Edinburgh and Glasgow are the principal cities in Scotland: The majority of the country's five million people live in or around these two cities - each is home to a population of between 500,000 and 600,000 within city limits. The country itself occupies the northern third of Great Britain, covering about 78,725 sq. km (30,410 sq. miles) - or nearly the size of Austria. It is about 440km (275 miles) long and 248km (154 miles) wide at its widest point. As it is a modestly sized country, its two main cities are both key players in the nation's economy.

Both cities are on tidal tributaries to the sea, but across Scotland no denizen lives more than about 65km (40 miles) from salt water. Notwithstanding the size of their country, the Scots have extended their influence around the world.

Inventors Alexander Graham Bell (telephone) and John Logie Baird (television), as well as Africa explorers Mungo Park and David Livingstone, came from Scotland. Philosophers David Hume (law) and Adam Smith (economics) were key participants in the Scottish Enlightenment, which was based in Glasgow and Edinburgh. James Watt (steam engine pioneer) and John Muir (the world's first ecologist) were born near the two key cities. This country also gave the world entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie; poet Robert Burns; actors Sean Connery and Ewan McGregor; comedians Billy Connolly and Frankie Boyle; bands Belle & Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand, and singers Sheena Easton, Annie Lennox, and Shirley Manson. Edinburgh spawned novelists Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, while Glasgow was home to architects Alexander "Greek" Thomson and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.