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15 Fun Facts about Scotland you might not know

When you think of Scotland, you might think of the iconic kilt and bagpipes or even the glowing Irn-Bru. But, there are so many facts about Scotland that are waiting to be revealed!

A vast range of attractions awaits you here, including spectacular castles, geological features and distinctive delicacies. With its watery folklore and tartan fabrics, Scotland is a country steeped with history, tales and interesting facts!

Scotland has around 790 islands

As facts about Scotland go, this one is sure to have you thinking about a holiday! Off the coast, there are a whopping 790 Scottish islands, but only 240 of them have people living on them.

Some of the most beautiful islands include the Isle of Lewis, Harris, Mainland Shetland, and Mainland Orkney, as well as the Isle of Arran, and the Isle of Skye.

As of 2020, travelers can go to the granite islet of Rockall, coordinated by people who specialise in adventurous trips to areas such as Chornobyl.

For 15-20 minutes, explorers can stand atop the volcanic plug’s mound and take in the occasional sea vistas. For those wanting thrill, this is guaranteed to be an amazing event!

Scotland is home to the oldest tree in Europe

Located in the geographical middle of Scotland, the Fortingall Yew is one of Europe’s oldest life forms and lies in the modest Fortingall graveyard.

The estimations for the ancient tree’s age vary significantly, from 3,000 years old to 9,000 years old. While it is impossible to determine the tree’s exact age, most estimations place it nearer to 5,000 years old making it as old as Stonehenge!

The circumference of the yew’s multiple trunks was measured at 52 feet in 1769! This is the length of one and a half London buses!

Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own fire department


There are many intriguing facts about Scotland, but one of the best incorporates facts about Edinburgh! Edinburgh was the first city in the world with a fire department. Under James Braidwood, it became the UK’s first municipal fire service in 1824.

Instead of sporting the now well-known standard yellow-striped outfit, the firemen wore dark blue tunics with brass buttons and white canvas trousers and carried an axe, hose, spanner, and cable.

There are around 600 square kilometers of freshwater lakes

Next up on our amazing facts about Scotland is sure to impress water aficionados!

Scotland boasts a coastline that runs over 6,000 miles, as well as more than 600 square miles of stunning lochs, including the world-famous Loch Ness.

From Harry Potter filming locations to fabled animals, Scotland’s large array of freshwater lakes provides abundant opportunity for wild swimming.

The official animal of Scotland is the Unicorn

The unicorn symbolises purity, innocence, masculinity, and strength in Celtic mythology.

Since Scottish history is rich with myths and stories, it makes fitting that a mythical animal like the unicorn would be the country’s symbol. In Scotland’s coat of arms, a golden chain is depicted going around the unicorn’s neck and around its body.

It was thought that the unicorn was the most powerful, wild, and untamable animal and that only a young woman who had never been married could tame it. The entrapment of the chain reflects the strength of the Scottish monarchs, who were strong enough to tame even a unicorn.

The highest proportion of redheads is in Scotland

Less than 2% of the global population has red hair. But in Scotland, the number fluctuates from 6-13%!

Red-haired persons can generate vitamin D more effectively due to their genetic potential. Vitamin D is important for healthy bones, teeth, neurological systems, and the immune system.

Redheads need less time and sun exposure to produce vitamin D. This affords them a genetic edge in cold, dreary places like Scotland over people with diverse hair colours.

Scotland undertook a DNA program to count all redheads in the country and discovered 650,000, or one in eight. 1.6 million Scots possess the red-haired gene, researchers suggest.

Another amusing fact about Edinburgh is that it actually has the most redheads in the world, making it the redhead capital!

Scotland is home to the tallest waterfall in Britain

Eas a’ Chual Aluinn is a 658-foot waterfall, three times the height of Niagara Falls. The lonely, desolate wildness of the Scottish Highlands continues to whet the curiosity of enthusiastic British explorers and is the tallest waterfall in the UK.

Because of its odd location, tourists who wish to witness the falls can either walk the six-kilometre hike or travel over Loch Beag lake where the waterfall lands.

St. Andrew’s Links is renowned as the “home of golf”

Scotland is regarded for having some of the top golf courses in the world, but St. Andrews is known as the “Home of Golf.” Even though King James forbade golf in 1457, the earliest recorded game was in 1552 in St. Andrews.

