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Tour Strathaven Scotland

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This evening I am posting images of my recent visit to the South Lanarkshire town of Strathaven
I visited the town centre, Avendale church and castle

Unfortunately Google won't let me upload the images-will try again another day.

Strathaven is certainly a nice little town and worthy of a visit if in the area.


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Tour Canongate Kirk Edinburgh

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This evening I would like to have presented some images from inside Canongate Kirk which is located on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh.

This church was built in 1688 to house the congregation expelled from Holyrood Abbey when it was taken over b y James VII to be used as the chapel for the Order of the Thistle. In the nearby churchyard can be found burials of such notable people as:


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Around Scotland Tour

Monday, May 19, 2008

This evening I am presenting images from a recent tour around Scotland.

The following two images are of Doune Castle in Stirlingshire. This is located only about 7 miles from the much larger Stirling Castle. Doune was built by Robert Stewart, the first Duke of Albany who died in 1420. Doune is a formidable structure and became a Royal fortress and was used as a hunting lodge by the Stewart Court from nearby Stirling. In 1883 the castle was restored by the Earl of Moray and subsequently featured in the 1975 movie 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'.

This first shot is of the Great Hall which relies on a central, brazier type fire for heating.


The following are five images are pertaining to Stirling Castle plug close to the River Forth. Stirling Castle , which sits atop an ancient volcanic plug, was strategically important because it sits astride access routes to the Highlands and Lowlands. Nearby were fought two significant battles, namely Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). Apart form its military role, the castle served as a royal palace for the Stewart dynasty.

This is inside if the Royal Chapel

A modern, but authentic tapestry from the Chapel

Scene from the Great Hall. Re-enactment minstrels

Here is the Queen and her Lady in Waiting.

View of Stirling Castle from the Wallace Monument.

The following are images of the quaint/heritage village at Luss, on the shores of Loch Lomond.

This is the main street at Inveraray, a planned 18th century village on Loch Fyne, West of Scotland. Nearby is the famous Inveraray Castle.

A view of Loch Ness from Castle Urquhart. Sadly, no monsters were evident during our visit.

This is Duff House in Banff, a very impressive mansion designed by Robert Adam and built between 1735 and 1740 as a seat for the Earls of Fife. We had some tea there. The main building is open to the public.

Here are a couple of heroes- but not local to Pennan! The red phone box was one of the stars of this film

View of Pennan ,which precariously sits between the sea and high cliffs.

The following four images are of Dunnottar Castle which has close connections with Clan Keith. The castle dates from the 1290s and is now a formidable ruin after experiencing a very chequered history. Access is not for the fainthearted!

We have seen these folks somewhere before!

View of Peterhead Harbour. Not one of Scotland's top tourist destinations but interesting as a busy commercial port. Surprisingly, there was a seal basking in the dirty water around the moored vessels.

Here is the Royal Family's private Highland residence at Balmoral which features an interesting Highland garden.

Highland scenery at pass of Glenshee

A couple of dog lovers at the rent-a-dog depot.

A colourful display at Scone Palace.

Whatever type of bird this is it was certainly strong on noise and assertiveness.

View of Scone Palace which dates from 1802. However, sits on the site of older buildings which were associated with the famous Stone of Destiny which was used for the inauguration of the Kings of Scotland and which now resides in Edinburgh Castle.

Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh. Unfortunately, this was closed to visitors due to an official function but we did witness the changing of the guard.

High Kirk of St. Giles, Edinburgh.This is the only parish church of medieval Edinburgh and the home of Presbyterianism. Inside is the famous Thistle Chapel which contains elaborate ornamentation and fine wood carvings.

View of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh from John Knox's House.

Here are some unusual gate posts found on the Royal Mile.

This image is of Canongate Kirk which was built in 1688. The churchyard holds the burials of many famous people including Adam Smith.

Interior of the Scottish Parliament building.

Exterior of the Scottish Parliament. Architecture is somewhat controversial.


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Inveraray Tour Scotland

Sunday, May 18, 2008

This evening I am presenting some images taken during my recent tour of the West including Inveraray.

The delightful little town of Inveraray is located in Argyll on the banks of Loch Fyne. The town is most noteworthy for the nearby Inveraray Castle, a neo gothic structure which dates from 1745 and is the seat of the Chief of Clan Campbell, namely the Duke of Argyll.

Featured in the image below is the Arctic Penguin which is one of the world's last iron sailing ships and now permanently moored as a maritime museum.

