Scotland is the second largest country in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The area of the country is 78,772 km2 (30,414 sq. miles) The population is around 5.2 million people.
The Government of Scotland is currently a constitutional monarchy and the current Queen is Queen Elizabeth II. The United Kingdom has a Prime Minister who leads the Government for the Queen. In Scotland there is a First Minister who leads the Scottish Parliament .
2014 Referrendum - Scottish people will decide if we should stay part of the United Kingdom or become an independent country. There will be many debates before the referendum takes place and the decision is not clear cut at the moment. ( 18th September 2014 is the date to watch!)
The capital city of Scotland is Edinburgh in the east. Just like Rome, it was built on seven hills. The centre is divided into two parts; the old town and the new town. This ancient city is the one place most tourist visit when they come to Scotland where they can explore the beautiful architecture and historical sights
The largest City is Glasgow in the west. Glasgow was also built on some hills, called drumlins, left over after the ice age. The city has a great industrial heritage in shipbuilding and manufacturing. In 2014 the Commonwealth Games will come to the city and already over 50,000 have registered to volunteer to support our visitors of the games.
Language in Scotland is English. If you go to the islands you might hear Gaelic or Scots – you will definitely hear some different accents or dialects too. Wherever you go you will be sure of a great welcome, wonderful food and splendid scenery!
The highest point in Scotland is Ben Nevis at 1343 m. (4406ft) Any mountain over 3000ft (914.40m) is known as a Munro in Scotland , named after Sir Hugh Munro (1856-1919) who produced the first table of the heights of mountains in Scotland. A popular practice amongst hill walkers is “munro bagging” which means walking all the hills listed in one year, and records are held for who can do so in the shortest time. There are 283 Munros in Scotland.
Stephen Pyke a 45 year old from Stone, Staffordshire, managed to run up every one of Scotland's 283 Munros in 39 days, 9hrs and 6mins. He used a bicycle and kayak to get from one Munro to another.
Most people visit Scotland for the scenery, the people and the whisky. There is so much more from tracing your ancestral roots to visiting our historical attractions, sampling our local food to taking home samples of tartan. Castles are everywhere in Scotland, all our cities have wonderful architecture, the islands each have their own individual charm. I guarantee one visit will not be enough and you will find more to return to on another trip!
Linda's Key facts about Scotland