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The Lowlands ( sco, Lallans or ; gd, a' Ghalldachd, , place of the foreigners, ) is a cultural and historical region of
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
. Culturally, the Lowlands and the
Highlands Highlands or uplands are any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau. Generally speaking, upland (or uplands) refers to ranges of hills, typically up to . Highland (or highlands) is usually reserved for ranges of low mountains. Highland ...

Highlands
diverged from the later
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
into the
modern period Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, and since the History of writing, advent of writing, from primary source, primary and ...
, when Lowland Scots replaced
Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, cànanan Goidhealach; gv, çhengaghyn Gaelgagh) form one of the two groups o ...
throughout most of the Lowlands.


Geography

The Lowlands is not an official geographical or administrative area of the country. There are two main topographic regions: the Lowlands and the
Southern Uplands The Southern Uplands ( gd, Na Monaidhean a Deas) are the southernmost and least populous of mainland Scotland's three major geographic areas (the others being the Central Lowlands and the Scottish Highlands, Highlands). The term is used both to ...
. The term "Lowlands" mainly refers to the
Central Lowlands The Central Lowlands, sometimes called the Midland Valley or Central Valley, is a geologically defined area of relatively low-lying land in southern Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, cou ...
. However, in normal usage it refers to those parts of
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
not in the
Highlands Highlands or uplands are any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau. Generally speaking, upland (or uplands) refers to ranges of hills, typically up to . Highland (or highlands) is usually reserved for ranges of low mountains. Highland ...

Highlands
(or
Gàidhealtachd The (; English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World l ...
). The boundary is usually considered to be a line between
Stonehaven Stonehaven (; ) is a town in Scotland. It lies on Scotland's northeast coast and had a population of 11,602 at the United Kingdom Census 2011#2011 Census for Scotland, 2011 Census. After the demise of the town of Kincardine, Aberdeenshire, Kinc ...

Stonehaven
and
Helensburgh Helensburgh (; gd, Baile Eilidh, lit=town (or burgh) of Helen) is an affluent coastal town in Argyll and Bute council area, Scotland, sitting at the intersection of the Firth of Clyde, East Clyde and the Gareloch. It has its own Community Coun ...

Helensburgh
(on the
Firth of Clyde The Firth of Clyde is the mouth of the River Clyde River Clyde ( gd, Abhainn Chluaidh, , sco, Clyde Watter, or ) is a river that flows into the Firth of Clyde The Firth of Clyde is the mouth of the River Clyde. It is located on the ...
). The Lowlands lie south and east of the line. Note that some parts of the Lowlands (such as the
Southern Uplands The Southern Uplands ( gd, Na Monaidhean a Deas) are the southernmost and least populous of mainland Scotland's three major geographic areas (the others being the Central Lowlands and the Scottish Highlands, Highlands). The term is used both to ...
) are not physically "low," Merrick for example reaching , while some areas indisputably in the Highlands (such as
Islay Islay ( ; gd, Ìle, sco, Ila) is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides The Inner Hebrides (; Scottish Gaelic: ''Na h-Eileanan a-staigh'', "the inner isles") is an archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland, to the sout ...

Islay
) are low-lying. For other purposes, the boundary varies; but if the Boundary Fault is used, then the traditional Scottish counties entirely in the Lowlands are
Ayrshire Ayrshire ( gd, Siorrachd Inbhir Àir, ) is a historic county and registration county A registration county was, in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. Wit ...

Ayrshire
,
Berwickshire Berwickshire ( gd, Siorrachd Bhearaig) is a historic county in southeastern Scotland, on the English border. It takes its name from Berwick-upon-Tweed Berwick-upon-Tweed (; sco, Sou Berik) (sometimes known as Berwick-on-Tweed or just Berwi ...

Berwickshire
,
Clackmannanshire Clackmannanshire (; sco, Clackmannanshire; gd, Siorrachd Chlach Mhannainn) is a Shires of Scotland, historic county, Council areas of Scotland, council area, registration counties, registration county and Lieutenancy areas of Scotland, Lieutena ...

