeing at Loch Lomond Shores
  • The Northern Lights in the night skies above Loch of Lintrathen, Dundee & Angus © Michael White.
    The Northern Lights in the night skies above Loch of Lintrathen, Dundee & Angus © Michael White.

Experience Scotland's great outdoors and enjoy its stunning and diverse natural landscapes, including mountainous peaks, national parks, nature reserves and thousands of miles of coastline.

National Nature Reserves

Scotland's National Nature Reserves (NNR) stretch from Caerlaverock in Dumfries & Galloway to Hermaness on the northern tip of Shetland. There are also over 1,400 Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI), which include the NNRs. Together these conservation areas and diverse habitats are ideal for spotting a range of endangered wildlife and plant life.

Search for Scotland's nature reserves

Natural environments

Explore the fascinating routes through Scotland's hills and mountains and acres of forests and woodlands to uncover an unrivalled picturesque landscape, bursting with flora and wildlife. If you choose to travel by train, why not make use of  the Scottish Natural Heritage mobile phone app View from the Train?

The country is home to two National Parks, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs and the largest of its kind in Britain, Cairngorms, which provide great opportunities to experience Scotland's unspoilt wilderness throughout the year.

Admire the beauty of the autumnal colours with a walk in Perthshire, an area affectionately known as 'Big Tree Country' due to large areas of the region being covered by historically important trees, including one of the tallest in Britain.

Head for the Galloway Forest Park and soak up the beauty of the twinkling stars in the night sky. The park has some of the clearest skies anywhere in Europe is the UK's first Dark Sky Park.

By the waters' edge

With thousands of miles of coastline and beaches, Scotland is home to a fantastic marine environment, including dolphins and whales, and some of the largest collections of seabirds anywhere in Europe. This landscape is incredibly diverse, from the white sands of Kiloran Bay on the Isle of Colonsay, to the iconic Old Man of Hoy seacliff on Orkney.

The Moray Firth coastline was recently voted one of the world's top coastlines by National Geographic.

Inland, there are many rivers, lochs and waterways to explore, including the UK's largest freshwater stretch of water.