15 things that Scotland has given the rest of the UK

Highland dancers at the Braemar Gathering Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire


Scottish inventor John Logie Baird publicly demonstrated a working television for the first time in 1926. Two years later, he gave the first demonstration of colour television.


Records show that golf was played at the Old Course at Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, as far back as 1672. But King James II apparently banned the sport as far back as the 14oos, describing it as a distraction from military training.

Susan Boyle

The singer flew to fame in 2009 with her memorable rendition of 'I Dreamed A Dream' for Britain's Got Talent. She has come a long way from her roots in Blackburn, West Lothian since then.


These patterns of intersecting coloured stripes have long been worn by Scots as a fashion accessory, and can now be found all over the world. In 2009, the Scottish Parliament set up a Register of Tartans to keep track of the many thousands of designs.

Bank of England

The idea of a central bank was first proposed by Sir William Paterson - a Scottish trader - in 1694. Admittedly, it was brought to fruition by the Earl of Halifax, who went on to become the first Chancellor, but credit where credit's due...


After whisky, Irn-Bru is widely considered to be Scotland's national drink and it is still made in North Lanarkshire. The vivid orange-coloured drink allegedly combines 32 different flavours.

Irn Bru allegedly contains 32 different flavours in every sip Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Andy Murray

The pro tennis player from Glasgow is currently ranked fourth in the world and became the first British man to win a Wimbledon title in 77 years. A gift indeed.


Blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan is credited with creating the first bike after adapting a hobby horse. His invention involved moving the pedals forward and backwards instead of in a circle, but let's not split hairs.


Scottish inventor Alexander Bell demonstrated the first practical telephone in the 1870s. His first words: "Mr Watson – come here – I want to see you."


Mel Gibson's epic portrayal of the First War of Scottish Independence became a box office hit and won five Academy Awards. The following year, the so-called Braveheart Effect earned up to £15 million in tourism revenue for Scotland.

Professor Ian Wilmut poses with 'Dolly' - the world's first cloned sheep Credit: Maurice McDonald/PA Wire

Colour photography

A 19th-century Scottish scientist named James Maxwell invented the process of mixing red, green and blue light which made decades of holiday snaps possible.


Strict laws govern the production of Scotch whisky, including the requirement that it be aged in oak barrels for at least three years. The beverage generates around £4 billion per year, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

Dolly the Sheep

The world's first cloned mammal began her life at the University of Edinburgh in 1996. Dolly has been described as the most famous sheep in the world.

A plate of Scottish deep fried Mars Bars Credit: Sandy Young/PA Wire

Flushing toilets

The world's first patent for a flushing loo was registered in the 1770s by the Scottish watchmaker Alexander Cummings. His method of using water to prevent bad smells escaping is still in use today.

Deep-fried Mars bars

The delicacy was apparently invented at the Haven Chip Bar in Aberdeen in 1995, but can now be found in chip shops across Scotland and beyond. Last year, Mars denounced the practice saying it went against the company's "commitment to promoting healthy, active lifestyles".