Key Points

  • People in Scotland invest considerable meaning and significance in landscape; they see it as iconic of Scotland.
  • The association of landscape and national identity is not unique to Scotland, but takes on particularly powerful forms here.
  • We do not experience landscape directly, but through ‘ways of seeing’, which are culturally and socially charged. Landscapes are terrains of power.
  • From the 18th century, Scotland has been reinvented as a ‘land out of time’, and the Highlands as a ‘peopleless place’.
  • This has come about through its gentrification in the 19th century, and association with monarchy and aristocracy; and in the 20th century, with tourism.