It’s recently been awarded the accolade for most beautiful country by Rough Guides, but Scotland has now also been named the most welcoming country to travellers.

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The country obviously has natural beauty in spades, from mountains and lochs to stunning spots like the Islands of St Kilda, Fingal’s Cave and Eilean Donan Castle, but if you’re looking for warm, friendly people too, it seems Scotland has the personality to match.

Rough Guides states: “Whether you’re propping up a bar in Edinburgh or trekking the hills of Glen Coe, you’re sure to feel a warm Scottish welcome from whomever you meet.”

Here’s why it’s a worthy winner.

The hospitality


Becoming a local! #thebowbar #edinburgh

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For top service head to The Bow Bar, Edinburgh, which has been voted Scotland’s pub of the year 2017, or stay at Ballintaggart Farm, Perthshire, voted the most hospitable B&B at Visit Scotland’s Thistle Awards in central, Fife and Tayside. The 2017 hotel of the year at the Scottish hotel awards went to The Principal Edinburgh George Street.

The celebrations

In winter Scotland doesn’t slow down. See in the New Year at the world-famous Hogmanay street party in Edinburgh or visit for Burns Night on January 25 to raise a glass in honour of Scotch poet Robert Burns. There are other winter festivals happening too and, if nothing else, you need to go for the whisky – it’s been produced in Scotland for longer than anyone can remember. Most distilleries offer behind the scenes tours, or you could really embrace it and set off on a guided jaunt around Scotland’s five whisky distilling regions. Uniquely Scotland‘s six day Whisky Regions Tour is £1,549 per person based on two sharing.

[Read more: A beginner’s guide to whisky: 7 key questions answered]

The inclusivity


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The Equality Network named Scotland the best country in Europe for LGBTI legal equality in 2015 and 2016. The Regent on Montrose Terrace declares to be ‘the best real ale gay bar in Edinburgh’ and Glasgow’s Polo Lounge is arguably Soctland’s most iconic gay club.

Scotland is also trying to make tourism accessible to everyone. The Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh, for example, is entirely wheelchair accessible.