Scotland ()

Scotland ()

Moscow State Pedagogical University

the department of sociology,

economics and law

chair of English language

Course paper on the topic


by Gribacheva Alexandra,

a student of the 3rd year

Moscow 2000

The plan:


I. A few words about this work.

II. Scotland how does it look like?

1.Geographical position.


3.Plant & animal life.

4.Natural resources.


6.Scotlands government.

The main part.

I. Early peoples of Scotland & their relations.

II. we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion

of the English

III. Scotlands beautiful capital.


2.Edinburghs Castle

3.The Military Tattoo

4.St. Giles Cathedral.

5.Edinburghs museums.

6.Where life is one long festival.



1.A wee dram.

2.Scottish national dress.

3.A few words about tartan.

4.The national musical instrument of the Scots.

5.Highlands dances and games.

6.The famous Loch Ness.

7.St. Andrews Cross.

II.Scotland for every season.


Practical part.


I. Introduction.

I.A few words about this work.

Though Scotland is a part of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and

Northern Ireland it still remains an individual country with its own

traditions, customs, history and the way of life. In one word, Scotland is

not England at all. It is a country with a unique culture full of ancient

legends, bright contrasts and mysterious castles. Secrets and mystery

always appear immediately when you open a book about Scotland.

But unfortunately you can come across such a problem as lack of

literature on this topic. I was lucky to find several books that gave

exhaustive information about this magic country. I was so exited by the

Scottish national heroes and by this independent nation that I decided to

find out more information about them.

Some people say that if you havent been in Venice you havent seen Italy

at all. I can say that if you havent been in Scotland you havent seen

Britain at all. As for me I was lucky to visit the capital of England

London. But alas! I didnt have any opportunity to visit or just to have a

glimpse of Scotland, a land of festivals, kilts and bagpipes.

It seemed to me that after visiting London I know everything about Britain.

And only after reading several books about Scotland I realized how wrong I

had been. Now I can just say: I wish I were in Scotland!

I was seized with an idea of studying more about it and that is why I

decided to take this topic for my course paper. I am not sure that I will

be able to tell everything that I found out about this country and its

people. But I promise to depict all unforgettable events and traditions of

the Scottish people that impressed me most of all.

II.Scotland what does it look like?

1.Geographical position

Scotland, administrative division of the kingdom of Great Britain,

occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Scotland is

bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean; on the east by the North Sea;

on the southeast by England; on the south by Solway Firth, which

partly separates it from England, and by the Irish Sea; and on the west by

North Channel, which separates it from Ireland, and by the Atlantic Ocean.

As a geopolitical entity Scotland includes 186 nearby islands,

the majority of which are contained in three groups-namely, the Hebrides,

also known as the Western Islands, situated off the western coast; the

Orkney Islands, situated off the northeastern coast; and the Shetland

Islands, situated northeast of the Orkney Islands. The largest of the other

islands is the Island of Arran. The area, including the islands, is 78,772

sq km (30,414 sqmi).

Scotland has a very irregular coastline. The western coast in

particular is deeply penetrated by numerous arms of the sea, most of which

are narrow submerged valleys, known locally as sea lochs[1], and by a

number of broad indentations, generally called firths. The principal firths

are the Firth of Lorne, the Firth of Clyde, and Solway Firth.

Scotland is characterized by an abundance of streams and lakes (lochs).

Notable among the lakes, which are especially numerous in the central and

northern regions, are Loch Lomond (the largest), Loch Ness, Loch Tay, and

Loch Katrine.

Many of the rivers of Scotland, in particular the rivers in the west,

are short, torrential streams, generally of little commercial importance.

The longest river of Scotland is the Tay; the Clyde, however, is the

principal navigational stream, site of the port of Glasgow. Other chief

rivers include the Forth, Tweed, Dee, and Spey.


Like the climate of the rest of Great Britain, that of Scotland is

subject to the moderating influences of the surrounding seas. As a result

of these influences, extreme seasonal variations are rare, and temperate

winters and cool summers are the outstanding climatic features. Low

temperatures however, are common during the winter season in the

mountainous districts of the interior. In the western coastal region, which

is subject to the moderating effects of the Gulf Stream, conditions are

somewhat milder than in the east.

3.Plant and Animal Life

The most common species of trees indigenous to Scotland are oak and

conifers-chiefly fir, pine, and larch. Large forested areas, however, are

rare, and the only important woodlands are in the southern and eastern

Highlands. Except in these wooded areas, vegetation in the elevated regions

consists largely of heather, ferns, mosses, and grasses. Saxifrage,

mountain willow, and other types of alpine and arctic flora occur at

elevations above 610 m (2000 ft). Practically all of the cultivated plants

of Scotland were imported from America and the European continent.

The only large indigenous mammal in Scotland is the deer. Both the red

deer and the roe deer are found, but the red deer, whose habitat is the

Highlands, is by far the more abundant of the two species. Other indigenous

mammals are the hare, rabbit, otter, ermine, pine marten, and

wildcat. Game birds include grouse, blackcock, ptarmigan, and waterfowl.

The few predatory birds include the kite, osprey, and golden eagle.

Scotland is famous for the salmon and trout that abound in its streams and

lakes. Many species of fish, including cod, haddock, herring, and various

types of shellfish, are found in the coastal waters.

