From its heather-filled mountainous terrain and mystical jagged landscapes to its spectacular wildlife, Scotland may be small in size but it’s home to an abundance of natural wonders.
And that’s why the readers of Rough Guide – a travel guidebook and reference publisher – have voted it the “most beautiful country in the world” – beating Canada to the number one spot.
After asking readers to take to Facebook and Twitter to cast their vote, the publishers then collated all of the responses, narrowing them down to the top 20.
"Who can deny that these wild beaches, deep lochs and craggy castles are some of the most wonderful and beautiful sights in the world?,” they said of Scotland.
With neighbouring countries England and Wales coming in in seventh and tenth, respectively.
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of Visit Scotland, 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.”
“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.”
With certain magical locations made famous by Harry Potter – from the Jacobite steam train featured in the Chamber of Secrets to Hagrid’s hut in beautiful Glen Coe – author J.K Rowling has long spoken of the great influence the country played in her writing.
Famously writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in a café in Edinburgh, the country’s capital city, Rowling said:
“It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in the world, the history is fascinating, the men are handsome and the whisky is delicious. But don’t eat the macaroni pies” – according to the Guardian.
Read more: Discover Scotland’s hidden haven
Earlier this year, the publisher listed the country second on their list of “must-see” destinations – along with Uganda, Bolivia and India.
And it’s only a short distance away from the hustle and bustle of London life.