Until the beginning of the 18th century, Scotland was an independent state. The annexation to England took place on May 1, 1707. It was then that the United Kingdom of Great Britain was formed.
In the 1970s, oil production began in the North Sea shelf in Scotland. It was the discovery of oil fields that prompted the Scots to try to gain independence, which, however, failed. The next referendum on disconnection from the UK is slated for 2014.
The country is home to about 5 million Scots. Interestingly, in the United States and Canada, according to the census, there are about the same number of Scots.
Scotland has three officially recognized languages: English, Scottish and Scottish Gaelic, which is spoken by only one percent of the country's population.
The modern word "Whiskey" comes from the Gaelic "uisge beatha" or "usquebaugh", which means "water of life". And Scotch whiskey is one of the most recognizable alcoholic brands in the world.
Scotland has the highest percentage of redheads at around 13%.
In the 17th century, the Scottish lieutenant George Lermont joined the Russian army. In Russia, he converted to Orthodoxy and became Lermontov. Among his descendants is the famous poet Mikhail Lermontov.
Many people associate the word "bagpipe" with the image of the Scotsman, but this instrument got there from Asia. The sound of the Scottish bagpipes terrified enemies and raised the strength of the spirit of the Scottish Highlanders. Therefore, it is not surprising that for a long time the bagpipes were banned by the British Kingdom, but later the position of a piper was organized in the British army. And the colonial wars of Great Britain were accompanied by the sound of bagpipes.
In Scotland, it is believed that a black cat crossing the road will bring good luck. And if you are lucky enough to find such a cat on your porch, then the house will be prosperous.
The largest lake in Scotland by volume is Loch Ness. But it is not this fact that attracts numerous tourists here. It is believed that a huge monster lives in the depths of the lake.
The traditional clothing of the Scottish Highlanders is the kilt, which looks very much like a skirt. In fact, this is just a piece of fabric that needs to be wrapped around the waist and secured with a belt.
The climate in Scotland is more humid than in other parts of the UK. Not surprisingly, it was here that Scottish artist, architect and designer Charles Mackintosh invented the raincoat in 1824.
Whiskey is considered the national drink in Scotland. Translated from Gaelic, the word "whiskey" means - "water of life."
In 1872, the first international football match took place in Glasgow, in which the national teams of Scotland and England met.
The world's shortest scheduled flight is between the two Scottish islands Westray and Papa Westray. Passengers are in the air for about two minutes. From one runway, the other is clearly visible.