What does Scotland look like? What languages do they speak? And what can you do in Scotland? Read and find out!

Scotland is a country in Great Britain, to the north of England. Scotland has nearly 800 islands, but people only live on some of them.

Scotland is a very beautiful country with many mountains, forests, beaches, rivers and lochs (the Scots word for lakes). In the north of Scotland it is light until 11.30 p.m. in summer and in winter you can sometimes see the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, which are spectacular lights in the sky. Energy from the sun turns the Earth’s sky green, red and other colours.

Scotland has its own parliament which makes laws for Scottish people. The Scottish parliament is in the capital city, Edinburgh. About five million people live in Scotland, which is 8.5 per cent of the UK population. Most people live in the south of the country in and around the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Dundee.


There are three languages in Scotland. Most people speak English and Scots. Scots is spoken by young and old people in cities and rural areas and sometimes people mix Scots and English. Some words in Scots are the same as in English and some are different. Look at these sentences. Can you see the difference?

  • Scotland is ane o the fower kintras that maks the Unitit Kinrick. (Scots)
  • Scotland is one of the four countries that make the United Kingdom. (English)

A minority (around one percent of the Scottish population) speak Scottish Gaelic, an old Celtic language which is very different from English. For example, the Gaelic word for Scotland is ‘Alba’, ‘What is your name?’ is ‘Dè an t-ainm a tha ort?’ and ‘Goodbye’ is ‘Slàn leat’.


At public and cultural events you can often hear traditional music and see traditional dancing. Pipers play music on bagpipes, a Celtic wind instrument with pipes and a bag. Pipers and dancers usually wear kilts. A kilt is a traditional skirt with a tartan design which is worn by men and women. Scots enjoy all types of music from folk to rock and pop, and festivals like the Edinburgh Festival or concerts like ‘T in the Park’ are very popular. Famous Scottish singers and groups include Paolo Nutini, Franz Ferdinand and The Fratellis.


The most popular sport in Scotland is football and famous teams include Celtic and Rangers, from Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city. Another popular game, golf, was invented in Scotland in the Middle Ages. You can go skiing or snowboarding in winter at Scotland’s five mountain ski resorts and any time of the year at snowsports centres around the country. In rural, Gaelic-speaking regions people play shinty, a traditional sport similar to hockey that is played in Scotland and Ireland.

The famous Scottish Highland Games are a combination of culture and sport. Competitors do heavy sports like ‘caber tossing’, where they throw big tree trunks, and there is traditional Scottish music and dancing. Highland Games are celebrated all over the world. The first Highland Games in New York were in 1836, the most northern games are in Norway and the most southern ones are in New Zealand.


When people think of Scottish food they often think of haggis, a type of sausage made from parts of a sheep. However, Scotland is also known for its variety of seafood such as lobster and oysters, fish such as salmon and trout, and beef.


Blue is a colour which is often associated with Scotland. The Scottish flag is blue with a white X-shaped cross called the St Andrew’s cross. St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and his day is celebrated on 30 November. On this day, everywhere you go in Scotland you will see tartan, kilts and bagpipes. Also, look out for the national animal, the unicorn, and the thistle, the purple flower of Scotland.

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Have you ever been to Scotland? Would you like to go?


hermione123's picture
hermione123 9 February, 2021 - 12:21

Oh, yes of course. Scotland sounds good. I didn't know that there is Scots language. Cool article, by the way :)

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beasam0109's picture
beasam0109 18 May, 2020 - 13:15

No, I've never been to Scotland but I think it is a beatifull country and in a few years I would like to visit it

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Desy's picture
Desy 15 April, 2020 - 13:08

I have never been to Scotland but I know that it is a very beautiful and interesting country, then I like to visit many places and I hope to go soon.

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MatildePace's picture
MatildePace 15 April, 2020 - 11:22

No, I have never been to Scotland. I would like to go to Scotland to visit the beautiful landscapes, castles and lakes including Loch Ness.

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gattifederica's picture
gattifederica 14 April, 2020 - 16:33

Yes, I have. I went to Edinburgh for one week two years ago because my old school organized this study trip. We students stayed in nice host families and we only slept and had breakfast with them. I visited the city and some museums and I went to school in the morning to improve my English. I’d like to go back to Scotland to visit again Edinburgh and Glasgow.

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AnastasiiaS's picture
AnastasiiaS 10 April, 2020 - 16:20

Have you ever been to Scotland? Would you like to go?
No,I have never been to Scotland, but I would like to go ,because I because I want to know more about their customs and how they spend their day.
Scotland is one of the most interesting countries within the UK. Edinburgh is regarded as one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe. I know that there are many historical sites in the cities and I would like to see them.
I dream to visit this wonderful country.I hope ,one day my dream will come true.