Here is the heart of the 18th century planned village of Inveraray.

Overall, Inveraray is well worth a visit during a visit to the West of Scotland. To the north is the historic Kilmartin Glen and Oban and ferry routes to the islands. To the South is Knapdale and the Kintyre Peninsula with Campbelltown at the foot.


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Glasgow Scotland Pub Tour

Monday, May 12, 2008

This evening I am posting an image from a visit this evening to a pub in the West End of Glasgow. The establishment is called 'The Primary', evidently a former primary school and now owned by brewery company Bellhaven. Note patriotic flag. A busy pub that serves food. We went on to the theatre nearby. Quite a good evening.


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Glasgow Old Tobacco Quarter Tour

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This evening I am presenting images taken yesterday of my visit to Virginia Place and Virginia Court, Glasgow which offer offer the remaining vestiges of a booming tobacco trade in the late 18th century.

In the 1770s Glasgow controlled over half of all British trade in tobacco, which made up over one third of Scotland's imports and over half its exports. The trade was immensely profitable which resulted in the traders soon becoming the richest men in the world.

The tobacco trade was inextricably linked with slavery and the slave trade.Glasgow found its niche by directly supplying the American colonies with manufactured goods, linen cloth and iron without which they could not survive. The ships returned to Britain with colonial goods, mainly tobacco from Maryland and Virginia but also sugar and other exotic products of slavery from the Caribbean islands.

The tobacco trade collapsed after the American revolution as the former colonies became free of their obligation to transport goods in British ships and by-passed Glasgow selling directly to European markets.

Wall plaque recording the tobacco industry

Place names evidencing the trading links with Virginia

The following two images are of the Tobacco Merchant's House at 42 Miller Street.This house was built by John Craig but the first inhabitants were the leading Glasgow merchant family of Robert Findlay who ran a banking business within the house.


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Tour Glasgow Buchanan Street

Saturday, May 10, 2008

This afternoon I went into Glasgow to do a little shopping. Here are some images of the activity in Buchanan Street, one of the key thoroughfares in the city and largely closed to traffic. The experience proved something like a modern day version of a medieval street scene with throngs of people and all sorts of traders and entertainers-in addition to the regular shops.

Here is a jazz band in full swing.

Here is a trader selling childrens toys.

Eating alfresco, continental (Europe) style.

This is an escapologist about to tie himself up.

Dr Who telephone box. Now a coffee bar.

Street musician

Stress relief-definitely needed here!!

View towards Buchanan Galleries. Standing room only!

View towards Argyle Street. Not a place for solitude!

Rangers Football Club stall. Very popular as there is a big match tomorrow.

Overall, these scenes reflect the popularity of Glasgow as a shopping destination coupled with the vibrancy of the city.


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Dunfermline Abbey Church Tour

Friday, May 09, 2008

This evening I am presenting some images of a recent visit to Dunfermline Abbey Church, located in the Royal Burgh of Dunfermline, Scotland.

The current church was built in 1818-21 by William Burn. It is situated on the site of the ruined former Abbey.

The Church is significant in that it houses the burial place of King Robert the Bruce (1274-1329) who founded the Stewart dynasty and whose name is commemorated atop the the church tower. Bruce's descendants include all British monarchs since 1603.

This church is well worth a visit because of (a) its elevation affords superb views on a clear day (b) it is close the ruins of the Royal Palace and (b) a Benedictine Monastery. Of course there are many other reasons for a visit to historic Dunfermline ( including Andrew Carnegie's Birthplace) not least of which is proximity to Edinburgh.


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Tour Glasgow Sauchiehall Street

Thursday, May 08, 2008

This evening I am posting some images of my mile long walk yesterday along Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street . This forms one of Glasgow's leading shopping venues and is partly pedestrianised (vehicles excluded). The street is very long and runs from the centre of Glasgow out to the West End near Kelvingrove Museum. The unusual name is derived form the old name for Willow Tree

Here is the Cameron Memorial Fountain. This sits at an angle and is in a sorry state,

Street View
Here are the famous Willow Tea Rooms ( first floor) designed by Glasgow's famous designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
More views of Sauchiehall Street in the Spring sunshine.


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Tour George Square Glasgow

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Today, I finally achieved a personal objective in photographing the statues in George Square in context of a tour of Glasgow. These represent the 'Great and Good' of Victorian times and earlier.

