R.L Stevenson's ancestors are almost as famous as he is, but for feats of engineering rather than the written word. In particular they designed and built a large number of Scotland's lighthouses, causing the famous author to write that he 'might write books till 1900 and not serve humanity so well'.
Despite being the two oldest international football teams in the world, England and Scotland have never played each other in the World Cup finals.
The Scottish rugby union side was so confident of a victory over England in 1897 that it didn't even bother taking the Calcutta Cup along to the match. Needless to say, the English side won 12-3.
Scotland's longest single-word place name is Coignafeuinternich in Inverness-shire. The shortest is I, the Gaelic name for Iona.
It was a practice of Scottish midwives to sometimes place whisky in a new born baby's mouth to ward off the evil eye.
One of Scotland's most notorious witches was Isobel Gowdie, who claimed in her trial in 1662 that she had made a pact with the devil fifteen years earlier which had enabled her to fly and turn into a cat.
Prestwick Airport proudly lays claim to being the only place in britain to have been visited by Elvis Presley, the visit taking place on 2 March 1960.
St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, was one of the first of the disciples to follow Jesus and died in Greece around 60 AD. He is also the patron saint of Greece and Russia.
The first book on clan tartans did not appear until 1819 and listed 100 key patterns, but since then the number of officially recognised tartans has risen to over 2,000 - and is still growing.
The word dunce is thought to come from the term for the followers of Duns Scotus, a renowned philosopher born in Duns around 1265. The pedantry of their school of thought led to their name being equated with stupidity.
Contrary to popular belief haggis was enjoyed in England as well as Scotland up until the end of the 18th century, and only acquired its particular Scottish identity from the Robert Burns poem 'To a Haggis'.
This is the classic accompaniment to haggis, and is remarkably simple to make. Just peel, chop and boil roughly equal quantities of potato and turnip or swede, and then drain and mash them together with a little butter and seasoning. Make sure you don't forget the haggis.
Scotland has 790 islands, of which only 130 are inhabited. At the other end of the scale, roughly 65% of the Scottish land mass sits at over 400 feet above sea level.
The area of North America now known as Nova Scotia was colonised by the Scots in 1625, but they were forced out in 1632 by the French, who had a prior claim to the region and named it 'Acadia'. It only reverted to Nova Scotia in the 18th century, following the british conquest of French Canada.
Beneath the City Chambers in Edinburgh lies Mary King's Close, a street that was closed off and sealed up following the plague of 1645 and has since been built over. Today , tours of the close are conducted for tourists, and a number of ghostly sightings have been recorded.
Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh's Holyrood Park is all that remains of the Edinburgh volcano, which erupted around 325,000,000 years ago. The volcano also included the Castle Rock and Calton Hill.
In 1885 an incredible score was recorded in the Scottish Football Association Cup when Arbroath beat Bon Accord 36-0.
The Forth Railway bridge took seven years to construct, and consists of 54,000 tons of steel held together by over 8,000,000 rivets.
Not only does Scotland have its own Washington, near Coupar Angus, but it also has a village called Moscow just north-east of Kilmarnock.
Originally Castle Rock in Edinburgh marked Scotland's border with England. Following Malcolm I's victory over the Northumbrians in 1018 the border was moved south to the River Tweed.
Herring fishing was once one of Scotland's best industries, 2,000,000 barrels of herring having been sold at its peak around 1910-12. Herring also featured prominently in Scottish poems and folk songs and they even inspired the novel The Silver Darlings by Neil Gunn.
Scotland boasts the oldest ecclesiastical building in britain, a 6th century cell Eilach an Naoimh, one of the Garvellach Islands, off the coast of Argyll.
Cairngorm quartz is a crystal of smoky brown or yellow colour, named after the range of Scottish mountains in which it is found.
Ben MacDhui, the highest peak of the Cairngorms, lays claim to its own Yeti known, rather unimaginatively, as the 'Big Grey Man'.
When the Pictish king Nechtan admired the beauty of her eyes, St Triduana plucked them out and sent them to him, speared on a thorn. During the Middle Ages people would visit St Triduana's Well in Restalrig (now part of Edinburgh) seeking a cure for their eye complaints.
The Book of Kells, one of the finest illuminated manuscripts to have survived from the Celtic period, is thought to have been started and possibly completed at Iona Abbey, even though it now rests in Trinity College, Dublin.
Fettes School in Edinburgh includes british Prime Minister Tony Blair, the author Ian Fleming and Fleming's most famous creation, 007 James Bond, amongst its illustrious alumni.
The 'Lost Clan' is the name given to the descendants of the elite Scottish guard which once served the French monarchy. In 1525 members of this guard were caught in blizzards while crossing the Alps and decided to settle there. It is believed that members of the 'Lost Clan' still inhabit the area.
Scotland's most famous song, 'Auld Lang Syne', literally translates as 'Old Long Ago', and is still sung at Hogmanay across the world.