25 Iconic Scots

25 Nov 2023

Scott Disick, Travis Scott, Scott Bakula...

Wait, it's not famous Scotts, it's famous Scots. Scottish people. Sorry.

Scotland is a small country, there's only around 5 million people here, but that hasn't stopped us producing some of the best talent, inventors and downright iconic people over the years. It's usually either quality or quantity, but I think it's safe to say that Scotland went for both, as I could've made this list a lot longer. That wouldn't suit Timberbush's 25th Anniversary theme though, would it?

This list is entirely my own opinion, and some of the Timberbush office team, so apologies if your favourite Scot didn't make the list. They can be there in spirit.

From inventors, to sportspeople, to musicians - it's more than likely something in your home, one of your favourite songs, or someone in a movie you love, is from or has a connection to Scotland, so have a read of our list of the 25 most iconic people from Scotland. Apologies if you disagree with it.

Michelle McManus

Who else could top this list but our Michelle. In 2003, Michelle rose to fame by winning Pop Idol, which was a singing talent show here in the UK. Instantly becoming a household name, she gained a #1 hit with her winner’s single All This Time, which I will request at every party I attend to this day. Since winning Pop Idol, she has hosted TV shows, released new singles, and even had her own Edinburgh Fringe show.

John Logie Baird

Where would we be without John Logie Baird? I’d be a lot more bored, that’s for sure.

Baird was an inventor from Helensburgh, a town on the west coast of the country. In 1926, he unveiled the world’s first television, and the world changed forever.

Billy Connolly

Arguably Scotland’s funniest man and affectionately known as “the Big Yin” by the locals. For 5 decades he has been entertaining people around the world, through music, comedy and acting. You might have seen him appear in the 2004 film Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events or even heard his voice in Disney’s Brave. He was even in a country music band named the Skillet-Lickers.

Jackie Bird

Anyone here in Scotland could tell you that New Year’s Eve means 2 things: a brilliant night with your family and friends, and seeing Jackie Bird on the television counting us down to the bells of midnight. Well, it used to, before she retired from presenting. For many years, Jackie was the anchor for the national news from the BBC here in Scotland, as well as hosting our New Year’s Eve, or Hogmanay, television countdown. Now, she serves as the president of the National Trust for Scotland, a charity which helps protect our country’s environment and historic locations. Thanks Jackie!

Robert Burns

I surely don’t have to tell you about Robert Burns do I? I’ll give you a brief overview if you don’t know. Robert Burns, or Rabbie as you might here him called here, was born on the 25th January 1759 in Ayrshire and over his life, became a celebrated poet and lyricist and today is arguably one of Scotland’s most notable figures. If you want to learn a bit more about him, and start preparing for Burns’ Night on January 25th 2024, have a read of our blog all about it here.  

Sheena Easton

The moment you sing a song as brilliant as Morning Train (Nine to Five), you earn yourself a spot on this list. Sheena Easton was a girl from Glasgow who found fame on a singing competition on TV here. Before long, she was topping the charts round the world with her music, even having duets with other iconic performers like Prince! Since then, she has released more music, had a stint on London’s West End and now resides in Vegas where you can often see her perform.

Robbie Coltrane

Robbie Coltrane was a beloved actor here in Scotland, appearing in many series and films over the years, but there was one role he was probably best known for: Hagrid, in the Harry Potter films. Whilst I do love Hagrid, of course, my particular favourite role of his was in an episode of Still Game, a comedy series, in which he plays a bus driver that has a psychotic break and kidnaps all of the passengers on the bus. It sounds dark but it is a comedy, I promise. If you want to follow in Hagrid’s footsteps, you can visit some iconic Harry Potter filming locations on tour with us, such as the Glenfinnan Viaduct, or Alnwick Castle.

Fran and Anna

You really don’t get more iconic than Fran and Anna, in my opinion anyway. Two sisters from the Coatbridge area of Lanarkshire, not far from Glasgow, who would perform together, singing, decked out in matching tartan miniskirts and cheeks adorned with blush, there was often a wee matching hat to really bring the look together. They toured round the country performing together for almost 7 decades. Unfortunately, the sisters are no longer with us, but you can still find some clips of them on YouTube!

The Krankies

The Krankies are pretty iconic figures here in Scotland. Portrayed by husband and wife Janette and Ian Tough, they are Wee Jimmy Krankie and his dad Ian Krankie. They have appeared for numerous years in panto here in Scotland, as well as on tv shows like French and Saunders and Dinnerladies. They were known for the catchphrase “fandabidozi!” which you can still here people in Scotland say today.

Lorraine Kelly

Turn on breakfast TV and chances are you might catch a glimpse of Lorraine Kelly. Throughout the years she has been the face of numerous television shows and now even has her own every weekday, although some times other people do host it – she needs a day off like the rest of us! She’s a friendly face and always good to see in the morning, definitely an iconic Scot.

David Tennant

David Tennant is a beloved actor here, maybe you’ve seen him in Nativity 2, one of the greatest Christmas films ever made. Or, you might know him from a little show called Doctor Who, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. David played the 10th Doctor, and after several years, we will see him return as the 14th Doctor for the 60th Anniversary Celebrations. I would say he was our only Scottish Doctor Who, but Peter Capaldi who played the 12th Doctor, and Ncuti Gatwa who will go on to play the 15th Doctor, are both Scottish as well!

Sam Heughan

Jamie Fraser. Need I say more?

