Culture in Scotland

Scottish people are famous across the world for their warmth and hospitality.  So many people – either those thousands who come to live here permanently or the 2.5 million visitors who travel to Scotland every year – speak of the genuine friendliness of the Scottish people. Nearly three quarters of international visitors have said that one of their primary reasons for visiting Scotland is its people.

Whether you’re asking for stranger for directions or just getting something to eat in a pub, you’ll always be met with a warm smile and a friendly word in Scotland.

The Scottish identity

Scottish people have a strong national identity, but this doesn’t stop them from welcoming in new cultures and people. Historically, Scotland has a long tradition of embracing new cultures and traditions.

Modern Scotland is a rich and diverse country which sees many different cultures from across the world living in harmony together.  Scottish people hold equality, tolerance and social justice in high esteem, and there’s really nothing more important to Scots than simply getting together and having a good time.

Scotland welcomes other nations with open arms, and with this kind of reputation it’s no wonder that 50 million people across the globe claim to have Scottish ancestry.

Scottish culture

Despite dating back for almost a thousand years, Scottish traditions are just as alive today as they were in the 12th century. Changing with every generation, Scottish culture is living, breathing, and constantly evolving.

Two of the things Scotland has remained famous for throughout the centuries are whisky and golf. Scotch whisky, which is famous across the globe and as popular in Scotland as it has ever been, is possibly one of Scotland’s most well-known inventions. Mature, single malt whiskies are now seen as an investment in the same way that wine is; the highest price ever secured for a bottle of whisky at auction was £288,000.

Golf is probably Scotland’s other most famous export. The country is home to over 570 golf courses, and remains one of the world’s most popular destinations for golf lovers. Packed with historic courses and magnificent Open venues, including the Old Course at St Andrews, Muirfield, Carnoustie and Royal Troon, it’s no surprise that Scotland continues to appeal to awestruck golfers from the world over.

Bagpipes, kilts and haggis

Of course, golf and whisky aren’t all we’re known for. Everybody across the world knows the cliché of Scottish bagpipers in kilts, but in reality, the experience of seeing a hundred bagpipers skirling in unison is magical, and this happens every August at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and on Glasgow Green.

We also know about the stereotypical notion of traditional Scottish food – porridge, whisky, and haggis. Today, Scotland is much more famed for the number of world-famous – and often Michelin-starred – chefs it produces, including Nick Nairn, Andrew Fairlie and Gordon Ramsay. We’re also known for the incredible natural produce which comes from Scotland. Our beef, seafood and venison are known as some of the best in the world.

And kilts? The kilt is definitely making a comeback on the catwalk, as recent years have seen designers including Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier taking traditional Scottish attire to glamorous new heights.

  • Scots are known for their warmth and sense of humour
  • Scotland has been welcoming students from all over the globe into its world class universities for centuries
  • Modern Scotland is a cosmopolitan and inclusive society
  • Scotland makes vibrant, contemporary contribution to the artistic world through events such as the Edinburgh International Festival, world ranking authors and musicians
  • Scotland’s culture is expressed in its musical traditions, Folk and traditional music, as well as contemporary and classical
  • There are nearly 300 museums and galleries in Scotland

More information on: Robert Gordon University | University of Dundee