50 Things I Love About Scotland

Well, I can hardly believe it myself, but this is my fiftieth post since starting Lives Less Ordinary less than 3 weeks ago! In honour of this, and inspired by a post over at Heroes Not Zombies, I’ve decided to give you 50 things I love about Scotland.

  1. Irn Bru: best way to describe this is bright orange coloured bubble gum flavoured fizzy juice. A necessary accompaniment to fish and chips.
  2. Scot’s Language: It is so expressive – dreich, scunnered, besom, glaikit, birl.
  3. Robert Burns’ Poetry: ‘Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie, /O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!’
  4. Scottish Humour: Billy Connelly is still one of the funniest stand-ups around.
  5. Scottish Fashion: see Kingdom of Style
  6. Tait and StyleTait and Style Felted Scarves: Orcadian company established in an old school house in Stromness.
  7. Celtic Knots: like this one!
  8. Stirling Castle: The best castle in Scotland in my, possibly biased, opinion.
  9. Fiddle Music -have a listen to some here.
  10. The Tartan Army: Scottish football fans who travel en masse to international games decked out in kilts and football strips – renowned for their friendly, jovial, non-violent nature.
  11. Heather – when it blooms, the hillsides turn purple.
  12. Secret Lochs – perfect for skinny-dipping!
  13. Men in Kilts: A man in full dress kilt is indeed a sight to behold.
  14. Liz Lochhead’s Poetry: wonderful, evocative, humorous words.
  15. Fish and Chips: as served in Edinburgh with a liberal dose of salt ‘n’ sauce.
  16. Beach at Scara BraeDeserted Beaches: pristine white sands.
  17. Tartan: still funky after all these years.
  18. Ceildhs: so much fun! Everyone should go and dance at a ceildh at least once in their lives.
  19. Scottish Raspberries: with honey and yoghurt, in pavlova, on top of white chocolate cheesecake… I could go on!
  20. Landscape: despite being a small country, Scotland has very diverse landscapes, from the flat moors, to the green rolling hills, to the rugged mountains.
  21. Wild CottonWild Cotton: like little cotton wool balls swaying gently in the wind.
  22. Tablet: a serious sugar injection!
  23. Jenners (Pre-Frasers takeover): up until last year, one of the oldest independent department stores in Britain.
  24. Scottish Rugby: passion, brute strength and intense pride.
  25. Edinburgh Festival: so much to do, so little time!
  26. Underdog Status: the under-estimation of the Scottish spirit by other nations often leads to their downfall.
  27. BagpipesBagpipes: but only outside!
  28. Mary Queen of Scots: a romanticised heroine if ever there was one.
  29. Hogmanay: no-one parties harder than the Scots as they see in the new year.
  30. Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens: beautiful in all seasons.
  31. National Library of Scotland: quite possibly the strangest building I’ve ever been in, and filled to the brim with extraordinary books.
  32. Gorse: a blaze of yellow contrasted by the blue of the sky.
  33. Rural Train Stations: like this one!
  34. Aran Jumpers: a key weapon in the fight against the cold.
  35. West Coast Palm Trees: improbable, but startling in their existence.
  36. Edinburgh Ghost Walks: lots of laughs, screams and history.
  37. Single Malt Whisky: this is a bit of a cheat – I love the smell, and I sometimes have a small sip from someone else’s glass, but I couldn’t manage a whole measure.
  38. Craft Trails: independent artisans scattered around beautiful countryside.
  39. Cosy B&Bs: try this one!
  40. Thistles: a rather prickly customer, but with a lovely purple bloom.
  41. Light Through TreesThe Light: always changeable, but always magical.
  42. Music Scene: Franz Ferdinand, The View, Amplifico.
  43. Market CrowdEdinburgh’s Farmers’ Market: see this post.
  44. JoustingHistoric Scotland: really special sites, and lots of fun events (jousting, 1940’s days, magic weekends).
  45. Edinburgh Airport: friendly staff, not too big, good coffee.
  46. Rainbows: as Scotland gets weather of all types, often at the same time, we get a lot of beautiful rainbows.
  47. Chambers Street Museum: Edinburgh natural history museum with the adjoining museum of Scotland is a great way to spend a rainy day.
  48. Kirkwall Public Library: quite simply the best public library I have ever been to.
  49. Uig’s Fairy Glen: see this post for my true fairy story.
  50. My Family: My children were born in Scotland, as were I, my parents, my grandparents,my great-grandparents etc etc.

So, what would you add or take away from this list? If you don’t know Scotland, what do you love about your own home country? Feel free to write a post on your own blog about why you love where you live, although don’t feel obliged to come up with 50 like I did! I would love to read any posts that participate! If you do join in, leave a comment here with a link to your post, and I’ll add you to the blogroll, if you’re not there already, and I’ll also post up a list of all participants. Have fun!


September 9, 2007. Inspiration.


  1. Danielle replied:

    Actually I can think of half a dozen other places I’d like to live than where I do. I’d have to ponder this one. Where I live is okay, but other places I’ve lived have been better. I’d love to live along a coast–somewhere with a beach (but not a tropical one). I loved reading your reasons–you make Scotland sound very attractive!

  2. amypalko replied:

    I know what you mean about the beach, Danielle. I love being beside the sea. If you ever make it over to Scotland, be sure to get in touch!

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