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30 Things Scotland Is Famous For

30 Things Scotland Is Famous For

There are many world-famous, remarkable places to see in Scotland. In this article, we tackle plenty of reasons why the city is so popular!

Get ready to explore with us and learn about some insider tips as we go along this article. With that said, keep reading for more!

What is so famous about Scotland?

Scotland is famous for its fantastic lochs, arts and music scene, whisky distilleries, impressive golf courses, and even unique delicacies. 

Read on as we delve into them individually below. 

1. Scottish Whisky 

Scottish Whisky
Photo by SocialButterlyMMG from Pixabay

Let’s start with the most obvious one–Scottish whisky. We are in fact the main producers of this heavenly drink!

Thus, if you’re to visit our city, you’d see plenty of distilleries in different sites like the Glengoyne Distillery, Ben Nevis Distillery and Glenkinchie Distillery. 

What’s more: Our city produces over 1 billion bottles in a year, with blended, single malt and single grain. And we’ve been doing this since the 13th century!

You can also learn about whisky production when you visit one of these distilleries, and even join whisky tasting (usually done at the end of the tour). 

2. Haggis

Photo by deliciousmagazine from Pinterest

Haggis has always been included in most–if not all–of the shop menus in Scotland. It’s a traditional Scottish dish you must try when you visit our homeland. 

It’s served in several variations like beef, pork, lamb, and venison, along with sheep offal. Haggis is tasty and scrumptious, and ideally consumed with side dishes like mashed potato or salad.

You can also partner it with rice, particularly if you wish to savour it during lunch! Feel free to accompany it with Scottish whisky, if you like. 

Fun fact: It’s mostly served during Burns Night in January, a celebration for Robert Burns, who is a famous Scottish poet. This celebration commenced by paying homage to Robert’s passion for haggis.

3. Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness Monster
Photo by GregMontani from Pixabay

Reading ‘monster’ at first glance can be quite scary, but this is another reason why Scotland is popular. 

Old people claimed to have seen this huge and long-necked monster in Loch Ness even though we haven’t seen it for years. Despite having photographs from the 20th century, the scientific community affirmed these photos to be false. 

Regardless, many tourists brave the loch and join boat trips to this day, hoping to see the monster if it’s indeed true. 

4. Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink
Photo by glasgowist from Pinterest

Cullen Skink is among the many things unique to Scotland. It originated in the town of Cullen in Moray, where it got its name. 

Similar to haggis, this soup is usually included in the menu of restaurants in Scotland and is used as a starter course. It is very popular for its smoked haddock and mashed potato ingredients.

We love this soup with parsley leaves, springs and crusty bread. The overall taste is just superb – it’s creamy, palatable and very appetising as a starter course.

If you’re in Scotland, make sure to try this one upon your visit! 

5. Scottish Wool

Scottish Wool
Photo by wantlesessentials from Pinterest 

Aside from whisky, we’re also proud of our own Scottish wool. In fact, we’re one of the biggest manufacturers of wool all over the world as there are lots of sheep farms to see in our city. 

What’s more fun is that you can even visit these wool mills in our area to learn about fleece production!

6. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival
PHOTOGRAPH FREE TO USE FOR FIRST USE…Edinburgh street artists perform in Edinburgh on the last weekend of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2009. This year saw a record number of acts perform representing the best dance, theatre and comedy.

When we say Scotland is famous for its arts and music scene, this is what we mean. 

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is, in fact, the biggest arts festival across the globe which first commenced in 1947.

When you attend our prestigious festival, you can see a variety of music, dance, and comedy events. Whichever rides up your alley best, there’s likely to be something you’d enjoy here.

Through this festival, you’ll also discover amateur to well-known artists, which can be a great way to expound your knowledge in the industry.

7. Lochs

Photo by CameraMan095 from Pixabay

Lochs are just one of the plenty things we boast about when in Scotland. 

With a good number of rivers in our city like Loch Lomond, Loch Maree, Loch Assynt and Loch Shiel, you’d get a view of incredible scenery when you visit our homeland.

You can also do lots of fun things to do in these lochs! May it be hiking, cruising, fishing or camping, there’s always something for you to enjoy.

8. Redheads

Photo by melachonliaphotography from Pixabay

Yes, you read that right! 

Did you know that 13% of our population is composed of red-haired residents? 

Scotland actually has the most number of redheads in the world!

9. Golf

Photo by bedrck from Pixabay

St. Andrews is the home of golf located on Scotland’s east coast, just 30 miles away from Edinburgh.

That being said, several golf courses are available here like Trump Turnberry, North Berwick, Castle Stuart, and Royal Aberdeen. 

There are also golf museums, such as The R&A World Golf Museum and British Golf Museum.

But St. Andrews isn’t the only place where you can see golf in Scotland. There are many other cities that are prime golfing spots. 

