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About

Edinburgh Castle

  • Scotland is a country in north-western Europe
  • Sharing a 60 mile (96 km) long land border with England to the south
  • It is separated from Northern Ireland by the North Channel of the Irish Sea
  • Scotland has rich and strong culture, one of which many of its people are fiercely proud
  • English and Scots Gaelic are the languages of Scotland. English (sometimes spoken with a varying degree of Scottish dialect) is the everyday language spoken by all. Scots Gaelic meanwhile, is spoken by only around 60,000 people, mainly in the Highlands and the Western Islands.
  • Scotland is known throughout the world over for haggis, whisky, Aberdeen Angus beef, porridge, shortbread, tartan, and bagpipes
  • Scotland has also produced some of the greatest scientists of the world including the inventors of the television, telephone and penicillin
  • Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, apart from being its second largest city.
  • Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland. Aberdeen and Dundee are amongst the other major cities in the country.
  • The main religions of Scotland are Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) Scottish Episcopal Church and Roman Catholicism.
  • Scotland is the second largest country in the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • Scotland comprises of approximately 790 islands, out of which around 130 are inhabited.

HISTORY

  • Beginning around 8000 years ago, the first settlers are believed to have arrived in Scotland from the area of the Mediterranean
  • About 2000 BC first descendants of these settlers erect Standing Stones
  • AD 890 The Norsemen occupy the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland
    AD 1018 King Malcolm defeats the Angles and his grandson Duncan brings the country together under the name of Scotia, except for the remaining isles still held by Norsemen.
  • 1488-1513 Under the strong leadership of James IV Edinburgh becomes the capital of Scotland
  • 1706-1707 Union of Parliaments of England and Scotland
  • 1800 Glasgow’s population reaches 200,000 as cotton and shipbuilding industries flourish
  • 1848 Queen Victoria moves into Balmoral Castle, bringing the Highlands into popular fashion as the place to visit on holiday.
  • 1876 Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell patents his new invention, the first working telephone
  • 1914-1918 74,000 Scots die in World War I
  • 1931 Economic downturn – high unemployment in Clyde shipyards
  • 1934 Founding of the Scottish National Party
  • 1967 Oil discovered in the North Sea
  • 1996 Stone of Destiny returned to Scotland and now on display in Edinburgh Castle
  • 1999 Scotland’s parliament reestablished


FACTS

    Street in the Scottish Highlands

    • The Bank of Scotland, founded in 1695, is the oldest surviving bank in the UK. It was also the first bank in Europe to print its own banknotes.
    • The official animal of Scotland is Unicorn.
    • The motto of Scotland is ‘No one provokes me with impunity’.
    • Though Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, its legal system is still separate from that of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland
    • Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own fire-brigade.
    • Ben Nevis, at 1,343 m, forms the highest point in Scotland. While, the lowest point in the country is Bed of Loch Morar, at 987 ft (300 m) below sea level.
    • Scottish surnames are divided in two main categories, namely Gaelic names and Germanic names.
    • Scotland has its own parliament, which was elected for the first time in 1999. It is responsible for the social work service, education, health services and local government.
    • Scotland is very well known in the world for its whisky, popularly known as Scotch whisky.
    • Television, telephone, video cassette recorder, finger printing, home of golf, tarmacadam, tyres are penicillin were all Scottish inventions.
    • Scotland boasts of over 600 square miles of freshwater lakes, known as lochs, of which the most famous one is Loch Ness.

Avg. Costs

Cottage in Scotland

Meal Costs

  • High-end Restaurant –   £20+
  • Mid-Range Restaurant –   £10-20
  • Low-End Restaurant/Cafe –   £10 and less

Sightseeing Costs

  • Edinburgh Castle – Adult  £12,  Child  £6.50
  • The Royal Yacht Britannia – Adult  £10.50, Senior £9,  Child £6.75
  • Eilean Donan Castle – Adult  £5.50, Students/Seniors  £5,
  • Stirling Castle – Adult £9, Senior £7, Child £6
  • Brodick Castle & Garden Adult £10, Senior/Kids £7, Family £25

 

  • A real kilt costs about £300-£400
  • Eating in midrange restaurants £40-50/day
  • Backpackers can usually get by on about £25-30/day
  • Bus (between towns) – £3
  • Beer/Coffee – £3
  • Restaurant meal – £8-20
  • Chinese buffet – £12

 

Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.

Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Edinburgh Street Bagpiper

  • In any emergency call 999 or 112 (from a land-line if you can) and ask for Ambulance, Fire, Police or Coast Guard when connected.
  • Scotland is generally a very safe country to visit.
  • You should approach clubs and bars at night with caution, especially around closing time when drink fueled violence occurs, the best thing to do is use common sense and avoid any fighting.
  • The same advice extends to using public transport – especially buses – after dark.

 

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/. Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

Eilean Donan Castle

  • The climate of Scotland is temperate, and tends to be very changeable, but rarely extreme.
  • Although Scotland just touches on the Arctic Circle, the Gulf Stream winds manage to keep the temperatures relatively mild.
  • In the Highlands, the weather can turn extreme at any time – and very quickly too.
  • Scotland’s East Coast tends to be cool and dry. In winter the temperature rarely drops below freezing. On the West Coast, it’s a lot milder and wetter with average highest summer temperatures of around 19°C (66°F), in summer.
  • Scotland’s driest months are May and June; the warmest are July and August.
  • In northern Scotland the summer sun barely sets while during the winter months it hardly rises at all.

Places to See

Loch Achray

Edinburgh Castle

  • A castle which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh
  • Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC
  • As one of the most important fortresses in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle has been involved in many historical conflicts, from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, up to the Jacobite Rising of 1745
  • From the later 17th century, the castle became a military base

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Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia

  • The former Royal Yacht of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II
  • She was the 83rd such vessel since the restoration of King Charles II in 1660
  • She is the second Royal yacht to bear the name, the first being the famous racing cutter built for The Prince of Wales in 1893
  • She is now permanently moored as an exhibition ship at Ocean Terminal, Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland

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Eilean Donan Castle

  • The original castle was built in the early 13th century as a defence against the Vikings
  • The castle was demolished, by three Royal Navy frigates on 10–13 May 1719
  • The castle was restored in the years between 1919 and 1932 by Lt. Col. John MacRae-Gilstrap
  • The restoration included the construction of an arched bridge to give easier access to the castle
  • A curious distinction is that it has one of only two left-handed spiral staircases in a castle in Great Britain, as the reigning king at the time of building held a sword with his left hand
  • Another distinction of the castle today is the grey field gun from World War I, positioned outside the building by a war memorial and fountain
  • Eilean Donan is the home of the Clan Macrae
  • In 2001, the island had a population of just one person

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Stirling Castle

  • Located in Stirling, it is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland
  • The castle sits atop Castle Hill
  • It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position
  • Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1930s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has made it an important fortification from the earliest times
  • Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries

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Brodick Castle

  • A castle situated outside the port of Brodick on the Isle of Arran, an island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland
  • It was previously a seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, but is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland
  • Bee boles can be seen in the Walled Garden, which was built in 1710

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Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• A handshake is the typically greeting between all genders
– Men will generally throw in a “how do you do”
– Women extend their hand first
• Not very direct – don’t want to make a scene
– Are scene as indirect
• To be polite is highly valued
– Expect a lot of please and thank you
– Pay attention to their tone
• Keeping a few feet of personal space will be appreciated
– Touching is not common useless close friends
• Punctuality is valued
– Trains and buses run on time
• People walk on the left and pass on the right

Business Etiquette:
• Meetings should be planned far in advance
– Arrive on time
– Direct questions will often receive evasive responses
– Small talk is common
• Decisions are made from the top of the company down
– Can take some time
– Humor is often used in negotiations
– As a defense mechanism, self-deprecation or irony
– Avoid hard selling
– Market place bargaining is rare
• Dress etiquette depends on the working culture
– Men – suits, dress shirts, and pants
– Women – pants and blouse, skirt or dress
– Not too short
• Titles are very important – address people directly
– Men – Mr.
– Women – Mrs., or Miss,
– Surname follows
– Wait for an invitation to use first names
• Business cards are crucial
– Exchanged without any formal ritual

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