Scotland has so much to celebrate St Andrew's and every other day



Scotland has an in-built sound system that never stops thumping. Music runs deep and I like to think of all the great songs and voices that have come out of the country, and of all the music that is yet to come.


Formula One racing driver

Scotland and its people will always unite in a common voice when facing any sporting challenge from other nations. Supporters will bring to any sport a passion and sportsmanship that have no relation to whether the country realistically has a chance of victory or not. We are very proud of our never-surrender history.


Champion snowboarder

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Scotland is a very versatile country in many ways. From the countless number of outdoor action sports you can take part in, to the wide and varied scenery, or depth and breadth of art and design, Scotland is a jewellery box full of gems.


Principal, University of Glasgow

Scotland is internationally known for the value of its education, and rightly so. Throughout the world, many Scottish graduates will gather together to toast the Scottish universities that provided them the opportunities for success.


Pianist and accordionist

I love springtime in Edinburgh. Everyone begins to unwrap. The Spanish hippies dust off their djembes as the cherry blossom comes out along Middle Meadow Walk and we prepare to greet the sun, as surprised as ever.


Chief executive, Scottish Book Trust

Many of the major ideas in western civilisation - in literature, economics, politics and philosophy - originated from Scotland. On St Andrew's Day, we should celebrate our defining contributions to world culture.


Olympic 100m gold medallist

From the scenery in the Highlands to the passion of the lasting memory is of thousands lining the streets in the rain on my return from winning the Olympic gold and cheering me all the way from the airport to Meadowbank.



There are a lot of parts of Scotland still largely untouched and not ruined by industrialism. Parts of the country retain their beauty but, at the same time, the cities are brimming with culture. Edinburgh's a fantastic city, as are Glasgow and Aberdeen.


Journalist and broadcaster

Scotland is first and foremost home - wherever in the world I am working.

What I treasure is the light, the space, the rain, and, above all, the unsentimental friendship of the people.


Head coach, director of soccer, Toronto FC

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We have the best golf courses in the world, and such warm people.



Standing on the edge of the green water and white sand of Traigh Bhan Beach on Iona looking across to Ben More and the Gribun Cliffs on Mull is heavenly. If Heaven isn't as good as this, I'll be a wee bit annoyed with God.


Journalist and broadcaster

The Scottish people. I know that sounds cheesy but you could live in the land of milk and honey where the sun shines all day and if you didn't feel comfortable with the people you were with, it would be worth absolutely nothing.


Tour manager for Franz Ferdinand and KT Tunstall

There's lots to celebrate about Scotland - stunning landscapes, vibrant cities and a thriving arts and music scene with lots of talented people having worldwide success and keeping me in a job!


All Angels

The fact that when I tell people I'm from Scotland their faces light up with glee. That makes me so proud to be from Scotland.



Our music. From the drone of the bagpipes and Gaelic song to the Bay City Rollers and the Proclaimers - the music of Scotland is constantly evolving. But it's important to acknowledge the influence of other cultures - such as African, Asian, Latin American - on the music we make.



I'd celebrate the writers of Scotland, especially Robert Louis Stevenson for firing my imagination with Kidnapped and Jekyll and Hyde - the two most significant books to inform my own career. We owe a debt of gratitude to Burns for our international image as a land that champions the common man.


Rugby champion

We should celebrate our magnificent food and hospitality, our whisky, and our love for our sports, festivals and outdoor pursuits. Our country is blessed with the most beautiful scenery, and as well as being a great place to live, it's a vibrant place to conduct business.


Percussionist and composer

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Scotland has never ceased to amaze the world with its forward vision, bold action and great education institutions. Nothing makes me more proud than to promote this wonderful land with all its richness and diversity wherever I may go.


The Porridge Men

Scotland has a wonderful, ancient and vibrant musical heritage, which ought to be celebrated because it's as alive today as it has ever been. We're lucky to have a living connection with our past, through music and dancing, which is as enjoyable and meaningful now as it was 300 years ago and more.


Salsa Celtica

People complain about the bad weather but it's the winter that I love. Scotland knows how to enjoy winter. People shelter closer together like penguins on the South Pole. There isn't a better feeling than being in a pub, enjoying a few drinks and talking the hind legs off a penguin 'till morning.


Director, Skyline Productions

After a searing ascent, the view from the tops of the Vignemale or the Eiger can't compete with the prospect from Sgurr Alastair of a Skye May dawn, or from Lord Berkeley's Seat on An Teallach as the night clangs down at four pm in January in Sutherland. So celebrate the beauty and the terror.


