Glasgow is Scotland's biggest city and major tourist destination, possessing some of Britain's finest architecture and hosting a variety of cultural events and attractions.
Glasgow has been described as the finest surviving example of a great Victorian city. Of particular interest is George Square - lined by several buildings constructed in the Italian Renaissance style. Few buildings pre-date 18th century. The most prominent of these are Glasgow Cathedral, and Provand's Lordship, which is the city's oldest house (c. 1471) and now a museum. The cathedral, situated on high ground to the east of the city and dating in parts from 12th century, is an outstanding example of Gothic architecture. The city has numerous parks and ornamental open spaces, including the Botanic Garden and zoological gardens. Glasgow grew around a church built in the 6th century by St Kentigern, who converted Scots to Christianity. The commercial growth of the community dates from the union of Scotland and England in 1707 and the opening up of trade in the 18th century when Glasgow became a major port and shipbuilder.
Dominated by the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, this picturesque city offers shopping on Princes Street, the grandeur of the Royal Mile, St. Giles Cathedral and historic Palace of Holyrood House, where Queen Mary lived and many Scottish kings were wed. Or venture across the moors to marvel at the scenic Highlands.
Inverness is an excellent tourism destination. With its suspension bridges across the River Ness and old stone buildings, it is a pretty place well-known for its floral displays. Walk along the river banks and to the Ness Islands for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the shops. Cross the river on little bridges and visit Bught Park. The Floral Hall has a sub-tropical horticultural extravaganza with a small waterfall, fish and all sorts of plants and trees. Walk up the river in the other direction and see Ben Wyvis on the skyline. Inverness has an excellent museum and art gallery. Local history talks take place here. Eden Court Theater, situated near the cathedral, has events listings and incorporates part of the old Bishop's Palace and is said to be haunted by the 'Green Lady' ghost of a wife of one of the bishops who hanged herself there. Also check out art.tm which is an art gallery and studio. The Spectrum Centre has a cafe and is the meeting place for local clubs and education classes. Look out for Scottish Showtime music and dance performances during the summer.
At the southern end of the Great Glen, this area's main town is Fort William, a major and well-resourced touring and route centre for the West Highlands. The area also takes in the Highland landscapes between Loch Linnhe, the major sea-loch at the south of the Great Glen, and the western seaboard itself. These include the lands of Ardnamurchan, Ardgour, Morvern and Moidart - rugged landscapes notable for their soft and mild Atlantic climate, and - in places - their lush growth of mossy, fern-rich woodlands.