Scotland is a country located in the northern part of the island of Great Britain, occupying a third of it. It’s a part of the United Kingdom, sharing a single border with England in the south. From all other directions, it’s surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, North Channel and Irish Sea. More than 790 islands are a part of the great country of Scotland.
The history of Scotland began some 10,000 years ago, when the last glacial period ended. The recorded history of Scotland began when the Roman Empire arrived on the island back in the 1st century. Back then, Celtic groups called Picts inhabited the land we know as Scotland today, living in lots of small, separated kingdoms. When the Romans arrived, they encountered constant risings from the Picts, so they decided to build a wall, known as Hadrian’s Wall to the south, and Antonine Wall to the north. The wall attempted to seal off and separate Roman soil with the Picts, but it did neither. Eventually, the latter wall got abandoned and the former one overrun, especially during the Great Conspiracy of the 360s. When the Romans withdrew from British soil, Gaelic riders also known as Scoti started colonizing Western Scotland and Wales.
The last population count, the 2011 Census, showed that roughly 5,3 million people live in Scotland, a number which is estimated to be closer to 6 in this very moment. More than 62% of the population of Scotland claimed to be Scottish only, with 18% choosing Scottish and British, 8% as purely British and around 4% as other national identities. Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital, although the largest city is Glasgow, with a population of almost 600,000 people. Here’s a fun fact: there are more people with Scottish ancestry living abroad than the entire population of Scotland. In 2000, in the USA alone, some 9.2 million people reported having some degree of Scottish descent. In Canada, that number is close to 5 million people.
The Bank of England is the central bank for the entire United Kingdom, but three different Scottish clearing banks issue Sterling banknotes: The Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Three languages are spoken in Scotland, namely: English, Scots and Scottish Gaelic. Scottish English is the most spoken language, and it’s a variation of English as spoken in Scotland. Then you have Scots at the other end, which managed to influence Scottish English to a large degree. Still, 63% of the population was reported as saying they had no skills in Scots.
Although Scottish people are traditionally thought of as being grumpy, aloof and dour, they’re the friendliest people in the UK, and even in Europe. A recent study showed that Scottish people are some of the nicest people you can encounter, and they’re genuinely funny too. A poll for the funniest people in the UK was won by the Scottish, with a remarkable 43%, trumping the rest of the countries by at least 15%. Just goes to show how humble and friendly they can be. The only way to find out how funny the Scots are is by going to the country for a trip. London isn’t very far away.