Famous Scottish Actors

Scotland has given us many significant directors and actors. Film has a long history in Scotland, and many movies have been filmed in the territory of Scotland. Many films, like Gregory’s girl, for example, have contributed that Scotland gains global recognition. Among the movies filmed in Scotland, probably the most famous one is the Academy Award winner, Braveheart. Directed by Mel Gibson, this film won many awards and gave a few hints about Scottish history to the worldwide audience. Several actors from Scotland have achieved great success in the world of movies. Some of them gained international recognition in the 60s and 70s, while other, younger actors, are current stars of the movie industry.sean-connery

Sean Connery

The original James Bond, some would say that he can never be surpassed in the role of the MI6 secret agent. Sean Connery won almost every major award in the film world, including the Academy Award, the BAFTA Award, and the Golden Globe. He appeared as James Bond in seven movies. But also starred in other blockbusters like The Untouchables, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Highlander and many others.

Ewan Mcgregor

Belonging to the generation of younger Scottish actor, Ewan gained international recognition in the now legendary Danny Boyle movie – Trainspotting. The role of Mark Renton brought him the BAFTA Award. Then he went on to cement his status as a Hollywood superstar in the Star Wars trilogy, playing the young Obi-Wan Kenobi.

James McAvoy

Another young star, James found initial success in the movies like The Chronicles of Narnia and the Last King of Scotland. Also, these movies made him famous internationally and brought him to the attention of the A-list directors. Further success came with the film such as Atonement and the X-men film series. Today James is one of the most wanted actors in Hollywood.

Robbie Coltrane

We all know Robbie as the giant Rubeus Hagrid in the blockbuster Harry Potter movie series and as the Russian villain Zukovsky in the James Bond movies. Born Anthony Robert McMillan, he took the Robbie Coltrane stage name thanks to the jazz star John Coltrane. He starred in many movies during the 80’s and appeared in one of his trademark roles in the TV series Cracker during the 90s. He was voted the 6th most famous Scot in a poll of 2000.

Brian Cox

Another member of the older generation, Brian Cox is a member of the Royal Shakespeare company, most famous for his interpretation of King Lear. In the world of movies, he is most known for the movies like The Bourne Identity, Braveheart, Troy and Doctor Who. He is a prolific actor, having appeared in more than 50 movies over the course of his career.

Gerard Butler

His portrayal of King Leonidas of Sparta in the ground-breaking Zack Snyder movie 300 is now legendary. This breakout role made him a star, and he appeared in many other actions-packed films, but also many romantic comedies. Lately, he has been doing a lot of voice work in animated films like How to Train Your Dragon.

The Rules For Tipping In Scotland

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Traveling abroad brings a lot of excitement and new experiences we will always remember. But, there are also some challenges, especially when it comes to differences in culture. In order to make the best out of the vacation and avoid any unpleasant situations, it is good to explore the habits and customs of the country to which you travel. Tipping is one of the common concerns of many travelers, and in this article we will give you some guidelines of leaving tips in Scotland.

The basic rules for tipping

castle in scotlandNo matter where you travel, you will come into contact with taxi drivers, waiters and all kinds of sellers. In some countries, tipping is a must, while elsewhere this culture is not dominant. When it comes to Scotland, the general tipping rule is leaving 10% of the bill. You can also lave a tip to round the amount of money to a whole number of pounds.

When to tip?

There are certain occasions when the culture dictates you the rule of tipping for the service. Think of the first payment you will make upon arriving to Scotland – you are most likely to get a cab to take you to your accommodation. The 10% rule applies in taxis. They have the price displayed, but the passengers are expected to tip the driver around 10% of the amount, or round up the sum.

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When it comes to restaurants, cafes and pubs, the rules vary. In restaurant, the 10% rule is most commonly applied. It is not common to have the service fee on the bill, so you can tip the waiter in addition to the bill you are paying. This rule is also applicable in pubs where the staff serves you at the table. Sometimes in food pubs you can find a small jar or dish by the till, so you can leave the tip if the staff is kind and friendly to you. It is only at self-service cafes and bars where you are not expected to leave the tip, which is rather logical when you think about it.

If you are a lady and you need to get your hair done in Scotland, expect to tip the hairdresser. The 10% rule is the golden rule here as well, but you can also round up the sum. As a traveler, you are expected to tip hotel porters and concierges as well.

When not to tip?

Tipping a staff member is a principle you apply when you are satisfied with the service. Of course, if you consider the staff of a restaurant, bar or hotel impolite, you do not have to tip them. But there are some places where the staff does not expect the tip despite being friendly and professional.

Staff working in pubs that only serve drinks generally do not expect the tip, because it is not customary. Still, some people do tip them if they are friendly and professional, so if you want, you can also do it. Shops employees do not expect the tip either.

Tipping rules are not very rigid in Scotland, so you can relax, enjoy your stay and pay a small reward to any staff member that makes you staying more comfortable and pleasant.

Reasons Why Scotland Is Amazing Source Of Inspiration – Lifestyle Design Hacks

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Many people around the world are completely and instantly inspired by a country and its people. For many, it is Japan, probably because it seems so different and completely whack. Also, many people love France and Italy, probably because they are completely in awe of the elegance, richness of cuisine and music and of course the lovely weather. For me, it is Scotland. Scotland is my inspiration, and I try to learn more about it every day. Here’s how I keep a piece of Scotland with me no matter where I go.

Weather

As you probably know, the weather conditions on the Island are not so amazing. Still, despite the weather the people seem cheerful and happy. How do they do it? What is their secret? Let’s find out.

Be Prepared

scotish manYou will seldom find a UK resident who is not prepared for drizzle. In addition to that, if you live in a part of the world where there is no rain, you can still use this piece of advice. Being always prepared will make you feel much more relaxed about anything that may come your way. This is why I take their advice and come prepared for everything in life!

Enjoy It

When something like a sudden change in weather conditions does occur, do not hesitate to enjoy it! Yes, it is raining, and no, you may not come prepared. Still that does not mean the end of the world! When was the last time you were soaking wet enjoying every moment of it? Laugh, love and enjoy the even harsh weather. Anything less than pouring rain can simply be ignored and soldiered on.

Tradition

When it comes to their tradition, there is so much you can learn from Scottish and not just to scream Freedom like Mel in Braveheart.

Nurture It

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Scottish people are people with long traditions. Would you believe me if I were to tell you that some Scottish clans can be traced back to 12th century! That is a long time! Still, it is true. For the most part, they would not be aware of their traditions if they had not been nurturing it.

Be Proud

Scottish people are also proud people. They are proud of their heritage and their tradition. This is something that everyone could use in their life. You should be proud of your heritage and your identity while at the same time accepting of everyone with a culture and identity which is different than yours.

Language

scotland on mapMany Scottish people sadly do not speak their Gaelic language. However, those that do speak it seem to try their best to nurture their language. Language is closely connected to national identity and your thoughts. If you would like to approach yourself more to culture, it is sufficient to learn their language.

Language Barriers And Language Inspirations

Scottish Gaelic is certainly one of many languages which are fading away. Still, this might inspire you to learn it. You do not have to be Scottish to want to learn Gaelic. It is enough to feel that way!

Life In Scotland – Pros And Cons To Living On An Island Within An Island

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A Dream Within A Dream.

An island within an island, within an island. This certainly sounds like some postmodern art, but I will explain what I mean by it. Certainly, life in Scotland is not so different than life in some other parts of the world. However, there are ups and downs to everything in life, and the same goes for life in Scotland.

The UK And The World

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UK is situated on an island, but more importantly, most of the time the UK has felt secluded from the rest of Europe as well. On the one hand, the Commonwealth has made UK inhabitants feel like they have conquered the world. The linguistic properties also make them feel on top of the world, but then again they will never feel completely European, no. This term seems reserved for the French, Italian and many places with unorthodox food and language they cannot understand. In the end, a UK person is bound to feel much closer to someone from Australia, or Canada, not to mention the USA, than they would feel around someone who is French for example. At the same time, this island belongs to Europe, but it is also more connected to other parts of the world.