Here is a general view with the Scott Monument prominent in the centre.

This is James Oswald, M.P.
This is Dr. Thomas Graham
Thomas Campbell, Poet

Lord Clyde
Sir John Moore
Robert Burns

Sir Walter Scott
William Ewart Gladstone
Sir Robert Peel

Queen Victoria, who visited Glasgow August 14th 1849.

James Watt


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Tour Glasgow Architecture

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This evening I am presenting an image the Struthers Memorial Church in the West End of Glasgow (Westbourne Road).

This building was designed in 1873 by John Honeyman, a partner of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and contains large stained-glass windows by Alfred Webster and Douglas Strachan.


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Day Tour from Glasgow

Monday, May 05, 2008

This evening I am posting some images from today's one day tour from Glasgow. We completed a big circle taking in Loch Lomond, Killin, Loch Tay, Kenmore, Pitlochry, Crieff, and Stirling. Here are some of the images

This is a view of Loch Lomond with Ben Lomond in the distance.

This is the Great Hall at Stirling Castle.

Here is the King and Queen inside the Great Hall.

Here is Edradour Whiskey Distillery, Scotland's smallest distillery.

Another aspect of Edradour
Decision time inside the Edradour shop

Croft Moraig Stone Circle which dates back about 5000 years.

Another aspect of Croft Moraig
Entrance to Taymouth Castle.

Kenmore Hotel at the northern end of Loch Tay. We had a good lunch here.

Falls of Dochart
at Killin


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Tour St Monans Fife Coast

Sunday, May 04, 2008

This evening I am posting an image from a recent tour of the Fife Coast. Included in the tour was a visit to the famous church at St. Monans.

The fishing village is named after the church and is located between Elie and Pittenweem.

The harbour is the centre piece of the village.

The church has close connections with the local fishing community but, unfortunately, was closed at time of our visit due to preparations for a wedding.The associated grave yard is rich in local family history and of interest to ancestry researchers.


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Black Watch Tour Scotland

Saturday, May 03, 2008

This evening I am presenting a couple of images relating to the famous Black Watch regiment. This regiment was inspired by General Wade who, in 1725, recommended that six companies of Highlanders be raised by their clan chiefs to provide a militarised police force or Watch. The Black Watch was raised in a field near to Aberfeldy in Perthshire and went on to develop into one of Scotland's leading regiments. There is a museum dedicated to the Black Watch in Perth.

Here is an image of a memorial to the Black Watch which is located just north of the city of Dundee.

Here is an image of the memorial raised in honour of the Black Watch and located on the banks of the River Tay in Aberfeldy. In the background can be seen General Wade's military bridge which is still in use today and a great testament to the military engineers of the 18th century.

These images were taken in context of recent personalized tour with an underlying Black Watch theme.


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Knock Castle Tour Skye Scotland

Friday, May 02, 2008

This evening I am presenting some images of Knock Castle near Armadale, Isle of Skye.

The castle is a romantic ruin dating back to the 15th century but mainly the 17th century. The castle has featured in the historic rivalry between the Macdonalds and Macleods. For more information see this web page


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Classic Scotland Tour

Thursday, May 01, 2008

This evening I am presenting a selection of images from a recent Scotland tour.

Here are a few shots taken on Isle of Skye, Hebrides. This is a great location for artists and photographers due to the scenery and ever changing light conditions.

This is Castle Stuart which is operated as an upscale small hotel. My guests were fortunate to have exclusive use of the hotel during their short stay.

Here are some young lambs on a farm near Inverness

Here is Balmoral, a famous Highland residence owned by the British Royal Family and known for its Highland garden.

This image is of the Black Watch monument near Aberfeldy in Perthshire. It marks the raising of the famous regiment in a filed nearby.

Here is mock Highland Games in process. It is actually a 'corporate event' run for the benefit of visitors from Sweden.

Here is a view of Highland Perthshire taken from near Glen Quaich

This is the tallest hedge in the world-at Meikleour in Perthshire

The following images are of Glamis Castle in Angus. This is privately owned and has close connections with the British Royal Family. An excellent guide tour is provided.

Teeing off at Old Course, St. Andrews. This is the Holy Grail for golfers.

St. Monans Church on the Fife Coast. A very old building with strong links to the local fishing industry.

A Pipe Major in full flow near Hamilton

Overall, a good experience benefiting from reasonably clement weather for the time of year.


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