Landscape variety in Scotland

Scotland has a great variety of landscapes for its size, as illustrated by the Landscapes of Scotland map.

The Landscapes of Scotland map unites the physical fabric of our towns, countryside, hills, glens and coasts with the human and cultural aspects of place and history. It has been designed to highlight the variety that occurs in even a small country, and to make communication about landscape issues easier.

The map divides Scotland into 79 areas, each of which has a unique description:

  • The Landscapes of Scotland, Descriptions 1–10 – Shetland and Fair Isle to Harris
  • The Landscapes of Scotland, Descriptions 11-20 - Wester Ross to Monadhliaths
  • The Landscapes of Scotland, Descriptions 21-30 - Speyside to Deeside and Donside
  • The Landscapes of Scotland, Descriptions 31-40 - Aberdeen and Lower Deeside to Angus Glens
  • The Landscapes of Scotland, Descriptions 41-50 - Strathmore and Mearns to Firth of Tay
  • The Landscapes of Scotland, Descriptions 51-60 - Islay and Colonsay to Lothian and Borders Coast
  • The Landscapes of Scotland, Descriptions 61-70 - Kintyre to Ettrick and Moffat Hills
  • The Landscapes of Scotland, Descriptions 71-79 - Lower Tweedale to Cheviots

These descriptions present a national picture of Scotland’s distinct landscapes that serves to:

  • increase awareness of the diversity of Scotland’s landscapes, its regional distinctiveness and the importance of place
  • enable easier communication about landscape – e.g. by providing a gateway to other information sources
  • enable greater involvement in landscape issues
  • provide a framework for monitoring some types of landscape change
  • provide a Scottish equivalent of landscape mapping of other countries

The map adds to, and does not replace, the more specialist landscape analysis provided by Landscape Character Assessment and Historic Land-use Assessment –  data available on the HLA map website.

NatureScot developed the map with input from Historic Environment Scotland and others.

Read about Developing the Landscapes of Scotland map: Background and Summary Method Statement.

You can also view our account of Scotland’s landscapes and how they’ve changed over time: Natural Heritage Zones: A National Assessment of Scotland's Landscapes.

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Get in touch if you have questions. 

Landscape Group

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