The Scotland Portal   
Main PageSelected articlesSelected biographiesSelected quotesSelected picturesFeatured ContentCategories & Topics


Flag of Scotland
Flag of Scotland
Scotland in Europe

Scotland (Scots: Scotland; Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It contains nearly one-third of the United Kingdom's land area, consisting of the northern third of the island of Great Britain and more than 790 adjacent islands, principally in the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles. To the south-east Scotland has its only land border, which is 96 miles (154 kilometres) long and shared with England; the country is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the north-east and east, and the Irish Sea to the south. The population in 2022 was 5,436,600, and in 2019 Scotland accounted for 8% of the population of the UK. Edinburgh is the capital and Glasgow is the largest of the cities of Scotland.

The Kingdom of Scotland emerged in the 9th century. In 1603, James VI inherited England and Ireland, forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. On 1 May 1707 Scotland and England combined to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain, with the Parliament of Scotland subsumed into the Parliament of Great Britain. In 1999 a Scottish Parliament was re-established, and has devolved authority over many areas of domestic policy. The country has a distinct legal system, educational system, and religious history from the rest of the UK, which have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity within the United Kingdom.

The mainland of Scotland is broadly divided into three regions: the Highlands, a mountainous region in the north and north-west; the Lowlands, a flatter plain across the centre of the country; and the Southern Uplands, a hilly region along the southern border. The Highlands are the most mountainous region of the UK and contain its highest peak, Ben Nevis (1,345 metres (4,413 ft)) The region also contains many lakes, called lochs; the term is also applied to the many saltwater inlets along the country's deeply indented western coastline. The geography of the many islands is varied. Some, such as Mull and Skye, are noted for their mountainous terrain, while the likes of Tiree and Coll are much flatter. (Full article...)

Selected article

A pipe major of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (date unknown)

The great Highland bagpipe (Scottish Gaelic: a' phìob mhòr pronounced [a ˈfiəp ˈvoːɾ] lit. 'the great pipe') is a type of bagpipe native to Scotland, and the Scottish analogue to the great Irish warpipes. It has acquired widespread recognition through its usage in the British military and in pipe bands throughout the world.

The bagpipe is first attested in Scotland around 1400. The earliest references to bagpipes in Scotland are in a military context, and it is in that context that the great Highland bagpipe became established in the British military and achieved the widespread prominence it enjoys today, whereas other bagpipe traditions throughout Europe, ranging from Portugal to Russia, almost universally went into decline by the late 19th and early 20th century.

Though widely famous for its role in military and civilian pipe bands, the great Highland bagpipe is also used for a solo virtuosic style called pìobaireachd, ceòl mòr, or simply pibroch. (Full article...) Read more ...

Selected quotes

" ...   Biography should be written by an acute enemy   ... "

A. J. Balfour

" ...   We live in a Newtonian world of Einsteinian physics ruled by Frankenstein logic   ... "

David Russell

In the news

In the news
In the news
13 November 2023 – International reactions to the 2023 Israel–Hamas war
Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf reiterates his call for an "immediate ceasefire" in the war on Gaza, saying that "children in Gaza don't need a pause in the killing, they need it to stop". (Al Jazeera)
3 November 2023 –
The University of Edinburgh in Scotland, United Kingdom, returns the remains of four Paiwan warriors to the Taiwanese indigenous community, marking the first international repatriation of ancestral remains for Taiwan. The skulls, which the university acquired in 1907 and are believed to have been taken by Japanese forces in 1874, will be housed at the National Museum of Prehistory in Taitung while awaiting a final resting place decision from Mudan authorities. (AFP via The Straits Times)
26 October 2023 – 2023 Israel–Hamas war protests
Fans of Scotland's Celtic Football Club defy their club's directives and wave thousands of Palestinian flags during their team's Champions League match against Atlético Madrid. (Al Jazeera)
19 October 2023 – 2023–24 European windstorm season
Storm Babet impacts the United Kingdom, bringing gale force winds and heavy rains, killing two people in Angus, Scotland, and another person in Shropshire, England. The crew of a Danish fishing trawler is rescued by the RNLI in the North Sea. (BBC News)
15 October 2023 – 2023 Israel–Hamas war
In the United Kingdom, rallies take place in Manchester in Northern England, Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, and London, amid police warnings that support for Hamas could result in arrest. (Al Jazeera)

Selected biography

Arthur Conan Doyle, 1914

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle KStJ, DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes in 1887 for A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels and fifty-six short stories about Holmes and Dr. Watson. The Sherlock Holmes stories are milestones in the field of crime fiction.

Doyle was a prolific writer; other than Holmes stories, his works include fantasy and science fiction stories about Professor Challenger, and humorous stories about the Napoleonic soldier Brigadier Gerard, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, and historical novels. One of Doyle's early short stories, "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement" (1884), helped to popularise the mystery of the Mary Celeste. (Full article...) Read more ...

Selected picture

Did You Know...

Help available
Help available

Get involved

Scotland Related WikiProjects
and Task forces
WikiProject Clans of Scotland talk
WikiProject Medieval Scotland talk
WikiProject Scottish Castles talk
WikiProject Scottish Islands talk
WikiProject Scottish Television talk
WikiProject Transport in Scotland talk
WikiProject Edinburgh talk
Fife task force talk
Scottish Gaelic task force talk

For editor resources and to collaborate with other editors on improving Wikipedia's Scotland-related articles, see WikiProject Scotland.

To get involved in helping to improve Wikipedia's Scotland related content, please consider doing some of the following tasks or joining one or more of the associated Wikiprojects:

Do you have a question about The Scotland Portal that you can't find the answer to?
Post a question on the Talk Page or consider asking it at the Wikipedia reference desk.

Related portals

Other language versions

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Discover Wikipedia using portals

Purge server cache