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Watch Scotland Revealed online: Episode 1 The Lowlands and Central Belt

The first episode of a stunning new STV series which starts on Thursday, Scotland Revealed begins on an amazing journey to look at the countrys breathtaking landscape. As geographer and presenter Vanessa Collingridge says at the start of the show, Scotland is a land of dramatic contrasts and extraordinary beauty, containing Britains highest mountains, wildest coasts and some of its most memorable cities. The first episode starts in Edinburgh, which hosts more than two million tourists every year. It turns out that the cosmopolitan capital conceals a fascinating history - a history you can see only if you know where to look, and architectural historian Charles McKean is on hand to explain how this unique city developed. Then theres a hundred-mile journey of the borders and cities of the bustling central belt. As Vanessa puts it: The Borders may not provide the dramatic scenery of the Western Highlands, however the beautiful but blood stained landscape of this Anglo-Scottish border has massively shaped its culture and history. She gets to explore a civil conflict which lasted for around 300 years - one which featured the infamous Border Reivers - before getting straight to the heart of Glasgow. The nations biggest city is also its most densely populated with almost 600,000 people in its centre and 1.8 million living in the greater Glasgow area, and theres a special look at the impact of the River Clyde with city historian Neil Baxter. After that its time to head north to the gateway to the Highlands, Stirling, exploring Scotlands amazing canal system. In 1777 The Clyde and Forth Canal was the only one to cross an entire country linking sea to sea. A project to restore this navigability brought us the magnificent 84.5m Falkirk Wheel, which allows boats to once again make the 35 metre leap from one canal to the other. Then focussing on Stirling, historian Fiona Watson explains why during centuries of English invasion it was perfectly positioned to be the linchpin of power in Scotland.

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