By the third century B.C., the Celts controlled much of the European continent north of the Alps mountain range, including present-day Ireland and Great Britain.It is these islands off Europe’s western coast in which Celtic culture was allowed to survive and thrive, as the Roman Empire expanded on the European continent. The Highlands are a truly enchanting area of Scotland. One traditional local custom is the ceilidh (visit), a social occasion that includes music and storytelling. At the end of the 4th century CE, the Roman presence in Britain was threatened by "barbarian" forces. Lowlands, also called Scottish Lowlands, cultural and historical region of Scotland, comprising the portion of the country southeast of a line drawn from Dumbarton to Stonehaven; northwest of the line are the Highlands. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. We all know Scotland is the perfect holiday destination; with our swooping landscapes, captivating history, delicious local produce, and our culture-filled cities, we know you're eager to get back out there and explore. Regions Glasgow and Edinburgh compared: politics|economy|culture| Glasgow and Edinburgh are two of Scotland’s largest, most diverse and populous cities. The reigning king or queen is the country’s head of state. It has also been enriched by contacts with Europe, owing to the mobility of the Scottish people since the Middle Ages and the hospitality of Scotland’s universities to foreign students and faculty. Home to Scotland's historic capital city, Edinburgh & The Lothians is one of the most exciting regions in the country. Historically, this valley has been the most agriculturally productive region of Scotland. The Wider Benefits of Tourism to the Economy, Communities and Regions. ... All of these mean that tourism is an industry that can make an important contribution to inclusive growth in Scotland. Many years ago the ruggedness of the land led to the separation of the Highlanders into small groups called clans. Other films, such as Trainspotting (1996), Orphans (1997), Young Adam (2003), and Red Road (2006), enjoyed wide success, and Scottish films now figure in many international festivals. Robert Burns, detail of an oil painting by Alexander Nasmyth; in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Omissions? Scotland has also had a long presence in popular music, with artists such as Lonnie Donegan, a pioneer of prerock skiffle music, singer-songwriter Donovan, the Incredible String Band, and the Eurythmics. The traditional garment of the Highland clansmen is the kilt (belted plaid), which is suitable for climbing the rough hills. Teeming with history and intrigue, this majestic land is also a traditional Scotch whisky region. Alexander McCall Smith, who moved to Edinburgh, was made famous by his detective stories set in Botswana. 2. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Lead Contact: Elaine Ravenscroft, IMPACT Scotland Sports such as tossing the caber (a heavy pole) and the hammer throw are integral to the Highland games, a spectacle that originated in the 19th century; the games are accompanied by pipe bands and (usually solo) performances by Highland dancers. Its strength springs in part from the diverse strands that make up its background, including European mainstream cultures. IMPACT Scotland is the charitable trust taking the project forward, more details: www.impactscotland.org.uk. There has also been renewed interest in such traditional instruments as the bagpipe, fiddle, and clarsach (the small Celtic harp). A Woman's Claim of Right in Scotland: Women, Representation, and Politics , 1991. Canada is divided into six Indigenous social areas based on the geographic regions with tribes from the same region sharing a great number of cultural affinities. Check out our video on how to make the most out of your dream trip to Scotland … Updates? Scots have also made their mark in motion pictures. Scottish country dancing, however, is a pastime whose popularity has spread far beyond Scotland. The Pennines mountain chain runs through northern England and was the source of the coal, ores, and waterpower that fueled the Industrial Revolution. Although bagpipes have ancient origins elsewhere and are found throughout the world, they are one of the most recognized symbols of Scottish culture. the late Pope Shenouda III, on the 11th of June 1995. The term Lowlands is sometimes used in a more restricted sense to refer specifically to the Midland Valley. A heady mix of wild places and culture, Scotland is more than the sum of its parts: idyllic island beaches; raw and beautiful glens; untamed wildlife; historic cities. The Lowlands, as a cultural area, include two main topographic regions: the Midland Valley (or Central Lowlands) and the Southern Uplands (of southern Scotland). Scotland - Scotland - Cultural life: Scotland’s culture and customs remain remarkably vigorous and distinctive despite the country’s union with the United Kingdom since the early 18th century and the threat of dominance by its more powerful partner to the south. