With over twenty countries under our belt, we feel more patriotic than ever and for that reason we have put together a list of 25 reasons to visit Scotland. They do say absence makes the heart grow fonder, so here’s why Caledonia will always be our favourite.
1. Scottish Redheads
Around 13% of the Scottish population have red hair which is the highest proportion of any other country in the world. A crazy 40% of the population are carriers of the redhead gene. Baby Braves all over the shop.
The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn. It was apparently the enemy of the Lion, which just so happens to be the National animal of England.
Believe it or not, chicken Tikka Masala was invented in Glasgow and despite common belief Buckfast was actually made by an Abbey in Devon, yup Englandshire.
4. Irn Bru
Scotland is the only country in the world where Coca-Cola is not the number 1 soft drink. Bonus fact: when asked to donate an item to the National Museum of Scotland, Sean Connery chose a crate of Irn Bru.
The telephone, television, golf and two wheeled bicycle were all invented in Scotland.
In 2009, Thailand’s Kai Bae Beach accidentally used a photo of Berneray island in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides as their promotional picture. Who needs South East Asia when you’ve the bonnie white sands of Scotland?
Despite it being our National dish, imports of Haggis have been banned in the US since the 70s, but you know, guns are less lethal.
The small Scots town of Bonnybridge is the UFO capital of the world with over 300 sightings per year. It’s quite common for Scots to get confused when they see a glowing light from the sky, sunshine doesn’t happen often. Who needs area 51 when you’ve Falkirk?
9. Game of Thrones
Although you probably know the obvious Scottish characters, did you know The Red Wedding was based on a historical event in Edinburgh.
10. Scottish Castles
Historical figures show Scotland is home to over 2000 castles. There are so many that you have roughly one for every 100 sq. miles!
Scotland is made up of over 790 islands – only 100 are permanently inhabited.
12. Harry Potter
Scotland is Harry Potter’s “birthplace” and any fans of the wee wizard will recognise a few famous spots. Firstly, J K Rowling crafted HP in a café in Edinburgh. The famous glen of Glencoe was featured in ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’. And, if you can, take the Jacobite steam train just like the Hogwarts express over the actual Glenfinnan Viaduct. No need for flights to Florida for Universal studios!
13. Beaches – Part 2
(That good, we’re mentioning them twice.) Mainland Scotland has 6,160 miles (9,910 km) of coastline. This is three times larger than England’s and twice that of France or Spain. If you include the numerous islands, it increases to an astonishing 10,250 miles (16,500 km). Imagine more sunbathing spots than Spain! Just a shame there’s no sun.
14. The Loch Ness Monster (Nessie)
Chances are you’ve heard of Loch Ness Monster, from the famous Loch Ness. Have you heard of Morag though? The monster of Loch Morar which is actually the deepest Loch in Scotland, with Ness being the largest in terms of Volume. Pub Quiz trivia right there.
We did say we like old buildings, but not just castles. Scotland is home to buildings older than the Egyptian Pyramids – Bay of Skaill in the Orkney archipelago, Skara Brae is a stone-built Neolithic settlement dating back to about 3200 B.C.
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain not only in Scotland but at 1,344 meters (4,409 feet) it is the highest mountain in the U.K.
Yes the rumours are true, we eat our porridge with salt and it was once customary to eat it standing up. Oh and only mix it clockwise for good luck!
Like a beach and wanna sleep on it? In Scotland you can camp anywhere as of the access rights established by the Land Reform Act of 2003. . It’s known as the “right to roam” act. Wild camping is illegal in England, Wales & Northern Ireland but pop over the border and you can rest your wee heid wherever you wish.
Let’s not forget our other national drink, Whisky. There are over 100 distilleries in Scotland, with new ones emerging all the time.
20. Scottish Golf Courses
Going hand in hand with whisky, there are over 500 golf courses in Scotland.
In the heart of Scotland at Fortingall, in Perthshire you can find one of Europe’s oldest trees, the Fortingall Yew. Experts speculate that the tree may be 5,000 years old.
Scotland are experts at frying anything. Battered pizza? No problem. Battered Haggis? Of course. Battered Mars Bar? Nope, we didn’t make that up.
It’s no secret Scots love a dram and a good party, but Hogmanay is the Scottish New Year’s Eve and several traditions are involved (including the other national dish – Stovies). The morning after (or any time after midnight on the 31st of December) usually involves First Footing to bring luck to your home for the year ahead. Traditionally, the first guest to your home should bring a lump of coal, to represent well wishes that your home will always be warm. Whisky to represent you will always be warm and watered. Thirdly, food (traditionally shortbread or similar) to represent your belly will always be full. The luckiest first footer was a tall, dark and handsome man. The unluckiest a red head and the unluckiest of all a red-haired woman. That’s me and Daz crossed off the first footing list.
Forget pretty petals, the Scotland’s national flower is a feisty wee one just like its people. Legend has it that an Army of King Haakon of Norway, intent on conquering the Scots landed at the Coast of Largs at night to surprise the sleeping Scottish Clansmen. In order to move more quietly in the dark the Norsemen removed their shoes. One of Haakon’s men unfortunately stood on the spikey stem of the thistle, shrieked out in pain, alerting the Clansmen of the advancing Norsemen. Needless to say the Scots won that day.
25. Robbie Burns
The National poet and our very own Shakespeare who also wrote the version of Auld Lang Syne the world now sings today. His Birthday is January 25th where traditionally the national dish of haggis, neeps & tatties are enjoyed in his honour.
Hopefully after our wee round up of wizards and whisky, beaches and Buckfast, we have been able to answer the question, why visit Scotland? We are sure that Caledonia is calling you too!
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