Learn About Scotland

Learn about Scotland with our collection of interesting and fun facts and fabulous collection of worksheets, designed to engage the kids and encourage them to learn more and expand their knowledge.

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Eilean Donan Castle, overlooking the Isle of Skye in Scotland

A Little Geography

  • Scotland is part of the island of Great Britain, alongside England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is situated off the north-west coast of mainland Europe. It occupies roughly the northern third of Great Britain.
  • Apart from its land border with England, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by sea (the North Sea to the east, the Irish Sea to the southwest, and the Atlantic to the north and west).
  • The border with England runs for 96km from the Solway Firth to just north of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
  • Scotland has a varied landscape which can be roughly divided into three areas – lowlands, Highlands and islands. 
  • Scotland's total land area is 30,400 square miles or 78,800 square kilometres.
  • Ben Nevis in the Grampian Mountains is the highest mountain in all of the British Isles and stands at 4,409 feet above sea level.
  • Many islands line the coast of Scotland. In the north are two large groups, the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands. Close to the west coast is the Inner and Outer Hebrides and the islands of Arran and Bute.

A Little History

  • Scotland has been inhabited for around 12,000 years, and the first known people were hunter-gatherers who hunted for fish and wild animals.
  • The first recorded history of Scotland begins in 43 AD, when the Romans invaded Britain. The Romans frequently tried to invade Scotland (Caledonia),  and built Hadrian's wall to defend the northern border and the Antonine Wall across Central Scotland to advance further. However, the Romans never truly conquered Caledonia. 
  • Around 800 AD, Vikings began migrating from Norway and Denmark to trade and settle in Scotland. While Vikings began to settle in the west, the Picts formed the Kingdom of Alba.
  • Scottish clan system became firmly established in the Highlands from the 1200s. These clans were like tribes and were made up of family members who had a loyalty to their chief, and each clan had their own clothes (this was the origin of Scottish clan tartan). 
  • In 1296, Edward I of England proclaimed himself the King of Scotland and the Scots rose against the English led by Sir William Wallace. Under his leadership, they defeated the English in battle at Stirling Bridge in 1297 and pursued them across the border, but Edward returned the following year defeating the Scots at Falkirk. Wallace was imprisoned and was executed.
  • Robert the Bruce followed in Wallace’s footsteps and fought against the English in 1314 at Bannockburn near Stirling Castle. 
  • In 1503, James IV of Scotland married Margaret the daughter of Henry VII of England. When he died the Scottish throne went to his daughter, Mary Stuart. In England, worried about the possibility of a Catholic plot against her, Elizabeth I imprisoned Mary and later had her executed.
  • Mary's son, James VI, took over the throne of Queen Elizabeth in England when she died, and Scotland and England were united under one single king, although Scotland still had its own parliament and government and was a separate state.
  • In 1707 the parliaments of both England and Scotland agreed to the Act of Union, establishing the Kingdom of Great Britain.

And Some Interesting facts

  • Golf was invented in Scotland, with St Andrews considered as the ‘home of golf’. The sport has been played there since the 15th century.
  • The first recorded appearance of the Loch Ness Monster occurred in 565 AD, when a " water beast " attacked one of St. Columba's followers in the loch. 
  • You may have heard of Nessie, but have you heard of Morag, the monster of Loch Morar? Loch Morar is even deeper than Loch Ness, and a female monster is said to have attacked two fishermen there in August 1969. The fishermen described the creature as around 30ft long with rough brown skin, three large humps and a snake-like head. 
  • Edinburgh, the capital city, was the first city in the world to have its own fire brigade.
  • Famous Scottish inventions include the television, developed by John Logie Baird in 1925, the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 and penicillin, by Alexander Fleming in 1928.
  • The Bank of Scotland, founded in 1695, is the oldest surviving bank in the UK.
  • Scotland has approximately 790 islands, 130 of which are still inhabited.
  • Scotland has the shortest commercial flight in the world from Westray to Papa Westray in Orkney. The flight is 1.5 miles long and takes just 47 seconds.
  • The first official international football match was played in Scotland at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick in 1872, between Scotland and England.​
  • Scotland's national animal is a unicorn!

Our "Learn About Scotland" Resources

A Day In Scotland Diary

A Day In Scotland Diary

Can the kids imagine they are growing up in Scotland, and write about all the things they might do in a typical day on the diary page?

Balmoral Castle Tourist Leaflet

Balmoral Castle Tourist Leaflet

There are lots of reasons to visit lovely Balmoral Castle - and the official website says you should allow plenty of time for a visit! Find out more about this historic building, then write your own tourist leaflet using our printable template. 

Balmoral Castle Writing Page

Balmoral Castle Writing Page

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert paid £30,000 for full ownership of Balmoral Castle in 1852. What other facts can your children find out and record on our Balmoral Castle writing page?

Climate Of Scotland Worksheet

Climate Of Scotland Worksheet

Do a little research into the climate of Scotland, then fill in the phone app with information on the weather there today. You could try this worksheet several times over a month or even a year to see how the climate varies?

Culture In Scotland

Culture In Scotland

Kilts, tartan and bagpipes are all part of Scottish culture! Write about these and more on this Culture in Scotland worksheet, or you can draw or cut and paste pictures if you prefer...

Edinburgh Castle Tourist Leaflet

Edinburgh Castle Tourist Leaflet

Iconic Edinburgh Castle is a must-see for anyone visiting Scotland's capital city. Can you fill this 3-fold tourist leaflet with information about the Castle for potential tourists? 

Food From Scotland Worksheet

Food From Scotland Worksheet

Haggis is Scotland's national dish. Can you find out about how it's made and served perhaps, and also write a bit about other popular food in Scotland? Then draw a traditional meal on the plate, too.

Forth Bridge Tourist Leaflet

Forth Bridge Tourist Leaflet

The aim of this 3 fold leaflet is to produce a tourist leaflet all about the Forth Bridge. You might need to do a little research first so you can add some interesting facts and information...

Hadrians Wall Tourist Leaflet

Hadrians Wall Tourist Leaflet

Hadrians Wall is one of the best Roman remains in the UK - can you write about this, and other reasons to visit in this Hadrians Wall Tourist leaflet?

Introduction To Scotland

Introduction To Scotland

You'll find out lots of interesting facts all about Scotland in our short introduction. Some of them might surprise you!

Loch Lomond Tourist Leaflet

Loch Lomond Tourist Leaflet

This writing prompt is a 3 fold leaflet - just print and fold on the dotted lines. Children need to do a little research to write a tourist leaflet all about Loch Lomond.

Packing For Scotland Worksheet

Packing For Scotland Worksheet

The weather is Scotland can certainly be unpredictable  - something to think about when packing a suitcase for a holiday there? You'll also need to think about the activities you might do on a trip to Scotland as part of this worksheet!

Scotland Coat Of Arms Worksheet

Scotland Coat Of Arms Worksheet

The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland was first adopted in the 12th century. Find out a little more about it, and write down your research on Worksheet 1. Or try Worksheet 2, which also asks you to design a new coat of arms for Scotland!

Scotland Compare And Contrast Venn Diagram

Scotland Compare And Contrast Venn Diagram

This compare and contrast Venn diagram gives a clear visual representation of how your life compares with someone living in Scotland. There might be a lot of similarities in the intersection of the circles, and some surprising differences too...

Scotland Compare And Contrast Worksheet

Scotland Compare And Contrast Worksheet

The ability to compare and contrast is an important skill for kids to learn, so help them practise with this Scotland Compare and Contrast worksheet. What are the differences and similarities between life in Scotland and where they live?

Scotland Fact Worksheet

Scotland Fact Worksheet

Research Scotland using this Scotland fact worksheet for guidance. It's a great extension activity for St Andrew's Day, Burns Night, a UK project or to find more about where you live.  

Scotland Landscape Story Paper

Scotland Landscape Story Paper

This beautiful Scotland landscape story paper is the perfect setting for any adventure, and you could set your story in ancient or modern times.

Scotland Location Worksheet

Scotland Location Worksheet

Can children place Scotland in Europe? We have two Scotland location worksheets to download and print: a blank version for older children and a guided version for younger.

Scotland Picture Gallery

Scotland Picture Gallery

You could draw six different pictures of Scotland in this picture gallery. Or you could choose a theme for your picture gallery, such as Scottish castles or wildlife...

Scotland Postcard 1

Scotland Postcard 1

This beautiful postcard features beautiful Scottish scenery, perfect for inspiring the kids to do a little writing on the back...

Scotland Postcard 2

Scotland Postcard 2

Have some fun designing your own postcard from Scotland. What will the kids draw on the front I wonder?

Scotland Poster 1

Scotland Poster 1

The striking colours and natural beauty of the Scottish countryside shine out of this poster! Perfect for a display about Scotland...

Scotland Poster 2

Scotland Poster 2

This simple poster won't use too much ink, but it makes a perfect centre point for a display about Scotland.

Scotland Tourist Leaflet

Scotland Tourist Leaflet

This 3-fold leaflet is just like the leaflets you will find in tourist information centres! Fill it with lots of interesting facts and places to visit in Scotland.

Scotland Travel Brochure Worksheet

Scotland Travel Brochure Worksheet

Write some content for a Scotland Travel Brochure, using some eye-catching headlines and persuasive language. Draw a picture of something interesting too - Edinburgh Castle, or the Loch Ness Monster perhaps?

Scotland Worksheet

Scotland Worksheet

Our Scotland worksheet can be used to review a project on Scotland, with children recalling what they learned, or as a research prompt to inspire children to find out more about Scotland.

More About Scotland

Scotland Worksheets
Scotland Worksheets

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