Musician (timbales), Salsa Celtica

Scotland has a rich history - for example, in architecture and art - but for me the most important is the music...and the whisky. I'd like to thank all the people I've met for making my life from Cuba to Scotland a very enjoyable transition and the guys in Salsa Celtica for believing in me.



In the world of fine art, Scotland has always been prolific. From the colourists Fergusson and Cadell, and the realist works of Peter Howson and Alison Watt, to the new modern masters of today, there's no stopping the profusion of talent coming out of Scotland.


Design director, Gant

I'm still in awe of the magnificence of the Scottish Highlands. To stand on a heather-covered hill looking down at a silver loch with a ruined castle on its banks still manages to instil an incredible sense of pride in me.


CEO Realtime Worlds

Making the effort to get to the Highlands and Islands and being reminded how crazy it is to fly halfway round the planet to visit countries that aren't half as beautiful.


General manager, St Andrews Links Trust

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Golf has been played at St Andrews Links for more than 600 years. We can be proud that each year thousands of golfers come from all over the world to play here on the seven public courses at the home of golf.


Founder/chairman, Scottish Fashion Awards

The buzz and excitement surrounding Scotland's fashion innovators is worth celebrating as the "Cool Caledonia" nuance begins to take shape. As one walks through Paris or New York, fashionistas are likely to be wearing the work of Scots - now that's exciting!


Leader of Glasgow City Council

What's great about our country is its people. These are exciting times for us all, particularly now that Glasgow will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The next generation of Scots will be at the heart of everything we do as we move forward.


Creative director, Amethyst Media

There's a new sense of innovation and optimism in Scotland, which is making itself felt in everything from the arts to entrepreneurship. At the moment, Scotland is bubbling over with big ideas, which is fantastic.


Scotland rugby captain

Wherever you go in the world, the Scots are always well taken. I think it's the friendly nature of the Scots people, the fact that they're always prepared to have a party, and the general warmth you get from Scottish people.


From Glasgow's Sikh community

Saints from all faiths have throughout the ages tried to connect mankind to the Divine and to each other. The celebration of St Andrew's Day should remind us that, although we may be from a different faith, culture or nationality, the most important aspect is we all belong to the one human race.


Chef proprietor of Chardon d'Or

St Andrew's Day is a great time to celebrate the delights of Scottish cuisine.

We produce some of the finest ingredients in the world, from smoked salmon to traditional haggis, and St Andrew's Day is the perfect time to enjoy some authentic Scottish food.


Burlesque artiste

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Scotland can celebrate its incredible arts heritage - people love live entertainment and music here more than anywhere else I've travelled. Edinburgh inspired me to set up my own burlesque club, Burlescapades, and today I'll be putting the final touches to our December show.


Author, Scotland the Best

Scotland is unquestionably one of the most beautiful and international countries in the world. I love the fact it has two great cities which are so different and so close, and that I can leave the one I live in and be in the countryside in 20 minutes and be in the Highlands in a very short time.


Divisional director, Azzurri Communications, Scotland

We should be proud of our entrepreneurial background and use that legacy to inspire us for the economic future of our country. There is absolutely no reason why Scottish businesses cannot compete well in the global market.


Manager, Moonstone International

Scotland is like a high school curriculum - it has history, geography, the arts, politics, language, sport. But mostly for me Scotland is about a feeling. The feeling I get every now and again, when I arrive back from being away or stop and look around me, and I can feel I'm somewhere special.


Deacon, the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of Edinburgh

A nation is defined by its art. The Silver of the Stars exhibition (at the National Museum of Scotland in January), features leading talents in film, fashion, music, literature, and silversmithing and reveals the inspirational centre of excellence that is Scotland today.


Director, Space Solutions, architects

Scotland should celebrate its fantastic entrepreneurial spirit and optimism. We can boast an incredible history of individuals and culture which have shaped and improved our country, and the world. At times, I think we need to recapture the optimism and confidence that made us what we are today.


Vice president, MWW Group, New York

I've had the good fortune to promote Scotland in the United States. I've been struck by how, as a country with just over five million people, Scotland has earned such a huge reputation as a progressive and prosperous country, leading innovation across a wide range of industries.



It's the wild places that get me. Last year I was on the Isle of Canna and from the cliffs at the west end of the island we were looking at 15 basking sharks feeding in a bay, while perched on the cliffs were a pair of sea eagles. Glorious.


Director, Scottish Tartans Authority

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Millions wear it, churches bless it, models strut it, descendants seek it. The world's greatest national icon is tartan. This quintessential Scottish beacon unites a far-flung diaspora that celebrates its links with one of the most admired nations on earth. We should be proud of that.


