You’ve heard of Scotland, England’s neighbor to the north! Known for its lush scenery, rolling hills, iconic castles, kilts, and bagpipes–Scotland is an excellent addition to any travel bucket list. Its rich history, filled with legends, myths, and traditions, gives Scotland a host of interesting facts you might not be aware of!
Test your knowledge, did you know:
- Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn. The Scots have a long history of respecting mythical creatures. Local folklore is full of elves, spirits, fairies, ghosts, and even giants–making this long veneered creature a perfect symbol of their country.
- The Fortingall Yew, the oldest living thing in Britain, is in Scotland! The ancient tree is estimated to be between 2,000 and 3,000 years old.
- Golf was invented in Scotland, and the sport has been played there since the 15th Century! The world’s first and oldest golf course, St Andrews, is located in Scotland and is considered by many to be the true home of the sport.
- There are approximately 790 small islands that are also part of Scotland. The most interesting part? Approximately 660 of those are uninhabited!
- Because of its clan-based system, Scotland is truly a land of castles. There are over 300 castles, all different shapes, sizes, and architectural styles but they are (almost) all incredibly well preserved and open for visitors!
- The deepest loch in Scotland is actually not Loch Ness. Loch Morar reaches 1077ft down and is rumored to have its own monster, Morag.
- Scotland has its own legal system separate from the rest of the UK. Juries there can return a verdict of “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “not proven.”
- Among some of Scotland’s most famous inventions are the telephone, penicillin and the raincoat!
- Scotland was an independent country until 1603 when the king of Scotland became the king of England–not the other way around.
- Scotland may be known for its whiskey, but that whiskey was actually invented in China!
Want to learn more about Scotland? Experience the kingdom of the north through the stories of the Scots on our new Stories of Scotland tour!