4.Natural Resources

Scotland, like the rest of the island of Great Britain, has

significant reserves of coal. It also possesses large deposits of zinc,

chiefly in the south. The soil is generally rocky and infertile, except for

that of the Central Lowlands. Northern Scotland has great hydroelectric

power potential and contains Great Britain's largest hydroelectric

generating stations. Beginning in the late 1970s, offshore oil deposits in

the North Sea became an important part of the Scottish economy. The most

important city here is Aberdeen which is the oil centre of the country.

Ships and helicopters travel from Aberdeen to the North Sea oil rigs.

Therefore, Scotland is rather rich in natural resources and sometimes can

even condition to England.


The people of Scotland, like those of Great Britain in general, are

descendants of various racial stocks, including the Picts, Celts,

Scandinavians, and Romans. Scotland is a mixed rural-industrial society.

Scots divide themselves into Highlanders, who consider themselves of purer

Celtic blood and retain a stronger feeling of the clan, and Lowlanders, who

are largely of Teutonic blood.

6.Scotlands government.

Government in Scotland is in four tiers. A new Scottish Parliament was

elected in 1999, following devolution of powers from the United Kingdom

Parliament in London. This is the first time Scotland has had its own

parliament in 300 years. The Scottish Parliament, which sits in Edinburgh,

is responsible for most aspects of Scottish life. The national parliament

in Westminster (London) retains responsibility for areas such as defence,

foreign affairs and taxation. The European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium)

exercises certain powers vested in the European Union.

The Scottish Parliament is supported by the Scottish Executive also

based in Edinburgh. The Scottish Government is led by a First Minister. A

Secretary of State for Scotland remains part of the UK Cabinet, and is

supported by the Scotland Office (previously the Scottish Office) based in

Glasgow, with offices in Edinburgh and London.

Top of Form 1

Bottom of Form 1

Local government is divided into 29 unitary authorities and three island

authorities, having been subject to a major reorganization in 1995.

Scotland has its own legal system, judiciary and an education system which,

at all levels, differs from that found "south of the border" in England and


Scotland also has its own banking system and its own banknotes.

Edinburgh is the second financial centre of the UK and one of the major

financial centres of the world.

The main part.

I.Early peoples of Scotland and their relations.

(see Appendices, page 23)

Most historians agree that the first man appeared in Scotland as long ago

as 6,000 BC. Bone and antler fishing spears and other rudimentary

implements found along the western part of the country serve as evidence to

support this theory. The Beaker civilization [2]arrived three thousand

years later, and is notable for its henges (of which Stonehenge is one of

the most famous). The Beaker people eventually spread as far north as


As a result of its geography, Scotland has two different societies.

In the center of Scotland mountains stretch to the far north and across to

the west, beyond which lie many islands. To the east and to the south the

lowland hills are gentler, and much of the countryside is like England,

rich, welcoming and easy to farm. North of the Highland Line[3] people

stayed tied to their own family groups. South and east of this line society

was more easily influenced by the changes taking place in England.

Scotland was populated by four separate groups of people. The main

group, the Picts, lived mostly in the north and northeast. They spoke

Celtic as well as another, probably older, language completely unconnected

with any known language today, and they seem to have been the earliest

inhabitants of the land.

The non-Pictish inhabitants were mainly Scots. The Scots were Celtic

settlers who started to move into the western Highlands from Ireland in the

fourth century.

In 843 the Pictish and Scottish kingdoms were united under a Scottish

king, who could also probably claim the Picts throne through his mother, in

this way obeying both Scottish and Pictish rules of kingship.

The third inhabitants were the Britons, who inhabited the Lowlands,

and had been part of the Romano-British world. They had probably given up

their old tribal way of life by the sixth century.

Finally, there were Angels from Nothambria who had pushed northwards

into the Scottish Lowlands.

Unity between Picts, Scots and Britons was achieved for several

reasons. They shared a common Celtic culture, language and background.

Their economy mainly depended on keeping animals. These animals were owned

by the tribe as a hole, and for this reason land was also held by tribes,

not by individual people. The common economic system increased their

feeling of belonging to the same kind of society and the difference from

the agricultural Lowlands. The sense of common culture may have been

increased by marriage alliances between tribes. This idea of common

landholding remained strong until the tribes of Scotland, called

clans[4], collapsed in the eighteenth century.

The spread of Celtic Christianity also helped to unite the people.

The first Christian mission to Scotland had come to southwest Scotland in

about AD 400. Later, in 563, Columba, known as the Dove of the Church,

came from Ireland. Through his work both Highland Scots and Picts were

brought to Christianity. He even, so it is said, defeated a monster in Loch

Ness, the first mention of this famous creature. By the time of the Synod

of Whitby in 663, the Picts, Scots and Britons had all been brought closer

together by Christianity.

The Angles were very different from the Celts. They had arrived in

Britain in family groups, but they soon began to accept the authority from

people outside their own family. This was partly due to their way of life.

Although they kept some animals, they spent more time growing crops. This

meant that land was held by individual people, each man working in his own

field. Land was distributed for farming by the local lord. This system

encouraged the Angles of Scotland to develop a non-tribal system of

control, as the people of England further south were doing. This increased

their feeling of difference from the Celtic tribal Highlanders further


Finally, as in Ireland and in Wales, foreign invaders increased the

speed of political change. Vikings attacked the coastal areas of Scotland,

and they settled on many of the islands, Shetland, the Orkneys, the

Hebrides, and the Isle of Man southwest of Scotland. In order to resist

them, Picts and Scots fought together against the enemy raiders and

settles. When they couldnt push them out of the islands and coastal areas,

they had to deal with them politically. At first the Vikings, or

Norsemen, still served the King of Norway. But communications with Norway

were difficult. Slowly the earls of Orkney and other areas found it easier

to accept the king of Scots as their overlord, rather than the more distant

king of Norway.

