Map : Part 1 : Part 2 : Part 3

Scotland and the Scots

In these pages, as a little bit of light relief from the serious business of promoting our main activities, we would like to offer you a short guided tour around our home country in the company of Glasgow based author, James Loomis.

But first, a little of the background to the country of which we Scots tend to be so proud.

A history of Scotland from time immemorial

On May 6 1999, the people of Scotland, some 5 million of them, had they all gone to the ballot boxes, took part in an historic event; the election of the first Scottish Parliament for nearly 300 years. Scotland had formerly been governed by a British eclectic following the decision of the Scots Parliament in 1707, to join with its larger English counterpart and thus create the hitherto unitary government system.

The country's earliest known inhabitants, nomads from Celtic central Europe, had migrated to the previously ice-bound territory and founded iron and bronze age tribal or clan systems. A number of these units amalgamated into major groupings such Caledonii (in recent times the ancient name Caledonia has passed into romantic poetry as a synonym for Scotland) before eventually becoming the nation-state known as Pictland. The Picts, probably the true aboriginals of present day Scotland, first made the history books somewhere around 300AD when Roman writer Eumenious, referred to the inhabitants of Northern Briton as Picts.

When Kenneth Mac Alpin conquered the Picts in 850AD and created the kingdom of the Picts and the Scots the region was known as Alba. Duan Abanach, Scotland's earliest Gaelic poem gives the country this name in the 11th century and it still remains the Gaelic term for Scotland to this day. All that probably needs saying now is that the Lowland administration finally introduced "Scotland" into the new language while Alba was relegated to the title of Royal Dukedom around 1400.

Climatically, the country is fortunate in that it enjoys temperate conditions, comparatively free from extremes of temperature although winter recordings of minus 10 to 20 centigrade are not uncommon in Highland Glens.

Scotland is a country, with a history inextricably linked (a consequence of its close proximity) to England. During the Tour of the Country the visitor to these pages will have the opportunity to savour some of this history in addition to being given a feel for Scottish life both socio-economically and anecdotally.

For ease of reading and downloading we have divided the Tour into 3 sections, starting at Scotland's eastern border, travelling up the East, through the Highlands and back via the South West and Central belt.

Take the Tour
Tour Map   Part 1   Part 2   Part 3
Find your way around Scotland   Start in the East   The Highlands, the Islands and the West Coast   Finish in the South West and the Central Belt
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