UK And Scotland


Scotland has not always been a part of UK; they have much more autonomy than the rest of UK. In that respect, they have never felt fully integrated into the UK, much like Ireland. However, they have recently started to debate whether they would leave the UK and join EU, especially post-Brexit vote that has excluded UK from EU once and for all. In this sense, people from Scotland do not feel like they belong to the UK, but at the same time due to the linguistic, geographical and other barriers we have already mentioned, they feel the same for EU. So, it seems like they live a life of their own, being a part of something they clearly do not feel a part of and trying to join to something which they also do not feel an integral or natural part of.

How To Live On An Island?

Nationality And Language

Living this way can make a mess for your identity regarding your nationality, and this has certainly been an issue on the Island. The only way to deal with it is to accept this as a fact that as someone who lives on an island and speaks a certain language, you will never feel fully accepted here or there. Still, Scotland and the UK are an amazing place to live.

Weather

There are many advantages to leading a life in Scotland and spending the majority of your life here. Still, many UK residents seem to regret the weather of their Island and dream of sunny Spain or Italy. Even though, the weather is far from perfect, conditions for a normal life are far better than on other parts of Europe. This is why Scotland is an amazing place to live, despite the weather.

2016-10-13

Fire festivals in Scotland

Scotland is a country of breathtaking landscapes, distinctive national music, delicious food and of course – whisky. But Scotland has a lot more to offer, and some of the most interesting events are held during winter in different parts of this wonderful country. In this article, we bring you some of the most popular fire festivals in Scotland.

The origins of fire festivals

People from all over Scotland used to celebrate New Year with bonfires and torchlight processions. These traditions reach back to the Norse traditions and their celebration of winter solstice. Nowadays, they celebrate the history of Scotland and the spirit of its people. The customs have disappeared through centuries, but fire festivals emerged from this tradition. They are held during winter, mostly in January and February, and they are all spectacular.

Up Helly Aa

vikingsThis is the biggest, the oldest and the most popular Scottish fire festival. It is held in Lerwick, a town on Shetland Isle every last Tuesday of January. It started in the 1880s, and it was held ever since, with several pauses due to the death of Queen Victoria and two World Wars.

The festival is planned a year in advance, and it lasts the whole day and night. It combines the procession of 800 men dressed as Vikings carrying flaming torches through the town and turning them into a giant bonfire at the end of the procession.

The Stonehaven Fireballs

In Stonehaven, a small coastal Scottish town, the celebration of New Year’s Eve is quite dramatic and fiery. Shortly before midnight on the last day of the year, at least 45 strong men in kilts light the fireballs and whirl them through the town’s streets. The tradition began around the 19th century, with a purpose of warding off the evil spirits and purifying the town.

The spectacle is marvelous and exciting, but also quite dangerous, so the town offers online streaming for those who do not want or cannot attend the event.

The Burning of the Clavie

fire festival

Burghead, a village in northeastern Scotland, is the place of one of the strangest fire festivals in the country. Clavie is a half barrel filled with wood shavings, tar and barrel staves. The people nail it to a post, carry it to the house of the oldest residents, who set it on fire.

Nobody is sure how this strange ritual started, but the reason is likely to be known. It is celebrated as the second New Year’s Eve, on January 11. The reason for this is the adoption of the Georgian Calendar across Britain, when 11 days simply disappeared. The people of Burghead decided to celebrate the New Year’s Eve all over again after the first celebration, and they believed that a piece of burnt out clavie would bring them good luck.

The Comrie Flambeaux Procession

festival scotlandThe Comrie Flambeaux Procession is a torchlight parade held every year on New Year’s Eve. The streets of the whole Perthshire Village of Comrie are covered with the procession of people lightning their way with torches.

The torches are made from young birch trees which are cut down in October. In November, people wrap them in potato sacks and soak them in paraffin until the day of procession. Strong young men light the torches at midnight and carry them through town, followed by pipers. At the end of procession, they throw the torches in the river, and it takes all the evil spirits away. There are many torch marches in Scotland, but this is one of the largest and the most impressive ones.

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