However, as the Welsh had also discovered, the English were a greater

danger than the Vikings. In 934 the Scots were seriously defeated by a

Wessex army pushing northwards. The Scots decided to seek the friendship of

the English, because of the likely losses from war. England was obviously

stronger than Scotland but, luckily for the Scots, both the north of

England and Scotland were difficult to control from London. The Scots hoped

that if they were reasonably peaceful the Sassenachs[5] would leave them


Scotland remained a difficult country to rule even from its capital,

Edinburgh. Anyone looking at a map of Scotland can see that control of the

Highlands and islands was a great problem. Travel was often impossible in

winter, and slow and difficult in summer. It was easy for a clan chief or

noble to throw off the rule of the king.

II. we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion of the


England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were once known as the British

Isles. Nowadays this term is normally used only in Geography. In fact, the

people of these isles have seldom been politically or culturally united.

English kings started wars to unite the British Isles from the 12th

century. These wars were wars of conquest and only the Welsh war was a


At that time England was ruled by several ambitious kings, who wanted

to conquer more countries for themselves and to add more titles to their

names. They had, as a rule, absolutely no interest in the people of the

countries that they wished to conquer. It did not concern them that these

wars brought misery to the people in whose land they fought. The result was

generally to create a strong, national, patriotic feeling in the invaded

country, and a great hatred of the invader.

I dont have much space here to speak about the history of Scotland in

details that is why Id like to mention one historical episode which shows

the Scottish attitude towards freedom and independence. (For the chronology

of the events in the history of Scotland see Appendices,

page 24).

Although Scottish kings had sometimes accepted the English king as

their overlord, they were much stronger than the many Welsh kings had

been. Scotland owes its clan system partly to an Englishwoman, Margaret,

the Saxon Queen of Malcolm III. After their marriage in 1069, she

introduced new fashions and new ideas to the Scottish court and among the

new ideas was the feudal system of land tenure. Until that time, most of

the country had been divided into seven semi-independent tribal provinces.

Under the feudal system, all land belonged to the king, who distributed it

among his followers in exchange for allegiance and service. But a Highland

chieftain could easily ignore a far-off Lowland king and, as time went by,

the clan chiefs became minor kings themselves. They made alliances with

other clans, had the power of life and death over their followers.

By the 11th century there was only one king of Scots, and he ruled

over all the south and east of Scotland. In Ireland and Wales Norman

knights were strong enough to fight local chiefs on their own. But only the

English king with a large army could hope to defeat the Scots. Most English

kings did not even try, but Edward I was different.

The Scottish kings were closely connected with England. Since Saxon

times marriages had frequently taken place between the Scottish and English

royal families. At the same time the Scottish kings wanted to establish

strong government and so they offered land to Norman knights from England

in return for their loyalty.

In 1290 a crises took place over the succession to the Scottish

throne. On a stormy night in 1286 King Alexander of Scotland was riding

home along a path by the sea in the dark. His horse took a false step, and

the king was thrown from the top of a cliff.

Disputes arose at once among all those who had any claim at all to the

Scottish throne. Finally two of the claimants, John de Balliol and Robert

Bruce, were left. Scottish nobles wanted to avoid civil war and invited

Edward I to settle the matter. Edward had already shown interest in joining

Scotland to his kingdom. He wanted his son to marry Margaret, the heir to

the Scottish throne, but she had died in a shipwreck. Now he had another

chance. He told both men that they must do homage to him, and so accept his

overlordship, before he would help settle the question. He then invaded

Scotland and put one of them, John de Balliol, on the Scottish throne.

De Balliols four years as a king were not a success. First Edward

made him provide money and troops for the English army and the Scottish

nobles rebelled. They felt that Edward was ruining their country.

Then Edward invaded Scotland again, and captured all the main Scottish

castles. During this invasion he stole the sacred Stone of Destiny from

Scone Abbey. The legend said that all Scottish kings must sit on it. Edward

believed that without the Stone, any Scottish coronation would be

meaningless, and that his own possession of the Stone would persuade the

Scots to accept him as king. However, neither he nor his successors became

kings of Scots, and the Scottish kings managed perfectly well without the


All this led to the creation a popular resistance movement. At first

it was led by William Wallace, a Norman-Scottish knight. But after one

victory against English army, Wallaces peoples army was itself

destroyed by Edward in 1297.

It seemed that Edward had won after all. Wallace was captured and

executed. His head was put on a pole on London Bridge. Edward tried to make

Scotland a part of England as he had already done with Wales. Some Scottish

nobles accepted him, but the people refused to be ruled by the English

king. Scottish nationalism was born on the day Wallace died.

A new leader took up the struggle. This was Robert Bruce, who had

competed with John de Balliol for the throne. He was able to raise an army

and defeat the English army in Scotland. Edward the I gathered another

great army and marched against Robert Bruce, but he died on the way north

in 1327. On Edwards grave were written the words Edward, the Hammer of

the Scots. He had intended to hammer them into the ground and destroy

them, but in fact he had hammered them into a nation.

