FREE Printables: Learning about Scotland

If you’re looking for something to occupy the children whilst you’re cooking your Burns Night supper, I’ve put together some Scottish themed colouring sheets which would be perfect for children to do. I’ve included a few facts and information which might help stimulate further discussion on the subject of Scotland.

FREE Printables: Learning about Scotland

The free to download sheets include pictures to colour in and a few facts about –
  • Scottish Thistles
  • Robert Burns
  • Bagpipes
  • Kilts and Tartan
  • The Saltire or Flag of Scotland

Click here to download your FREE colouring sheets.

It’s enough to keep the kids occupied for a while and a good place to start if you’re going to start exploring the history and traditions of Scotland with them.

If you are looking for more information about Scotland and its history, there are plenty of resources online. I like which has a really handy history timeline which takes you back right from the Palaeolithic era to the present day. National Geographic Kids also has a really good resource for children about Scotland, its history, wildlife and culture.

Burns Night itself is an evening of ceremonial celebration and commemoration of Robert Burns. The celebrations have a set order and include a number of traditionally Scottish elements. From reciting some of Robert Burns poetry, to the playing of bagpipes and the serving of haggis, Burns Night is a real celebration of all things Scottish.

You could have a lot of fun recreating a Burns Night celebration in your own home; complete with haggis, neeps and tatties, some bagpipe music from YouTube and everyone taking it in turns reciting some poetry.

You can also try your hand at making your own Scottish thistle with my simple popsicle stick craft, or you could try your hand at designing your own tartan using your own favourite colours.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like these other blog posts:

FREE Printables: Learning about Scotland

Recipe: Homemade Haggis Pasties

With Burns Night fast approaching, my local butchers have stocked up with haggis. I’m always keen to try different things, so I popped in and picked up a small haggis, took it home and wondered what to make with it. Previously I’ve made a haggis, potato cake and poached egg stack, but this week I fancied making pasties from scratch. The pasties came out so well, I’ve decided to share my recipe for Homemade Haggis Pasties.

Recipe: Homemade Haggis Pasties

Haggis is one of those ingredients which is a bit love/hate. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but if you’re not already a haggis fan, they’re worth trying; my 8 year old scoffed a whole pasty and asked me to make them again, which really surprised me.

I’ve made Cornish pasties before, so I thought I’d make something similar, but with haggis, neeps and tatties. There was a bit of prep to be done, but the results are worth it, and I’ve got lunches for the boys for the next few days. The recipe makes 8 pasties if you’re pretty frugal with the pastry. I made my own shortcrust pastry, but as ever, there’s no shame in buying your own if you can’t face making it from scratch.

Homemade Haggis Pasties

For the pastry:

450g plain flour
110g butter, margarine or lard
1/2 teaspoon of salt
5fl oz of water

1 egg, beaten

For the pasty filling:

1 small haggis weighing 450g
200g potato, diced
200g neeps (otherwise known as turnip), diced
1 small onion
1/2 carrot (optional)
1 teaspoon of butter
Salt and pepper

Recipe: Homemade Haggis Pasties

How to make your haggis pasties:

Begin my making your pastry as it benefits from being chilled for at least an hour, but longer is best. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, cube the fat and rub that into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, add the water and mix with your hands until it forms a dough. Don’t work the pastry too much, a light touch is best. Once the pastry has formed a dough, wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.

Once the pastry is chilling in the fridge, wrap your haggis in tin foil and bake it in the oven for an hour at 190°. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until you’re ready for it.

While the haggis is cooking; dice your neeps (turnip), potatoes and your half a carrot if you’re using and boil for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and put in a bowl, season well with salt and pepper and add a teaspoon of butter, put to one side. Finely dice a small onion and add that to the neeps and tatties.

When your haggis is cooked, remove it from the casing and add the haggis to the vegetable mix, stir well. Your filling is ready to be made into pasties.

Pre-heat your oven to 200°.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. To make your pasties, roll your pastry until it is about 5mm thick and using a side plate (I use a plastic one because it’s easier to handle) cut around the plate. You should get 7-8 pasties out of the pastry.

Recipe: Homemade Haggis Pasties

Heap 2 dessert spoons of the filling in the middle of the pastry circle. Brush along one half of the circle along the edge with the egg, fold over the pastry and press the edges together. Crimp your pastry, don’t worry, this seems harder than it is, and it’s easier for you to watch this video than it is for me to explain it. Once your pasty has been crimped, brush with the beaten egg, place on your baking tray and bake for 50 minutes.

Once your pasties have been baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least ten minutes before eating.

The haggis pasties are delicious; all the familiar charm of a Cornish pasty, but with a Scottish twist which even my 8 year old enjoys!

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Recipe: Homemade Haggis Pasties

Recipe: Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack

The most famous foodstuff in Scotland is haggis, (followed by much more appealing sounding things like shortbread and whisky). It’s traditional to serve haggis with neeps and tatties, but I wanted to try something a little different and perhaps make haggis a bit more appealing, a little bit sexy even. That’s a tough gig. Even tougher given that I’m vegetarian and I’ve never tried haggis.

I tried to think of it like black pudding. Being a Lancashire lass this put me firmly in my comfort zone. It’s sort of like black pudding in that’s it’s made from fairly unappealing bits of animal in a sausage shape; although haggis holds together less well than black pudding.

I decided to try to turn it into a brunch or lunch meal, served with homemade potato cakes and a poached egg it’s a fairly well-balanced, interesting meal that’ll satisfy anyone with a hearty appetite. I’ve made my own potato cakes as they’re much nicer than shop bought, but if you want to buy them I recommend you get them from a good bakery.

Recipe: Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack

Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack

One haggis
One egg per person
Oil for frying

For potato cakes (makes 6 large cakes) –
2 mugs of mashed potato
Half a mug of plain flour
Salt & pepper
Oil for frying


Start by putting your cold (leftover) mashed potato in a bowl with the plain flour, season and snip in some chives. Mix thoroughly by hand and shape into 6 equal sized potato cakes. Fry them off gently until they’re golden brown on both sides. Set aside somewhere warm until you’re ready to serve them. They can be kept warm in a low oven for a little while.

Take your haggis (unsteamed) and cut into 1.5cm thick slices. Fry gently in oil until brown and crispy on both sides, make sure it’s cooked all the way through. Set aside and keep warm with the potato cakes.

Poach an egg per person.

To plate up, stack your haggis on top of your potato cake and place your poached egg on top. I snipped chives all over mine because I like chives, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want.

Recipe: Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack

It’s really simple, it took me hardly any time at all and it was quite delicious. The boys once again returned clean plates to the kitchen. Winner winner haggis dinner?

If you enjoyed this recipe you might also like this recipe for Crumbly Cranachan Shortbread with Whisky. or these delicious haggis pasties.

Recipe: Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack