Scotland has been voted the most beautiful country in the world by the readers of a prestigious travel guide.
Rough Guides named the country number one in its list of the world’s 20 most beautiful, thanks to its ‘wild beaches, deep lochs and craggy castles’.
Canada came second in the list, followed by New Zealand in third place.
Scotland’s neighbours also featured in the list – Ireland was 18th, Wales 10th and England was 7th.
The news was welcomed by the CEO of Visit Scotland, Malcolm Roughead.
— VisitScotland News (@VisitScotNews) September 3, 2017
He said: ‘We are delighted that Scotland has received this remarkable accolade from Rough Guide readers, but of course it will not be a surprise to anyone who has encountered our wonderful country.
‘From our awe-inspiring landscapes to our remarkable historic attractions, to our bustling but beautiful urban centres, Scotland takes people’s breaths away.
‘Our latest campaign, the Spirit of Scotland was based on feedback from visitors that they get a special feeling while in the country, whether it’s in the wilds of Glen Coe on a stormy day or taking part in a ceilidh on Burns’ Night, there is something different about Scotland that they can’t experience anywhere else in the world.
‘Of course with great beauty comes great responsibility and we urge both visitors and residents alike to respect Scotland’s natural assets to protect and preserve them for many generations to come.
‘Off the back of this accolade, we look forward to welcoming more visitors from across the world who want to encounter Scotland’s unique beauty and spirit.’
The 20 most beautiful countries in the world
5. South Africa
3. New Zealand