Today Scotland's population is approx 5.1 million. Glasgow is the largest city with a population of approximately 660,000 while the capital, Edinburgh, has a population of around 400,000 with Aberdeen next at just under 190,000.
Scotland covers an area of approximately 30000 sq miles/ 77700 sq km and is situated between 55 and 60 degrees north. Scotland's central belt is at almost the same latitude as Moscow, Shetland being closer to the Arctic Circle than to the south of England. Scotland constitutes around 34% of Britain's land mass and is roughly two-thirds the size of England.
Most westerly point: Ardnamurchan Point
Most northerly point: Easter Head, Dunnet Head
Most easterly point: Keith Inch, Peterhead
Most southerly point: Mull of Galloway
The mainland has sea on three sides and there are few places in Scotland more than 40 miles/64 km from salt water. The west coast is about 260 miles/416 km in a straight line but has over 2000 miles of indented coastline.
Scotland has just under 700 golf courses and just over 100 whisky distilleries.
Mainland Scotland, north of its 60 mile border with England, is divided into three geographical areas. The Highlands, about half the land area, lie north of a line known as the Highland Boundary Fault, from Helensburgh in the west to Stonehaven in the east. This broad definition includes low-lying ground around the Moray Firth. The Central Lowlandsor `central belt', with the highest population density, lie below the Highlands. The Lowlands' southern boundary is another line defined by geology, running from Girvan in the west to Dunbar in the East.
284 peaks over 914 m/3000 ft of which seven are over 1219 m/4000 ft.
220 peaks at 762-914 m/2500-3000 ft
TEN HIGHEST MOUNTAINS IN SCOTLAND:
Ben Nevis (highest mountain in Britain) 1344 m/4406 ft
Ben Macdui 1309 m/4296 ft
Braeriach 1296m/4252 ft
Cairn Toul 1291m/4236 ft
Cairn Gorm 1245 m/4084 ft
Aonach Beag 1236m/4054 ft
Carn Mor Dearg 1223m/4012 ft
Aonach Mor 1219 m/3999 ft
Ben Lawers 1214m/3984 ft
Beinn a’Bhuird 1197m/3927 ft
Highest Sea Stack In Britain:Old Man of Hoy 137m/450ft
Highest Waterfall In Scotland:Eas Coul Aulin 211m/692ft
Highest Village In Scotland:Wanlockhead 430m/1411ft
790 big rocks to large islands, 130 of which are inhabited.
The largest stretch of fresh water on mainland Britain is Loch Lomond, it has a surface area of 70 sq km/27 sq miles. The loch with the biggest volume is Loch Ness, the deepest is Loch Morar and the longest is Loch Awe. Mainland lochs number at least 40. The longest river is the Tay 188 km/117 miles.
BIGGEST NATIVE LAND MAMMAL:Red Deer
SMALLEST NATIVE LAND MAMMAL:Pygmy Shrew
SMALLEST BIRD: Goldcrest
BIGGEST BIRD: White-tailed Sea Eagle
OLDEST TREE: Yew in Fortingall churchyard 3000+ years old, north of Loch Tay
TALLEST TREE: “Grand Fir” 58m/190ft in Ardkinglas Woodland Garden, near Inveraray
HIGHEST HEDGE: Beech hedge planted in 1746, now at least 30m/98ft high and 600m/197ft long at Meikleour, near Perth
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
The rocks in Scotland are amongst the oldest in the world about three billion years old.
Scotland was at one time part of a huge continent linking North America and Scandinavia.
Scotland was separated from England by a sea 1,000 miles wide.
Scotland was once south of the equator and baked in sub-tropical temperatures.
Scotland's position on the edge of the European continent with sea on three sides means that the weather is very varied. Records show that May and June are usually drier than July and August. Edinburgh's annual rainfall is only slightly greater than London's and many of the east coast towns have less annual rainfall than Rome. Generally speaking, the east coast tends to be cool and dry, the west coast milder and wetter.
HERE ARE SOME EXTREMES OF WEATHER:
Highest recorded air temperature
32.8°C/91 °F at Dumfries on 2 July 1908
Lowest recorded air temperature
-27.2°C/-17°F at Braemar on 10 January 1982 and Altnaharra on 30 December 1995
Maximum duration of sunshine in a month
329 hours at Tiree in May 1975, an average of 10.6 hours per day
Maximum rainfall in a day
238.4mm/9.39 inches at Sloy on 17 January 1974
Things to do
Travel to Scotland