In fact, we house the 5th largest golf course in the world, Royal Dornoch Club Golf, located in the ever-famous Dornoch.

And, did you know that there are 550 golf courses here? So, if you’re a golf enthusiast, then you might enjoy visiting our motherland.

10. Harry Potter

Harry Potter
Photo from Wikipedia

We bet that you’ve heard of The Boy Who Lived in the world-famous novel-turned-movie, Harry Potter. But did you know that it was actually set in Scotland and the prestigious Hogwarts University was inspired by the University of Glasgow?

Hence, if you like to visit these filming location sites like The Jacobite Steam Train, Glenfinnan Viaduct, and Rannoch Moor, then a holiday in Scotland would be nice!

11. Neeps and Tatties

Neeps and Tatties
Photo by christinascucina from Pinterest

Scrumptious Neeps and Tatties are what we always crave for due to its heavenly taste. 

It’s often served with haggis, turnips, mashed potatoes, and green peas – fondly dubbed “Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties”. Bias aside, we think it’s yummy, piquant, and feels divine in every bite.

What we love most about this dish is it’s cooked in a pot, which boosts its oozy flavour in every serving. 

You can find it on many different restaurant menus since this is a traditional Scottish dish. 

12. Tartan and Kilts

Tartan and Kilts
Photo by niki_vogt from Pixabay

Tartan is another unique thing from Scotland. It’s a patterned cloth often used in clothes by clans in the Highlands.

Kilts, on the other hand, have been a tradition in our city for several centuries. So, if you want to have solid proof you’ve been here, we highly recommend you purchase a tartan scarf or kilt before leaving! 

13. The Scottish Accent

The Scottish Accent
Photo by Miller_Eszter from Pixabay

We know that our accents are what most tourists love about us, and this is what we’re really proud of as well.

However, Scotland doesn’t only have one distinguished accent. If you travel from region to region, you’ll notice that we talk differently.

Also, each region has their own distinct language, particularly on the Isle of Skye and other parts of the highland where the Gaelic accent is more well-conversed.

14. Bagpipes

Photo by monsieur_raddar from Pixabay

Bagpipes are often used during festivals, weddings or any special occasion here in Scotland.

In fact, we have had this instrument since the Roman Empire and has been a traditional musical tool in Scotland over the centuries. 

So if you’re still perplexed about whether bagpipes are Scottish or Irish, it is Scottish. Although the Irish claim to play a similar instrument, bagpipes are part of Scotland’s historical culture. 

15. Highland Cows

Highland Cows
Photo by suju-foto from Pixabay

If you’re familiar with cattle, then you might see a resemblance when you see highland cows here in Scotland. 

The only difference is they have long bushy coats, horns and their lengthy hair often covers their faces.

Highland cows are mostly brown in colour, unlike cattles which range from white and black to light brown, and even patched. 

If you wish to see lots of them, we suggest you visit Edinburgh Zoo! 

16. Ceilidh Dancing

Ceilidh Dancing
Photo from HotScotch Ceilidh Band Edinburgh

If you’re more of an extrovert and love to dance with other locals and different nationalities, we suggest you join a ceilidh!

Ceilidh means ‘party’ or ‘gathering’ in Gaelic terms. This dance has a lot of physical contact, so if you’re comfortable with that, this could be another great experience in Scotland.

In case you haven’t practised dancing for a long time or aren’t adept to it, don’t worry, there’s an instructor that will teach you the basic steps. 

17. Live Music

Live Music
Photo by mikewallimages from Pixabay

Edinburgh and Glasgow are the top cities for live music events! Even UNESCO recognised Glasgow for its impressive music scene.

The best thing is that you can easily access these events as they’re commonly held in pubs and bars. Genres such as Celtic, pop, folk and even rock can be enjoyed in most places across Scotland!

18. Art

Photo by Kamyq from Pixabay

Glasgow, in particular, has plenty of art galleries and museums. Among those you can visit include Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow Science Centre, and Riverside Museum.

Aside from that, it’s also home to The Glasgow Rangers Club, the oldest football team in the world which bagged 54 Scottish Championships and 33 Scottish Cups.

19. Castles 

Photo by Walkerssk from Pixabay

When you say Scotland, we know that your first thought might be ‘castles’. Well, that’s just another reason why we are very popular across the globe.

We have over 1,000 castles each with a distinct history. Among the more well-known are Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, and Dunnottar Castle. 

We also have a castle that looks like it came straight out of a fairytale: Inveraray Castle in Argyll!

20. Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye
Photo by FrankWinkler from Pixabay

A popular tourist destination, the Isle of Skye is well-known for Fairy Pools, Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, and The Fair Glen. You can also fish here as our villages are ideal for such activity. 

Fun fact: the Isle of Skye is more sheep-crowded. By this, we mean that over 100,000 sheep live there, compared to a meager 13,000 residents!

