Updated: Sep 16, 2022
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.
It has a 154 km (96 miles) border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, and the Irish Sea to the south.
Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland includes more than 790 islands.
Reason for Naming
"Scotland" comes from Scoti, the Latin name for the Gaels. Philip Freeman has speculated on the likelihood of a group of raiders adopting a name from an Indo-European root, *skot, citing the parallel in Greek Skotos (σκότος), meaning "darkness, gloom". The Late Latin word Scotia ("land of the Gaels") was initially used to refer to Ireland. By the 11th century at the latest, Scotia was being used to refer to (Gaelic-speaking) Scotland north of the River Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, both derived from the Gaelic Alba. The use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages.
The flag of Scotland was adopted in the 15th century.
The Flag of Scotland is a white X-shaped cross, which represents
the cross of the patron saint of Scotland, Saint Andrew on a blue background. The flag is called the Saltire or the Saint Andrew's Cross.
The white color on the Scotland flag represents honesty and peace
while blue is a symbol of loyalty, truth, justice, and vigilance.
Scotland has three officially recognized languages they are: English, Scots, and Scottish-Gaelic. The recorded languages of Scotland are all either Germanic or Celtic. English is the language mainly in use in the country, followed by Scots and Scottish Gaelic as minority languages. The English spoken in Scotland is a dialect known as Scottish English. Scotland’s Celtic languages are either Goidelic (Gaelic) or Brittonic.
Christianity* is the largest religious group in the country after irreligion.
An estimated 32.4% of the population in Scotland identifies with the Church of Scotland. The church was founded in 1560 as a result of the Reformation and efforts by John Knox among others.
The Roman Catholic Church was initially the dominant denomination before the Church of Scotland and other Presbyterian Protestant Churches were established. Currently, the Church has a following of an estimated 15.9% of the Scottish population.
Islam religion is practiced by an estimated 1.4% of the population. The arrival of Islam in the country can be traced back to the 1800s.
Minority religions practiced in Scotland are Hindus, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Rasta, Neopagan, and Baha’i Faith.
*A comparison of census statistics from 2001 to 2011, reveals that Christianity has been on the decline from 65.1% to 53.8%.
Pound sterling (GBP; £).
+00:00 GMT. (Greenwich Mean Time).
+01:00 GMT. (British Summer Time).
Devolved parliamentary legislature within a constitutional monarchy.
In Scotland, the weather is very cool, wet, rainy, and windy for most of the year. Rainfall is common everywhere, and even in the summer months, there are more than ten days of rain per month on average. The average temperature in January and February is around 4/5 °C. During the most intense cold waves, the temperature has dropped to around -10 °C on the islands. In the main cities, the cold records generally range from -17 °C to -20 °C.
In inland areas, there are some valleys where even lower values have been reached: the cold record, which applies to all the British islands, is -27.2 °C, recorded both in Altnaharra, a northern village, in December 1995, and in Braemar, a town located 10 km (6 mi) from Balmoral Castle, in January 1982. In spring, the temperature rises very slowly, so it's still cold in April when the maximum temperature is around 10/12 °C. In return, spring is the sunniest season. Summer is very cool: the average maximum temperature in July and August ranges from 14 °C on the Shetland Islands, to 16 °C on the Orkney and Hebrides islands, to 19 °C in the main cities. Night temperatures are around 11/12 °C. In Scotland, even the summer is a pretty rainy season, and sunshine in mid-summer (July and August) is even rarer than in early summer (June). Autumn is cold, windy, and rainy. The wind in Scotland is frequent, and sometimes can be very strong, especially in autumn and winter.
The best time to visit Scotland is in the summer, from June to August. The sea is cold even in summer: in August, the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean reaches just 12 °C in the Shetlands and 13/14 °C on the coasts of Scotland.
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