For Anglophiles

My Favourite Scottish Things

By my rough calculations, the square mileage of Scotland could fit into my adopted home state of California five times. And seven times as many people live in California than in Caledonia. But despite being a small country, Scotland holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Aberdeen for eight years when I was little and I’ll be watching Thursday’s independence vote with emotion and nostalgia.

It’s hard to capture my affection for Scotland in words. This is the country where I learned to read, learned to ride a bike, and learned that my feet were smaller than the gaps in a cattle grid.

So, instead of an essay, here are a few of my favourite (Scottish) things:

All photos: freeimages.com

All photos: freeimages.com

Favourite Scottish food: the Aberdeen buttery. A cross between a croissant and a bread roll, this is a tasty breakfast indulgence. I really should try my hand at making them.
Favourite ruined castle: Dunnotar. I defy you to visit this breathtaking fortress and not be inspired to create creepy stories, if only in your head.
Favourite inhabited castle: Glamis. Just look at all those turrets. Wow.
Favourite Scottish beach: St Cyrus  …although I read that blown sand has now changed the beach dramatically from how I remember it. I have ridiculously happy memories of family visits here.
Favourite sequence in a film: Skyfall. This short but atmospheric scene gets me every time.
Favourite Scottish festival: Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony. Held every new year’s eve (Hogmanay), the pagan drama of this procession is unforgettable.

Have you been to Scotland? What would be on your list?

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5 Comment

  1. Reply
    Julia Ibbotson
    September 18, 2014 at 1:43 am

    We in England await tomorrow’s news with trepidation and mixed emotions. No, most of us don’t want a “divorce” from Scotland or a break up of the union. My husband and I have a little apartment in the Highlands, near Aviemore, and we love Scottish salmon, trout, cranachan, fresh rasberries; walking the lower levels of the Cairngorms and gazing across the lochs to the smoky blue mountains beyond! Hopefully we will not become “strangers”!

    1. Reply
      Pauline Wiles
      September 18, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Ooh, yes, salmon: preferably smoked, for me.

  2. Reply
    Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie
    September 18, 2014 at 6:29 am

    What a beautiful and very timely tribute to a place you clearly love. I, too, am watching the news today wondering how the vote will shake out. I’m sure it’s a confusing time for residents of both great countries.

  3. Reply
    September 19, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I have never been to Scotland, and last night I was watching the election results with trepidation, wondering whether the first time I would visit, it would be like travelling to a foreign country.
    I am SO glad that the Scottish people decided to stay in the United Kingdom and voted for unity in the end.
    I have many Scottish friends and I do love lots of Scottish things that you can get in the UK, (shortbread, salmon, haggis, tartan materials) but I long to visit the Scottish islands, remote beaches, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

  4. Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    October 1, 2014 at 6:56 am

    I am so ill-informed about the matter of Scotland separating from the UK that I would not be so foolish as to venture an opinion. I had a dear friend from Scotland and have always wanted to go there. Would like to see Edinburgh, small villages, countryside, lochs, rivers, and the beautiful blue sky. Though I don’t really care for whisky (or whiskey), I’d probably visit a single-malt distillery. I’d have lots of lovely places to eat and have tea on my itinerary!

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