Your great big festive quiz

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It’s time to put down that mince pie, get the family together, pour another glass of Babycham and get ready to test the grey matter in this year’s big festive quiz.

Look out for all the answers next week.


1. What Hebridean island is the only place in Britain where prehistoric mummies have been found?

2. The Trushal Stone is said to be the tallest standing stone in Scotland, at 5.7m/more than 20ft high, and 6.5 ft broad. But where is it?

3. To what island do people travel to see the Cave Picture of the Crucifixion?

4. During Roman times, what was the name of the tribe inhabiting Argyll?

5. Fingal’s Cave is on Staffa, but where is Fingal’s Grave, the burial place of this hero in Celtic folk stories? Bonus: Where are Fingal’s Limpet Hammers?

6. For what island are two saints said to have raced, what were their names and by what trick did the winner gain his victory?

7. What is the name of the small hill by Iona Abbey?

8. Why are there so few trees on Lewis?

9. Where was Kenneth MacAlpine, the first king of a unified Scotland, crowned?

10. Where was the Stone of Destiny before it was taken to Scone by Kenneth II?

11. Duncan and Macbeth are buried on the same island. Where?

12. Which Scottish king died of a fever on the Isle of Kerrera?

13. Where is the Well of Heads and how did it get its name?

14. If you want to make a fast fortune in Scotland, you should hunt for the Jacobite treasure. But where is it hidden?

15. The explorer Dr David Livingstone’s family came from which island?

16. What was the identity of the ‘Tartan Pimpernel’, who helped more than 2000 Allied servicemen to escape from France in World War II and where was he born?

Science and Nature

17. Why should you be careful sailing near the Isle of Canna?

18. What is the only chemical element named after a place in Scotland, and why do you see it at New Year?

19. Grouse, Partridge, Pheasant. Can you arrange these game birds in order of their size?

20. Arran has three endemic tree species, among the most endangered in the world. Can you name one of them?

21. Kinlochleven was the first village in Scotland to have what?

22. How far away can an eagle see a rabbit?

23. Scotland’s rare rainforest, the Caledonian Forest, once covered 15,000 sq km of the country, but today less than one per cent of the original native pinewood survives in isolated pockets. In which National Nature Reserves in Argyll and Lochaber can you still walk in it?


24. Argyll and Bute has 23 inhabited islands. How many can you name?

25. In which mountain ranges are the following peaks: a) Goat Fell. b) Sgurr nan Gillean. c) The Cobbler. d) Ben Nevis. e) The Ring of Steall: Sgùrr a’ Mhàim, An Gearanach, Stob Coire a’ Chàirn, and Am Bodach. f) Beinn an Òir, Beinn Shiantaidh, and Beinn a’ Chaolais. g) Ben Lui.

26. The Firth of Lorn, a 16-mile long inlet separating Mull from Oban, is a continuation of Loch Linnhe and the Great Glen, part of the vast Great Glen Fault stretching from Orkney to Donegal. Can you name the eight other firths within the Scottish border?

27. Fladda, Lunga and the Dutchman’s Cap are all part of which island group?

28. Seil and Kilninver: Bernera and Lewis. What have these two pairs in common?

29. Where is the UK’s largest missile range?

30. There are more than 25,500 lochs in Scotland, with the Western Isles and Sutherland having the highest concentration. On what lochs do these towns and villages stand?
a) Inveraray. b) Fort William. c) Killin. d) St Fillans. e) Fort Augustus. f) Arrochar. g) Tarbet. h) Strontian. i) Ballachulish. j) Bowmore. k) Pennyghael.

31. Scotland has 900 offshore islands, but which one is the most remote, annexed by Great Britain in 1955?

32. Where are the Five Sisters?

33. Where is ‘doon the watter’?

34. What is the Hielan’man’s Umbrella?

35. How many capes are there in Scotland?

36. If you caught a ferry from the following ports, where would you arrive?
a) Feolin. b) Sconser. c) Tayinloan. d) Wemyss Bay. e) Kilchoan. f) Fishnish. g) Achnacroish. h) Claonaig. i) Cuan. j) Ellenabeich. k) Kylerhea. l) Portavadie. m) Galmisdale.

