66 Interesting Facts About Scotland

Last updated on November 14th, 2017

#39. Glasgow was once the music capital of the world, and the Britannia Panopticon is the oldest surviving music hall in the world.

#40. The next first for Glasgow comes from the world of medicine. Ultrasound, which is used to takes the first pictures of a human inside a womb was first used in Glasgow hospitals during the 1950’s.

#41. Edinburgh is sometimes referred to as the Athens of the North, due to its historical charm straight from the Neolithic ages.

#42. Edinburgh is a city built on seven hills. The other cities in this “7 hill club” are Rome, Moscow, and Madrid.

#43. Though the population of Edinburgh is half a million, a staggering 13+ million tourists visit the city. That means 26 tourists for every local.

#44. The Royal Mile of Edinburgh is the most iconic part of the city. Leading straight to an even classier downtown, this street was once used to be the favorite street walk for powerful kings and noblemen.

#45. The reason for so many castles is the clan-based system of Scotland. A great number of ancient clans have existed since the birth of civilization in Scotland.

#46. The simple Thistle plant is the national symbol of Scotland.

The Thistle, Scotland's national flower
The Thistle, Scotland’s national flower. Image credit – Ewan Munro

#47. New Year in Scotland is a time of fun, frolic, and festivity. The unique Hogmanay festival is observed on the 1st day of each year and the skies are always lit with fireworks, from dusk to dawn.

#48. The next big January event in Scotland is the birthday of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. It’s as big as any Scottish celebration so prepare your legs for some dance.

#49. Speaking of dancing, Scots are world famous dancers. There are an amazing 15000 documented types of Scottish country dancing. Experts believe that the number of undocumented ones far exceeds the ones recorded.

#50. Whisky is the Scottish gift to the world. In the local Gaelic language Whisky translates into “water of life.”

#51. The most famous spot in Edinburgh is the city’s downtown, the Grass market. It’s a classic place with cobbled streets, old-style shops, and interesting statues. It also used to be a public hanging spot.

#52. A fishwife named Maggie Dickson was hanged here, but she later woke up from her coffin. Nothing haunted, she simply didn’t die. The irony is Scottish law had to set her free as she already served her punishment.

#53. Scotland’s official name is Unicorn.

#54. Scotland is the second largest country in the U.K after England. The U.K comprises of four countries including Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England.

#55. In the north eastern Scotland, they call girls – “quines” and boys – “louns.”

#56. If you want to see the oldest tree in Europe, you should head to Fortingall, Scotland. The tree is no less than 3000 years old.

#57. Television lovers note that John Logie Beurd, a Scott, invented the television in 1925.

#58. Andy Murray is a famous Scottish tennis player. He has won some Grand Slam titles and is currently ranked among the top three players in the world.

#59. Scotland is also blessed to have the oldest working post office in the world – at Sanqurar, established in 1712.

#60. Note that Forbes Magazine’s owner Bertie Charles Forbes was born is Scotland.

#61. Rugby fans should learn that the world’s first international rugby match was played in Scotland.

#62. Scotland has nearly 790 islands, of which 130 are inhibited.

#63. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the region.

#64. The word “Scot” is found in Latin texts from the fourth century describing a tribe which sailed from Ireland to raid Roman Britain – Wikipedia.

#65. Raincoat was invented in Scotland.

#66. In 2014 voting was conducted in Scotland to ask the people whether they wanted Scotland to be an independent country or a part of the U.K. 55.3% of voters answered “No” and 44.7% answered “Yes”, with a voter turnout of 84.5%.

Some old Scottish sayings and their meanings

  • Skinny Malinky Longlegs! – A tall thin person.
  • Failing means yer playin! – When you fail at something at least you’re trying.
  • Mony a mickle maks a muckle! – Saving a small amount soon builds up to a large amount.
  • Dinnae marry fur money! – Don’t marry for money – you can borrow it cheaper.
  • Do yer dinger. – Loudly express disapproval.
  • We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s bairns! – We’re all God’s children, nobody is better than anybody else – we’re all equal.
  • Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye! – What’s meant to happen will happen.
  • Lang may yer lum reek! – May you live long and stay well.
  • Haud yer wheesht! – Be quiet.

Scotland – country at a glance

Capital CityEdinburgh
55°57′N 3°11′W
Largest CityGlasgow
55°51′N 4°16′W
Land Area30,090 sq mi
Population5,373,000 (2015 estimate)
Official LanguageEnglish
BordersEngland
CurrencyPound sterling (GBP)
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Average Life Span76.8 Years (2014)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Time ZoneGMT (UTC​)
Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
GDP$245.267 billion
Calling Code+44
Drives on theLeft