If you thought Scotland was simply a land of mystical mountains and fairytale castles (And, okay, rain…) think again: it’s true that you’re likely to come across all of those things during your Scotland road trip (especially the rain), but there’s much more to the country than just its – admittedly spectacular – scenery. Here are 43 of the most interesting facts about Scotland, for you to read up on before you arrive…

43 Interesting Facts About Scotland


  1. Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn.
  2. The shortest scheduled flight in the world is from Westray to Papa Westray in Scotland, lasting only 2 minutes.
  3. Scotland has over 790 islands.
  4. Golf originated in Scotland during the 15th century.
  5. The national dish of Scotland is haggis.
  6. Scotland is home to the Loch Ness Monster – allegedly.
  7. Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own fire brigade.
  8. The Bank of Scotland, established in 1695, is the oldest surviving bank in the country.
  9. Scotland has more than 600 castles, including the famous Edinburgh Castle.
  10. The traditional musical instrument of Scotland is the bagpipe.
  11. The highest mountain in Scotland is Ben Nevis, standing at 1,345 meters (4,411 feet).
  12. The St. Andrews University in Scotland is the third oldest university in the English-speaking world.
  13. Scotland has its own legal system, separate from the rest of the United Kingdom.
  14. The official animal of Shetland is the Shetland pony.
  15. The official flower of Scotland is the thistle.
  16. The Kelpies, two massive horse head sculptures, are the largest equine sculptures in the world.
  17. The game of curling was invented in Scotland.
  18. The Scottish Gaelic language is still spoken in some parts of the country.
  19. The national instrument of Scotland is the fiddle.
  20. Scotland’s national poet is Robert Burns.
  21. The capital city of Scotland is Edinburgh.
  22. The world’s first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, was born in Scotland in 1996.
  23. The official color of Scotland is blue.
  24. The Forth Bridge in Scotland is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  25. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual event that showcases military bands and performances.
  26. The popular children’s character, Winnie the Pooh, was named after a bear from Winnipeg, Canada, which was originally from Scotland.
  27. The Isle of Skye is known for its breathtaking landscapes and rugged mountains.
  28. Scotland has its own distinct tartans and kilts.
  29. The world-famous Scotch whisky is produced in Scotland.
  30. The Scottish Borders region is famous for its textile industry and cashmere production.
  31. The Highland Games, featuring traditional Scottish sports and activities, are held annually in various locations.
  32. The Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh is a modern architectural marvel.
  33. The official motto of Scotland is “In My Defens God Me Defend.”
  34. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world.
  35. Scottish inventors contributed to major inventions such as the telephone, television, and penicillin.
  36. The Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland is featured in the Harry Potter films.
  37. Scotland’s national bird is the golden eagle.
  38. The traditional Scottish dish of deep-fried Mars bars gained international fame.
  39. The Isle of Arran is often referred to as “Scotland in Miniature” due to its diverse landscapes.
  40. The Orkney Islands are home to some of the oldest and best-preserved Neolithic sites in Europe.
  41. The town of St. Andrews is considered the birthplace of golf and is home to the famous Old Course.
  42. The town of Inverness is believed to be the mythical home of Macbeth.
  43. The Scottish Highlands are known for their stunning lochs, including Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, and Loch Maree.

43 Interesting facts about Scotland

Photo: Jim Devine on Unsplash