Fun facts you didn’t know about Scotland
Scotland is with no doubt one of the most fascinating European countries. The fantastic country is world renowned for its breathtaking scenery, unique culture and incomparable heritage. Scotland is a land packed with beautiful lochs, astonishing moments and historic cities. These sights will surely give you experiences that make your holiday memorable. In some of my previous guides I have already presented you several cities, cultural and natural sights of Scotland. Below I will give you some interesting fun facts you didn’t know about Scotland. If you plan a visit to this country and you are interested in these facts, I recommend you to read this guide before traveling.
Three official languages
You surely don’t know that Scotland has three official languages: English, Scots and Scottish Gaelic. While Scots is a relative of English, Scottish Gaelic is a completely different language from these two. In addition, Scottish English is actually English spoken with some words of Scottish Gaelic and Scots and a more or less strong Scots accent.
Scottish or not?
You probably thought that whisky, bagpipes, kilts and tartans are Scottish inventions. They are actually not. Just a few people know that whisky was invented in China, and was first distilled during the 15th century by monks in Ireland. It only reached Scotland 100 years later.
Bagpipes are considered to be an ancient invention originating from Central Asia. Kilts actually originate from Ireland, while the first tartans were found in Central Europe and Central Asia during the Bronze-age or Iron-age.
The birthplace of golf
The game of golf originates from the 15th-century Scotland. The game was first mentioned as “gowf” in 1457. At the beginning golf was played on a course of 22 holes. During the 18th century it was first reduced to 18 holes (at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews). Therefore, St. Andrews is also known the “home of golf”. Since then it has become world renowned.
The University of St Andrews – the UK’s third oldest university
Scotland’s University of St. Andrews is considered to be the UK’s third oldest university, after Oxford and Cambridge. It was founded in 1413. The university is also famous for welcoming the first female student in Britain (1862). This university is also the place where the world’s first students’ union came into existence. This happened in 1882.
The Edinburgh Festival – the world’s largest annual cultural festival
Did you know that Edinburgh Festival is the world’s largest annual cultural festival? This world famous event is actually a summer festival, a grouping of arts and cultural festivals. The original component festivals are the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Festival. The first by the way is one is the world’s largest arts festivals.