Business Tours Scotland


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Business Tours
Scotland

Tel: 0131 554 0371

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+44 131 554 0371


Build Your Own Tour

When we receive the completed reply form with your selection of possible visits and areas of interest from the check boxes below, we will provide you with a suggested itinerary and quotation for the tour within Scotland. 





 

Please note that our quotation will not include travel to and from Scotland.

We have grouped subject areas and business sectors under main headings, as a guide to formulating themed tours. 

However, the subjects and sectors can be mixed to plan a visit itinerary to your own specifications.

BUILD YOUR TOUR FORM

All fields marked * must be completed.

YOUR NAME *

ORGANISATION *

TELEPHONE *

ADDRESS *

E-MAIL *

   

AIMS & OBJECTIVES OF TOUR

GROUP PROFILE
(ie: public sector, academic, business)

NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN GROUP

TO BE ESCORTED / NON-ESCORTED
(please indicate preference)

   

SUGGESTED DATES:

 

arrival

departure

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
(eg dietary restrictions, disabled access etc..)
Please provide details.

TOUR BUDGET
(guide figure please) £ / € / $

   

Check the boxes against your topics of interest. If you would like more information on a particular topic, just click the title.

Government & Institutions

Traditional Industries

Service Industries, Modern Industries & Innovation

Culture, Heritage & Environment

The Scottish Parliament Whisky - visit a distillery or Whisky Heritage Centre Electronics – including Microelectronics and Optoelectronics Architecture – urban and rural - from Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Page & Park
Economic Development Agencies Agriculture Biotechnology & Life Sciences Natural Heritage & Wildlife
Healthcare Engineering Communication Technology Sport – Football, Rugby, Curling, Golf
Scottish Legal system Textiles Shared Service Centres Music - Classical, Modern, Bagpipes, Celtic
Local Government Brewing Creative Industries Poetry & Literature – from Robbie Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and R.L. Stevenson to Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin
Education Fisheries and seafood Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals Visual Arts
Transport Forest Industries, Timber, Papermaking Software and Games Art Galleries & Museum collections
Scotland in Europe Construction, Urban Regeneration Energy – oil & gas Gaelic language
  Aerospace Commercialisation -Academic and contract research Leisure Pursuits - fishing, hill-walking, ski-ing, climbing, sailing
  Shipbuilding and rebirth of the Clyde Sustainable Development & Renewable Energy Mountain Biking
  Food and Drink Financial Services  
    Tourism, Organisation and Services  

TOPICS OF INTEREST

Government & Institutions

Scottish Parliament  - In 1999 Scotland achieved the status of devolved government within the United Kingdom and the Scottish Parliament was opened by HM The Queen, almost 300 years since the previous one closed. The parliament passes laws and administers policy on a range of devolved matters - the remainder being reserved to the Westminster parliament in London.

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Economic Development Agencies - Scotland's comparative remoteness from markets, sparsely populated rural areas and structural transition from heavy industry have traditionally resulted in problems of low growth and high unemployment.  Since the mid-1970's these have been tackled by a system of Government funded economic development agencies with some startling results.

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Healthcare - Scotland enjoys the benefits of both National Health and private healthcare systems with some of the most advanced and innovative solutions operating alongside traditional methods. Healthcare is now the responsibility of the Scottish parliament which means that new systems can be developed which differ from those in place elsewhere in the UK.

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Scottish Legal System - Scots Law differs from the rest of the UK and, being based on Roman Law, is in many ways more akin to other European countries. The Scottish Legal system has its own institutions, regulations and operational methods, making it a unique part of the administration of British justice.

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Local Government - a system of 32 multi-purpose Unitary Authorities covers the administration of local services such as Education, Environmental Health, Housing, Planning & Development and Social Work.  The Councils' representative body in Scotland is the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

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Education - the Scottish education system incorporates both school, further and higher education.   The Unitary Councils have direct responsibility for providing and staffing schools and colleges of further education.  Scotland's thirteen Universities are self-governing institutions. The Scottish education system ensures lifelong learning is available to everyone from school through university and college and into the workforce.

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Transport - Scotland's transport infrastructure provides the means to promote economic growth, social inclusion and sustainable development via a safe and efficient network of roads, rail, sea and air routes.  Government in Scotland is committed to delivering an integrated transport system, which meets economic and social needs but does not threaten the environment.

