Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 15 April 2012





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Scotland, full of old world charm

Reading and travelling makes you a complete man. It helps you to experience different cultures, civilisations, meeting people and associate them closely. My recent visit to Scotland was a real experience. It reveals the fascinating history of over 5,000 years of the story of a Nation.

Scotland is the northern part of the main island of Great Britain, and a constituent of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; the capital is Edinburgh. The largest city is Glasgow. In 1996, Scotland was divided into 29 unitary authority areas. Its jagged coastline features many beautiful islands, lochs, including Lomond and Ness and firths. Major Scottish rivers include the Tay, Clyde, Dee, and Forth.

Inveraray Castle

Geographically, Scotland broadly divides into three regions – the Southern Uplands, immediately north of English border, which are sparsely populated, Hill Moorland and the Central Lowland. The majority of the population live in the Central Lowlands.

Brief history

In 843 A.D., Kenneth I united the lands of the Picts and Scots. In 1174, with the development of feudalism, Scotland became the fiefdom of England. Richard I Granted Scottish freedom in 1189, but the enmity between England and Scotland continued. The great William Wallace, the freedom fighter of Scotland led the Scottish Revolt. Robert, the Bruce, later re-captured much Scottish land and defeated the English, at the Battle of Bannockbura (1314). This led to England's recognition of Scottish Independence. The Protestant Reformation quickly took root in Scotland via the preaching of John Knox. James VI, assumed the Scottish crown and in 1601, he was crowned as James I of England. This made uniting the English and Scottish thrones.


The principal agricultural activity in Scotland is the rearing of livestock. Oats and potatoes are the chief crops. In the Central Lowlands, coal mining and heavy industry dominated. The discovery of North sea oil and natural gas in 1970 benefited the Scottish economy. Other important industries include textiles, whisky, beer and fishing.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) gained support during the 1970s but a 1979 Referendum for a separate Scottish Assembly was defeated. A 1997 Referendum voted overwhelmingly in favour of devolution. Scotland, an area of 77,167 sq km (29,797 sq miles) retains its own church Education legal system.

There is no other country that can boast of so many brochs, castles, palaces, abbeys, towers and tombs. Edinburgh Castle, Iona Abbey and Skara Brae are some of the famous attractions. Each of these places, and sites, offer a glimpse of the past and the lives of the people who shaped the historic nation. They are marvellous and breath-taking.

A trip to Scotland capital is not complete without a visit to Edinburgh Castle. It is a “Marvel in the Sky” a mighty fortress, the defender of the nation is today a world famous tourist attraction. Edinburgh castle has dominated the skyline for centuries. The castle's powerful stone walls have withstood many sieges and its sumptuous apartments were an important residence of Scottish kings and queens. Presently, it is the home to Scotland's crown jewels, three military museums the National War Memorial, the Prison of War exhibition.


The Edinburgh castle offers an unforgettable and fabulous dayout for visitors. More than a million visitors from all over the world visit the marvel in the sky in Edinburgh.

Nowhere in the world you see so many castles as in Scotland. The castles and Scotland are inseparable. To name a few out of many hundreds are Craigmillar, Crichton, Blackness, Threave, Bothwell Stirling – (The childhood home of Queen Mary of Scotland, the Stewart kings and queens) which we visited. They depict the proud history of Scotland.

Another sight, we visited was the Scottish Borders. The Dryburgh Abbey, surrounded on three sides by the flowing water of the Tweed, lovely ruins and the trees provide tranquillity. Here we witnessed some Gothic church architecture in Scotland and the burial place of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), the Scottish novelist and poet.

The finest, chambered tomb in North West Europe, part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney world Heritage site is seen at Orkney and Shetland.

Our trip to the Scotland Highland was fantastic. The breadth taking pictures the sceneries and our boat trip in some of the rivers were unforgettable experiences.


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