Scottish People Share Stories of Their Culture

| | Updated: August 17, 2022

Scottish People Reveal Backstories of Their Home, Culture and Identity

The Scottish people have a wealth of unique and meaningful customs, authentic artisanal traditions, and majestic historical monuments that shape Scottish culture. People Are Culture is pleased to share an ever-growing collection of stories and interviews that offer a deep dive into some of the cultural practices of Scotland.

Scotland is a wee county with Big Sky vistas, a grand history filled with inspiration and intrigue, and a rich cultural heritage encompassing Celts, castles and kilts, as well as Picts, pottery and poetry! Discover the search that never ends on the Isle of Skye.

If you are an armchair archaeologist who appreciates the mystery and ingenuity of ancient architecture and lifestyles, Scotland offers a tremendous breadth of sites to explore. The Bronze Age Clava Cairns, Neolithic Grey Cairns of Camster, and the reconstruction of a 2,500 year-old loch dwelling at the Scottish Crannog Centre are but a few of the Scottish monuments that inspire curiosity and wonder about the daily lives of their long-ago residents. The Iona Abbey, on the Isle of Iona on the country’s west coast, was the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland, founded by St. Columba in 563 A.D.; it remains a peaceful and contemplative destination for both pilgrims and tourists today.

Scotland also has a wealth of intangible cultural heritage that lives on today and is accessible to be experienced. Find delight in the wealth of wildlife in the waters of the Inner Hebrides around Mull and Iona. In the northernmost village of the Scottish Highlands, behold the choreography of border collies expertly herding sheep under the direction of their trainer. On the island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, interact with the landscape by getting a lesson in cutting peat by a local on land that has been in his family for 11 generations. In Edinburgh, be enthralled with the power of spoken folklore at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. In Inveraray, meet the chief of the Clan Campbell and tour Inveraray Castle, his ancestral home.

Stories of Scottish People | Lay of the Land

The need to be heard and feel understood are part of our shared, universal human condition. Language and culture are closely intertwined–in many cases, people’s nationalities are identified by the tongue in which they speak. Within any given country, there can be more than one native tongue, as is the case with Scotland. The country is also a case study in why language can face extinction and how it can be revived. Read on to find out more about Scotland's three Mother tongues!

Scotland is a culture rich in folklore–stories that articulate shared history, values, beliefs, practices, offering context and texture for the group’s collective wisdom. In our article below, meet a master Scottish storyteller!

Scottish People Languages of Scotland

The Languages of Scotland | Three Tongues

Beannachdan! You’ve likely heard of Gaelic, but did you know there are three languages of Scotland?

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Scottish People Scottish Storytelling Centre SNP Leaders

Donald Smith, Director, Scottish Storytelling Centre

The Scottish Storytelling Centre is located in Edinburgh, Scotland. In this interview with its director, Donald Smith, we discuss the themes of identity.

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Stories of Scottish People | Highlands

While the connection between Place and Culture is universal, I personally have observed this relationship at its most dynamic in the Scottish Highlands. Here, I have witnessed how the meaning of Place informs identity; represents aspirations; serves as a sanctuary, inspiration and catalyst for memories, adventure, wonder, affirmation; and embodies a return to one’s roots. Perhaps most significantly, Place is a part of the fabric of everyday life in the Scottish Highlands, something that is sadly lacking in many parts of the world.

Do you love a good story well told? Be prepared to be spellbound in the Scottish Highlands and Hebrides, where the very names of places like MacLeod’s Tables and Fairy Glen on Skye are imbued with ancient lore; where Gaelic songs commemorate lost love, enduring friendships and mythical encounters; where Pictish standing stones, Viking settlements and ancient Irish monasteries speak of people from afar converging; where battlefields like Culloden and abandoned ruins of croft houses across Western Scotland tell of the Highland Clearances, a mass migration between 1750 - 1880 in which a significant number of Highlanders and Islanders were displaced from their traditional lands.

Whether you consider yourself to have Scottish roots or not, the country is sure to get under your skin in the best of ways. My hunch is your first visit will not be your last. In the meantime, enjoy these pieces that each offer a different glimpse of the Scottish Highlands!

Scottish People Camster Cairns

Camster Cairns | Mysterious Neolithic Tombs on Windswept Moor

The Grey Cairns of Camster in Scotland are are intriguing ancient monuments in Flow Country, a landscape known for its windswept moors.

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Scottish People The Scottish-Crannog Centre

Connecting with the Past at the Scottish Crannog Centre

Discover the community at the Scottish Crannog Centre and allow yourself to go back in time to an Iron Age Halloween pagan ritual.

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Scottish People Clava Cairns Scotland

Cairns of Clava in Scotland | The Past Speaks

The Cairns of Clava in Scotland is a mysterious prehistoric site full of intrigue for anyone interested in archaeology, folklore and history.

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Scottish People Ullapool Scottish Highlands

Encounters With Serendipity at West House, Ullapool

At West House, Ullapool on Loch Broom in the Scottish Highlands, locals share stories of powerful instances of serendipity.

