6 Things You May or May Not Know About Scotland

As famous as the country is with its kilts, haggis, sports history, and warrior spirit, there are several things only true fans of the highlands know. Here are six things you probably don’t know about Scotland.

Scotland Is UK’s Gambling Capital

It’s true! With 68% of the population placing bets offline and about 10% playing games online, by visiting sites like the Tropicana casino, gambling is alive and well in Scotland. In fact, it was in part because of the Scottish love of betting on sports that FOBTs received a drastic limit in allowed deposits. Earlier, it was possible to deposit 100£ in short time periods, whereas now one can only place 2£ into the machine. The decision was made to curb the problematic gambling, though it may cost high-end bookmakers several million pounds to continue running their businesses.

Doctor Who Did What?!

You may already know that three Scottish actors played Doctor Who, the three being Sylvester McCoy, David Tennant, and Peter Capaldi. What you probably don’t know is that all three of them also appeared on Rab C. Nesbitt, a comedy show. In fact, Tennant played the part of Davina, a transvestite before he became the worldwide phenomenon that the title of the Doctor has granted him. You can see his latest work in Good Omens and Ducktales reboot, where he lends his voice to Scrooge McDuck!


While the amazing influence of American advertising is spreading across the globe and Coca-Cola managed to copyright Santa, it is a miracle that there is a country where this isn’t the most common soft drink. The Scotsman’s soft drink of choice is Irn-Bru – an orange fizzy drink. Scotland fought so hard against Coca-Cola’s influence that there were additional flavours and confectionery. There was even a case where a butcher started making Irn-Bru flavoured sausages. Sir Sean Connery even donated a case of it to The Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Speaking of Bond…

Sir Sean Connery

Connery is a proud Scotsman. He is not only a member and sponsor of the Scottish National Party, advocating Scottish independence from the UK, he also has two tattoos, one of which is Scotland forever. Add that to the Irn-Bru incident and you’ve got yourself a real patriot.

Murder Capital of Europe

This isn’t true of the whole country, just Glasgow. The city is reportedly more violent than New York, though there are far fewer murders than in the Americas, as the hooligans tend to aim to maim, rather than kill. This is where the fans of the Celtic and the Rangers often get into, shall we say, disputes so often and so ferociously that pubs often don’t allow persons displaying their team colours to enter the premises. The football conflicts border on tribal, as the fights have little to do with the actual game, but more with politics and religion of the place.

The National Animal

Some nations have national animals like bears, lions, and eagles. Not Scotland, though. As ridiculous as it may seem, the Scottish national animal is the noble, and non-existent, unicorn. It is a mystical animal that Celts had a deep respect for and it was even featured on the currency for a while. In crests and other images, the unicorn is always depicted as chained. One could argue that there is a connection between this and Scotland’s relationship with England, as the unicorn is said to be very dangerous in the wild. Or that could just be poppycock. Who knows?