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Scotland in Europe - Europe is a vital market for Scottish business, accounting for around two-thirds of all manufactured exports, worth £28 billion in 1999-2000 and supporting more than 300,000 jobs. Although the rest of the UK is Scotland’s biggest single market, the EU is next, with France, Germany and Italy the leading markets for Scottish exports. A large proportion of these sales are in electronics, More than a third of all branded PCs sold in the EU are manufactured in Scotland, and the proportion of workstations, automated banking machines and notebook computers is even higher. Many EU headquartered companies have operations in Scotland, further binding our commercial relationship with European member-states and their economies.

 
 

Traditional Industries

Whisky - Through the centuries, Whisky has become inextricably woven into the fabric of Scotland’s history, culture and customs. Scotch Whisky is widely recognised as the world’s leading noble spirit. Its success in the international market has led to Scotch being sold in over 200 countries around the globe.  The Scotch Whisky Association currently represents over 95% of the Scotch Whisky industry which contributes over £3bn annually to Scotland's GDP.

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Agriculture - Agriculture accounts for some 8 per cent of the rural workforce and is valued at around £2 billion a year.   In rural areas, where the industry is regarded as an integrated part of the rural economy, the contribution to economic, environmental and social benefits can be significantly higher. 

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Engineering - the Scottish engineering industry is often viewed in a historical context as producing mostly railway locomotives and engines for ships.  However, this view is not applicable today.  The modern multi-talented, high-tech industry now provides engineering solutions throughout the UK and the rest of the world.

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Textiles - There's more to the Scottish textiles industry than tartan and knitwear.  For instance, it employs some 30,000 people (11 percent of Scottish manufacturing jobs). Relatively, the textiles industry creates more value than any other manufacturing sector in Scotland. The industry has a vibrant future - underpinned by quality, diversity, innovation and design. With annual growth of 5 percent, technical textiles is the global industry's fastest growing sector.

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Brewing – age old craft based on Scotland’s bountiful natural resources.  Brewing the perfect beer requires the brewer to use art, craft and science, along with a balance of natural ingredients and processes One of the first mentions of a public brewery in Scotland dates from 1488.

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Fisheries - Scotland is among the largest sea fishing nations in Europe with 66 per cent of the landings into the UK.  Around 90 per cent of the UK fish farming industry is based in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands and Islands.  Scotland has over 50,000 km of rivers, many of which have wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout, and also more than 30,000 lochs and ponds.

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Forest Industries - Forests cover 16% of Scotland's land area.  Scotland currently accounts for 60% of the British conifer harvest. The forest products industry is very much influenced by globalisation and industry restructuring. The Scottish Forest Industry is in a unique position of strength for future development, as Britain currently imports 90 per cent of its paper; almost 80 percent of its lumber and a third of its wood-based panel consumption.

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Construction, Urban Regeneration - Scottish urban policy and practice has often provided a model of good practice by UK and international standards, for example in integrating training and economic development projects and in community-led regeneration in housing. In Scotland, the Local Government in Scotland Act and its associated guidance, underlines the opportunities to bring potential Urban Regeneration Companies (URC), or similar vehicles, within the wider Community Planning agenda.

The construction industry is vitally important to the Scottish Economy. It employs 250,000 people and is worth approximately £10 billion to Scotland’s economy, representing around 10 per cent of Scotland’s GDP. With demand for building workers at it highest for a decade, and an explosion of public and private sector investment, huge opportunities currently exist within the sector.

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Aerospace - Scotland has been at the heart of the aerospace industry since its very beginnings.  Aircraft, weapon systems and component parts have been manufactured here since 1915 and now contributes avionics and control systems for the latest civil and military aircraft, such as the Euro-fighter Typhoon and Airbus A380.

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Shipbuilding - For hundreds of years, ships of all kinds have been built on the River Clyde and in other coastal shipyards. It was the pioneering spirit of the steam-age that made the Clyde into the world's greatest shipbuilding centre with over 150 yards in full production at the start of the 20th Century. Although much diminished since these heady days, shipbuilding on the Clyde has survived and looks set to enter a new area of growth as a naval and specialist builder.