I’m fairly sure I don’t need to tell many people that visit our website that Sam Heughan is the star of Outlander, because I know how popular our Outlander tour is. So much so, that we’re keeping it going over the winter next year so you can follow in Sam/Jamie’s footsteps all year round. I just can’t guarantee that you’ll bump into him. Sorry.

If you want to learn more about out Outlander tours and get your tickets, you can click here for our summer version, and here for our brand-new winter edition.


Yes, Scotland even have our own Eurovision winner. Lulu had already been successful in the UK as a singer with songs like “Shout” (you’ll definitely know this one from it’s iconic introduction), but in 1969 she was selected to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. In an exciting vote, there was actually a 4 way tie that year, with Lulu sharing the win with Spain, the Netherlands and France. Since then, she’s had plenty of success on TV and with her music.

Colin and Justin

Colin and Justin are a pair of interior designers and decorators from Scotland who have had multiple shows over the years decorating houses and making them over. From the BBC to Channel 5, they have had all different kinds of shows, and even jumped across the pond to have shows in Canada as well. A real-life couple, they’ve been together since 1986 and in my eyes, are definitely classed as iconic Scots.

Mary, Queen of Scots

What were you doing at six days old? Filling your nappy? Struggling to keep your neck up? Most likely.

What was Mary Stuart doing? Becoming Queen of Scotland.

When she was just six days old, her father James V of Scotland died, leaving her to become Queen of Scots, which she did until 25 years later when she was forced to abdicate after an uprising, leaving her 1-year old son to take over the throne. Nothing like starting them early.

Mary, Queen of Scots was born in Linlithgow Palace (which you can visit on tour with us), and to be perfectly honesty, we could write entire blog posts just on her life. Luckily, the marketing team that came before me already has – so if you want to have a read of that and learn more about the baby Queen, click here.

William Wallace

Someone else who was there during the First War of Scottish Independence alongside Robert the Bruce, was William Wallace. He was a knight who was a main leader during the war. He is arguably most well known for defeating the English army during the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. If you’ve seen Braveheart, you may be familiar with William Wallace’s story. Whilst he had a heroic life, unfortunately, he came to a bit of a sticky end, I’ll not go into it here but it should be pretty easy to Google and find out.

Susan Boyle

We all remember where we were when we first saw Susan Boyle’s Britain’s Got Talent audition. No one expected her to belt out “I Dreamed a Dream” and make the judges jaw’s truly hit the floor. Since then, she’s sold millions of records and is a true household name here in Scotland.

Alexander Graham Bell

Hello? Who’s that on that telephone? Oh, it’s Alexander Graham Bell – because he invented it!

We really can credit so many of the things that are indispensable in our society to the Scots, from television to the telephone and so many things in between.

Calvin Harris

Everyone knows that we here in Scotland love a party, so thank goodness we have someone like Calvin Harris here. He is a very well-known DJ and music producer who has produced some absolute bangers over the years, keeping all of us dancing. He’s had hits with countless artists like Rihanna, Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding and more recently Sam Smith, so you’ll have definitely come across a Calvin Harris song in your time. He was also the first British solo artist to have reached more than one billion streams on Spotify. Not bad for a boy from Dumfries!

Robert the Bruce

If you’re clued up on your Scottish history, you will most likely have heard of Robert the Bruce. From 1306 until 1329, when he died, he reigned as the King of Scots and led the country during the First War of Scottish Independence, fought against the English. He was able to make Scotland an independent Kingdom and if you want to get up close and personal with him – well, his statue – then head to Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle, or Marischal College in Aberdeen. He was also recently portrayed by Chris Pine in the Netflix movie Outlaw King.

Annie Lennox

Another iconic musician. Annie Lennox originally hails from Aberdeen and found international fame as part of the duo Eurythmics. You will have surely come across a few Eurythmics songs in your time, like Sweet Dreams, Here Comes the Rain Again or There Must Be An Angel, they were even inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. As well as her fantastic contributions to music, she is also a political activist.

Lewis Capaldi

There’s must be something in the water here in Scotland, because we sure do produce a lot of fantastic musicians. One that is a bit newer on the scene but has made quite the impact already is Lewis Capaldi. From Glasgow originally but having grown up in West Lothian, nearer Edinburgh, he is now known worldwide thanks to his chart-topping songs like Someone You Loved. In fact, when that song topped the Billboard Hot 100, it made him the first Scottish solo act to top the list since fellow “25 Iconic Scots by Timberbush Tours” member Sheena Easton. I’m sure we’ll see him on top of the charts much more in the coming years.

Andy Murray

Scotland’s tennis hero. Sir Andy Murray is a Former world number one, BBC Sport’s Personality of the Year, Wimbledon winner, Olympic gold medallist and son of icon herself, Judy Murray. We are awfully proud of Andy here in Scotland.

Kenny Dalgish

Now, I’ll be totally honest. Football goes completely over my head so I had to ask for help in the office to fill me in on Kenny Dalglish, but they assure me he is an iconic Scot. Regarded as one of the greatest player to have lived, he played for Celtic and Liverpool. Some highlights of his career include winning 4 league championships, four Scottish cups and getting 102 caps (not sure what they are to be honest) and 167 goals (those, I know).

Gary and June Voy

The founders of Timberbush Tours. Need I say more!?

As I said, you could keep this list going for pages and pages thanks to all of the talent that Scotland has produced, but frankly, my fingers might fall off if I try writing this.

If I missed your favourite Scot, my sincere apologies, but as long as they are your favourite that's all that counts!

Who knows what new talent we will have to add to this list in 10 years time, keep your eyes peeled.