Want to know why Scotland is so incredible? Minus the terrible four-season climate, windy corners, and dark, miserable summer days. Being half-Scottish, I enjoy visiting. I have lived here for more than four years.
I came here from London, living in Edinburgh, it felt like a baby London, with friendly people, small and inviting environments, and less hectic/claustrophobic places. Here are just a few fantastic and unknown facts you didn’t know about Scotland!
- Aberdeen has become an important centre for the oil industry after discovering oil in the North Sea.
- The Gulf of Corryvreckan, in the Inner Hebrides, has the third largest whirlpool in the world.
- Scottish dishes are well-known for their weird names, like Forfar Bridie (a meat pastry), Cock-a-leekie (soup), Collops (escalope), Crappit heid (fish dish), Finnan haddie (haddock fish), Arbroath Smokie (smoked haddock), Cullen Skink (haddock soup), Partan bree (seafood dish), Mince and tatties (minced meat and potatoes), Rumbledethumps, Skirlie…
- The Hamilton Mausoleum in South Lanarkshire has the longest echo of any man-made structure in the world; a whole 15 seconds.
- Rubislaw Quarry is Britain’s deepest quarry (142 m) and one of the biggest man-made holes in Europe. It closed in 1971 and is now partly filled with water.
- Scotland has over 300 railway stations.
- Edinburgh is Europe’s fifth-largest financial centre.
- Scotland’s smallest distillery, Edradour in Pitlochry, has 100,000 visitors per year but produces just 90,000 litres of malt whisky.
- The official religion of Scotland is Christianity, with churches traditionally being called “kirks”.
- The flower of Scotland is the thistle.
- The University of St Andrews, founded in 1413, is the third oldest university in the UK after Oxford and Cambridge. It welcomed Britain’s first female student in 1862. It is also here that the world’s first students’ union came into existence in 1882, while the world’s oldest students’ union building was the purpose-built Teviot Row at Edinburgh University, built-in 1889.
- The Bank of Scotland, founded in 1695, is the oldest surviving bank in the UK. It was also the first bank in Europe to print its banknotes, a function it still performs today.
- Famous names from Scottish literature include Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
- The raincoat was invented in 1824 in Scotland by Charles Macintosh, a chemist born in Glasgow. In Great Britain, the garment is still called a “Mac”.
- The shortest scheduled flight in the world is one-and-a-half miles long from Westray to Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. The journey takes 1 minute and 14 seconds to complete.
- Scotland has some 790 islands, 130 of which are inhabited.
- The Herald, Scotland’s leading newspaper, is Britain’s and one of the world’s oldest continuously published English-language newspapers. It was first published on January 27, 1783 as the Glasgow Advertiser.
- The Asda Walmart Almondvale Shopping Centre in Livingston is the largest of its kind in Europe.
- Famous Scottish inventions include the television, developed by John Logie Baird in 1925; the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell (pictured below) in 1876; and penicillin, by Alexander Fleming in 1928.
- Nicola Sturgeon, MSP, First Minister of Scotland
- The official animal of Scotland is the unicorn.
- The St Andrews Links is considered the “home of golf”; the sport has been played there since the 15th century.
- The Encyclopædia Britannica, the world’s oldest surviving encyclopedia and one of the most scholarly of encyclopedias, was first published between 1768 and 1771 in Edinburgh. The first nine editions (out of fifteen so far) were all edited in Scotland. From 1901 it was edited conjointly in New York City and London.
- Edinburgh was the first city in the world with its own fire brigade, in 1824.
- Forbes Magazine was founded in 1917 by Scottish-born journalist Bertie Charles Forbes in New York.
- Scotland has more than 600 square miles of freshwater lakes, including the famous Loch Ness.
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