Top 5 Scottish Surprises – Things you (probably) didn’t know about Scotland

Mention Scotland to anyone in the world and they will likely be able to tell you about kilts, Scotch whisky, Nessie the Loch Ness monster, and William Wallace bellowing, “FREEEEEEDOM”. Now, although we are indeed very proud of all of the aforementioned, here at Braw Scottish Tours we like to bring you a side of Scotland that you might not be so familiar with, so with that in mind we present: ‘five things you probably didn’t know about Scotland’.

Scotland is home to the highest waterfall in the UK -(More than three times higher than Niagara Falls)

Up in the Highlands of the north of Scotland, you can find “Eas a’ Chual Aluinn” (maybe it would be more famous if anybody knew how to pronounce it?). The literal translation from the Scottish Gaelic means ‘Waterfall of the beautiful braided hair’, and when it comes to braided hair even Rapunzel’s long locks couldn’t compare to the incredible drop of 658ft (200m) of this stunning waterfall.

Thankfully you don’t need to be a mountaineer to get out there and see it in all its glory as you can take a loch cruise from the nearby little fishing village of Kylesku.

We have a rather unusual national animal

A national animal can really sum up the character of a country, notable examples include the majesty and strength of the Bald Eagle representing America, or the native Kangaroos so iconic of Australia.

So what did we Scots choose as a fitting way to characterize our country? A brave lion? A soaring bird? Nessie!?

No, in a somewhat uncharacteristic Scottish fashion we decided that this was an opportunity to express our more abstract side and plumped for an animal that never even existed… the Unicorn.

Although seemingly bizarre when you first hear it, further exploration reveals that there was at least some method behind the madness of choosing a mythical creature as our national animal. In times gone by the Unicorn represented both purity and strength in Celtic mythology, so from that perspective, it makes rather more sense. Still though, a Unicorn? Really?

Scotland is home to the oldest building in Britain

We know what you’re thinking, it’s probably one of our numerous dramatic castles from way back in the middle ages, right? Not even close I’m afraid, far up north in the Orkney islands you can visit preserved houses from 3700 BC – the neolithic stone age!

Incredibly the houses remain very much intact and you can walk around the external walls and view the internal stone furniture to get a well-rounded impression of what life would have been like back then. Furthermore, the site is open all year round and completely free to enter. They don’t make ‘em like they used to eh?

Scotland has approximately 660 uninhabited islands

Many of these islands were once inhabited, and you can take part in some island hopping where you can explore the natural beauty, wildlife, and abandoned buildings, schools, and churches that were left behind when the last remaining communities moved on.

One of the abandoned islands, St Kilda is easy to reach and is one of six Unesco World Heritage Sites in Scotland after it was recognized for both its remarkable human and natural heritage. While the spooky ‘Eynhallow’ can be visited on just one day of the year, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly!

Nearly 40% of the population carry the gene for red or ginger hair

Now the idea that Scotland is home to a lot of ginger-haired people probably belongs on a ‘Things so obviously Scottish that it would be an insult to your intelligence to assume you didn’t already know’ list rather than today’s things you probably didn’t know the list, however the sheer size of that percentage is still shocking!

Given that nearly 40% of Scots carry the ‘ginger gene’ it makes sense that we are the world’s leading redhead nation, coming out on top with 13% of our population proudly sporting the ginger locks, while the worldwide average is a meager 2%.

Scotland: A Nation of Surprises

Hopefully, this list was an enjoyable read through some of the more surprising aspects of our wee country, but really Scotland is a country that continually surprises you with its outstanding natural beauty, layers of historical intrigue, and our outgoing friendly people. Braw Scottish Tours specializes in bringing out this authentic and hidden side of Scotland alongside showing you the ‘big hitter’ attractions that are internationally known. To find out more contact us about creating a bespoke tour of Scotland for you.

Perfect!!! The best tours we have ever experienced. It was the best experience we ever had; the guides were extremely knowledgeable and just fun to be with. They couldn’t do enough for us and were so reliable.

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We love taking clients to experience the world-famous and iconic locations as well as helping them to discover the authentic side of Scotland and the many hidden treasures in each region. ​

There is simply no better way to explore these attractions, sites, and landscapes than from the comfort of our luxury, executive vehicles while we tour the country at a pace that suits you. Our local tour experts can also organize your group the perfect accommodation as well as recommending and booking some of Scotland’s finest dining options for the time you’re touring with us, simply fill in the form below to get your perfect Scottish vacation started today!