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Food & Drink - Scotland is famous for having the finest natural produce on its doorstep - including salmon, beef, lamb, venison, vegetables and milk.  The food processing industry produces well-known Scottish delicacies such as whisky, haggis and shortbread. It's no surprise that 17 per cent of Scotland's manufacturing workforce is in the food and drink industry.  Annually, the sector generates sales of £7.3bn - £3bn of this figure is for whisky.

 
 

Service Industries, Modern Industries & Innovation

Electronics - More than 1000 companies involved in designing, developing, and supplying electronic products and/or services are located in Scotland. Scotland makes 28 per cent of Europe's PCs; more than seven per cent of the world's PCs; and 29 per cent of Europe's notebooks. Electronics accounts for 12 per cent of Scotland's total manufacturing employment and for more than half of Scottish exports. 

Optoelectronics - Scotland, with only 10 per cent of the UK's population, attracts over 30 per cent of the UK Government's optoelectronics research budget. In terms of academic papers published per capita, Scotland ranks seventh in the world Scottish universities are at the forefront of photonics. Scotland is in the world top three for quality university research.

Microelectronics - Scotland has the highest concentration of universities in Europe and is a world centre of microelectronic product design and system level integration technology. Scotland has an expanding, globally-focused supply base. The Alba Centre, which hosts the Institute for System Level Integration and the Virtual Component Exchange, is a centre for microelectronics excellence.

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Biotechnology - . The biotechnology industry in Scotland is recognised throughout the world. That’s a major motivating factor for the world-renowned players who have put their faith and their investment in the Scottish workforce. Scotland is now home to 20 percent of the UK's life sciences companies and has 50 percent of the UK industry's manufacturing facilities. Scotland produces 13.2 percent of the UK's first life science degrees and 61 percent of the UK's pharmacy degrees.

The country has a history of producing gifted scientists, having established the first ever medical school at the University of Aberdeen. More recently, the nuclear transfer pioneer Dr Ian Wilmut astounded the world, with ‘Dolly’ the sheep; Sir David Lane won acclaim for his discovery of the p53 gene and Sir Philip Cohen’s work in signal transduction has made a significant contribution to the treatment of cancer.

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Communication Technology - Scotland is an internationally recognised centre in communication technology and digital media, and is home to highly cited research centres, as well as industry ranging from start ups to multinationals.

Scotland has major strengths in all of the key areas of communication technology: applications, network services, equipment and components. Support infrastructure is in place, including specialist incubators, the Institute for System Level Integration (ISLI) for system on chip design, the new multi million pound optoelectronic packaging centre and the Techmedia ITI (Intermediary Technology Institute).

Part of Scotland’s success in the communications technology sector is attributed to the bodies set up to promote, develop and enhance sectors, including Electronics Scotland, Scottish Optoelectronics Association and ScotlandIS. Similar organizations across all sectors help support the industry in Scotland, and work with companies in the given sector to help build stronger business strategies and partnerships.

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Shared Service Centres - Scotland is the ideal shared service centre location and has been chosen by a large number of corporations for their Pan European and Global centres.  There are currently 20 shared service and contact centres in Scotland covering a wide spectrum of activities such as front and back office including: accounts payable; accounts receivable; general ledger; cash management; credit control; payroll, customer service and HR. These centres combine administrative, communication and financial expertise to create nerve centres for companies whose operations span not just the rest of the UK, but Europe and worldwide.  Scotland’s shared service centres have delivered continuous cost benefits, increased service levels and allow companies to compete globally in terms of finance and quality.

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Creative Industries - Approximately 100,000 people work in the creative industries in Scotland, generating £5 billion and contributing 4% to Scottish GDP. UK creative industries generate revenues of around £112.5 billion and employ 1.3 million people. Scotland has a greater share of creative industries employment than any region in the UK, out-with London and the South East.

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Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals - Chemical manufacture in Scotland is a significant part of the country’s economic base, with operations which serve European and international markets.

Leading world companies are based here making products based on raw materials derived from North Sea oil and gas, supported also by the plentiful supply of raw materials. The chemicals industry forms the basis for every manufacturing activity vital to healthcare, IT, food and drink, textiles, construction and all sectors of the economy.

The presence of pharmaceutical manufacturing sites and Contract Research Organisations, which provide a vital link to the major global pharmaceutical corporations, offer Scotland a position of strength on which to build. 