21. Edinburgh

Photo by Peggychoucair from Pixabay

Being the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh certainly has lots to offer. From picturesque buildings, exemplary museums, and spectacular tourist attractions, you’ll most likely be amazed when you visit us here.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the National Museum of Scotland, and Edinburgh Castle are just among the top location sights you can visit here. 

If you’re a foodie like most of us, we suggest you go to The Royal Mile. It’s a melting pot of different cuisines from all over the world like Indian, Italian, and American.

22. Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands
Photo by indianabones from Pixabay

If you’re a nature lover or simply have a thing for rural areas, the Scottish Highlands are for you. Its tranquil and serene surroundings will allow you to fully appreciate the beauty of the landscapes.

But what we love most about the Scottish Highlands is the overwhelming number of lochs – around 31,000!

Historical sites in the Scottish Highlands include Culloden, Fort George, Broch Dun Dornaigil and Ardvreck Castle. 

You can also see, stroke and feed the reindeer at the Cairngorms. All you have to do is visit the Reindeer Centre, and you’re good to go!

23. Glenfinnan Viaduct

Glenfinnan Viaduct
Photo by iphotoklick from Pixabay

If you’ve watched Harry Potter, then the photo above might be familiar to you. Well, yes, Glenfinnan Viaduct was the railroad that the Hogwarts Express passed through in the movies. 

So if you’d like to live out your Harry Potter dreams for a day, then a ride at the Glenfinnan Viaduct would be a great idea! Plus, you’ll get to view the Scottish Highlands’ stunning scenery.

24. The Inner & Outer Hebrides

The Inner & Outer Hebrides
Photo by shedon from Pixabay

Comprised of which 790 islands, The Inner and Outer Hebrides are very popular for their scenic landscapes.

Although we have all these islands, only 130 are occupied by other locals. 

Shetland, Mull & Iona, Skye and Orkney are just among the islands in the Inner Hebrides. Closer to the mainland, you’ll commonly find tourists here.

Regardless, Outer Hebrides still offer scenic sights worth exploring like Grimsay, Benbecula and South Uist.

25. The Falkirk Wheel 

The Falkirk Wheel
Photo by wenzlerdesign from Pixabay

Our Falkirk Wheel connects the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal that can be found in Scotland’s centre. What’s unique about it is that it’s the only rotating boat lift in the world!

Its structure is inspired by the ribcage of the whale, Clydebank’s ship propeller, and a Celtic double-headed spear. So, if you’re to see this infrastructure from above, you might appreciate its unique shape better. 

Thus, if you visit our city, make sure to ride and get a view of this impressive infrastructure for an unforgettable memory! 

26. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle
Photo by 27707 from Pixabay

Edinburgh Castle deserves its own entry because of its rich history!

It’s an 11th-century castle that became home to several queens and kings over the centuries. Edinburgh Castle has many sights to offer, namely the Great Hall, Scottish National War Museum, and the Crown Jewels. 

Since many tourists and locals like us still visit this attraction to this day, we suggest you come in the morning or after 1 PM. This is to avoid long, noisy, and crowded lines. 

There are also cafes inside, so really, there’s something for everyone. 

Here’s a little trivia: Edinburgh Castle sits on an inactive volcano called Castle Rock. It’sbeen deemed to have existed over350 million years ago. 

27. Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle
Photo by 12019 / 10255 from Pixabay

Aside from Edinburgh Castle, we also have Eilean Donan Castle – another structure that deserves an individual entry. It’s a 13th-century castle located in Scottish Highlands’ Loch Duich. 

It has been featured in several films and television programmes due to its stunning architecture. Among these are Bonnie Prince Charlie, The Master of Ballantrae, James Bond – The World is Not Enough, and Loch Ness.

28. The Kelpies

The Kelpies
Photo by indianabones from Pixabay

Horses have always been a part of Scottish culture and history, hence the birth of Duke and Baron – two-headed horses more commonly called “The Kelpies”.

Found in the parkland in Falkirk between Grangemouth, this was inspired by the aquatic spirit in Scottish folklore. 

The Kelpies were built to pay tribute to the horse heritage of our city. 

29. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Photo from The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

If you’re thinking about getting inked in Edinburgh, this isn’t exactly what it’s about. Rather, it’s more like a performance.

The term ‘tattoo’ was just coined as the last duty call of the day and the beginning of entertainment at night.

So, if you’re in Edinburgh Castle and you witnesseed some performances inside, then you probably saw The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

30. Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson
Photo from Wikipedia

Robert Louis Stevensonis a famous author and poet, with best-selling novels like A Child’s Garden of Verses and Treasure Island. 

Aside from his best-selling novels, Robert was also well-known for his essays and travel writing and was named among the pride of the 19th century.

If you’d like to see what he looks like up close, you can visit his statue in Edinburgh. This was opened to the public in 1913 to pay tribute to his legendary contribution to the writing industry. 

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