Principal, Edinburgh College of Art

Scotland has always been an ideas factory - ideas powerfully expressed in the images produced by its architects, artists and designers. From paintings to cityscapes, from Raeburn to Douglas Gordon, the fertile national imagination is nothing short of remarkable.


Director, Screen Academy Scotland

We have cherished education as a public good, since at least the invention of printing, and over the centuries have come to view it as a right and not a privilege. Long may that continue.


Emeritus professor, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrews

The splendour of the Highlands, by far the most beautiful of the remaining wildernesses in Europe. Above all, I celebrate the people for their courage, independence of spirit, inventiveness, unique sense of humour and warmth.


Editor, Scottish Business Insider

I'll be celebrating the infinite variety of talent in our business community ranging from the hard-working guys who run my local corner shop to people like Sir Fred Goodwin, whose drive and ambition have created a world-leading bank.



The full extent of Scottish generosity never fails to impress me. I've been fortunate enough to have been involved in a variety of charity fundraising events over the last decade - including the annual Hottest Night of the Year, which I host - and each year we raise a new record sum for charity.



I grew to love Scotland's scenery after scouting for a location for what was to become the children's series Balamory. The show's success owed much to the locations and characters, which grew from the environments we found, and are now forever connected to Scotland's children's TV heritage.

Herman Rodrigues

Restaurateur and photographer

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We should be immensely proud of our people - our resilience, our openness, our contribution to Scotland itself and to the world, our languages, our poetry and our poets, our folklore, our music and our welcoming of other communities. Scotland to the world is what its people make of it.


Clerk to the General Assembly

St Andrew did the introductions when some Greek visitors to Jerusalem wanted to meet Jesus. That's a good model for this Inter Faith week when we celebrate friendship across different traditions within our shared Scotland.


Chief executive, Macdonald Estates

St Andrew's Day 2007 celebrates a new Scotland, driven by the energy that marks the success of Scots worldwide. We can look forward to a nation that will embrace educational standards and economic policies that win not just leading-edge, specialist global competition, but also friendship.


Historian, University of Glasgow

The Scottish high regard for national and individual freedom, coupled with independence of mind based on sound educational principles, and the Scottish creative capacity for literature, philosophy, technology, common sense and self-deprecation.


Chairman of IOD Scotland

Scotland is a great place to live and work. We should celebrate its many successes and in doing so we should be ambitious for the future of the country and for those who reside here to help us realise our full economic potential.


Head of hospitality, entertainment and leisure law, Tods Murray LLP

The kilt. It is practical, versatile and cost-efficient. It displays creativity, looks smart and is a great conversation starter. It provides a sense of freedom, is sexy and sparks the imagination. It is symbolic of my heritage as a Scot. I feel proud to wear it.


Director, Highland 2007

Scotland should celebrate its environment and its people - our two unique selling points. Our environment is stunning and always a talking point for locals and visitors alike. Add our people and you have an irresistible combination that has universal appeal across the globe.



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Scotland should celebrate its innate spirit of entrepreneurialism. There is a growing group of high-growth companies in Scotland which are world leaders in their areas and all contributing to the success story for Scotland.


Writer, historian and imagineer

We should celebrate the great intellectual contributions of the Scots to the modern world, not just in medicine and science but in the arts and literature, too. We are all heirs to the Scottish Enlightenment.


Hon secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation

Bringing the 2014 Commonwealth Games to Glasgow has shown me just how Scotland has shaped, and is shaped by, nations across the world. St Andrew's Day allows everyone with Scottish connections to reflect on, and celebrate, our heritage and future.


Singer, Salsa Celtica

Scotland with its magical city of Edinburgh has been my adopted home for the past seven years and it was a revelation. I have travelled around the world a few times, experiencing some beautiful spots on the way, but Scotland's own awe-inspiring natural beauty never ceases to amaze me.


Conservator, Forestry Commission Scotland

Scotland for me is music, romanticism, humour, industry and a unique and varied landscape. I love to stand still in a clearing in the ancient Caledonian forest, sunlit pines against a grey sky, knowing capercaillie, golden eagles, otters and red deer are about me.


Director, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh

Our artists make work that speaks to audiences across the globe, changing the way people think and performing the alchemy that is at the root of all great art - making something wonderful out of something ordinary.


General manager, Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh

Scotland has a unique and innate sense of style in a truly cosmopolitan way, and designers have long used Scottish luxury fabrics in their collections. It's great to see some of the best up-and-coming young fashion designers of the future studying in the capital.