Universities and research institutes are already actively collaborating with industry and other research establishments. The University of Dundee’s DSTT Consortium involving 6 pharmaceutical companies in a £15 million investment into kinase research is an excellent example.

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Software - It's true that the US gave the world its first "Silicon Valley", but Scotland added its own dimension, as the rolling hills spawned "Silicon Glen". There are 1370 companies in the software & e-business supply industry in Scotland. Indigenous companies address both their home market and many markets outwith Scotland. Consequently, many companies provide products and services for Financial Services, Oil & Gas, Utilities and the Public Sector, all of which are large purchasers in Scotland. E-business is a critical part of the Scottish economy and Scotland is one of Europe's most important centres for software development activity.

Here, world-leaders like Hewlett-Packard, SUN, IBM, Absolute Quality, Cisco, Oracle and NCR set up their base, and there are now more than 800 software firms based in Scotland. More recently we have seen a number of large financial institutions locate their technical development teams into Scotland, including Bank of Bermuda and J.P. Morgan Chase

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Energy - In Scotland, over 2000 companies are involved in the oil and gas industry. Scotland's expertise in sub-sea technology and recovering oil and gas from deep-water wells will continue to grow in importance and make the country's technology an increasingly valuable export. Scotland's domestic electric energy requirement is approximately 10.5 GW so there's a large potential to export sustainable energy. 

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Commercialisation - Scotland’s universities and research institutes are key players in all areas of cutting edge technology, particularly biotech/life sciences, nanotechnology and optoelectronics.  Their ability to successfully commercialise their research adds significant value to the Scottish economy. This has been recognised by the UK government, the Scottish Executive and Scottish Enterprise through a series of initiatives to support commercialisation, such as Technology Ventures Scotland and Scottish Enterprise’s Proof of Concept Fund.

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Sustainable Development - The fundamental aim of sustainable development is to secure the future.  We have recognised how actions in the past have made life more difficult for us today.  Developing sustainability means ensuring that our actions today do not limit our quality of life in the future.  The DTI Foresight programme is delivered in Scotland by the Scottish Executive.

Renewable Energy - Renewable energy comes from continuously available sources, which do not rely on exhaustible fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. The main sources of renewable energy being actively developed in Scotland are wind (both on and offshore), the sun (solar photovoltaics), water (conventional hydro, and the developing technologies of tidal stream and wave) and biomass (including energy crops). 

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Financial Services - Around 97,000 people are employed in Scotland's financial service s sector. Half of the top 20 companies in Scotland are financial services companies. Scotland is Europe's leading call centre location, with over 200 call centres offering services for banks, credit card companies, travel agencies, utility providers, media companies and many more.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the Scots exported their banking system and their bankers to all corners of the world. The Scottish banker became a component of the Scottish diaspora every bit as important as the doctor, the engineer and the missionary. As in so many aspects of life, the attention which the Scots paid to the importance of education was manifest in the formation of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland in 1875 - the world's oldest professional body for practising bankers. The professionalism of Scottish bankers was therefore a major factor in the superior performance of the Scottish banks in the recession of the 1990s.

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Tourism - the tourism industry in Scotland comprises an estimated 20,000 businesses, ranging from multinationals through to a wide range of SMEs, bed and breakfast providers etc. What unites businesses in tourism is customer service. Today's tourist in Scotland uses the Internet for information and booking demonstrating that the industry is keeping abreast with technology in the 21st century.

 
 

Culture, Heritage & Environment

Architecture - Scotland has a wealth of architectural styles, from Gothic mansions to the compact dwellings of the new towns, from isolated crofts to grand, fortified castles.  From the internationally acclaimed work of Robert Adam, through Charles Rennie Mackintosh, to the notable modern architects, Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein, Scotland has been at the forefront of design and innovation in architecture.

Built Heritage - Scotland's built heritage is a rich tapestry which illuminates the nation’s history from the earliest times. The thread reaches from prehistoric standing stones to medieval castles and formal great gardens through to Georgian houses, Victorian factories and Second World War defences.  There are two principle organisations that have the responsibility of maintaining Scotland's built heritage. 

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Natural Heritage - Scotland's countryside and natural environment are precious assets, both in terms of intrinsic natural and landscape qualities and in economic terms through their contribution to tourism. Scotland's varied wildlife is set against a stunning backdrop of rugged mountains, moorlands and thousands of miles of breathtaking coastline.  The conservation of this precious resource is the responsibility of bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage and the National Parks at Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and the Cairngorms.

