Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, and like England (its southern neighbor) they speak English and use the pound sterling. However, Scotland has always had an independent streak, notable in its historical struggles with English royalty in the Middle Ages (remember Braveheart) and its recent Parliamentary vote regarding membership in the U.K. You will be taken in by Scotland’s rugged beauty, history at every turn, sophisticated cities and friendly towns.
Between the 18th and 19th centuries, Scotland experienced a renaissance in many areas, including politics, philosophy, science and literature, a period known as the Scottish Enlightenment. During this time, Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations and the father of modern geology, James Hutton, wrote the Theory of the Earth. This long tradition of fostering intellectual curiosity among its population continues today with the Scottish people.
Enjoy Nature’s Beauty
Scotland is known for its natural beauty, which has caught the imagination of poets and royals throughout history. You’ll be amazed by the fresh air and green rolling hills, with ancient castles as far as the eye can see — past mountains and hilltops and alongside the many lakes (or lochs) woven throughout the highlands up to the rocky coast on the North Sea. It’s no wonder Scotland is the birthplace of golf, since wide green expanses such a large part of the Scottish landscape.
Explore Scottish Traditions
Fine wool, tartan patterns, aged scotch, and the chords of the bagpipes bring people from all over the world to Scotland. Edinburgh and Glasgow are major cultural hubs in Europe. Edinburgh provides the nexus of old traditional architecture with a vibrant modern culture, and yet for a capital city, it is rather small compared to other European capitals, adding to its quaint charm.
Experience Local Culture
Edinburgh is home to a large Fringe Festival which takes over its city streets with street performers and outdoor stages during the month of August. Glasgow is a larger city with a contemporary vibe. Art and music are cutting edge there, and there is never a lack of things to do with its cultural activities and nightlife.
Check out what programs Scotland has to offer