Scotland top 10 destination to visit 2017.

January, 2017

Scotland has been named one of the top 10 countries to visit in 2017.

It is second on the Rough Guides' list of "must see" destinations, which also includes Uganda, Bolivia and India.

The travel company said a Highland road trip along the North Coast 500 was one of the main reasons to visit Scotland.

And in the year the first Harry Potter book marks its 20th anniversary, it said there was no better excuse to visit some of the locations made famous by the magical films.

"Wildlife, whisky and a wonderfully warm welcome make Scotland a perennially popular destination, but in 2017 there are even more reasons to visit," Rough Guides added.

Image copyright Mark Jukes Image caption A ride in the "Hogwarts Express" across the Glenfinnan viaduct will be on the wish list of many Harry Potter fans

Rough Guides sings the praises of the North Coast 500 in its appraisal of Scotland.

It the 500 mile route as a "rugged road-trip route through the Highlands, past isolated bothies, white-sand beaches and top-notch surf spots".

VisitScotland has recently credited the route with boosting tourist numbers to Scotland's north west mainland coast.

Top 10 countries for 2017

1. India

2. Scotland

3. Canada

4. Uganda

5. Bolivia

6. Nicaragua

7. Portugal

8. Finland

9. Namibia

10. Taiwan

The travel company also recommends Scotland's food and drink scene to visitors.

It describes Glasgow as "one of the best places to head for culinary experimentation" and it highlights the work of Scottish microbreweries - and the fact that their products can be found at even the most remote pubs.

Rough Guides added: "If you're the type to eschew beer for butterbeer, the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book makes a great excuse for a trip.

"Hop on the Jacobite steam train (also known as the Hogwarts Express) for a magical journey over mountains and freshwater lochs, hang out in JK Rowling's charming Edinburgh haunts, or hike out to the site of Hagrid's hut in awe-inspiring Glen Coe."

Image copyright Mark Jukes Image caption.  Article copyright BBC News.

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