General manager, St Enoch Centre, Glasgow

An entrepreneurial spirit, a drive to be the best and a commitment to innovation across a range of sectors including retail, tourism, technology and financial services will ensure that Scottish business continues to make its mark in the global marketplace.


Mountain biker

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Discovering the perfect trail in the forest, in the ultimate state of flow - you know you're at one with the world. Soaking up the clean night air as you look over the lights of Dumfries on a night ride, realising you are truly alive at that one moment in time.


Composer, Daft Dog Music

Space. Scotland is a big country, with a relatively small population. If you want big city, then of course you can get that. But for times when you want space and to find a spot where you can get some perspective of your own place in the great scheme of things, Scotland excels.


Development manager

Every time somebody asks me about what I love most about Scotland, I say the people. I have been living here for a while, but the friendliness of Scottish people is overwhelming and never stops.


Advertising account manager

The view from York Place in Edinburgh over to Fife on a clear day - it's breathtaking. You can see it looking down Hanover Street and all along Queen Street. On a clear day, Edinburgh has the most fantastic views.


Independent make-up stylist

I live on the west coast and I'm a big fan of the Scottish coastline. I often walk my dog on the beach, and it runs for miles, going from sand dunes to rocks, with beautiful views. It lets me think and clear my head. Nowhere else gives me that kind of feeling.


International officer, Glasgow University

The reaction of first-time visitors is almost always one of surprised delight, as if they weren't expecting Scotland to be so beautiful, cultural, diverse or friendly. Scotland is too quietly proud of itself, but we should celebrate the fact it's a pleasure to discover.


Minister, South Leith Parish Church

We've made a massive and rich impact on the wider world. It began with the new emphasis on education at the time of the Reformation in 1560, from when we perceive better organisation and more effectiveness in literature, the arts, engineering, music and medicine, which have had global significance.


Director, Matthews Marketing

Our centuries of innovation and creativity are something to get excited about because they continue to motivate us as a nation today. Scots love being ahead of the game.



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It may sound corny, but Scotland to me is about freedom - freedom to walk, ride, run, surf, paddle or paraglide where you like. From the rugged west coast to the rolling east, there are trails and mountains with a variety few countries can match. We can explore them all in whichever way we choose.


Documentary film-maker

Scotland for me is space - wild, ungated, unpaved, uncordoned-off, unfenced-off, empty space. In the cities and in the Scottish countryside there is still a sense of space that hasn't (yet?) been claimed, named, identified or signposted - and can still breathe.



A crisp dawn at the top of Ben Venue in the Trossachs; sharp-beaked bonxies on the high plains of St Kilda; red-banded boulders roaring in angry waves on Sanday; a trawler net spreading on the cold blue sea off Shetland.



I've been here more than 17 years and once I got over the shock of there being no summer at all, I grew to love Scotland. Once you get through the initial reserve (about five years), it's easy to make connections and there's a kind of tough, unsentimental loyalty that I've found in my friendships here.



I challenge you to find a landscape as breathtaking and unspoilt as Scotland's, where even the buildings seem to have been born of the ground beneath them. I challenge you... but there is no other.


Production director, Republic Productions

As I work away from home a lot, and generally down south, the one aspect of travelling I love is when the car, train or plane crosses that border and takes me into Scotland. A warm comfort cushion wraps round me and I know I'm almost where I want to be. Home.


Tiler, fireman and great fan of Scotland

Scotland is a rough place, hovering between water and sky. And I need this landscape with rain and sunshine, changing in some minutes. This land gives me a great recovery from daily work. And so do the people.


Converted Scot

The Gaelic language because it's such an integral part of Scottish identity. It has shaped our history, underlined our independent spirit and it has given us a fantastically rich culture. It is part of me, though I do not speak the language, and hearing it makes me immensely proud to live here.


TV producer and editor

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The most outstanding aspect of Scotland is confidence. It has a population of a mere five million, roughly the same as countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Eritrea and Costa Rica, yet it's the most recognisable culture in the world. A kitten-size culture that walks proudly among the global tigers.


Vice-president, Procter & Gamble

I associate Scotland with passion - passion for sport, passion for music, a passion for life. I recall flying from China to Seville for the 2003 UEFA Cup final, during the SARS epidemic, and finding a knot of Asian and Australasian-based Celts in a deserted Hong Kong airport. That's passion.


Technology strategy director, Walt Disney Company

The more I've travelled the world, the more I've come to recognise how broad and deep was my Scottish education. Celebrate the value we Scots place on learning - there are precious few places in the world to match it.