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Tom H (1)

My wife and I spent over a week with John crossing the Highlands. His ability to customize a tour to your individual needs is a result of his extensive knowledge of Scotland. We had a wonderful time touring with Braw Scottish Tours…

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I found out about Braw Scottish Tours by word-of-mouth and I soon discovered why he had received such high praise. From the outset, John (our driver-guide) was engaging and accommodating as we interacted to formulate an individualized trip.

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We’ve been certified as ‘Good to Go’ by the Scottish Government due to our increased sanitation measures & for additional peace of mind, we have extended our cancellation policy to entitle guests to a full refund if they are forced to cancel their tour anywhere up to 2 days before the start date.

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Our Braw Reviews

Tom H (1)

My wife and I spent over a week with Braw crossing the Highlands. Their ability to customize a tour to your individual needs is a result of their extensive knowledge of Scotland. We had a wonderful time touring with our guide and getting a locals perspective rather than traveling in a large group. We look forward to returning soon.

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Our time with John at Braw was an enormous success because he took the time to get to know us; he has a deep and broad knowledge of sightseeing in Scotland, and he took special care to accommodate the special needs of my husband with respect and compassion. This special care included the timing for different sightseeing venues; finding wheelchairs, etc. I cannot begin to adequately sing the praises of John as an informed tour guide, a competent driver, and a thoughtful companion. We both had a wonderful time in John’s company and look forward to a return visit to Scotland with Braw!

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If you are short of time, look no further, this is the guide and trip you want, otherwise, continue ready for the many reasons to follow. John is an extraordinary guide with a wealth of knowledge and an easy-going good-humored personality. He’s an excellent driver, which you will come to realize is quite important! He’s flexible and constantly readjusts itineraries as he comes to know his clients. We saw about 2 weeks of Scotland in 6 days! He knows all the secret spots to show you the real Scotland it’s glorious. I give him and Braw Scottish Tours my very highest rating and thanks for a tremendously enjoyable vacation.

Lee Murdock Review _ Private Outlander Tours _ Braw Scottish Tours

We used Braw Scottish tours for a driver and guide on a recent trip to Scotland. We visited the Highlands, Skye, and Lewis & Harris and had an amazing time thanks to their attention to detail! John and Braw Scottish Tours took great pride in making sure we had a first-class experience for our entire journey. They made sure we had great accommodations, food, and even tailored stops along the way to our interests. Our driver was professional, knowledgeable, and witty and I wholeheartedly recommend Braw to anyone. We’re already planning our next trip!

Lee & Larissa

★★★★★

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I found out about Braw Scottish Tours by word-of-mouth and I soon discovered why he had received such high praise. From the outset, John (our driver-guide) was engaging and accommodating as we interacted to formulate an individualized trip…

The Solomons

★★★★★

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Even if you don’t know where you want to start and would like some inspiration, fill in your contact details below and your personal tour expert will be in touch to help you plan your perfect vacation in Scotland.

Prices from £600 per day per group

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Our Covid Safety & Booking Promise

As international tourism resumes following the Covid Outbreak, here at Braw Scottish Tours we’ve been going above and beyond in our preparations. As you can see above, we’ve been awarded the ‘We’re Good To Go’ accreditation for meeting and exceeding all government protective guidance. The safety & protection of our clients is – and always has been – our number one priority and as such, some of the changes made are as follows: 

  • All our luxury vehicles will undergo an overnight sanitizing and cleaning process (while drivers will also take opportunities during breaks throughout the day to wipe down the vehicles with sanitizing equipment);

  • We’ll be providing additional hand sanitizer and hygiene packs including masks for all travelers;

  • Fresh bottled Scottish spring water will be supplied for all passengers.

We’re not only protecting our client’s personal safety but also their wallets… 

Our booking promise means that if your travel is interrupted by Covid and you’re unable to enter Scotland due to travel restrictions, we’ll provide a free rescheduling service, or if you’d prefer a refund we’ll return all costs paid for our services.

If you’d like more information, please contact us at hello@brawscottishtours.com or fill in the form below!

Request Your Complimentary Tour itinerary

Even if you don’t know where you want to start and would like some inspiration, fill in your contact details below and your personal tour expert will be in touch to help you plan your perfect vacation in Scotland.

Prices from £600 per day per group

Fill in your details & click send to receive your tailored itinerary

Call +44 141 674 9535

Free for US, Canada & UK

Chat on Whatsapp

Our team are ready to help