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
I. A few words about this work.
II. Scotland – how does it look like?
3.Plant & animal life.
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. Scotland’s beautiful capital.
3.The Military Tattoo
4.St. Giles’ Cathedral.
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.Highland’s dances and games.
6.The famous Loch Ness.
7.St. Andrew’s Cross.
II.Scotland for every season.
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 haven’t been in Venice you haven’t seen Italy
at all. I can say that if you haven’t been in Scotland you haven’t seen
Britain at all. As for me I was lucky to visit the capital of England
London. But alas! I didn’t 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?
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, 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
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.
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.
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 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” 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
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”, 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 couldn’t 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 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 don’t have much space here to speak about the history of Scotland in
details that is why I’d 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,
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 Balliol’s 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, Wallace’s “people’s 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 Edward’s 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 Edward’s 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
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 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. Scotland’s beautiful capital.
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, Arthur’s Seat and Castlehill, and the town’s 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, is thought to have given his name to the
castle and town. “Burgh” is a Scottish word for borough (a small town).
2. Edinburgh’s 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 earth’s 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
Margaret’s 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
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 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 Columba’s
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 Giles’Cathedral 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 Edinburgh’s skyline
for over 500 years. Scotland was a Catholic nation until the Reformation in
the mid-16th century.
John Knox, the fiery “Trumpeter of God”, who preached against
Popery, brought St. Giles into great prominence. Knox’s 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 and honours some of the greatest Scots of the last 300
years. This exquisite little room will take one’s 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. Edinburgh’s 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, Ramsay’s portrait of
philosopher David Hume, Nasmyth’s portrait of Robert Burns, and Raeburn’s
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 Scotland’s 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 Scotland’s
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 Scotland’s emergence as a distinctive nation able to take its
place on the European stage. Here are the icons of Scotland’s past –
objects connected with some of the most famous events and best-known
figures in Scottish history, from the Declaration of Arbroath 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, doll’s
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,
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 People’s 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, cooper’s 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 museum’s 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 that’s probably because it’s hot, noisy and overpriced –
and crawling with foreign students.
Over the next three weeks the population will double as half a
million visitors invade Britain’s most majestic city.
If you are a theatre buff or a comedy fan, Edinburgh at Festival
time 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 Coward’s Relative Values at the King’s Theatre and the Anatomy
Performance Company’s 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, you’ll find it a lot easier to get
As for the visual arts, Edinburgh’s 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, on Princes Street, is
Edinburgh’s 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 (established in 1885; received university status in 1966)
and Napier 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!
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 Britain’s highest
mountains and waterfalls to the most stunning gorges and glens.
Scotland’s 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 Scot’s
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 that’s 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 Highland’s 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 – he’ll sleep comfortably enough the
3.A few words about tartan.
Every Scottish clan had its own tartan. 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
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
The museum possesses lots of rare exhibits. One of them is the
remarkable woman’s 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, 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.Highland’s 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 can’t 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 Ness’s
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, 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.
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, eminent
scientists, cranks, crackpots, mini-submarines and millions of pounds worth
of high technology, including NASA computers. And still there is no
7. Saint Andrew’s cross.
The Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian 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. Andrew’s 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. Andrew’s 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. Andrew’s. His
feast-day is 30 November. On this day some Scotsmen wear a thistle in
One of the greatest treasures of Huntly House Museum (Edinburgh) is
the national Covenant, signed by Scotland’s 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 café 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 don’t 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
autumn’s 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
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 Edward’s grave mean?
Can you explain the name of Scotland’s 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 Edinburgh’s answer to London’s 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 Britain’s 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.
 In Scottish “loch”means “lake”.
 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.
 “Highland Line” – the division between highland and lowland
 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.
 so they called the Saxons (and still call the English)
 Act of Union – 1707 act of Parliament that brought about the union of
England and Scotland
 Calton Hill – overlooks Central Edinburgh from the east.
 Arthur’s 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
 Edwin (c585 – 633) – king of Nothumbria from 617. He captured and
fortified Edinburgh, which was named after him.
 St. Margaret ( c1045 – 1093 ) – Queen of Scotland. She was canonized
in 1251 in recognition of her benefactions to the church.
 Tattoo – the word derives from the Dutch word “tap-toe”, which means
“turn off the taps”.
 Knox, John (1513 (1514) – 1572) – Scottish reformer, founder of the
Church of Scotland
 The Order of the Thistle – Scotland’s highest order
 Declaration of Arbroath – Declaration 26 April 1320 by Scottish nobles
to their loyalty to King Robert I and of Scotland’s identity as a kingdom
independent of England.
 Edinburgh Festival has annually been held since 1947. It takes place
from August to September and includes music, drama, opera and art
 Jenners – the oldest independent department store in the world.
 Heriot, Jeorge (1563 – 1624) – Scottish goldsmith and philanthropist;
Watt, James (1736 – 1819) – Scottish engineer who developed the steam
engine in 1760.
 Napier, John (1550 – 1617) – Scottish mathematician who invented
logarithms in 1614.
 Tartan – it is traditional Scottish drawing which consists of wide and
narrow cross stripes of different colour and size; the softest wool of
 Falkirk – unitary authority, Scotland, 37 kilometres west of
 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.
 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.
 Pentland Firth – channel separated the Orkney Islands from the
northern mainland of Scotland.
 RAF – Royal Air Force, the British airforce.
 NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a US government
organization that controls space travel and the scientific study of space.
 Presbyterianism – a religion close to Protestantism
 Thistle is also the emblem of the whole Scotland.