Putting the Story back into History

A guest post by Barbara Henderson We like our stories atmospheric in Scotland, and who can blame us? Brooding hills, crumbling castles, poetry and song are the very fabric of our nation – and we have a history to match! In 2016, a small independent publishing house was founded on the Isle of Lewis, about…

Women of Courage in Scottish Movies

Three films from three eras that feature courageous women as central characters. The Pride of the Clan (1917) When was the last time you sat down and watched a complete silent film? Maybe it was 2012’s The Artist or an original silent film. Maybe the idea of watching a movie with no sound has you running…

The Scottish Roots of Curling

Like a number of sports, the origins of curling are up for some debate. After all, who can say which person or people group were the first to enjoy skimming stones across frozen water? Because of the conditions needed, it seems a sure bet that it originated in a northern European country. Wherever it began,…

Robert Burns: The Bard in the Park

A guest post by Caroline King If there is one Scot who has achieved immortal, global fame, capturing the hearts of current Caledonia dwellers, descendants and admirers alike, it’s Robert Burns, of course. The Bard has had such an influence on the international community that every New Years Eve (or Hogmanay), people all over the…

What “Simply Scottish” Means

Could there be anything more simply Scottish than a dry stane dyke? Found all over Scotland and elsewhere in the British Isles, these walls are made of large stones held together without the use of mortar by the compressional force of each interlocking stone. You’ll find them lining driveways, forming boundary walls between fields, and…

Where Did All the Highlanders Go?

The more you study the history of the Scottish highlands during the 18th and 19th centuries, the more upset you become. It’s impossible not to be deeply moved by the violence, betrayal, upheaval, and general difficulty experienced by the Highland clans during this time in their history. On two recent episodes of Simply Scottish, we…

Scottish Associations in North America

Scots, a nineteenth-century observer from London, England, was keen to point out, ‘herd together … not touched, except by each other.’ These words resonate loudly with many a Scot abroad: their propensity to come together with fellow Scots is, in fact, a defining characteristic of the Scottish diaspora. Nowhere is this more evident than in…

Scotland’s Birds and Other Wildlife

2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, with a host of programs and events designed to celebrate Scotland’s natural beauty and resources. Scotland boasts a diverse range of wildlife, and it’s an amazing place to come and discover a number of rare and even endangered species. A particular haven for birdwatchers, Scotland holds many gems…

Why Explorer Alexander Mackenzie Didn’t Need a Smartphone

Life was so different 200 years ago! The personal computer, the internet, and advances in music, television, and film technology have completely changed the way we live our life. We are spoiled with smart phones that remember personal data for us. We are impatient, used to anytime, anywhere access to information and entertainment. We no…

Contest: A Moment in Scottish History

Scotland has a vast history spanning thousands of years, from the Neolithic village of Skara Brae to the return of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. The story of Scotland is a grand one, with countless pivotal moments marked by bravery, cunning, foresight, desperation, determination, and a deep value for freedom. Simply Scottish celebrates this colorful…