Curiosities About Edinburgh


Did you think that Italy was the only country in the world that could boast a capital built on 7 hills? But not even for a dream. Edinburgh, together with Madrid and Moscow, can boast the same conformation. Castle Rock, Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill, Blackford Hill, Braid Hills, Corstorphine Hill and Craiglockhart Hills are the reliefs on which the Scottish city stands.

Have you noticed, walking among the many benches scattered around Edinburgh, that almost each of them has a plate with a special dedication? It is in fact possible to buy them in memory of a loved one who no longer exists, almost as if in this way they continued to live and be part of the city. If this happens to you, take a few minutes to read. Some of the messages are particularly touching.

Due to the very high number of fires, Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own team of firefighters, this already in 1824. Ironically, in the same year what went down in history as “the Great Fire of Edinburgh“, a huge fire that went on for 5 days almost razing it to the ground.

The famous Dolly sheep, or the first living being to be cloned (1996), is a “product” of the Roslin Institute, a few kilometers from the Scottish capital. Since 2003, the year of his death, his remains are exhibited at the Royal Museum of Edinburgh.

Curiosities About Scotland

Scotland is the country with the highest percentage of gingers, red-haired people, in the world. It is estimated that the average is 2%, while here it reaches as much as 13%. Additionally, Scots have a higher chance of being born with blue eyes than the rest of the UK’s inhabitants.

The tallest and longest hedge in the world, the Meikleour Beech Hedge, is located near Perth. It was planted in 1745 and its measurements are incredible: 30 meters in height and 530 in length. Unsurprisingly, pruning is scheduled every 10 years…

Also in Perthshire is Europe’s oldest tree, a yew that experts say is around 3,000 years old.

A Scottish cat has entered the Guinness Book of World Records: her name was Towser and she was guarding the Glenturret distillery. In his 24 years of “service” he would have killed something like 28,899 mice.

The first two international football and rugby matches were played in Scotland. In both cases it was Scotland-England, the first played in Glasgow in 1872, while the second in Edinburgh in 1871.

Speaking of sport, the “stones” for playing curling are produced from a very specific type of granite and which is found almost exclusively on the island of Ailsa Craig.

The shortest commercial flight in the world is to Scotland. The company Loganair, which flies from Westray to Papa Westray, in Orkney, does so, covering a distance of just 2.7km. It takes a couple of minutes from point to point, even if the recorded record is 47 seconds.

Culinary Oddities

Everyone knows that the main dish of Scotland is the famous haggis, a sausage made from sheep’s entrails (heart, lungs and liver) mixed with oatmeal, spices, salt and pepper. We can assure you that the greatest difficulty lies in tasting it for the first time… just don’t think what’s inside and everything will be fine! Mixed with mashed potatoes or as a filling it is excellent.

But if you think haggis is the most “extreme” dish, we are sorry… you’re wrong. Not so much in terms of content, but in terms of cooking. Yeah, because the Scots just don’t go down, they want to fry. Thing? Virtually everything that comes within range. So they invented the deep-fried Mars, the deep-fried pizza(seasoned with salt and vinegar), well the deep fried butter !!! These “specialties” can be found in pubs and fry shops specializing in fish & chips.

The “other Scottish national drink” ( whiskey is clearly the first) is Irn Bru, a carbonated soft drink so loved at home that it is consumed more than Coca Cola, the only case in the world. It is so widespread that it even gives its name to one of the national football cups, the Irn Bru Cup !

Inventions made in Scotland

We owe some of the world’s most used communication tools to Scottish inventors. On October 2, 1925, John Logie Baird created the first television image and almost 50 years earlier, in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell “invented” the telephone in Washington. Or maybe better to say that stole copied our Meucci, on the strength of an economic wealth that our compatriot did not have. We would also include the first color photo in the category, taken of a tartan bow by James Clerk Maxwell in 1861.

From a more practical point of view, the invention of the inflatable tire as we know it is also due to a Scotsman. It was John Boyd Dunlop who filed the patent in 1888. Inevitably, even the inventor of the raincoat couldn’t help but come from Scotland, right? It was 1824 when the chemist Charles Macintosh made a virtue of necessity more than ever. Just think that in the UK the garment is still called ” Mac “.

Golf is said to have originated in Scotland, although opinions on the subject are very mixed. However, it is fair to say that golf as we know it today originated there, and in particular developed in St. Andrew s, the home of golf.

Even in the medical field there is a Scotsman at the forefront: Sir Alexander Flemming, with the discovery of penicillin, won the Nobel Prize in 1945, even if the greatest honor was obviously that of having saved millions of lives.