After Edwards death Bruce had enough time to defeat his Scottish

enemies, and make himself accepted as king of the Scots. He then began to

win back the castles still held by the English. When the son of his old

enemy Edward II invaded Scotland in 1314 Bruce destroyed his army at

Bannockburn, near Stirling. Six years later, in 1320, the Scots clergy

meeting in Arbroath wrote to the Pope in Rome to tell him that they would

never accept English authority: for as long as even one hundred of us

remain alive, we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion of

the English.

In the long, bitter struggle for independence, Scotland never

capitulated, and when at last it became part of the United Kingdom in 1707

it was by treaty, even if many Scots regarded the Act of Union[6] as a

piece of treachery. It is still a land apart, with a very separate culture.

Scotland retained its separate legal and ecclesiastical systems, and until

well into the 20th century its separate system of free education was the

most advanced and generous in Britain. Nowadays, it has its own Parliament.

III. Scotlands beautiful capital.

1. Introduction

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is one of the most beautiful

cities in Europe. This distinction is partly an accident of Nature, for the

city is built upon jumble of hills and valleys; however, during the

eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the natural geography was enhanced by

the works of a succession of distinguished Georgian and Victorian


Evidence that Stone Ages settlers lived in Edinburgh has been found on

Calton Hill[7], Arthurs Seat[8] and Castlehill, and the towns early

history centres around Castlehill. Some historians believe that this

volcanic hill was a tribal stronghold as early as 600 BC.

One tribe who definitely made their mark were a group of Nothumbrians,

whose 7th-century king Edwin[9], is thought to have given his name to the

castle and town. Burgh is a Scottish word for borough (a small town).

2. Edinburghs Castle

The Royal Castle of Edinburgh is the most powerful symbol of Scotland.

For centuries, this mighty fortress has dominated its surroundings with a

majesty, which has deeply impressed many generations.

The volcanic castle rock in Edinburgh was born over 340 million years

ago following a violent eruption deep in the earths crust. Its story as a

place of human habitation stretches back a mere 3,000 years, to the late

Bronze Age. It was evidently a thriving hill-top settlement when Roman

soldiers marched by in the first century AD.

The place had become an important royal fortress by the time of Queen

Margarets[10] death there in November 1093. Throughout the Middle Ages

Edinburgh Castle ranked as one of the major castles of the kingdom and its

story is very much the story of Scotland. But within the building of the

Palace of Holyroodhouse in the early 16th century, the castle was used less

and less as a royal residence, though it remained symbolically the heart of

the kingdom.

Edinburgh Castle is the home of the Scottish Crown Jewels, the oldest

Royal Regalia in Britain. The Honours of Scotland the Crown, Sword and

Sceptre were shaped in Italy and Scotland during the reigns of King James

IV and king James V and were first used together as coronation regalia in


After the 1707 Treaty of Union between Scotland and England, the

Honours were locked away in the Crown Room and the doors were walled up.

111 years later, the Honours were rediscovered and immediately displayed to

the public. Displayed with the Crown Jewels is the Stone of Destiny,

returned to Scotland after 700 years in England.

Edinburgh Castle boasts having the giant siege gun Mons Meg in its

military collection. Mons Meg (or simply Mons) was made at Mons (in

present-day Belgium) in 1449. It was at the leading edge of artillery

technology at the time: it weighs 6040 kilogrammes and its firing gunstones

weigh 150 kilogrammes. It soon saw action against the English. But it great

weigh made it ponderously slow to drag around it could only make 5

kilometres a day. By the middle of the 16th century it was retired from

military service and restricted to firing salutes from the castle ramparts.

It was returned to the castle in 1829.

3. The Military Tattoo

For many visitors the castle means nothing without the Edinburgh

Military Tattoo[11] which is taking place at the Castle Esplanade. The

esplanade had been a narrow rocky ridge until the middle of the 18th

century when the present platform was created as a parade ground.

The signal (Tattoo) indicated that soldiers should return to their

quarters and that the beer in the taverns should be turned off. This signal

was transmitted by drum beat each evening. Eventually this developed into a

ceremonial performance of military music by massed bands.

It began when the city held its first International Festival in the

summer of 1947. The Army staged an evening military display on the

Esplanade. The march and counter-march of the pipes and drums which was

held near one of the most dramatic places anywhere in the world made it an

immediate success. The Tattoo has been repeated every summer since on the

same site. Each Tattoo closes with another tradition- the appearance of

the lone piper on the battlements of the castle.

4. St. Giles Cathedral

If Edinburgh Castle has been at the centre of Scottish life for 9

centuries, St. Giles Cathedral, the High Kirk of Edinburgh, has been the

religious heart of Scotland for even longer.

In 854 there was a church. It belonged to Lindisfarne, where Columbas

monks first brought the Gospel from Iona. In 1150, the monks of St. Giles

were farming lands round about and a bigger church was built by the end of

the century. The first parish church of Edinburgh was dedicated to St.

Giles, a saint popular in France. It was probably due to the Auld Alliance

of Scotland and France against the common enemy of England.

St GilesCathedral is one of the most historic and romantic buildings

in Scotland. Founded in 1100s, this church has witnessed executions, riots

and celebrations. Its famous crown spire has dominated Edinburghs skyline

for over 500 years. Scotland was a Catholic nation until the Reformation in

the mid-16th century.

