Many have been restored, others have been incorporated into later buildings, some stand ruined, while others have disappeared altogether.
Stretching from the Borders in the south to Orkney and Shetland in the far north, and from the rolling hills of Fife in the east to the rugged islands of the Outer Hebrides in the west, there are a wealth of areas each with their own distinctive character and charm.
The Picts were the enigmatic inhabitants of what is now Scotland from around the beginning of the 1st century until around the middle of the 9th century AD.
Scotland's placenames are derived from a number of languages, and while the majority are Gaelic in origin, others are Pictish, Old Norse, Old English and of course Scots.
Population movements over the centuries, and the development of languages, have left a rich tapestry of descriptive names.
Scotland is well-served by many high-quality restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs.
With an abundance of fresh local produce on offer, whether you are looking for traditional Scottish dishes, cuisines from around the World, or a fusion of the two, there is something to suit everyone.
Renting a car is a great way to see Scotland, giving you the freedom to go anywhere at any time.
There are car hire centres at all of Scotland's major airports, with most of the major rental brands represented. Hiring a car is often the best way to get to your hotel from the airport, particularly if you are staying in a rural location.