Portal:Scotland

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THE SCOTLAND PORTAL

Flag of Scotland
Royal Arms of Scotland.svg
Scotland in Europe

Scotland (Gaelic: Alba) is a country that occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It is part of the United Kingdom, and shares a land border to the south with England. It has a population of 5,295,400 and an area of 78,800 km2.

Scotland shares a 60 mile (96 km) land border to the south with England, and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. Scottish waters border those of Norway, the Faeroes, Iceland and Republic of Ireland. Apart from the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands, giving it a coastline of approximately 6,200 miles (9,900 km).

The Kingdom of Scotland was united in 843, by Kenneth MacAlpin, King of Scots, and is thus one of the oldest still-existing countries in the world. Scotland existed as an independent state until the Act of Union, 1 May, 1707.

The flag of Scotland - the Saltire or St Andrew's Cross - is thought to be the oldest national flag still in use. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and Saint Andrew's Day, on 30 November, is Scotland's national day. There are currently attempts to create a national holiday on this day. Scottish people have played prominent parts in many important inventions and discoveries.

Selected article

Sir Compton Mackenzie

Sir Compton Mackenzie, OBE (/ˈkʌmptən məˈkɛnzɪ/; 1883–1972) was a prolific writer of fiction, biography, histories, and memoir, as well as a cultural commentator, raconteur, and lifelong Scottish nationalist. He was one of the co-founders in 1928 of the Scottish National Party along with Hugh MacDiarmid, RB Cunninghame Graham and John MacCormick. Compton Mackenzie was born in West Hartlepool, England, into a theatrical family of Mackenzies, but many of whose members used Compton as their stage surname, starting with his grandfather Henry Compton, a well-known Shakespearean actor of the Victorian era. His father, Edward Compton, was an actor and theatre company manager; his sister, Fay Compton, starred in many of J. M. Barrie's plays, including Peter Pan. He was educated at St Paul's School and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated with a degree in modern history.

Sir Compton Mackenzie is perhaps best known for two comedies set in Scotland, the Hebridean Whisky Galore (1947) and the Highland The Monarch of the Glen (1941), sources of a successful film and a television series respectively. He published almost a hundred books on different subjects, including ten volumes of autobiography, My Life and Times (1963–1971). He also wrote history (on Marathon and Salamis), biography (Mr Roosevelt, 1943, a biography of FDR), literary criticism, satires, apologia (Sublime Tobacco 1957), children's stories, poetry, and so on. Of his fiction, The Four Winds of Love is sometimes considered to be his magnum opus. It is described by Dr. John MacInnes (formerly of the School of Scottish Studies) as "one of the greatest works of English literature produced in the twentieth century."

Selected picture

The Forth Bridge

The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, to the east of the Forth Road Bridge, and 14 kilometres (9 mi) west of central Edinburgh. It was opened on 4 March 1890, and spans a total length of 2,528.7 metres (8,296 ft). It is often called the Forth Rail Bridge or Forth Railway Bridge to distinguish it from the Forth Road Bridge.

Photo credit: George Gastin

Selected quotes

James Mackintosh

William McIlvanney

In the news

Did You Know?


  • ...that Archie Roy had an asteroid named after him?

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Major topics

History Timeline | Prehistoric Scotland | Scotland in the High Middle Ages | Wars of Scottish Independence | Scottish Enlightenment | Colonization | Acts of Union 1707 | Jacobitism | Highland Clearances
Politics Scottish Parliament | Scottish Government | First Minister of Scotland | Member of the Scottish Parliament | Secretary of State for Scotland | Scotland Office
Geography Geology | Climate | Mountains and hills | Islands | Lochs
Economy Companies | Bank of Scotland | Royal Bank of Scotland | North Sea oil | Scotch whisky | Harris Tweed
Demographics Scottish Gaelic language | Scots language | Scottish English | Highland English | Burghs
Culture Education | Scottish Football Association | Scottish Rugby Union | Clans |Highland games | Hogmanay | Innovations & discoveries
Symbols Flags (National Flag | Royal Standard) | Royal Arms (UK/Scottish) | Tartan | Bagpipes | Tartan Day

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