We’re going to assume that you know about things like bagpipes, haggis and a shy monster of myth that lives in a loch. We have found 6 great facts that Scotland is famous for. These areas and more can all be seen in person; check out www.visitingscotland.com for more details and inspiration.
The Oldest Building in Britain
In the northern islands of Scotland lies Orkney Island which has been inhabited for the last 8,500 years, originally by Mesolithic and Neolithic tribes. It is also the home to the oldest building in Britain which has been standing since 3100 BC. The area is a UNESCO world heritage site and is home to many precious Neolithic sites that have been fundamental to our understanding of the human species timeline.
The village of Skara Brae, Europe’s best preserved Neolithic settlement, consists of eight houses all built out of stone. Additionally, there are the standing stones of Sternness, a monument that has been an important site for traditions and ceremonies ever since their placement.
Scotland is the birthplace of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote the much-beloved and many-times recreated character, Sherlock Holmes. Many other famous literary heroes have been born and found inspiration in Scotland, including Lord Byron and, more recently, J. K. Rowling. Foster your own love of literature and let Scotland inspire you to begin writing as well.
A Mausoleum that Talks Back
The Hamilton Mausoleum was the final resting place of the Dukes of Hamilton and its architecture creates the reflective surfaces needed for a long echo. It used to hold the record for the longest sustained echo; 15 seconds for the sound of a slammed door to fade. Its high walls, stone surfaces and the dome roof all contributed to the length of the echo.
The echo record is no longer held by the Mausoleum but Scotland still claims the winning site! The Inchindown oil storage tanks in the Scottish Highlands claim first prize.
England vs Scotland
Scotland is a land that had many firsts and another one is the first ever international football match. It took place between Scotland and England at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick in 1872. It, however, was not the first time a goal was scored at an international football match as the final score was nil-nil.
The First Fire Brigade
Which city was the first to ever have a fire brigade? The answer is Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It was following a series of catastrophic fires that the city of Edinburgh decided to form a ‘Company for Quenching of Fires’ in 1703. In order to fight fires around the city, 12 people were appointed as firemasters and they used horse muck to suffocate flames and leather buckets to throw water.
In 1827, following yet another series of terrible fires, the Edinburgh Fire Establishment was created to formally fight fires. By this time, 80 people were appointed and these were termed the first firemen.
The Birthplace of the Kelpie
In Scottish myth, a kelpie was a shape-shifting water spirit that would take the image of a horse and lure unsuspecting innocents into the water. Nearly every water in Scotland has a kelpie myth, but Loch Ness is a popular destination. Loch Coruisk is a wonderful spot that even has beautiful sculptures to represent them.
If you happen to be in the area for a few days, why not jump on a plane and pop to Ireland and fall in love with the fens. Here are a few reasons to fall in love with Ireland, because if you can be swept away by one country, why not two?