Clackmannanshire
,
Dumfriesshire Dumfriesshire or the County of Dumfries (''Siorrachd Dhùn Phris'' in Scottish Gaelic, Gaelic) is a Counties of Scotland, historic county, registration county and Lieutenancy areas of Scotland, lieutenancy area of southern Scotland. It borders K ...

Dumfriesshire
,
East Lothian East Lothian (; sco, East Lowden; gd, Lodainn an Ear) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, as well as a Counties of Scotland, historic county, registration county and Lieutenancy areas of Scotland, lieutenancy area. The county was als ...

East Lothian
,
Fife Fife (, ; gd, Fìobha, ; sco, Fife) is a council areas of Scotland, council area, Historic counties of Scotland, historic county, registration county and lieutenancy areas of Scotland, lieutenancy area of Scotland. It is situated between the ...

Fife
,
Kinross-shire :''For the Westminster constituency, see Kinross-shire (UK Parliament constituency).'' The County of Kinross or Kinross-shire is a Counties of Scotland, historic county and registration county in eastern Scotland, administered as part of Perth an ...

Kinross-shire
,
Kirkcudbrightshire Kirkcudbrightshire ( ), or the County of Kirkcudbright or the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, is a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area in the informal Galloway area of south-western Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, ...
,
Lanarkshire Lanarkshire, also called the County of Lanark ( gd, Siorrachd Lannraig, sco, Lanrikshire), is a historic county, lieutenancy area Lieutenancy areas are the separate areas of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain a ...
,
Midlothian Midlothian (; gd, Meadhan Lodainn) is a historic county, registration county A registration county was, in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an ar ...

Midlothian
,
Peeblesshire Peeblesshire ( gd, Siorrachd nam Pùballan), the County of Peebles or Tweeddale Tweeddale (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languag ...
,
Renfrewshire Renfrewshire () ( sco, Renfrewshire; gd, Siorrachd Rinn Friù) is one of the 32 . Located in the west , it is one of three council areas contained within the boundaries of the of , the others being to the east and to the west. It also shar ...
,
Roxburghshire Roxburghshire or the County of Roxburgh ( gd, Siorrachd Rosbroig) is a shires of Scotland, historic county and registration county in the Southern Uplands of Scotland. It borders Dumfriesshire to the west, Selkirkshire and Midlothian to the no ...
,
Selkirkshire Selkirkshire or the County of Selkirk ( gd, Siorrachd Shalcraig) is a Counties of Scotland, historic county and registration county of Scotland. It borders Peeblesshire to the west, Midlothian to the north, Roxburghshire to the east, and Dumfrie ...

Selkirkshire
,
West Lothian West Lothian ( sco, Wast Lowden; gd, Lodainn an Iar) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and was one of its shires of Scotland, historic counties. The county, which was known as Linlithgowshire, was bounded geographically by the River ...

West Lothian
, and
Wigtownshire Wigtownshire or the County of Wigtown (, ) is a historic county, registration county A registration county was, in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With ...
. Prior to 1921, the counties of East Lothian, Midlothian, and West Lothian were known as Haddingtonshire, Edinburghshire, and Linlithgowshire. Traditional Scottish counties which straddle the Boundary fault include
Angus Angus may refer to: Animals * Angus cattle, a breed of cattle taking its name from Angus, Scotland * Red Angus, a breed of Angus cattle with a red coloured coat Media * Angus (film), ''Angus'' (film), a 1995 film about an overweight boy humilia ...
,
Dunbartonshire Dunbartonshire ( gd, Siorrachd Dhùn Breatann) or the County of Dumbarton is a historic county, lieutenancy area Lieutenancy areas are the separate areas of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irelan ...
,
Stirlingshire Stirlingshire or the County of Stirling, gd, Siorrachd Sruighlea) is a Counties of Scotland, historic county and registration countyRegisters of Scotland. Publications, leaflets, Land Register Counties. of Scotland. Its county town is Stirlin ...
,
Perthshire Perthshire (; gd, Siorrachd Pheairt), officially the County of Perth, is a historic county and registration county A registration county was, in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest ...
,
Kincardineshire Kincardineshire, also known as the Mearns (from the Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, càn ...
,
Aberdeenshire Aberdeenshire ( sco, Aiberdeenshire; gd, Siorrachd Obar Dheathain) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland For local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administr ...
,
Banffshire Banffshire ; sco, Coontie o Banffshire; gd, Siorrachd Bhanbh) is a historic county, registration county A registration county was, in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of cont ...
, and
Moray Moray ( ; sco, Moray; gd, Moireibh or ') is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland. It lies in the north-east of the country, with a coastline on the Moray Firth, and borders the council areas of Aberdeenshire and Highland ( ...

