Seamlessly blending medieval history with modern trends and flair, Edinburgh is the perfect balance of old and new worlds.
The proud people of Scotland invite you to experience the unique culture and natural beauty of this enchanted and historic land. Whether you’re looking to take a walk on the moors, enjoy a bit of haggis or hunt for the Loch Ness monster, Scotland will lure you in with its warm hospitality.
Language: English (official), Scottish Gaelic, Scots (recognized)
Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP)
Government: Devolved government within a constitutional monarchy
DID YOU KNOW?
- Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, was the first city in the world to have its own dedicated fire department.
- Despite being tied heavily to Scotland, it is believed that bagpipes and tartans actually originated in Central Asia.
- In Scotland, criminal defendants are not just handed a verdict of “guilty” or “not guilty,” but also “not proven.” Today the third verdict is used when a jury or judge believes the defendant to be guilty but doesn’t have enough evidence for a conviction.
- The first two Prime Ministers of Canada were born in Scotland.
- Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn.
Scotland’s climate is temperate and the weather is known to change suddenly. Despite being the coldest country in the United Kingdom, the weather is not particularly harsh in the winter nor is it extremely hot in the summer. Warmer months are typically wetter than the colder ones. The country is famous for its year-round rainfall and visitors are recommended to prepare accordingly.
- Spring – April to June
- Summer – June to August
- Fall – September to October
- Winter – November to March
In the 9th century, Kenneth MacAlpin became the first King of Scots when he conquered the Picts, a group of people living in what is today Northern Scotland. The Kingdom of Alba, which was Scotland’s original name, quickly grew as conquests were made across Great Britain to spread the king’s influence throughout the land. By the end of the 12th century, however, Scotland had entered a time of stability and peace with its neighbours. Around this time the Burghs (towns), gained official recognition from the government. It was also the start of widespread use of the English language due to a rise in immigration of Anglo-French knights.
The peace that the Scots kept with their neighbours wasn’t lasting and, in the 13th to 14th century, Scotland found itself in a war with England after the King of Scots signed a treaty with France. The series of battles that followed, known as the Wars for Scottish Independence, saw the rise of one of Scotland’s most famous persons, William Wallace. Wallace was one of the leaders of the Scottish rebellion and was highly respected by the people who fought alongside him. Despite his efforts, Wallace was defeated and executed by order of King Edward I of England.
In 1320, the Scots signed the first known declaration of independence through authority of Pope John XXII, which forced the English to recognize the Scottish Kingdom. In the 17th century, the bonds between Scotland and England would be tied even closer together when King James VI of Scotland became ruler of England. The merger of both monarchies is known as the Union of the Crowns.
Dominating the skyline, Edinburgh Castle sits atop a high rock and welcomes travelers to explore this legendary fortress first hand.
FAIRMONT ST. ANDREWS GOLF COURSES
The birthplace of the game of golf, St. Andrews is considered home to some of the greatest courses in the world. Golfers from around the world are welcome to tackle the bunkers, traps and greens of this magnificent destination.
It’s not your typical tourist attraction, but Glasgow Necropolis hosts some of the most beautiful works of art in the entire city. See the works and hear the tales of the 50,000 people who’ve made the necropolis their final resting place.
A popular destination for families, the Edinburgh Zoo has many attractions year-round for the traveller to enjoy.
DALLAS DHU WHISKEY DISTILLERY
Considered one of the most picturesque destinations in Scotland, the Dallas Dhu Whiskey has been producing some of Scotland’s finest scotch since the turn of the 19th century. Visitors are welcome to take a walk along the grounds while enjoying Scotland’s national drink.
No, Hogmanay is not something out of Hogwarts. It’s Scotland’s annual New Year’s celebration, and it just might be one of the biggest parties on the planet.
On the Orkney Islands, a rugged no man’s land off the coast of Scotland, you can find strange stone formations, ancient archaeological finds and a temple that’s 800 years older than Stonehenge.
Did you know Scotland was home to many of the world’s great inventors, scientists, poets and painters? It’s the Year of Creative Scotland, with celebrations, exhibitions and new museum openings happening all year long.
Massimo Capra becomes Massimo McCapra to get into the Scottish spirit. He even wears a kilt as he works with a local chef who is very particular about his haggis… his Scottish pride is at stake!
Find out why low-season travel to Europe never looked so good! Here are AsWeTravel.com’s TOP 5 WHYs.
There’s something to be said about spending New Year’s Eve surrounded by jovial Scotsmen bursting into song, singing Robert Burns’ classic Auld Lang Syne. Originally celebrated as the pagan winter solstice, Scottish New Year traditions are now part of the world’s largest winter street party where the entire city – Edinburgh – becomes the venue!