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empty's picture
empty 8 July, 2019 - 08:38

I've never been to Scotland . But I'd love to go . I know that Scotland is a beautiful country and I guess the people are friendly too .

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Youjiro's picture
Youjiro 18 February, 2019 - 14:26

I have never been to Scotland because My country is so far from Scotland.I understand Scotland have beautiful nature and breath taking lochs .I love loch ,I'd like to go there .I guess nature gives us opportunity that I can relieve stress .My country have a lot of beautiful nature I love that.I guess Scotland have same opportunity .

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SLMT's picture
SLMT 24 September, 2018 - 09:37

I’ve never been to Scotland .If I get a chance ,I’d love to go there.Because Andy Murray is one of my favorite tennis players.He is Scottish. And one of my English teacher is Scottish too.He always talk how beautiful Scotland is.He said Scottish are very friendly and they always help others.The sensory is fantastic and nature is breath taking.He even invite students to his home in Scotland.That’s why I want to visit there one day.

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Doruntina's picture
Doruntina 3 December, 2016 - 06:34

I've never been in Scotland but I will go there in September to go to University and I'm sure it's a very beautiful country because my cousin lives there and she like it even though it's cold

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 3 December, 2016 - 08:23

Hi Doruntina. That sounds like an exciting opportunity. We have some more things to read about Scotland if you would like to find out more before you go. Here are three (1 | 2 | 3) and if you want more, you can search for "Scotland" using the search box above. :)
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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jkds's picture
jkds 7 July, 2016 - 08:51

I have not gone to Scotland because my parents don't let me go. But I think I have to take them go , because I would like to them see beautiful Scotland.

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HH's picture
HH 28 May, 2016 - 16:10

I live in a country in Asia, which is really far from Scotland, so I have never been to this country. But my friends and teachers often mention Scotland as a wonderful and fascinating place, so I'm coming there one day, maybe when I'm a little bit older.
Can't wait till that day!!!!

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yjq299's picture
yjq299 17 May, 2016 - 08:47

I went there last summer. The people are very kind.There is a famous castle in Edinburgh.But I don't like the haggis.

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Ken's picture
Ken 18 May, 2016 - 05:19

Hi yjq299
Do you know the building named Dunmore Pineapple? Where is it?

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Maze_Runner's picture
Maze_Runner 2 May, 2016 - 12:06

what dos it mean by .. it's still light till 11:30 pm ??!!! that means the the sun sets at 11:30 pm !!!!!! is that real !!
sounds stunning

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JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 3 May, 2016 - 10:02

Hi Maze_Runner,
That's a good question and yes - that's exactly what it means. In Scotland in the summer the evenings are very long and the sun goes down very late in the evening. Is sounds great, doesn't it? 
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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jovanbeast90's picture
jovanbeast90 12 December, 2015 - 09:19

I would love to go to Scotland! I love the unusual way of speaking, the culture itself is splendid, and not to mention that i'm very fond of cold places *cough*mountains*cough* <3

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BigBen6464's picture
BigBen6464 9 December, 2015 - 17:42

I would really like to visit Scotland! I've read a lot about it. It all started when I saw a lovely photo in a magazine... Beautiful place!

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uncleTomqi's picture
uncleTomqi 26 October, 2015 - 16:55

My girlfriend is studying in Glasgow,which seems like a quiet and beautiful city. Hope soon enough I could accompany her there.

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gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 25 September, 2015 - 11:46

I would like to introduce something about Vietnam,too
Vietnam is a member of ASEAN ( Association of South East Asia nation)
It is a peaceful and beautiful country. Ho Chi Minh is the president that we respect most.
And Hanoi -the city of peace- is the capital of Vietnam.
If you like hot climate and high humidity, Hanoi might be the place for you.
If you love sunbathing and diving, Nha Trang is the city you should visit
If you want to discover the biggest cave of the world, Phong Nha Ke Bang is the place you can't help visiting.
If you want to comeback to history, please visit Hoi An ancient street.
Finally, if you like the peace and the silence, Thai Binh province- where I live , will make you satisfied. There are green paddy fields with blue sky in here.. It is very suitable to play flying kite. And in the evening, there are a lot of star twinkle on the sky. So beautiful and romantic.
Moreover, Vietnamese people are very friendly and hospitable.
Welcome to Vietnam! Greetings.

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