Scotland is one of four parts of the GB. In area Scotland is more than half as big as England. The principal cities of the country are: its capital Edinburgh and the main industrial center Glasgow. Scottish towns look very different from English towns.

Some words about Edinburgh. Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, is one of Britain’s most attractive cities. It’s a city for people who like to walk. You are never far from green parks, gardens and hills – even in the main shopping streets.

It’s a busy modern city, but the history is everywhere. At the top of the highest hill in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Castle. It was the home of Scotland’s royal family until 1603 when King James the 6th of Scotland became king of England and moved to London. The road which begins at the castle and goes eastwards is

Called Royal Mile. At the other end of the Royal Mile is the Palace of Hollyroodhouse. It was built by a Scottish king before Scotland and England

were united to make Great Britain. Now it is a second home for the Queen or her children, who usually visit Edinburgh in the summer.

When the royal family is not there you can visit the palace and see a lot of interesting things. There are nine hills in Edinburgh. They are long-dead volcanoes. From the tops of them you can see two bridges : the modern road bridges an the old rail bridges which has carried trains to the Highlands for more than a hundred years.

The highlands of Scotland is mountainous and wild. In the winter it’s white with snow but in the summer it’s purple. Highlands are famous for the Scottish Olympics or the Highland games (

It’s real name ). These games are not only sporting competitions : music and different traditional games are very important too. While athletes throw the hammer at the one end of the arena, you can watch a dancing competition at the other end. There is also a game for the strongest athletes – tossing the caber, which weights 60 kilos and is six metres long. These games are very popular in Highlands.

Usually between the mountains

are rivers and lakes. Scottish people like fishing very much, that’s why they say that Scottish rivers are good for two : fishing is one, the other is Scotch whisky. Whisky is made from water and barley.

The method hasn’t changed for hundreds years. Scotch whisky is the best one. Scotland is also famous for it’s kilt, the most important part of national dress and

Bagpipes – the national instrument. I thing Scotland is very beautiful country and if you visit it you shall never forget it.

Scotland is a land of mountains, wild moorlands, narrow valleys and plains. The Highlands of Scotland are among the oldest mountains in the world. The highest of them is Ben Nevis. The lakes of Scotland are called “lochs”.

The beautiful Loch Lomond with its thirty islands is the largest. One third of the people in Scotland live in or near its capital Edinburgh and its great industrial center Glasgow. Scotland is a country with the deep national traditions.

Scotland is a part of England but Scotland is not England. Scot’s laws are different from the English. Scotland has its own administration of government, which is centered in Edinburgh.

It has its own national heroes. These heroes fought in endless battles against the England. Scotland has its own national drink, national musical

Instruments, national dances, songs, poetry, traditions, food and sports, even education and manners. There is the Old Scotland and the New Scotland. New Scotland is a land of steel and ships, coal and power, of factories and great ports, of modern literature and music. The Old Scotland is the land of ballads, legendary heroes defending its independence, legendary knights, outlaws, beautiful queens, brave and cruel kings.

And the shadow of Old Scotland has its place in the New Scotland. There is a national dress of Scotland, the kilt. It is the best walking dress yet invented by men: there is up 5 meters of material in it.

It is airy, leaves the legs free from climbing: it stands the rain for hours before it gets wet through; it is warm for a cold day and cool for warm one. And what is

More, if a highlander is caught in the mountains by night, he has just to unfasten his kilt and wrap it around him. 5 meters of warm wool will help him to sleep comfortably enough at night. The kilt is only worn by men and it is a relic of the time when the clan system existed in the Scottish Highlands.

The clan was like a very large family and everyone had the same family mane like McDonald or McGeorge (“Mac” means the “son of”). The clan had its particular territory and was governed by a chieftain. Each clan had its own tartan which both men and women wore. Now people can buy tartans, which are new designed in the shops.

They are different from the ones worn by the clans long ago. The old fabrics which were made from local sheep’s wool disappeared and the secret of making them is lost.

But the machine-making tartans are very popular. The thistle is a national emblem of Scotland.

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