Scotland has a long history, stretching back about 12,800 years ago, and later civilizations had contact with the Celts and Roman Empire. The Romans invaded parts of Scotland around AD 71, establishing forts and towers across the region. They constructed
Hadrian's Wall beginning in AD 122 in Northern England, just south of the border to Scotland, and in AD 141, the Antonine Wall was built within Scotland. After attempts by the Romans to continue their invasion to the north, failure caused tem to retreat south of Hadrian's Wall and out of Scotland. Meanwhile, in northern Scotland the Picts ruled, and Brythonic tribes dominated the south with the Kingdom of Strathclyde. The Gaelic tribes inhabited the west at Dunadd, while the Germanic Kingdom of Bernicia controlled the southeast. Christianity arrived around the 5th century, spreading over the following centuries and aiding the growth of the Gaelic tribes, who began to integrate with the Pictish kingdom. In the late 8th century, Domnall II was the first King of Alba, which would become Scotland. After his death in 900, Causantin ascended the throne, who was instrumental in Scotland's development. He retired and became a St. Andrews monk around 942, and was later replaced by Mael Coluim I, followed by Donnchad I. The kingdom continued in succession until 1286, when the king and his granddaughter both died, and England's Edward I stepped in to assist Scotland in choosing the new king. Edward I selected John Balliol, though England gained some power over Scotland in this process. In turn, King John looked to France for help to retain its independence, entering the Auld Alliance, but King Edward invaded Scotland in 1296. A resistance movement rose up in Scotland, fighting off the English over the next several years. The Scottish resistance fought in 1314, and the Declaration of Arbroath was written to petition Pope John XXII so that Scotland could be recognized as independent. The Treaty of Perpetual Peace was signed in 1502 by King James IV of Scotland and King Henry VII of England, followed by intermarriage between the two kingdoms. James IV married Margaret Tudor, which intertwined the royal lines. A century later, James VI took the thrones of the Kingdoms of England and Ireland, leaving Scotland, and causing conflicts. Another century later, in 1706, Scotland and England signed a Treaty of Union and created the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.
In Scotland, the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution brought powerful change and new discoveries, and strengthened the country, and by the 19th century, Glasgow had become a world class city. During World War I, Scotland participated alongside Britain, sending half a million people to fight. In World War II, Scotland suffered damage from bombings but also thrived economically. Since the end of the wars, Scotland has struggled with its economy.
Neighboring Countries of Scotland
Scotland shares a border with England, and is located across bodies of water from Northern Ireland and Norway.
Major Cities of Scotland
Scotland is one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom, located on the northern end of the island of Great Britain.
The British Isles are located in northern Europe, off of Continental Europe. Off the southwestern coast of Scotland, Ireland is separated from the country by the North Channel, which is 31 kilometers (19 miles) wide. On the northeastern side, Norway lies about 310 kilometers (190 miles) away, with the North Sea in between. Scotland also has coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, in which there are about 790 islands. The islands are grouped into Shetland, Orkney, and Hebrides islands. There are close to 10,000 kilometers (6,100 miles) of coastline in mainland Scotland, which jumps to over 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) including the islands. The coastal region features sandy beaches and inlets. Some of the islands are mountainous, while others have lowlands. On mainland Scotland, terrain features mountains, with the Northwest Highlands and Grampian mountains. The highest point in Scotland is Ben Nevis, which stands 1,344 meters (4,409 feet) above sea level, and is followed by Ben Macdui and Braeriach. Major rivers in Scotland include the Tay, Spey, Clyde, and Tweed Rivers. Scottish lakes are generally known as lochs, the largest of which include Loch Lomond, Loch Ness
, and Loch Awe.
Points of Interest
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a major point of attraction for tourists, with UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Old Town and New Town. The Old Town of Edinburgh features the Royal Mile between the Castle and Holyrood Palace, with many historic sites along the way. New Town is also in the city center, and features Georgian architecture and plenty of shopping. Other sites include Stirling Castle
, Edinburgh Castle
, Craigmillar Castle, St Giles Cathedral, the Scottish Parliament, and many museums. Glasgow is Scotland's biggest city, and also features as a UNESCO City of Music, with 130 music events every week. Architectural sites in Glasgow include the cathedral, the Glasgow Cross, several of the stations and library. Some of the interesting places to visit in Glassgow are Glasgow Science Centre
& Burrell Collection
. Glasgow is also known for its shopping and many beautiful parks. St. Enoch Centre
in Glasgow houses some of the top branded stores. Glasgow is also known for its shopping and many beautiful parks. Outside of cities, the Cairngorms are a mountain range within Scotland's largest National Park, while Loch Ness is the most famous loch in the country, known for its fabled Loch Ness Monster.
Transportation in Scotland
Major airports in Scotland include Aberdeen International, Edinburgh Airport, and Glasgow International and Glasgow Prestwick International, Inverness, and Dundee. The international airports in Scotland offer service to cities all across Europe, with connections in major hubs like London, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt. Trains are a great option for travel between Scotland and England, with several trains each day and some overnight trains. Trains are a quick way to get around Scotland as well with many options. Driving between Scotland and England is also possible via car and bus. Driving through Scotland is a good way to see the scenic parts of the country. Long-distance buses are inexpensive but quite slow. There are ferries that run between Amsterdam and Newcastle, and between Belfast or Larne to Cairnryan.
Last Update On : Sept 18, 2014