With each passing century, golf got more popular, and in 1754, 22 noblemen and gentlemen of the Kingdom of Fife formed the Society of St. Andrews Golfers.

This legendary firm morphed became the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the game’s founding club. In 1897, the “Rules of Golf” were written by this club.

Even though there have been 29 Old Course Open Championships, the R&A is still looked up to. All the golf courses at St. Andrews Links are owned by the public, which makes it a must-see for golf aficionados from all over the world.

The raincoat was invented in Scotland

If you’ve ever been outside on a rainy UK festival day, nestled under a thick raincoat, you have Charles Macintosh to thank!

Adding to the expanding list of facts about Glasgow, Macintosh was really born there in 1766 and is a Scottish scientist and developer of waterproof materials.

In 1818, Macintosh detected dissolved indiarubber while examining the effluent from a plant manufacturing coal gas. After using this combination to glue two pieces of fabric together, he let them dry and found the resulting material was resistant to rain.

Macintosh, in partnership with chemist George Hancock, created a system for effectively making waterproof sheets and apparel.

Scotland is home to the shortest commercial flight in the world


The world’s shortest flight travels from Westray to Papa Westray, taking roughly one minute from one Scottish island to another. As you may think, it’s fairly cheap to travel between these two Orkney Northern Isles.

Hop on this eight-seater Britten-Norman Islander for an amazing flying experience and come home with your own certificate as a souvenir.

The little islands feature a collection of amazing attractions including sandy beaches, historical delights and natural wonders. So whether you’re looking a break by the shore or a walking trip, this short glide will transport you to a selection of attractions.

Scotland has three languages


Hello! Halò! The official languages of Scotland are English, Scottish Gaelic, and Scots.

Scottish Gaelic is an old Celtic language that originated from Old Irish, whilst Scots is a Germanic language that is close to English but is recognised as its own language.

Try and brush up on these famous Scottish pleasantries before your travel to the nation!

Bonnybridge is the UFO capital of the globe

Next on our list of facts about Scotland is all about the supernatural. The modest village of Bonnybridge in Scotland is now generally acknowledged as the UFO centre of the world.

Every year, residents of the town claim to observe approximately 300 strange flying objects in the sky above them. Why not visit and see if you can spot one yourself on a holiday to a central Scotland cottage?

Edinburgh is one of the most haunted cities in the UK


Aside from its repute as a cultural powerhouse, the city of Edinburgh is also recognized to be one of the spookiest spots in the UK. In a country with a lot of past, it’s no surprise that frightening stories engulf these historic streets.

Edinburgh Castle maintains the title of being one of the most haunted of its kind. Many people hear the headless drummer playing a tune, and people allege that the castle’s captives roam the dungeons. This certainly is one of the spookiest things about Scotland!

There are claims that there are more than 44 abandoned places in the city, thus there are a lot of spooky locations waiting to be found. If you want more, it’s worth touring around the UK to unearth a plethora of abandoned places!

Chicken Tikka Masala originated in Scotland

Apparently, the world-famous dish of chicken tikka masala was initially discovered in Glasgow, despite curry being a typical Indian meal.

Ali Ahmed Aslam, a Pakistani chef, is reported to have invented the curry by combining tomato soup and spices to a blend of yoghurt, and cream. This occurred after a diner stated his dinner was too dry!

Since 1971, it’s evident that no one knows where the dish comes from, and the riddle of the masala is not going to be solved. Even though it is one of the most popular dishes in the world, haggis, battered Mars bars, and whisky is what Scotland is best known for.

Scotland is famous for its Whisky

We all know the Scots are famed for their love of drink! With 130 whiskey distilleries, Scotland has the largest concentration of whiskey production in the world.

One of the most famous traditional Scottish products is “water of life” – uisge beatha in Gaelic.

A significant attribute of Scottish whisky is its variety! Peated, smokey overtones characterize Islay whiskey, while sweeter notes are present in Speyside whisky. However, the cornerstone of all of these goods is malted barley.

However, Scottish whisky is no longer the sole popular alcoholic beverage in Scotland. It might surprise you to know that Scotland is also a significant gin producer, with more than 90 gin distilleries to explore.

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Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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