Moray
. Geographically, Scotland is divided into three distinct areas: the
Highlands Highlands or uplands are any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau. Generally speaking, upland (or uplands) refers to ranges of hills, typically up to . Highland (or highlands) is usually reserved for ranges of low mountains. Highland ...

Highlands
, the Central plain (
Central Belt The Central Belt of Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile ...
, in the
Central Lowlands The Central Lowlands, sometimes called the Midland Valley or Central Valley, is a geologically defined area of relatively low-lying land in southern Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, cou ...
), and the
Southern Uplands The Southern Uplands ( gd, Na Monaidhean a Deas) are the southernmost and least populous of mainland Scotland's three major geographic areas (the others being the Central Lowlands and the Scottish Highlands, Highlands). The term is used both to ...
. The Lowlands cover roughly the latter two. The northeast plain is also "low-land," both geographically and culturally, but in some contexts may be grouped together with the Highlands. The term Lowlands is sometimes used in a more restricted sense to refer specifically to the Midland Valley. Much of this area, which has a characteristic structure of sedimentary rocks with coal deposits, lies within the basins of the Rivers Forth and
ClydeClyde may refer to: People * Clyde (given name) * Clyde (surname) Places For townships see also Clyde Township (disambiguation), Clyde Township Australia * Clyde, New South Wales * Clyde, Victoria * Clyde River, New South Wales Canada * Clyde, A ...
. Historically, this valley has been the most agriculturally productive region of Scotland. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, coal deposits promoted concentrated industrial activity and urbanization in the Midland Valley, where 80 percent of the population of Scotland now live (3.5 million in the
Central Belt The Central Belt of Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile ...
). While coal mining and other
heavy industry Heavy industry is an industry Industry may refer to: Economics * Industry (economics) In macroeconomics, an industry is a branch of an economy that produces a closely related set of raw materials, goods, or services. For example, one ...
have declined in the region, it remains at the centre of the Scottish economy, with electronics and computer manufacture and service sectors such as telecommunications, computer software, and finance. The southernmost counties of Scotland, nearest the border with
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
, are also known as the Borders. They are sometimes considered separately from the rest of the Lowlands. Many ancestors of the Scotch-Irish, as they are known in the United States, or
Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ulstèr-Scotch'', ga, Albanaigh na hUladh), also called Ulster Scots ...
, originated from the lowlands and borders region before migrating to the
Ulster Plantation The Plantation of Ulster ( gle, Plandáil Uladh; Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ul ...
in the 17th century and later the American frontier, many prior to the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
. The term Scottish Lowlands is used with reference to the
Scots language Scots (endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is a ...
in contrast to the
Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, cànanan Goidhealach; gv, çhengaghyn Gaelgagh) form one of the two groups o ...
spoken in the Highlands (although historically also in the lowlands until the 15th century and 18th century in Galloway), to the
Scottish history The recorded begins with the arrival of the Roman Empire in the 1st century, when the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', ...
and to the
Scottish clan A Scottish clan (from Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland, ...
system, as well as in family history and
genealogy Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "study of family trees") is the study of families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinit ...

genealogy
.


Notes

{{Authority control Historical regions Geography of Scotland * Highland Boundary Fault