Whether you’re Scottish born and bred, living here temporarily or just visiting, there’s plenty to love about our wee country. From its physical attractions and rich history to its culinary and cultural gifts, there’s plenty on offer to make anyone love living here.
The Scottish landscape
It’s no secret that the further North you go in Scotland the more breathtaking the views become. A visit to somewhere like the Hebrides gives the perfect example of the beautiful landscape that Scotland can offer which makes you feel a world apart from the hectic pace of city life.
With a recent study showing that spending time in nature is linked to decreased anxiety, depression and stress, exploring the beauty of Scotland can have a positive effect on your mental health. The richness of the Scottish landscape is greatly enhanced by the remarkable historical sights and buildings which feature throughout the country.
Companies such as Historic Scotland support the maintenance of these historic features and a quick browse of their website reveals the vast selection which Scotland has to offer. Our very own Stirling Castle has recently been named Scotland’s top attraction. With so much on your doorstep, it’s impossible not to fall for Scotland’s beauty.
The fine cuisine of Scotland
Although Scotland is somewhat renowned for its unhealthy habits, the country does offer some delicious indulgences which make for a special treat. A full Scottish breakfast with Stornoway black pudding and haggis is no doubt the best cure for a hangover, and nothing quite beats a chippy with chippy sauce on a Friday night. For the vegetarians among us, vegetarian haggis is just as tasty. For those with a sweet tooth, shortbread and tablet are natural classics, or a decadent cranachan is the uncontested traditional champion of Scottish desserts – although a deep-fried Mars bar is said to be a novelty unlike any other.
Although the country is freezing more often than not, the Scots know how to make a good ice cream, offering an ‘Ice Cream Trail’ since 2015 – with over 100 different businesses involved there’s plenty of competition for the best ice cream and only one way to make your decision! In addition to the wealth of food on offer, Scotland offers a range of drinks distinct to our little country.
Most notable are our ‘other’ national drinks of IRN-BRU (which even boasts own annual carnival) and Buckfast, which has been made into a variety of cocktails and desserts, and even used in beef stews.
Scotland’s people and culture
The traditions of Scottish culture form a distinct and amazing part of the Scottish persona and the stereotype for which we are known around the world. The heritage of clans continues to be a mark of honour in family celebrations and a Scottish wedding is definitely not complete without a groom in a kilt or a rowdy ceilidh to finish the night off.
One of the best things about living in Scotland is the diversity of cultures and the festivals which are held to celebrate this diversity. In Edinburgh alone festivals attract over 4 million people annually, a substantial amount of that being the Fringe festival which is the largest arts festival in the world. Scotland welcomes roughly 15 million tourists a year and with the range of things to do its easy to see why!
Scotland is lucky to boast a base of natural resources which can be used for renewable energy which is remarkable by both European and global standards. In 2015 it was estimated that nearly 60 per cent of Scotland’s energy came from renewable energy sources and pollution in the majority of areas are considered to be in the lowest index. The Scottish Government is committed to improving low-carbon technologies which is certainly something to be proud of. Recently wind turbines generated more electricity than was used in the whole of the country in a single day – impressive to say the least!
Scottish sport. Yes, really.
The performance of Scots in international sport is certainly something to be proud of with some of the most talent sports men and women coming from our own little country – the University of Stirling campus itself is currently home to some of Scotland’s Olympic silver swimmers. The 2016 Rio Olympics saw athletes such as Callum Skinner and Heather Stanning bring home gold medals, and a great deal of Scottish pride.
Let’s not forget Stirlingshire’s own Andy Murray – and his brother Jamie – who were both ranked tennis number one in singles and doubles respectively in 2016. Being able to watch the success of Scottish peeps in sport and the pride which comes with it is one of the many great aspects of living in this country.
So, do you fancy giving Scotland a try? If you haven’t already, you can still gain a university place through Clearing in Scotland for September 2018. Just check out which Clearing courses are available and call our Clearing and Exam Helpline to secure your place.
– Sarah Raffles, Student Assistant