Ten Things You Thought You Knew About Scotland Updated 26/12/11
Well 6 so far! Links on this page are to Undiscovered Scotland, Wikipedia, and other interesting links that I've found.
1) Muckle Flugga is the most northerly island in the British Isles.
Muckle Flugga has the most northerly lighthouse in Britain, and therefore used to be the most northerly inhabited island, not that it could ever have sustained human inhabitants. The most northerly British Isle is the much less imaginatively named Out Stack aka Oosta.
Unst on Shetlopedia
Looking North from Herma Ness on Unst. The more southerly guano covered rocks are Vesta Skerry and Rumblings. Tipta Skerry and Muckle Flugga (with lighthouse atop) are indistinguishable in this photo. To the North lies Out Stack.
3) Ardnamurchan Point is the most westerly point on the British mainland.
Again nearly true
Actually you may not have realised that the most westerly point on the Scottish mainland is well to the west of Land's End - but because the north of the island of Great Britain leans considerably to the left, Ardnamurchan Point has the most Westerly lighthouse on mainland Britain. However, as the map to the right shows, the most westerly point is to the south of Ardnamurchan Point (6° 13' 34.13" W), Corrachadh Mòr at 6° 13' 37.70" W. While Dr Syntax's Head, Land's End is a mere 5° 42' 56.56" W.
See also Wikipedia Extreme Points of UK.
2) There are no trees in the Shetland Isles.
Not quite true
There are very few trees in the Shetlands, but as the picture on the left shows, there are a few that do their best to grow there.
Yell is the splendidly named second most northerly inhabited island in the British Isles.
There are also some attempts at trees in Unst, the most northerly inhabited island, but I don't have any good pictures of them.
4) John o' Groats is the most northerly point of mainland Scotland
5) John o' Groats is the most north-easterly point of mainland Scotland
Wrong, but closer
Dunnet Head is the most northerly point, and Duncansby Head the most North Easterly. As can be seen from the map above left (click to enlarge) neither point is that far from John O' Groats. So bad news for cyclists from Land's End to John o' Groats - if you want to really go from end to end of the Great Britain mainland - you've still got two more miles to go!
6) Jura only has one road
Even discounting a few short private roads to Jura House and on the Ardlussa Estate, Jura's road does have a few public branches. The main road on Jura is the A846, which, starting as it means to go on, commences on Islay at Ardbeg Distillery tours a number of distilleries in Islay before reaching Port Askaig - hops on the Eilean Dhiura ferry and continues through Craighouse to Lussagiven, where it finally gives up being an A road - not that you might realise it was an A road long before then. Single track often with grass growing down the middle, it bears no resemblance to its main stretch between Port Ellen and Port Askaig, let alone most A roads on the mainland.
As can be seen from these three map extracts - it branches off to the pier in Craighouse, opposite the Isle of Jura Distillery, has an unclassified branch to Ardfernal, and another to Inverlussa. It eventually peters out into a rough track by the time it reaches Barnhill the cottage where George Orwell wrote 1984. Orwell famously described Jura as "ungetattable" - and if you've ever been to Jura you'll know just what he meant - and it must have been even more difficult in 1948.