Scotland is in located north-west Europe and is part of Great Britain.
The former Kingdom of Scotland (until 1603) is today one of the four constituent nations which form the United Kingdom, it occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain.
Scotland is the second largest country in the UK, after England.
Scotland shares a border with England.
Scotland has 3 officially recognised languages: English, Scots and Scottish Gaelic, with just one per cent of the population using the last.
Population of Scotland was 5,347,600 in mid-2014.
Hilly Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, has a medieval Old Town and an elegant Georgian New Town, with gardens and neoclassical buildings.
The largest city is Glasgow, and other major cities include Aberdeen and Dundee.
Scotland includes approximately 790 islands. These include groups called Orkney, Shetland and the Hebrides.
The Scottish Highlands are a mountainous region of Scotland with historical importance and a low population density.
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland.Standing at 1,344 meteres (4409 feet) above sea leve.
The thistle may only be a humble weed, but it is the emblem of the Scottish nation. The prickly-leaved, pink or purple-flowered ‘Scotch’ thistle is, along with tartan, perhaps the most identifiable symbol of all things Scottish.
The official animal of Scotland is the Unicorn, appreciated for its purity and strength.
Scotland has a unique culture with traditions such as bagpipes, kilts and highland dancing.
The most infamous Scottish dish is haggis, normally made with sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver, and lungs), minced with onion, suet , oatmeal, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal’s stomach for approximately an hour.
The Loch Ness “monster” – affectionately known as “Nessie” – is an alleged plesiosaur-like creature living in Loch Ness, a long, deep lake near Inverness, Scotland.
The modern game of golf originated in Scotland in the 15th century.
The world’s first international rugby match was played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh on 27 March 1871, opposing Scotland to England.
The world’s first international football (soccer) match, Scotland v England, took place on 30 November 1872 at Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow.
Built in 1898, the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the West Highland Line in Glenfinnan is a must-see for both train as well as architecture fans.
Scotland is reputed for its whisky, known outside Scotland as Scotch Whisky. What few people know is that whisky was invented in China, and was first distilled by monks in Ireland in the early 15th century before reaching Scotland 100 years later.
Famous Scottish actors include Sean Connery, Gerard Butler and Ewan McGregor.
Scotland is world famous for its castles, not just because so many are immaculately preserved but also because many are set against some of the most breathtaking scenery in Britain
There are over 3000 castles in Scotland.
Perched high above the capital, the Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most important and famous castle.
The Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae , on the island of Orkney, is the oldest building in Britain, dating from 3100 BC.
The Fortingall Yew is an ancient European yew in the churchyard of the village of Fortingall in Perthshire, Scotland. Modern expert estimates have put its age over 3,000 years.
Scotland has the highest proportion of red-haired people in the world. As much as 13% of the Scottish population has red hair and approximately 40% carry the recessive redhead gene.
Scottish drivers use the left-hand side of the road.
The world record for the longest echo in a man-made structure has been set in an underground fuel depot constructed in Scotland before World War Two.
The world’s shortest commercial flight takes place between the two Orkney Islands, Westray and Papa Westray, just north of Scotland, separated by a distance of only 2.7 kilometers (1.7 miles). Operated by Loganair, the flight duration is officially 2 minutes, but under ideal wind condition can be completed in only 47 seconds.
The raincoat was invented in 1824 in Scotland by Charles Macintosh, a chemist born in Glasgow.
Scotland is known as “Alba” in Gaelic.
The motto of Scotland is “Nemo me impune lacessit”, or: “No one provokes me with impunity”. It is used by the Order of the Thistle and on later versions of the Royal coat of arms.