Though it’s come a long way since the days of Braveheart, Scotland still has a fiercely independent streak, and you’ll notice almost as soon as you cross the border from England. It’s best felt in Glasgow, a gritty, artsy city with an accent all its own, that even Scottish people say is different from the rest of the country. Though Edinburgh and its fringe festival are often people’s first stop in Scotland, going to Glasgow first will definitely acclimate you faster.

But visiting Scotland is about so much more than staying in the cities. There are, of course, the great whisky distilleries in the Scottish Highlands, and we’ll take you along on the best way to road trip through the region. There’s also fairy pools, a real Hogwarts castle, and remote islands few visitors have ever seen. The best part about Scotland is its size: Driving through the country is doable in a single trip, and we’ve got all kinds of suggestions for the best itineraries.