Between the Ryder Cup gold competition (September 23-28), one of the sport's biggest bucket list destinations, and the historic vote regarding independence from the UK, There's a lot of focus on Scotland. We've compiled ten little known facts about the intriguing country which is the home of golf.
Loch Ness — Photo courtesy of Scottish Viewpoint
1. Loch Ness contains more water than all of England and Wales' lakes and rivers combined. It also has greatest volume of water of any loch in Scotland.
Perthshire — Photo courtesy of Scottish Viewpoint
2. Europe's oldest living thing is the yew tree in Fortingall, Perthshire. Various estimates have put its age at between 2,000 and 5,000 years.
3. The ninth tee at Dufftown Golf Club stands 1294 ft (394m) above the sea, making it the highest golf hole in Britain.
4. Elvis Presley ‘The King’, has Aberdeen roots. His ancestor, Andrew Presley, from Lonmay near Fraserburgh, emigrated to North Carolina in 1745. A number of Presleys lived in the Buchan area of northeast Aberdeenshire during the 18th & 19th centuries, around Lonmay, Old Deer and Tarves.
5. The Black Isle in Ross and Cromarty, is so called because it is so rarely whitened by snow.
6. Scotland's St. Andrews Links is considered the "home of golf" as the sport has been played there since the 15th century. The West Sands at St Andrews were used for the opening scenes of the Oscar winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire. Most of the runners in that scene were golf caddies from St Andrews!
The village of Strontian gave the element strontium its name. — Photo courtesy of Chris Booth
7. The mineral Strontium is named after Strontian, where it was first discovered at the end of the 18th century.
8. Dallas, the great Texan city that spawned a soap opera of the same name, has its origins in Morayshire. In 1279, William de Ripley obtained the lands and tiny village of Dallas on the River Lossie, south of Forres. On being knighted, he changed his name to Sir William of Dallas. His descendants emigrated to America and in 1844, once of them (George Lifflin Dallas) became Vice President of the USA. Dallas in Texas was named after him.
9. Kirkintilloch (Dunbartonshire) was one of the last places in Scotland to remain totally dry – alcohol was prohibited in the town until the 1970s!
10. The swimming pool on Scotland's Isle of Islay is heated by Bowmore Distillery’s surplus heat.