These are the ancient heartlands of Scotland. Here, in the mists of time, Scots from Ireland founded the kingdom. It was in this region that all five of Scotland's founding peoples came together and it was here that Scotland's struggle for nationhood finally triumphed.

Here too, you can find every ingredient, which combines to make the magic of Scotland. The peaceful glens, shapely peaks and clear blue lochs of the highlands contrast vividly with the gentler hills, floral villages and the historic towns of the lowlands.

Guarded by the Hebridean Islands, Argyll's breathtaking coastline paints a perfect picture of Scotland. Castles and gardens, ancient kingdoms, romantic sunsets and welcoming resorts like Oban and Inveraray add to the lure of the west highlands.

The rolling pastures of Kyntyre shelter the sea lochs of the Firth of Clyde, Bute's holiday isle and Cowal's green peninsula. From Dumbarton's ancient castle take the high road to loch Lomond and follow Rob Roy's adventures in the highland frontier country of the Trossachs.

Re-live stories of William Wallace and King Robert the Bruce around Stirling's royal castle, focal point of the Scotland's history, or seek out the northern frontier of Rome's empire at Falkirk.

From medieval times Stirling was, strategically, the most important place in Scotland. Whoever held Stirling controlled the nation. All the key north - south routes passed by Stirling, leaving its great cliff top fortress ideally placed to command this all important narrow 'waist' of Scotland. No less than seven battle sites can be seen from the castle ramparts.

Nearby, there are still more places of national historic significance. These include the mighty National Wallace Monument, which commemorates Scotland's greatest patriot Sir William Wallace. There is also the Bannockburn Heritage Centre marking the site where Scotland's hero - king, King Robert the Bruce, won his greatest victory and effectively secured Scotland's independence.

Savour the heartlands of Scotland - where the highlands meet the lowlands and present meets past.

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