President, MaeVona LLC

Orkney in October: a divine ceilidh of the elements - the wind plays music, the stormy seas dance and the air tastes like whisky. High up on the Yesnaby clifftops, I take an air bath in a star shape, and laugh to feel so alive. This is my Scotland: wild and free, history and future, love and life, heart and soul.


Writer and whisky expert

The strange feeling I experienced when I first came to Scotland - many, many years ago - and which is now completely familiar to me, is a kind of melancholy, a connection with the land that can only be understood and felt when you have actually been there.


Managing director (Japan), Lloyds TSB

There is a tiny wee uninhabited island in the Outer Hebrides called Ensay where I have spent many happy holidays. To sit atop the island in the late summer evening gazing over at Berneray and Pabbay with only the birds, sheep and a dram for company is to know true tranquillity.


Internet editor, Netherlands ministry of economic affairs

Walking through silent, dripping forests, ankle-deep in moss, emerging by roaring rivers, where three-foot salmon leap through the air and feeling a deep sense of pride because it's all so beautiful and I'm so lucky to be a part of it.


Producer, BBC Scotland

Scotland's music has never been more inspired. Whatever your taste and wherever you are in the world, chances are that among your CD collection there's a Scottish musician demanding your attention. This nation is bursting with brilliant musicians. It's never been better to own a pair of ears in Scotland!


A homesick Scot in Los Angeles

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Its greenness. The weather in LA is great and I see a lot of blue, but unless I look up and see the top of palm tree trunks, I could go days without seeing green. I think in the future, as the rest of the world is being scorched, we'll be happy in Scotland, blanketed for days on end by a giant rain cloud.


Professor, Centre for Human Ecology, University of Strathclyde

It's Scotland's sense of community that I celebrate. It's the spiritual grounding of our people and it has three pillars: community of place, community with one another, and community of the inner life that sparks the fire of creativity.



I love the miserable weather of Scotland. It's so much easier to get work done without the distraction of a sunny day. Then, when you do get a sunny day, you really appreciate it. Yes, the daily gamble on the weather is far more exciting than the predictability of yet another lovely day.


Freelance TV director

I have always resisted invitations to move to London because I am Scottish to my core. My country has everything I want - superb cultural achievements, wonderfully honest, straightforward people, magnificent scenery and an incredible heritage of adversity borne with pluck and fortitude.



I think there's a common cause within Scots, regardless of whether you're wealthy or poor - a sense of justice. You can see the people who have made it big and they have a great sense of where they are from and what they want to put back into life.


Archbishop of Glasgow

Scotland, over a thousand years, was steadily built on the foundations of the Christian faith, brought by its first missionaries and nurtured by saints and scholars. That history is a proud one. Our future can know no better nor firmer foundation.



What keeps Scotland in the front of my heart is the music of the words, written and spoken. Dialects as diverse as Doric and Weegie ring in my ears, telling their stories, shaping the world inside my head. Magic and music, that's what the words are.


Director, Edinburgh Book Festival

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Our land is rightly world-renowned for its literature. From Burns to JK Rowling, we punch giddily above our weight. We have the world's biggest book festival, the world's first UNESCO City of Literature.


Rugby union footballer

Our people. Scots are renowned for their passion and their spirit and their ability to have a good time. The warmth and hospitality will overwhelm you, and once bitten by that bug, you'll be back time and time again.


Comedian and radio presenter

Let's celebrate Scottish people, especially those who act and sing and tell jokes. Look at the talent we've got, including Ewan McGregor, Sir Sean Connery, Robert Carlyle, James McAvoy, KT Tunstall and, of course, Billy Connolly. Brilliant.


Former first minister

Scotland has world-class talent and resources. We're facing the future with renewed confidence and greater self-belief. We can achieve more at home and abroad. In doing so, we must acknowledge the contribution our diaspora can make to our success.


Cook and food writer

The best food in the world comes from Scotland, in part, at least, because Scotland is the last wilderness area in Europe; therefore the land, fresh water rivers and lochs and seawaters around the country are clean and pure.


Radio presenter, Talk 107

Anything that celebrates Scotland's mighty industrial past. Am I the only person moved to tears by the Forth Bridge? I remember visiting Long Beach in California and seeing the Queen Mary. It's difficult to hug a massive liner while crying, but I did it.


Lead singer, Idlewild

I'm a keen visitor, almost resident and advocate of the Inner Hebrides, specifically the island of Coll. The white sandy bay of Crossapol, the Coll hotel bar, a pint of fresh prawns and a pint of Guinness, then a sunset over the Atlantic horizon. What's not to like?