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Scotland's colourful and compelling history is peppered with tragic yet romantic heroes, notable fighters, innovators and politicians. Often the nation's history has been defined either by fierce internecine conflict or epic struggles with its more populous and richer neighbour, England. Yet from earliest times the influences of Ireland, Scandinavia and continental Europe have been as important, particularly in aspects of Scotland's creative and cultural development. The result has been a sophistication and ambition few associate with the land of warring clans and burning castles...

A nation's artistic and cultural life says much about its people and the vibrancy and creativity we display across a wide range of artforms quickly dispels the myth of the dour, downbeat Scot. In successive generations, Scotland has produced writers, painters, sculptors, musicians, composers and dancers whose talents have received both national and international acclaim.

Some of these artforms - such as our traditional dance and music - are uniquely Scottish both in style and inspiration and are appreciated chiefly at home. Others - such as theatre, opera and painting - draw on and incorporate influences from elsewhere in the world and consequently receive wider recognition. All, however, have the power to enthrall, challenge, provoke and inspire.

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About Scotland

Scotland's dramatic history spans 8,000 years, years marked by invasions and independence, wars and religious upheavals, intrigues and subjugation.

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Art & Culture

From rock to opera, Scottish arts and culture has the power to enthrall, challenge, provoke and inspire.

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Scotland Geography

Explore Scotland's landscape of lochs and mountains, its interesting geography and its gloriously unpredictable climate.

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Scottish Icons

Discover the different historical and culture elements that can be rightly claimed to be unique to this country.

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Tracing Your Roots

Come and walk in the footsteps of your ancestors. We invite you to start your journey into Scotland's past with