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Sport – Scotland invests an annual government grant of around £13 million in a range of programmes designed to benefit all levels of sport - from children getting their first taste of physical activity at school, to an international athlete competing for a gold medal.  The international sports that Scotland is best known for are Rugby, Soccer, Golf and since the national team’s success at the winter Olympics in 2002, Curling! 

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Music - Scotland has an exciting and dynamic music scene ranging from folk and Celtic music, to jazz, classical, rock and popular. Scotland has good reason to celebrate both its musical past and the talent that abounds here today. A country that can produce a variety of artistes ranging from Annie Lennox to Evelyn Glennie (and many, many more besides) in a generation - must be as rich a country as any in musical potential.

On a traditional note, The Great Highland Bagpipe, perhaps the best known of Scotland's musical instruments and an ambassador for Scotland throughout the world, is accorded new prominence by the founding of The Piping Centre.

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Poetry & Literature - Literature is one of Scotland’s principal national assets. Many of our writers, past and present, are renowned internationally. Literature assists people to develop the essential skills of literacy, articulacy, independence of thought and enterprise; it is also the carrier of our different languages. In the 21st century, where the knowledge and skills of a country’s people is crucial to a country’s success, literature will help to equip every Scot to live and work, and to reflect, communicate and engage in this new and complex environment.  In addition, the Poetry Library is a unique national resource for the preservation and promotion of poetry in Scotland. 

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Visual Arts –  Visual art includes sculpture, painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, sound, experimental film, live art, installation, contextual practice, artist’s video and new media and emerging technologies.  possibly a quote from Katrina Brown, Curator at Dundee Contemporary Arts, best describes the visual arts scene in Scotland in the 21st Century “A voracious appetite for dialogue and a real interest in the world around us has resulted in the creation of some outstanding art. Drawing on references and materials from popular culture, the built environment, technological developments and many other sources, artists in Scotland have created works that encompass the beautiful, the strange, the humorous, the thought-provoking, the unsettling, the playful and the powerful, while happily using the familiar and the everyday. “

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Museums & Art Galleries – From the collections of national - and international - importance in Glasgow and Edinburgh to private galleries run by and devoted to the works of individual artists, Scotland enjoys a wealth of venues which showcase both the breadth and depth of its native artistic genius.

The Scottish Museums Council (SMC) is the membership organisation for local museums and galleries in Scotland.   Their aim is to improve museum and gallery provision in Scotland for both local people and visitors. They have over 200 members who in turn manage over 320 museums. They include all 32 local authorities, universities, regimental and independent museums, ranging in size from small voluntary trusts to large metropolitan services, attracting in excess of 1 million visitors a year.

The National Galleries of Scotland are five Edinburgh-based galleries and two outstations, one in the north and one in the south of Scotland.  Over a million visitors a year come to the National Galleries of Scotland, experiencing the superb permanent collections and attending our stimulating exhibitions.

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Gaelic language - Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG) was established with Scottish Office support in 1984 as a co-ordinating Gaelic development agency. Operating at local, regional and national levels, CnaG is a company with charitable status and a management board which includes representatives from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Local Authorities, all major Gaelic development bodies and co-opted individuals.

CNAG aims to achieve Secure Status for Gaelic and to promote and establish the conditions for Gaelic to grow and flourish, by working in partnership with others, particularly through Gaelic Medium Education, cultural enrichment and community development.

Active abilities (speaking, reading, writing Gaelic) are claimed by 65,674 persons in 2001. Passive abilities (understanding) claimed by an additional 26,724. This makes a total of 92,398 who speak, read, write or understand Gaelic. The decline in Gaelic speakers has slowed down since 1991. The annual decrease between 1981 - 1991 was 1,333; but between 1991 - 2001 it was almost halved to 743 (55%). 

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Leisure Pursuits - What makes Scotland such a hugely popular tourist destination is the sheer range of activities packed into such a small and accessible country.  Scotland offers a wide range of outdoor pursuits to suit your preferred pace and element, whether its golfing, fishing, cycling, hillwalking, skiing or a raft of extreme sports from snow-boarding and quad-biking to white-water canoeing and micro-lighting - all with a backdrop of some of Britain's wildest and most beautiful scenery.