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Scotland - My Birth Place


Scotland - My Birth Place

  • 14 Pins

Scottish Sheep Photograph by Marc Lanciaux, My Shot Sheepherding in Scotland has a long history, not all of it pleasant. Many of the pastures in the Western Highlands—where these sheep peer through a fence—were created during the "clearances" of the late 1800s, when wealthy landowners seeking greater profits brutally evicted their tenants and converted their subsistence farmland to pasture.

Scotland Photos -- National Geographic

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Edinburgh Photograph by Allan Baxter/Getty Images Lights brighten Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh, at twilight. Most of the country's five million people live in the lowland area where Edinburgh and Glasgow are located.

Scotland Photos -- National Geographic

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Ceilidh Dance Photograph by Jim Richardson The Scottish ceilidh (pronounced KAY-lee) began as a gathering where people shared music and told stories. These days, it tends to be more about the dancing. Ceilidhs, like American barn dances, are high-spirited social affairs with group dances and callers who help novices, like this young Scot in the Outer Hebrides' Castlebay, learn the steps.

Isle of Lewis Photograph by Louis deCarlo, My Shot The western shore of the windswept Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides is dominated by jagged, rocky cliffs and roiling Atlantic waves. It’s also the site of ancient stone circles. Inland are fertile lands, expansive peat moors, and in the south, hills. A low population and diverse habitats make the island one of Scotland's premier wildlife-watching sites.

Skara Brae, Orkney Photograph by Paul Sutherland Archaeology received a gift from nature in 1850, when a strong storm hit the Orkney Islands, stripping away sand dunes and uncovering the remains of the Skara Brae settlement. Later excavations would reveal a complex of stone houses linked by passageways that dates to between 3200 and 2500 B.C. It’s considered the best preserved Neolithic village ever found in northern Europe and is a World Heritage site.

Whisky Distillery Photograph by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images Producing Scotch whisky is a proud national tradition. In fact, the word "whisky" comes from the Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha, an adaptation of the Latin phrase aqua vitae, meaning "water of life." Scotland has more than a hundred distilleries, and each strives to produce its own distinct flavor. Here, a taster draws a sample from a cask at the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay.

Highland Dancer Photograph by Romilly Lockyer/Getty Images Traditionally performed by men, Scottish Highland dancing today is more often performed by women. Highland dancing involves vigorous exertion, precision positioning, and meticulous arm- and footwork. Bagpipers generally accompany the dancing, playing intricate tunes composed by a single family in the 16th century.

Scotland Photos -- National Geographic

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Crathes Castle Photograph by Brian Lawrence/Getty Images Construction on Crathes Castle, near Aberdeen, began in 1553 and lasted 43 years. The estate's famed walled garden is divided into eight themed areas separated by Irish yew hedges, some of which are more than 300 years old.

Scotland Photos -- National Geographic

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Loch Ness Photograph by Emory Kristof More than a thousand people claim to have seen the bulbous back of an unidentified creature briefly break the glassy surface of Loch Ness, then disappear. This legendary body of water is the country's second largest loch, slightly smaller in surface area, though deeper, than Loch Lomond to its south.

Puffin Photograph by Zhouyang Sun, My Shot Each spring nearly a million puffins arrive at the cliffs of Scotland's west coast to lay their eggs. These birds, with their colorful beaks and doleful expressions, can be seen darting to and from the ocean, gathering mouthfuls of fish for their hatchlings.

Church of Saint Mungo, Glasgow Photograph by Christopher Nyce, My Shot This sculpture is in Glasgow’s Church of Saint Mungo, named for the city’s patron saint. The church is just down the road from the Gothic Glasgow Cathedral, nicknamed Saint Mungo's Cathedral because it's on the spot where the sixth-century bishop built his first church. It is also the site of his tomb

Scotland Photos -- National Geographic

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Edinburgh Castle Photograph by Jim Richardson Castle Rock, whose vertical flanks rise above the Scottish city of Edinburgh, may have first served as a strategic stronghold around 850 B.C. For the past thousand years it’s been the site of Edinburgh Castle, the thick-walled fortress at the center of nearly every major conflict in Scotland's history.

Scotland Photos -- National Geographic

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Lonach Highlanders Photograph by Jim Richardson The mission of the Lonach Highland & Friendly Society includes preserving Highland dress and promoting "peaceable and manly conduct." Each summer since 1823, the group has held a "gathering," a march through the towns around Strathdon in eastern Scotland, culminating in an afternoon of traditional Scottish games.

Scotland Photos -- National Geographic

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Eilean Donan Castle Photograph by Getty Images Widely considered Scotland's most photographed site, Eilean Donan Castle perches on an island at the meeting of three lochs in western Scotland. The island’s first castle was an early 13th-century fortification against raiding Vikings, and it's been sacked and rebuilt several times. The most recent facelift was completed in 1932.