37. On one estimate, Argyll and Bute has a 3,000-mile long coastline, but why is it hard to be sure?

38. Put these mountain and hill classifications in order, highest first: Hughs, Corbetts, Munros, Grahams. What classes do the following belong to?
a) Ben More, Mull. b) Askival, Rum. c) The Pap of Glencoe. d) Ben Hogh, Coll.

39. Can you name your local RNLI lifeboat, or any others from these West Coast RNLI stations? a) Arran. b) Barra. c) Campbeltown. d) Tobermory. e) Oban. f) Islay. g) Mallaig. h) Kyle of Lochalsh. i) Portree. j) Tighnabruaich.

40. The Northern Lighthouse Board operates 207 lighthouses across Scotland and the Isle of Man, from its bases in Edinburgh and Oban. Where are these lighthouses?

a) Dubh Artach. b) Fladda. c) Wee Donald. d) Hyskeir. e) McArthur’s Head. f) Neist Point. g) Ruvaal. h) Skerryvore.

41. Place these lochs north to south: Loch Awe, Loch Rannoch, Loch Tay, Loch Earn.

42. There is a 220km canal network in Scotland, including the Crinan Canal – ‘the most beautiful shortcut in the world’, which was opened in 1801 to save ships from a treacherous 100-mile trip around the Mull of Kintyre, Britain’s longest peninsula. How many of Scotland’s other four canals can you name?

Beyond Argyll

43. Which man from Ulva gave his name to an Australian island, lake, mountain, tectonic plate, suburb in its capital city of Canberra, and two rivers?

44. The Caribbean island of Nevis is named after Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. True or false?

45. Which city in Pakistan was called Campbellpur (‘Campbell City’ in Sanskrit) after Sir Colin Campbell until 1978?

46. Which city in Alberta, Canada, is named after a beach on Mull where its police chief, Col. James MacLeod from Skye, holidayed as a child?

47. How many Campbeltowns are there in the world?

48. Oban is the capital of which island, the southernmost in the New Zealand archipelago? Bonus: What small isle sits opposite Oban in New Zealand?

49. Lochiel lies on the border between which two countries?

50. The world’s busiest district Mong Kok (meaning ‘crowded corner’ in Chinese) in Hong Kong was formerly called what?

51. The sprawling commercial district of Glenorchy is home to which Tasmanian city’s only ice rink?

52. The New Hebrides in the South Pacific Ocean is now known as what island group?

53. What do Muck, Benbecula, Jura, St Kilda, Glenelg, Torridon, Coll, Arran, Oban, Talisker, and Laphroaig have in common with Mons Olympus, the tallest mountain in the Solar System?


54. The lunar landscapes of which Hebridean island stood in for Jupiter in Stanley Kubrick’s movie masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey?

55. In which 1960s James Bond film starring Sean Connery did 007 kill SPECTRE henchmen in Argyll? Clues: in one scene, where Loch Craignish stands in for the Adriatic coast, Bond blows up chasing speedboats with a flare gun, and in the second, set in the hills above Lochgilphead, he blows up a chasing helicopter by shooting a grenade out of the baddie’s hand and onto the cockpit floor – Boom!

56. ‘Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!’ John Cleese taunted King Arthur from atop Castle Aaaargh in Monty Python and the Holy Grail – but what Argyll castle was the setting for Castle Aaaargh? Bonus: In which Lochaber and Argyll glen was the Bridge of Death scene filmed?

Song and Dance

57. On which island can your feet make music on the ‘Singing Sands’?

58. What island inspired Felix Mendelssohn to write the Hebridean Overture?

59. Which two Highland dances are commonly executed one following the other without a break?

60. If you danced a Gillie Chaluim, what equipment would you need?

61. What are a puirt-a-beul?

62. Can you finish the lines in this song?

Aye the Crinan Canal for me,
It’s neither too big nor too …,
Oh! It’s lovely and calm when you’re frying your …,
Or makin’ a nice … … …
You can go for a stroll on its …,
To loosen your muscle bound shanks,
You can darn your socks while you’re still in its …,
The Crinan Canal for me.


63. What is the name of the monster of Loch Morar?

64. What are the magical powers of the Fairy Flag in Dunvegan Castle?

65. What is the name of the famous haunted cave on Mull?

Food & Drink

66. What is the only Single Malt Scotch Whisky to bear a Royal Warrant?

67. Which King of Dal Riata gave his name to a kind of sausage?

68. Arran Banner, Isle of Jura, Shetland Black and Highland Burgundy are all types of what?