Portal:Scotland


     The Scotland Portal   
Main PageSelected articlesSelected biographiesSelected quotesFeatured ContentCategories & Topics

Introduction

Flag of Scotland

Scotland (Scots: Scotland, Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] (listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154 km) border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and the Irish Sea to the south. The country also contains more than 790 islands, principally in the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles. Most of the population, including the capital Edinburgh, is concentrated in the Central Belt – the plain between the Scottish Highlands and the Southern Uplands – in the Scottish Lowlands.

Scotland is divided into 32 administrative subdivisions or local authorities, known as council areas. Glasgow City is the largest council area in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. Limited self-governing power, covering matters such as education, social services and roads and transportation, is devolved from the Scottish Government to each subdivision. Scotland is the second largest country in the United Kingdom, and accounted for 8.3% of the population in 2012.

The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI of Scotland became king of England and Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union also created the Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain entered into a political union with the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (in 1922, the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being officially renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927).

Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland. The legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland; Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law. The continued existence of legal, educational, religious and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 incorporating union with England.

In 1999, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. The head of the Scottish Government is the first minister of Scotland, who is supported by the deputy first minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the United Kingdom Parliament by 59 MPs. Scotland is also a member of the British–Irish Council, sending five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly, as well as being part of the Joint Ministerial Committee, represented by the first minister. (Full article...)

Selected article

Scottish red deer stag (Cervus elaphus scoticus)

The fauna of Scotland is generally typical of the northwest European part of the Palearctic realm, although several of the country's larger mammals were hunted to extinction in historic times and human activity has also led to various species of wildlife being introduced. Scotland's diverse temperate environments support 62 species of wild mammals, including a population of wild cats, important numbers of grey and harbour seals and the most northerly colony of bottlenose dolphins in the world.

Many populations of moorland birds, including the black and red grouse live here, and the country has internationally significant nesting grounds for seabirds such as the northern gannet. The golden eagle has become a national icon, and white-tailed eagles and ospreys have recently re-colonised the land. The Scottish crossbill is the only endemic vertebrate species in the UK.

Scotland's seas are among the most biologically productive in the world; it is estimated that the total number of Scottish marine species exceeds 40,000. The Darwin Mounds are an important area of deep sea cold water coral reefs discovered in 1998. Inland, nearly 400 genetically distinct populations of Atlantic salmon live in Scottish rivers. Of the 42 species of fish found in the country's fresh waters, half have arrived by natural colonisation and half by human introduction. (Full article...) Read more...

Selected quotes

" ...   A place for everything, and everything in its place   ... "

Samuel Smiles

" ...   All politicians have vanity. Some wear it more gently than others   ... "

Sir David Steel, speaking in 1985

In the news

In the news
19 July 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland
Restrictions are also being eased across Scotland to level zero. Unlike in England, face coverings are still mandatory in indoor public places and on public transport. The change also means that four households can meet indoors at home, up to 10 households can meet in a pub or restaurant, up to 15 households can meet outdoors and up to 200 people can attend a wedding or funeral. (BBC)
26 May 2021 –
Jan Graffius, the curator of the Stonyhurst Collections states that the theft of the gold rosary that Mary, Queen of Scots took to her execution is a “very tragic loss” for Catholic history. Thieves broke into Arundel Castle in West Sussex, southern England, stealing the rosary and other items worth more than $1.4 million. (Catholic News Agency)
17 May 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
Lockdown restrictions are eased in England, Wales, and Scotland with museums, cinemas, children's play areas, and hotels reopening. Pubs, bars, and restaurants can now serve customers indoors again with social distancing rules in place. In England, people can now gather in groups of 30 outdoors and meet indoors in groups of up to six. A ban on international travel is also lifted. (BBC)
8 May 2021 – 2021 Scottish Parliament election
The Scottish National Party wins a historic fourth term in office. Along with the Scottish Greens, the majority of seats in the new Scottish Parliament will belong to parties favouring a proposed second independence referendum. Voter turnout also reaches a record high of 64%. (The Guardian)
6 May 2021 – Elections in the United Kingdom
2021 Senedd election, 2021 Scottish Parliament election

Selected biography

McAvoy at the Cannes Festival in 2014

James McAvoy (/ˈmækəvɔɪ/; born 21 April 1979) is a Scottish actor. He made his acting debut as a teen in The Near Room (1995) and made mostly television appearances until 2003, when his feature film career began. His notable television work includes the thriller State of Play and the science fiction miniseries Frank Herbert's Children of Dune. He has performed in several West End productions and has received four nominations for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, and has also done voice work for animated films including Gnomeo & Juliet, its sequel Sherlock Gnomes and Arthur Christmas.

In 2003, McAvoy appeared in a lead role in Bollywood Queen, then in another lead role as Rory in Inside I'm Dancing in 2004. This was followed by a supporting role, as the faun Mr. Tumnus, in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). His performance in Kevin Macdonald's drama The Last King of Scotland (2006) garnered him several award nominations, including the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. The critically acclaimed romantic drama war film Atonement (2007) earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination and his second BAFTA nomination. He later appeared as a newly trained assassin in the action thriller Wanted (2008).

In 2011, McAvoy played Professor Charles Xavier in the superhero film X-Men: First Class, a role he reprised in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Deadpool 2 (2018) and Dark Phoenix (2019). McAvoy starred in the crime comedy-drama film Filth (2013), for which he won Best Actor in the British Independent Film Awards. In 2016, he portrayed Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with 23 alternate personalities, in M. Night Shyamalan's Split, for which he received critical acclaim, and later reprised the role for the sequel Glass (2019). Since 2019, he has played Lord Asriel Belacqua in the BBC/HBO fantasy series His Dark Materials. (Full article...) Read more ...

Selected picture

Did You Know...

Help available

Get involved

Scotland Related WikiProjects
and Task forces
WikiProject Clans of Scotland talk
WikiProject Medieval Scotland talk
WikiProject Scottish Castles talk
WikiProject Scottish Islands talk
WikiProject Scottish Television talk
WikiProject Transport in Scotland talk
WikiProject Edinburgh talk
Fife task force talk
Scottish Gaelic task force talk

For editor resources and to collaborate with other editors on improving Wikipedia's Scotland-related articles, see WikiProject Scotland.

To get involved in helping to improve Wikipedia's Scotland related content, please consider doing some of the following tasks or joining one or more of the associated Wikiprojects:


Do you have a question about The Scotland Portal that you can't find the answer to?
Post a question on the Talk Page or consider asking it at the Wikipedia reference desk.

Other language versions

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Wikispecies 
Species

Portals

Purge server cache