Geographically, Scotland can be divided into three distinct areas: the Southern Uplands, the Central Lowlands and the northern Highlands and Island.
The Southern UplandsThe Southern Uplands are the fertile plains and hills bordering England. The region boasts magnificent scenery, albeit of a gentler nature than that found in the Highlands: the highest peak in the area is only 2763 feet (815 m) high.
The Central Lowlands
The Central Lowlands stretch from the Firth of Forth in the east to the Firth of Clyde in the west. This area contains the nation's main industrial belt and the country's two largest cities, Glasgow in the west and Edinburgh, the capital, in the east. Most of the Scotland's population lives in this area.
The Highlands and IslandsThe Highlands comprise dramatic mountain ranges of sandstone and granite, which rise to their greatest height at Ben Nevis, which at 4406 feet (1343 m) is Britain's highest mountain. Although this region accounts for more than half the total area of Scotland, it has few major population centres apart from the cities of Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee.
The Highland Boundary Fault - often referred to as the Highland Line - is a geological rock fracture running diagonally across the Scottish mainland from Helensburgh in the west to Stonehaven in the north east. This feature forms a natual divider between the mountainous Highland region to the north and west of it and the Lowlands to the south of it
Of Scotland's 790 islands, 130 or so are inhabited. The major groups include the Inner and Outer Hebrides off the west coast, the Orkneys and the Shetland isles, both of which lie to the northeast of the mainland.