20 quite interesting things you may not know about Scotland (quite a few of which I didn’t know myself!)

Something a bit more lighthearted and happygeekish after all the politics and angst I think. It is Friday after all…

Eas a’ Chual Aluinn, Sutherland

Scotland has the tallest waterfall in Britain at a height of 658 feet – which is 4 times the height of Niagara Falls!
The shortest scheduled flight in the world is one and a half miles long from Westray to Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands. The journey takes 1 minute 14 seconds to complete.
The windiest place in Scotland is the Island of Tiree, which has the highest average gusts over 100 mph.
Edinburgh was the first city in the world with its own fire brigade, in 1824.
The Bank of Scotland was founded in 1695 and is the oldest surviving bank in UK. It was first bank in Europe to print its own banknotes, an act which it still continues.
The Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae, on the island of Orkney, contains the oldest buildings in Britain, dating from 3100 BC.
Skara Brae, Orkney
The Hamilton Mausoleum in South Lanarkshire has the longest echo of any man-made structure in the world; a whole 15 seconds.
The motto of Scotland is “Nemo me impune lacessit”, or: “No one provokes me with impunity“. It is used by the Order of the Thistle and on later versions of the Royal coat of arms.
In the north east of the country, girls are
called “quines” and boys are “louns”.

Scotland’s smallest distillery, Edradour in Pitlochry, has 100,000 visitors per year but produces only 90,000 litres of malt whisky.

Scotland is home to the oldest tree in Europe, a twisted yew which has stood in Fortingall for 3,000 years. According to local legend, Pontius Pilate was born in its shade and played there as a child (aye, right). 

Fortingall Yew, Perthshire
Scotland has its own legal system, seperate from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Juries can return a verdict of “guilty”, “not guilty” or “not proven”.
The first teaching hospital in America, the Baltimore Infirmary, was founded by a Glasgow surgeon, Granville Sharp Pattison, in 1816.
The first two Prime Ministers of Canada, John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) and Alexander MacKenzie (1822-1892), were Scottish.
Scotland has spawned some of the greatest thinkers of the modern age, including Adam Smith, James Watt, David Hume and John Stuart Mill.
Many of Scotlands most iconic creations – Kilts, tartans and bagpipes – were actually developed elsewhere. Kilts originated in Ireland, tartans have been found in Bronze Age central Europe and bagpipes are thought to have come from ancient central Asia.
Scotland has the highest proportion of redheads in the world. Around 13 percent of the population has red hair, with 40 percent carrying the recessive gene.
The first official international football match was played at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick in 1872 between Scotland and England.
The highest village in Scotland is not in the Highlands. It is Wanlockhead (1380ft, 420m) in the Lowther Hills, Dumfries and Galloway.
In 1860 the golf club at Prestwick in Ayrshire ran an open competition for professionals. It was a huge success and soon became known as the British Open Championship, now one of the worlds most famous golfing competitions.

       via Scot Clans


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