John Knox[12], the fiery Trumpeter of God, who preached against

Popery, brought St. Giles into great prominence. Knoxs aim was to create a

reformed Church of Scotland, to banish popery, to strengthen democracy

and to set up a system of comprehensive education. The religious transition

was to take 130 years of struggle to achieve.

Many of the famous Scots are commemorated in the church, including R.

Burns and R. L. Stevenson.

The Giles is famous for its Thistle Chapel, which is home to the Order

of the Thistle[13] and honours some of the greatest Scots of the last 300

years. This exquisite little room will take ones breath away. Its

magnificent carvings and stonework evoke the ancient origins of the order

and will amaze anyone with a wealth of details associated with Scotland,

for example, the angel that plays the bagpipe.

5. Edinburghs museums.

In the field of arts, Edinburgh has a host of outstanding attractions

for different tastes and interests. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery

provides a unique visual history of Scotland, told through portraits of the

figures who shaped it: royals and rebels, poets and philosophers, heroes

and villains. All the portraits are of Scots, but not all are by Scots. The

collection also holds works by great English, European and American

masters. Since the Gallery first opened its doors, the collection has grown

steadily to form a kaleidoscope of Scottish life and history. Among the

most famous portraits are Mary, Queen of Scots, Ramsays portrait of

philosopher David Hume, Nasmyths portrait of Robert Burns, and Raeburns

Sir Walter Scott. In addition to paintings, it displays sculptures,

miniatures, coins, medallions, drawings, watercolours and photographs.

The Royal Museum and the Museum of Scotland are two museums under one

roof. The Royal Museum is Scotlands premier museum and international

treasure-house. It contains material from all over the world. A vast and

varied range of objects are on display from the endangered Giant Panda to

working scale models of British steam engines. The Museum of Scotland tells

the remarkable story of a remarkable country from the geological dawn of

time to modern-day life in Scotland. The variety and richness of Scotlands

long and vibrant history, is brought to life by the fascinating stories

each object and every gallery has to tell.

At the heart of the museum is the Kingdom of the Scots. This is the

story of Scotlands emergence as a distinctive nation able to take its

place on the European stage. Here are the icons of Scotlands past

objects connected with some of the most famous events and best-known

figures in Scottish history, from the Declaration of Arbroath[14] to Mary,

Queen of Scots.

Described as the noisiest museum in the world, the Museum of

Childhood is a favourite with adults and children alike. It is a treasure

house, full of objects telling of childhood, past and present. The museum

has five public galleries. A list of their contents makes it sound like a

magical department store. There are riding toys, push and pull toys, dolls

prams, yachts and boats, slot machines, a punch and judy, a nickelodeon, a

carousel horse, dolls houses, toy animals, zoos, farms and circuses,

trains, soldiers, optical toys, marionettes, soft toys, games and much,

much more.

In addition, the museum features a time tunnel (with reconstructions

of a school room, street scene, fancy dress party and nursery from the days

of our grandparents) an activity area, and video presentations. The museum

opened in 1955 was the first museum in the world to specialize in the

history of childhood. It also helps to find out how children have been

brought up, dressed and educated in decades gone by.

The Peoples Story is a museum with a difference. As the name

implies, it uses oral history, reminiscence, and written sources to tell

the story of the lives, work and leisure of te ordinary people of

Edinburgh, from the late 18th century to the present day. The museum is

filled with the sounds, sights and smells of the past a prison cell, town

crier, reform parade, coopers workshop, fishwife, servant at work,

dressmaker, 1940s kitchen, a wash-house, pub and tea-room.

These reconstructions are complimented by displays of photographs,

everyday objects and rare artifacts, such as the museums outstanding

collections of trade union banners and friendly society regalia.

6. Where life is one long festival.

Edinburgh may be called the Athens of the North, but from mid-August

to early September thats probably because its hot, noisy and overpriced

and crawling with foreign students.

Over the next three weeks the population will double as half a

million visitors invade Britains most majestic city.

If you are a theatre buff or a comedy fan, Edinburgh at Festival

time[15] will be your idea of heaven. But the city is a centre for culture

all year round.

In the run-up to Christmas there are hundreds of shows, including

Noel Cowards Relative Values at the Kings Theatre and the Anatomy

Performance Companys dance theatre at the Traverse. Romeo and Juliet is at

the Traverse, Les Miserables at the Playhouse and The Recruiting Officer at

the Lyceum. And outside Festival time, youll find it a lot easier to get


As for the visual arts, Edinburghs museums more than match any of

the special exhibitions mounted during the Festival.

Most attractive is the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, in a

stately home on the outskirts of the city. Here you can find unbeatable

masterpieces created by Picasso, Matisse and Hockney.

If shopping is more your stile, Jenners[16], on Princes Street, is

Edinburghs answer to Harrods. And the Scottish Gallery on George Street is

a happy hunting ground for collectors of fine art. Edinburgh is full of

good hotels but its dramatic sky-line is dominated by two enormous

hostelries at either end of Princes Street. The Caledonian and the Balmoral

(formerly the North British) were built by rival railway companies in the

days when competing steam trains raced from London.

You can also have a look at the Gothic monument to Sir Walter Scott,

which stands in East Princes Street Gardens and was begun in 1840. It is

rather high, and narrow staircase (a total of 287 steps in several stages)

offers spectacular views of the city. Not far from the monument in Princes

Street Gardens one can find the oldest Floral Clock in the world, built in

1903, consisting of about 25,000 flowers and plants.