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, coal deposits promoted concentrated industrial activity and urbanization in the Midland Valley, where 80 percent of the population of Scotland now live. Scotland, Wales, and parts of England have highland regions with short mountains and rugged terrain. The regions were based on pre-Second World War regions, but were substantially altered in the 1970s, with the merger of South East and Southern regions, and alterations in the north. The following chart shows the growth performance of Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole since 1998. Sean Connery, perhaps best known for his portrayal of James Bond, was Scotland’s most-recognizable film star of the second half of the 20th century. Director Bill Forsyth first gained international acclaim in the 1980s, and his 1983 film Local Hero prompted a wave of tourism to the western islands. By 410 CE the Roman army had withdrawn. Corrections? Scottish filmmaking also enjoyed a renaissance after the success of Braveheart (1995), an American production that chronicles Scottish battles with the English in the 13th century and that helped rekindle nationalist aspirations. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. The city of Glasgow is the largest in Scotland and is filled with culture, entertainment and attractions. Isle of Skye. Legend has it that the Highlanders were in greater need of whisky than the other parts due to the long, gruelling winters and unpredictable agricultural seasons. Lowlands, cultural and historical region of Scotland, comprising the portion of the country southeast of a line drawn from Dumbarton to Stonehaven; northwest of the line are the Highlands. The concentration of economic activity within the east of Scotland, and in particular to Edinburgh, is becoming more noticeable. Culturally, the Highlands and the Lowlands diverged from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands. With the greatest number of departures in June, this is also the most popular time of the year. Many of the place names in these two regions (such as the main cities of Dunedin and Invercargill and the major river, the Clutha) have Scottish Gaelic names, and Celtic culture is still prominent in this area. Indeed, throughout Scotland private distilleries proliferated in the 17th century, which led the Scottish Parliament to impose a tax on whisky production in 1644. A poet whose songs were written in the Scottish dialect of English, Burns aroused great passion among his audience and gained a legion of dedicated followers. Whether you want to let your hair down at a folk music festival, sample oysters at Loch Fyne or seek solitude on a Munro, use our map of Scotland to start planning your trip. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. We have 12 tours that vary from 3 days to 16 days. The scenery is sublime, the wildlife rare and unique, and there is a strong cultural side to the island, as a place that has been home to poets and a setting for novels such as To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Scottish writers have the choice of three languages—English, Scots, and Gaelic. Gaelic poets such as Sorley Maclean and Derick Thompson are highly esteemed, as is Iain Crichton Smith, who is also known for his novels in English. In addition to haggis, Scotland is known for its Angus beef, porridge, stovies (a potato-rich stew), shortbreads, scones, cheese (Bishop, Kennedy, Caboc, Lanark Blue), toffee, and game dishes (e.g., salmon, venison, and grouse). The form of the kilt, Scotland’s national costume, has evolved since the emigration of Scots from Ireland. Kilts have deep cultural and historical roots in Scotland. Many Scots consider these games and traditions to be a self-conscious display of legendary characteristics that have little to do with ordinary Scottish life—a show put on, like national costumes, to gratify the expectations of tourists and encouraged by the royal family’s annual appearance at the Braemar Gathering near Balmoral Castle. Hugh MacDiarmid, a nationalist and Marxist, gained an international reputation for his Scots poetry in the first half of the 20th century, and others, such as Robert Garioch and Edwin Muir, followed his lead. Woman's Claim of Right Group. At the turn of the 1980s, however, a small but significant music scene developed in…, The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch shares power with a constitutionally organized government. Map showing spread of Gaelic speakers across Scotland. Scotland has a wealth of surviving traditional music, ranging from the work songs of the Hebrides to the ballads of the northeast. This is an agricultural region and has some beautiful rolling hills and greenery. Each clan had its own colourful pattern for weaving cloth and these patterns are called a tartan. By the 16th century, various clans had established hereditary pipers, and later the instrument was used in wartime to inflame the passions of soldiers in battle. From world-class cultural institutions and UNESCO World Heritage sites to award-winning restaurants and standout shopping, Edinburgh offers excitement and adventure at every turn. The Upper Lowlands This is the area that lies just north of the UK/Scotland border. The Ordination of HG. In the 1970s several Scottish performers, including the Average White Band and Rod Stewart (who was born in London to a Scottish family), had to relocate to the United States to experience wide-reaching success. Similarly, the Harry Potter books were written in Edinburgh by English novelist J.K. Rowling. The Scottish Highlands region Skye is a distillation of all that is wonderful about Scotland. Glaswegian stand-up comedian and actor Billy Connolly was a major force in British entertainment since the 1970s. Scotland's culture can be traced back almost a thousand years and it's just as alive today as it has ever been. Today whisky is among the country’s leading exports. Scottish Highland bagpipe; in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, England. The modern kilt, with its tartan pattern, became common in the 18th century and served an important role in the formation of a Scottish national identity. This book, originally published in 1988, examines the Highlands and Islands of Scotland over several centuries and charts their cultural transformation from a separate region into one where the processes of anglicisation have largely succeeded. These cultural areas of Canada include: Each clan was ruled by a chief, and the members of a clan claimed descent from a common ancestor. Painting and sculpture flourish and are displayed in numerous galleries and official exhibitions. Whereas many Scots had to leave the country to find success, vibrant local scenes in Glasgow and Edinburgh in the 1980s gave rise to such popular groups as Simple Minds and the Jesus and Mary Chain and later to Teenage Fanclub, Travis, Belle and Sebastian, and Snow Patrol. Official name:Scotland, Alba Form of government: constitutional monarchy Capital city: Edinburgh Largest city:Glasgow Population:around 5.2 million Monetary unit:Pound sterling (GBP) Official languages:English/Gaelic/Scots Area:78,772 km² (30,414 sq mi) Major mountain ranges:Southern Uplands, Central Lowlands, Grampian Mountains, North West Highlands Major rivers: River Tay, River Spey, River Dee, River Tweed, River Clyde English influence in the region expanded when Malcolm III, king of Scotland from 1057–1093, married an English princess. N… They’re a time-honored symbol of patriotism and they are carefully stored between wearings. Scotland’s culture and customs remain remarkably vigorous and distinctive despite the country’s union with the United Kingdom since the early 18th century and the threat of dominance by its more powerful partner to the south. The Highlands (Scots: the Hielands; Scottish Gaelic: a’ Ghàidhealtachd [ə ˈɣɛːəl̪ˠt̪ʰəxk], 'the place of the Gaels') is a historic region of Scotland. In the late 20th century there was a popular revival of 19th-century designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Performers such as the Battlefield Band, Tannahill Weavers, and Dougie MacLean have brought Scottish folk music to international audiences. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/place/Lowlands-region-Scotland. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Scotland in the 16th and early 17th centuries, James IV (1488–1513) and James V (1513–42), Mary (1542–67) and the Scottish Reformation, North Sea oil and the rise of Scottish nationalism, The establishment of a Scottish Parliament, local scenes in Glasgow and Edinburgh in the 1980s. Much of this area, which has a characteristic structure of sedimentary rocks with coal deposits, lies within the basins of the Rivers Forth and Clyde. Other contemporary novelists, many of whom earned an international following, include Muriel Spark, Alasdair Gray, Ian Rankin, Kate Atkinson, and James Kelman. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. They were again altered in 1984, to merge the English regions 1 and 2 to become a single North East region, and Scotland's two southern regions (East and West Zones) becoming a single South Zone. From the ancient clans of the 12th century, each generation has added their own cultural thumbprint, creating a unique and vibrant country. Knits from Fair Isle, with their distinctive designs woven from the fine wool of Shetland sheep, are also world famous. Explore a wide diversity of cultural tours in Northern Scotland tailored to suit your taste and thirst for adventure. Actors Ewan McGregor and Gerard Butler became familiar screen presences in the early 21st century. Glasgow & Clyde Valley captures much of Scotland’s charm and character in one region and thus has been referred to as “Little Scotland”. Chart 1: Nominal GVA growth for Scotland and the City of Edinburgh, index (1998=100), 1998 – 2017 The Edinburgh and Lothians region of Scotland is popular amongst tourists who come here to explore the historical and natural attractions, including Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, the Royal Lyceum Theatre and the National Botanic Garden. Traditionally, the Lowlands were distinguished by the use of the Scots language (considered a dialect or close In New Zealand, the southern regions of Otago and Southland were settled by the Free Church of Scotland. Latest figures show that 87,503 people in Scotland have some Gaelic skills - down 5,300 on the figure recorded 10 years earlier. Farmland near Minishant, South Ayrshire, in the Lowlands, Scot. The word ‘kilt’ is a derivation of the ancient Norse word, kjilt, meaning ‘pleated,’ and it refers to clothing that is tucked up and around the body. The culture of Canada covers the arts, culinary, literature, and the socio-economic elements that represent the people of Canada and the identity if the country. Total City Region Deal Investment: £10 million UK Government, £10 million Scottish Government and £5 million City of Edinburgh. All political power rests with the prime minister (the head of government) and the cabinet, and the monarch…. It is located in the northern part of Great Britain and it borders England to the south and has coastlines along the North Sea, Atlantic Ocean, North Channel, and the Irish Sea. 4.12. Once common throughout the country, the ceilidh is now a largely rural institution. Scotland is the second largest of the four regions making up the UK. Its strength springs in part from the diverse strands that make up its background, including European mainstream cultures. Withers, Charles W. J. Gaelic Scotland: The Transformation of a Culture Region , 1988. Traditionally, the Lowlands were distinguished by the use of the Scots language (considered a dialect or close relative of English) in contrast to the Scottish Gaelic (a Celtic language) spoken in the Highlands. Bishop Antony as the first Bishop and founder of the diocese of Ireland, Scotland, North East England and its Affiliated Regions , by the Holy hands of HH. Other traditions include Burns suppers (honouring poet Robert Burns), which often feature haggis (a delicacy traditionally consisting of offal and suet boiled with oatmeal in a sheep’s stomach) and cock-a-leekie (chicken stewed with leeks). The term whisky is derived from the Gaelic uisge-beatha, meaning “water of life.” Historical references to whisky date from the late 15th century, though its popularity in the country probably goes back even farther. Scotland's arts and culture offering is so much more than just bagpipes, tartan and thistles. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. While coal mining and heavy industry have declined in the region, it remains at the centre of the Scottish economy, with electronics and computer manufacture and service sectors such as telecommunications, computer software, and finance. The lowlands of southern England, Ireland, and central Scotland offer agricultural opportunities. The Picts (from present-day Scotland) and the Scoti (from Ireland) were raiding the coast, while the Saxons and the Angles from northern Germany were invading southern and eastern Britain. Beginning with the reign of Julius Caesar in the first century B.C., the Romans launched a military campaign against the C… An early Scottish poet of the 16th century, Sir Robert Ayton, wrote in standard English; one of his poems is thought to have inspired Robert Burns’s version of “Auld Lang Syne.” Burns is perhaps the foremost literary figure in Scottish history. Inspiring Scotland’s Creative Communities Cultural Funding Programme . England's appetite for Scottish land began to grow over the 12th and 13th centuries, and in 1296 King Edward I of England successfully invaded Scotland. Food and drink have played a central role in Scotland’s heritage. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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