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Scottish People Balnakeil Beach and Durness

Balnakeil Beach and Durness | Inspiration for Bards and Artists

Balnakeil Beach and Durness in northwest Scotland have been mesmerizing people and inspiring poetry and paintings for centuries. Find out why!

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Scottish People Duke of Argyll Inveraray Castle

Clan Campbell Chief Shares Views on Stewardship and Legacy

Revealing interview with Scotland’s Chief Clan Campbell and a behind-scenes glimpse of Inveraray Castle and his life as clan chief.

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Scottish People Flow Country

Flow Country and Symbolism of Place

Meet sculptor Shaun Fraser, who shares how his thought-provoking work is influenced by Flow Country in the Scottish Highlands.

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Scottish People Nature in Scotland

Nature in Scotland Inspires Textile Artist

Meet textile artist Louise Worthy In this charming interview, who shares how birds and nature in Scotland Highlands inspire her work.

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Best Things To Do in Ullapool Loch Broom

Best Things To Do in Ullapool | A Scottish Highlands History Lesson

The best things to do in Ullapool will appeal to history and handicraft lovers and all who appreciate the stunning scenery.

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Stories of Scottish People | The Hebrides

The Calanais Standing Stones Isle of Lewis

Isle of Lewis | From Ancient Architecture to Time Capsules

See the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides through the eyes of three cultural stewards who share insights on their Hebridean heritage.

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Leverburgh Isle of Harris

Isle of Harris Inspires Ages of Art, Song and Tradition

Explore the rich culture of the Isle of Harris in Scotland's Outer Hebrides with insights from local people on their heritage and traditions.

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Scottish People Hebridean Cruise Skipper

Hebridean Cruise Skipper Shares Insights on Life on Isle of Mull

Considering a Hebridean cruise? Our interview with Isle of Mull skipper shares the wonders of life on the water of the Inner Hebrides.

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The Isle of Skye Scotland

The Isle of Skye in Scotland | A Legendary Landscape

The Isle of Skye in Scotland is where geology meets literature with wonders like Kilt Rock, MacLeod's Tables and Neist Point!

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Cutting Peat Benbecula

In the Outer Hebrides, a MacPhee Tutorial in Peat

Are there certain smells that conjures up “home” for you? Peat might just be one of them as we learn about Peat heating in Scotland's Outer Hebrides.

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Scottish People Isle of Mull Iona

Isle of Mull and Neighboring Iona Tell Scotland’s Story

The Isle of Mull and neighboring Iona tell Scotland's story, and have been drawing seekers for millennia from Vikings to eco-tourists.

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Scottish Travel Itineraries

Hebrides Islands

Guide to Scotland’s Hebrides Islands, A Dream Vacation

Our guide to the Hebrides Islands off Scotland's west coast, a dream vacation for all who love the great outdoors and history.

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Best Castles in Scotland

Guide to Best Castles in Scotland

This is a guide to the Best Castles in Scotland. Scotland has one the greatest concentration of castles in Europe. Get detailed info here.

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Scottish Highlands Castle

Guide to Cultural Attractions of Scottish Highlands

Our guide to the Scottish Highlands reveals breathtaking beauty, dramatic history, must-see museums, churches, castles and more!

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Best Views of Scotland

The Ten Best Views in Scotland

Here we’ve put together some of the best views in Scotland to take in on your visit to this beautiful part of the world.

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Lochs of Scotland

Lochs of Scotland, Powerful Places in Scottish Folklore and History

The Lochs of Scotland are plentiful and culturally significant. Allow PAC to guide you through ten of the country's most alluring lochs.

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Stories of Scottish People | Lowlands

The Scottish Lowlands are, simply put, the region of Scotland that is not considered part of the Scottish Highlands. The demarcation is the Highland Boundary Fault, a geological break that cuts across the country horizontally from the Isle of Arran in the southwest to Stonehaven in the northeast. Within the Lowlands are two main regions. The Central Lowlands is where both of Scotland's major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh are located, and more than 50% of the country's residents live. The Southern Uplands are a hilly, sparsely populated area that extends south-west from Edinburgh to the English border.

We give you a look at two very different and distinctive locales in the Lowlands: Glasgow, a trading port in West Central Scotland and the country's biggest city based on population (with 635k residents, vs Edinburgh's 527k) and Findhorn Ecovillage, with a population of about 500 people, based in the district of Moray in northeast Scotland. We present both places through the lens of their architecture. Glasgow is known for its early-20th-century "Glasgow Style", as developed by favorite son Charles Renne Mackintosh. Findhorn is an experimental architectural community project, designated by the U.N. as a Habitat Best Practice.

Architecture of Glasgow

Glasgow Architecture Influenced by Charles Mackintosh and Art Nouveau

Glasgow architecture is explored in this interview with curator Peter Trowles on influence of Mackintosh and Art Nouveau.

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Taize in Findhorn Eco Village Scotland

Taize in Findhorn Eco Village Scotland

Findhorn eco village is on Scotland’s Moray Firth coast. Within the walls of its Nature Sanctuary, the power of sound, intention and prayer reverberate.

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