The Queen and Scotland
Queen Victoria liked the Scottish Highlands so much that she and her husband Prince Albert bought Balmoral Castle in 1848. They spent summers there, and this made Highland Scotland fashionable.
Travel companies ran trips to the Highlands. What attracted these first tourists were the 'unspoilt' mountains, glens and lochs. There were no smoky factory towns to spoil the view.
The reason the Highlands looked unspoilt and empty was that most people who once lived there had been forced out by the Highland Clearances.
Shooting and fishing
Some rich landowners used their Highland estates for hunting. They invited friends to 'stalk' deer and to shoot 'game birds' such as pheasant and grouse.
Gamekeepers chased away poachers, and killed 'vermin' such as foxes, hawks and eagles. Parties of rich people stayed in big country houses for shooting holidays, Fishing for trout and salmon also became a popular sport.
Highland ghillies were men with expert knowledge of the countryside. Their job was to guide visitors who came to shoot and fish.
In Victorian times, Britain was the world's leading shipbuilder and had the biggest fleet of ships. Scotland played an important part in this industry. As early as 1812 the steamship Comet was built at Port Glasgow. In 1841 Robert Napier started the Fairfield shipyard at Govan on the River Clyde. It grew to be the biggest shipyard in Scotland.
By 1850, Glasgow and Dumbarton made half of all the iron steamships made in Britain. By the 1880s, steel was replacing iron, just as iron ships had replaced wooden ships. Thousands of men worked in the shipyards of the Clyde, and also at Dundee, Leith and Aberdeen.
Coal Mining in Scotland
Mining for coal was an important industry in Victorian Scotland. Britain's factories used coal to drive steam engines. Steam trains and house fires also burned coal. British coal production rose from about 10 million tonnes in 1800 to about 225 million tonnes in 1900.
Scotland's main coal mining regions were Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Fife and Lothian. The worst Scottish mine disaster was in 1877, when more than 230 miners at Blantyre Colliery were killed by an underground gas explosion.