Events from 1981 in Scotland
- Monarch â" Elizabeth II (since 6 February 1952)
- 1 February â" Decriminalisation of homosexual activity between men over 21 years of age through the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980, section 80, which enters into force on this day.
- 5 March â" The ZX81, a pioneering British home computer manufactured by Timex in Dundee, is launched by Sinclair Research, going on to sell over 1.5 million units worldwide.
- May â" Peugeot closes the Talbot car plant at Linwood, Renfrewshire, which was opened by the Rootes Group 18 years ago as Scotland's only car factory.
- 23 May â" Scotland beat England 1-0 at Wembley.
- Undated â" Last manufacture of coal gas in the U.K., at Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.
- 16 February â" Alison Rowatt, field hockey midfielder
- 19 February â" Mark Boyle, snooker player
- 28 February â" Mark Brown, footballer
- 25 March â" Emily Smith, folk singer
- 11 June â" Alistair McGregor, field hockey goalkeeper
- 14 June â" Alastair Kellock, rugby union player
- 16 September â" David Mitchell, field hockey defender
- Catriona Shearer, television news presenter
- 6 January â" A. J. Cronin, novelist (born 1896)
- 23 February â" Nan Shepherd, novelist and poet (born 1893)
- June â" Wendy Wood, nationalist campaigner (born 1892 in England)
- 22 August â" Mairi Chisholm, nurse and ambulance driver in World War I, one of "The Madonnas of Pervyse" (born 1896)
- 8 September â" Bill Shankly, football manager (born 1913)
- 19 October â" Johnny Doyle, footballer (born 1951)
- 30 March â" Release of historical drama film Chariots of Fire that tells the story of devout Christian Eric Liddell competing in the 1924 Olympics.
- 23 April â" Release of romantic comedy film Gregory's Girl.
- Alasdair Gray's first novel Lanark: A Life in Four Books is published in Edinburgh.
- Perrier Comedy Awards first presented to the best shows on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
- First FÃ¨is Bharraigh.
- 1981 in the United Kingdom