Like all the best capitals, Edinburgh boasts cosmopolitan influences.

Asian shopkeepers sell Samosas and Scotch (mutton) pies in the same thick

Scots brogue, and the city is littered with Italian restaurants.

The city has three universities: the University of Edinburgh (1583),

Herriot-Watt[17] (established in 1885; received university status in 1966)

and Napier[18] University.

Edinburgh is also an industrial centre. Its industries include

printing, publishing, banking, insurance, chemical manufacture,

electronics, distilling, brewing.



Oh Scotia! My dear, my native soil!

Robert Burns

Scotland is a country of great variety with its own unique character

and strong tradition. Its cities offer a mixture of designer lifestyle and

age old tradition, while the countryside ranges from Britains highest

mountains and waterfalls to the most stunning gorges and glens.

Scotlands national tradition is rather intense and much alive even

now and is rather rare in the modern world. Scotland is part of Britain.

But it is not England. The Scottishness is a real thing, not an imaginary

feeling, kind of picturesque survival of the past. It is based on Scots

law which is different from the English. Scotland has its own national

heroes fought in endless battles against the English ( William Wallace, Sir

John the Grahame , Robert Bruce and others).

1.'A wee dram'

Scots have their own national drink, and you need only ask for

Scotch, and thats quite enough, you get what you wanted. More than half of

Scotland's malt whisky distilleries are in the Grampian Highlands, and thus

a third of the world's malt whisky is distilled here. A combination of

fertile agricultural land, a sheltered, wet climate and the unpolluted

waters of the River Spey and its tributaries, combined with the obvious

enthusiasm of the locals for the work (and the product!) mean it is an

ideal place to produce malt whisky. Many distilleries are open to visitors,

and often offer samples!

The Scots are fond of the following joke about scotch:

A young man arrives in a small village situated near Loch Ness. There he

meets an old man and asks him:

- When does the Loch Ness Monster usually appear?

- Usually it appears after the third glass of Scotch, - answered the


2.Scottish national dress.

There is also a distinctive national dress, the kilt. Strictly

speaking it should be warn only by men; it is made of wool and looks like a

pleated skirt. The kilt is a relic of the time when the clan system existed

in the Highlands. But its origin is very ancient. The Celtic tribes who

fought Ceasar wore kilts. When the Celts moved north up through Cornwall,

and Wales, and Ireland, and eventually to Scotland, they brought the kilt

with them. A thousand years ago, there was nothing specially Scottish about

it. Now it has become the Highlands national dress and is worn in many

parts of Scotland. It is probably the best walking-dress yet invented by

man: there is up to 5 metres of material in it; it is thickly pleated st

the back and sides; it is warm, it is airly, leaves the legs free for

climbing; it stands the rain for hours before it gets wet through; it hangs

well above the mud and the wet grass; briefly it is warm for a cold day,

and cool for a warm one. And, what is more, if a Highlander is caught in

the mountains by the night, he has but to unfasten his kilt and wrap it

around him 5 metres of warm wool hell sleep comfortably enough the

night through.

3.A few words about tartan.

Every Scottish clan had its own tartan.[19] People in Highlands were

very good weavers. They died their wool before weaving it; the dyes were

made from various roots and plants which grew in this or that bit of land.

Therefore one clan dyed its wool in reddish colours, another in green, and

so on. And they decorated them differently so as to distinguish the

clansmen in battle (especially between neighboring clans which happened

rather often).

On the subject of shopping for tartan, the choice is wide. Some

designs are associated with particular clans and retailers will be happy to

help you find your own pattern. By no means all tartans belong to

specific clans several are district tartans, representing particular

areas. The fascinating story of the tartan itself is told at the Museum of

Scottish Tartans.

The museum possesses lots of rare exhibits. One of them is the

remarkable womans Plaid or Arisaid, the oldest dated in the world: 1726.

The Arisaid, worn only by women, reached from head to heels, belted at the

waist and pinned at the breast.

The oldest piece of Tartan found in Scotland dates back from about 325

AD. The cloth was found in a pot near Falkirk[20], a simple check in two

shades of brown, a long way from the checked and coloured tartans that came

to be worn in the Highlands of Scotland in the 1550s. There are now over

2,500 tartan designs, many of them are no more than 20 years old.

4.The national musical instrument of the Scots.

Scotland has its own typical musical instrument, the pipes (sometimes

called the bagpipes). The bagpipe was known to the ancient civilizations of

the Near East. It was probably introduced into Britain by the Romans.

Carvings of bagpipe players on churches and a few words about them in the

works of Chaucer and other writers show that it was popular all over the

country in the Middle Ages.

In Scotland the bagpipe was first recorded in the 16th century during

the reign of James I, who was a very good player, and probably did much to

make it popular. For long it has been considered a national Scottish

instrument. Even now it is still associated with Scotland.

The sound of the bagpipes is very stirring. The old Highland clans and

later the Highland regiments used to go into battle to the sound of the


The bagpipe consists of a reed pipe, the chanter, and a wind bag

which provides a regular supply of air to the pipe. The wind pipe is filled

either from the mouth or by a bellows which the player works with his arm.

The chanter has a number of holes or keys by means of which the tune is


5.Highlands dances and games.

You can also find in Scotland its own national dances, Highland dances

and Scottish country dances; its own songs (some of which are very popular

all aver Britain), its poetry (some of which is famous throughout the

English-speaking world), traditions, food and sports, even education, and


Speaking about sports I cant but mention Highland Gatherings or Games

held in Braemar. They have been held there since 1832, and since Queen

Victoria visited them in 1848 the games have enjoyed royal patronage. The

Games consist of piping competitions, tugs-of-war (a test of strength in

which two teams pull against other on a rope, each trying to pull the other

over the winning line), highland wrestling and dancing, and tossing the


6.The famous Loch Ness.

Fact or fiction, the Loch Ness monster is part of Loch Nesss

magnetic appeal to visitors. But there is much more to do and see around

the shores of this famous waterway than just monster-spotting, and a

pleasant day, or even longer, can be spent exploring the many activities.

24 miles long, a mile wide and up to 700 feet deep Loch Ness is a land-

locked fresh water lake lying at the eastern end of the Great Glen[22], a

natural geological fault which stretches across the width of Scotland. The

loch forms part of the Caledonian Canal completed by the celebrated civil

engineer Thomas Telford (1757 1841), in 1822. Telford took 19 years to

build the canal, which spared coastal shipping and fishing vessels a voyage

through the waters of the Pentland Firth[23].

The story of Nessiterras Rhombopteryx or Nessie for short in Loch

Ness has persistent down the centuries. The monster was first mentioned in

AD 565 when St Columba allegedly persuaded it not to eat someone. Since

records began, in 1933, more than 3000 people have claimed to have seen it,

but others are skeptical. They point out that no good photographs exist of

the monster, that there have been no eggs found, no dead monsters (can it

really be 2563 years old?) nor any other compelling evidence. Believers

think the monster is a plesiosaur, an otherwise extinct sea-dwelling

reptile. Anyone who did prove conclusively the monster's existence would be

hailed as a pioneer, so it is no surprise to learn that monster-spotting is

a popular pastime!

The Official Loch Ness Monster Centre is opened all year round

and has exhibits showing geology, prehistory and history of Scotland, along

with SONAR records and underwater photography relating to the monster.

The Original Visitor Centre offers a half hour video of the monster

detailing the research that has taken place, along with a video about

Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The loch has been surveyed for decades, by the RAF[24], eminent

scientists, cranks, crackpots, mini-submarines and millions of pounds worth

of high technology, including NASA[25] computers. And still there is no


7. Saint Andrews cross.

The Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian[26] denomination, is the

official state church. The Roman Catholic church is second in importance.

Other leading denominations are the Episcopal Church in Scotland,

Congregationalist, Baptist, Methodist, and Unitarian. Jews are a small


St. Andrews cross is the national flag of Scotland. It consists of

two diagonal white stripes crossing on a blue background. The flag forms

part of the British national flag (Union Jack).

The flag of Presbyterian Church differs a little bit from that of

Scotland. It is also St. Andrews cross but with a little addition: it has

a burning bush centered, which signifies presbyterianism.

The symbol comes from the motto of the Presbyterian Church, nec tamen

consumebatur (neither was it consumed) referring the bush that burnt, but

was not consumed, so will be the church that will last for ever.

St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. He was a New Testament

apostle who was martyred on an X-shaped cross. He was said to have given

the Pictish army a vision of this cross at the battle of Athenstoneford

between King Angus of the Picts and King Authelstan of the Angles. St.

Andrew was foisted upon Scotland as its patron when the old Celtic and

Culdee centres were superseded by the new bishopric of St. Andrews. His

feast-day is 30 November. On this day some Scotsmen wear a thistle[27] in

the buttonhole.

One of the greatest treasures of Huntly House Museum (Edinburgh) is

the national Covenant, signed by Scotlands Presbyterian leadership in

1638. Covenanters are 17th-century Scottish Presbyterians who bound

themselves by covenants to maintain Presbyterianism as the sole religion of

Scotland and helped to establish the supremacy of Parliament over the

monarch in Scotland and England. Early covenants supporting Protestantism

were signed in 1557 and in 1581. In 1638 the covenant of 1581 was revived,

and its signatories added a vow to establish Presbyterianism as the state

religion of Scotland.

II.Scotland for every season.

If you hunt for the real Scotland, there will be many times when you

know you have found it: when you hear your first Highland Piper with the

backdrop of Edinburgh Castle; on some late, late evening on a far northern

beach as the sun sets into a midsummer sea; or with your first taste of a

malt whisky, peat-smoked and tangy; or when you sit in a caf with the real

Scots. By the way, the Scots are very sociable people. They like to spend

their free time together, drinking coffee or scotch and talking. Scottish

people are fond of singing at the national music festivals in chorus, at

the fairs and in the parks. Most of Scotsmen are optimists. They dont lose

their heart and smile in spite of all difficulties.

The real Scotland is not found in a single moment nor is it

contained in a single season. Though the moorlands turn purple in summer,

Scotland in spring is famed for its clear light and distant horizons, while

autumns colours transform the woodlands and what could be more

picturesque than snow-capped hills seen from the warmth of your hotel room?

Scenery, history, hospitality, humour, climate, traditions are offered

throughout the year.

Even if you can feel it now you should visit Scotland all the same,

and see and enjoy this magic country with your own eyes!


Scotland: its early peoples.

The chronology of the main events in the history of Scotland.

1st century Picts prevented Romans from penetrating far into Scotland.

5th 6th centuries Christianity was introduced into Scotland from


9th century Kenneth MacAlpin united kingdoms of Scotland.

1263. Haakon, King of Norway, was defeated by Scots at

Battle of Largs.

1292 1306 English domination:

in 1292 1296 Scotland was ruled by John Baliol;

in 1296 1306 Scotland was annexedto England.

1314. Robert Bruce defeated English at Bannockburn.

1328. England recognized Scottish independence.

1603. James VI became James I of England.

1638. Scottish rebellion against England.

1651. Cromwell conquered Scotland.

1689. Jacobites were defeated at Killiecrankie.

1707 Act of Union with England.

1715, 1745 Failed Jacobites risings against Britain.

First Scottish nationalist member of British Parliament was elected

Practical part:

Who in Scotland consider themselves of purer Celtic blood?

When was a new Scottish Parliament elected?

What was the Beaker civilization famous for?

Why was it so difficult to control the Highlands and islands?

To whom does Scotland owe its clan system?

Why did Edward I stole the Stone of Destiny?

What do the words written on Edwards grave mean?

Can you explain the name of Scotlands capital, Edinburgh?

What giant thing can Edinburgh Castle boast?

What did the Military Tattoo originally mean?

Who brought St. Giles Cathedral into great prominence?

What is the emblem of Scotland? Where can it be seen?

Why are the Royal Museum and the Museum of Scotland worth visiting?

Which museum in Scotland is the noisiest in the world? Why?

Why do they call Edinburgh the Athens of the North?

What is Edinburghs answer to Londons Oxford Street?

Where did the national Scottish dress come from?

Why was it so important to decorate wool differently?

What is the real origin of the bagpipe?

What does the motto of the Presbyterian Church mean?


Discovering Britain Pavlozky V. M., St Petersburg, 2000.

Britain in brief Oshepkova V. V., Shustilova I. I., Moscow, 1997.

Across England to Scotland Markova N. N., Moscow, 1971.

Pages of Britains history Kaufman K. I., Kaufman M. U., Obninsk,


An illustrated history of Britain McDowall D., Edinburgh, 1996.

Robert Burns country Swinglehurst E., Edinburgh, 1996.

English for intermediate level Part I, Moscow, 1995.

Welcome to Edinburgh, guide-book 1998/99.


[1] In Scottish lochmeans lake.

[2] Beaker civilization prehistoric people thought to have been of

Iberian origin, who spread out over Europe from the 3rd millennium BC. They

were skilled in metalworking, and are identified by their use of

distinctive earthenware drinking vessels with various design.

[3] Highland Line the division between highland and lowland

[4] Everybody in the clan had the same family name, like MacDonald or

MacGregor (mac means son of). The clan had its own territory and was

ruled by a chieftain.

[5] so they called the Saxons (and still call the English)

[6] Act of Union 1707 act of Parliament that brought about the union of

England and Scotland

[7] Calton Hill overlooks Central Edinburgh from the east.

[8] Arthurs Seat hill of volcanic origin to the east of the centre of

Edinburgh. It forms the core of Holyrood Park and is a dominant landmark:

Castlehill is the rock of volcanic origin on which Edinburgh Castle is


[9] Edwin (c585 633) king of Nothumbria from 617. He captured and

fortified Edinburgh, which was named after him.

[10] St. Margaret ( c1045 1093 ) Queen of Scotland. She was canonized

in 1251 in recognition of her benefactions to the church.

[11] Tattoo the word derives from the Dutch word tap-toe, which means

turn off the taps.

[12] Knox, John (1513 (1514) 1572) Scottish reformer, founder of the

Church of Scotland

[13] The Order of the Thistle Scotlands highest order

[14] Declaration of Arbroath Declaration 26 April 1320 by Scottish nobles

to their loyalty to King Robert I and of Scotlands identity as a kingdom

independent of England.

[15] Edinburgh Festival has annually been held since 1947. It takes place

from August to September and includes music, drama, opera and art


[16] Jenners the oldest independent department store in the world.

[17] Heriot, Jeorge (1563 1624) Scottish goldsmith and philanthropist;

Watt, James (1736 1819) Scottish engineer who developed the steam

engine in 1760.

[18] Napier, John (1550 1617) Scottish mathematician who invented

logarithms in 1614.

[19] Tartan it is traditional Scottish drawing which consists of wide and

narrow cross stripes of different colour and size; the softest wool of

vivid colouring.

[20] Falkirk unitary authority, Scotland, 37 kilometres west of


[21] Tossing the caber Scottish athletic sport. The caber (a tapered tree

trunk about 6 metres long, weighing about 100 kilograms) is held in the

palms of the cupped hands and rests on the shoulder. The thrower runs

forward and tosses the caber, rotating it through 180 degrees so that it

lands on its opposite end and falls forward. The best competitors toss the

caber about 12 metres.

[22] Great Glen valley in Scotland following coast-to-coast geological

fault line, which stretches over 100 kilometres south-west from Inverness

on the North Sea to Fort William on the Atlantic coast.

[23] Pentland Firth channel separated the Orkney Islands from the

northern mainland of Scotland.

[24] RAF Royal Air Force, the British airforce.

[25] NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a US government

organization that controls space travel and the scientific study of space.

[26] Presbyterianism a religion close to Protestantism

[27] Thistle is also the emblem of the whole Scotland.


© 2011