Visit Ben Lomond Scotland
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Ben Lomond rises to a height of 3195 feet and is known as the Beacon Hill. It is the most southerly of all the Munros ( peaks in excess of 3000 feet) and represents the very edge of the old geological fault known as the Highland Boundary.
The summit, which is easily accessed by the able bodied, comprises a fairly short, level ridge, curving gently round the head of the north-east corrie.
The above images were taken from Loch Lomond Gold Club.
Labels: loch lomond
Visit Drumclog Scotland
Monday, September 29, 2008
Drumclog is famous for the battle which occurred there in 1679 when the Covenanters clashed with the forces of the establishment-and won.
The image below is a memorial to the battle and is located on the battle site which is some 6 miles south west of Strathaven in Lanarkshire.
This is the Drumclog Memorial Kirk which was built in 1912 and is named in remembrance of the Battle adverted to above. During June of each year a service is held to remember the Battle.
Labels: South Lanarkshire
Battle of Drumclog Tour Scotland
Sunday, September 28, 2008
The battle site is located in a scenic, rural area six miles south west of Strathaven.
This semi-derelict building is the Old Drumclog School which is located on the actual site of the battle.
Inscription on memorial plinth
Memorial stone at Drumclog Church
Group Tour Edinburgh Scotland
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Here are some views of Edinburgh taken from and including the Castle. This stands on 443 feet above sea level on a plug of volcanic rock. The buildings range in date from the 12th century St. Margaret's Chapel to the 20th century Scottish National War Memorial.
View with Mons Meg in the foreground
St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh.
Palace of Holyrood House Architecture is mainly late 17th century to the design of Sir William Bruce.
Abbey at Holyrood
View of Edinburgh with Waverley Railway Station in foreground.
Former Royal High School. This was designed by Thomas Hamilton 1825-29 and is a building of international stature.
View of old Observatory dating from 1776 This is one of James Craig's very few surviving buildings.
View of Holyrood House from atop the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill
View of Princes Street from Calton Hill (Nelson Monument).
Rosslyn Castle This was destroyed by Cromwell during the Civil War period.
View of herbaceous garden at Dirleton Castle. This is the longest such border in the world.
Vaults at Direlton Castle. In the middle is a family enjoying a picnic. Dirleton Castle dates to the 12th century when it was built by the Anglo-Norman de Vaux family. The building was occupied through to 1650 when Cromwell's troops occupied and ruined the castle.
Ruins of Dirleton Castle
The following are images of a distillery tour at Glenkinchie.
Tour guide with copper stills in the background.
Guide explaining the spirit safe.
The following are images of the famous Rosslyn Chapel. Interior photographs are no longer allowed so the pictures are taken from previous visits.
This is the Apprentice Pillar at Rosslyn
The famous Govan Stones which date back 1000 years and represent some of Scotland's most important early medieval sculptures. These marked a major ceremonial and administrative capital of the kings of Strathclyde.
This is a Viking influenced 'Hogback' grave marker
Images of Glasgow Cathedral which dates from the 12th century
Inside the Blacadder Aisle (chapel)
Rood Screen. One of the few in Scotland which escaped the Reformation.
View from the Wallace Monument near Stirling. This is dedicated to William Wallace aka 'Braveheart'.
View of the Wallace Monument
Site to commemorate the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 at which a Scots army under Robert the Bruce defeated a much larger English army under Edward II
Aspects of Stirling Castle. The castle mainly dates from the 15th and 16th centuries when it was principal royal residence, witnessing thye birth of James III, the childhood of James V and the crowning of the infant, Mary Queen of Scots.
Here is the tour guide in full flow.
Inside the Great Hall. Note hammer beamed roof.
Tapestry inside the Chapel
Original decoration inside the Chapel at Stirling Castle
View of the Palace buildings at Stirling
Overall, we a great tour. Good food and good company. Haste ye back!!
Labels: Scotland tour
Visit Stirling Scotland
Friday, September 26, 2008
The picture shows the beginning of an ox-bow lake on the River Forth and, in the background, Stirling Castle which we also visited. A great end to a enjoyable tour.
Watch this space tomorrow.
Labels: Scotland tour
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Today we are visiting Edinburgh with a tour to include Castle, Cathedral, Old Parliament, New Parialment and Holyrood House.
Balnuaran of Clava Scotland
Monday, September 22, 2008
This dates back 4000 years and was used in two distinct periods: 2000BC and 1000BC.
The cairns extend along a gravel terrace raised above the River Nairn. The site may have been used for farming prior to construction of the cairns. Probably only one body would have been placed in the central chamber of each cairn.
South West Cairn
North East Cairn
Personalized Family Tour Scotland
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Here is Craigmillar Castle, a former home of the Preston family, which is located a few miles S.E.of Edinburgh and dates from the 1400s. This is not in such a ruinous state as many Scottish castles and is worth a visit.
Herbaceous garden at Dirleton Castle
Vaults at Dirleton Castle. Our visit coincided with a wedding.
Dirleton Castle with wedding reception in progress.
Rosslyn Chapel. This dates from the 1400s and took 40 years to build. Temporary roof facilities drying out of the stonework and will be removed in 2009.The Chapel is famous for its internal carvings and connection with the Da Vinci Code.
The National Monument at Calton Hill, overlooking Edinburgh
View of the Royal Mile at Edinburgh. This is the historic part of the City and best seen on foot.
View of Edinburgh from the Castle
St. Margaret's Chapel at Edinburgh Castle
Intrepid mountaineers atop Arthur's Seat
View of Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat
Dunfermline Abbey which dates from the 12th century.
King Robert the Bruce's tomb in Dunfermline Abbey
St. Monan's Church on the Fife Coast. This is a fascinating building dating to the 13th century.
Inside St. Monan's Church, which has strong links with the local fishing and shipping industries.
Famous fish and chip bar at Anstruther. We had a good lunch here.
View of quaint but working fishing village at Crail
Swilken Bridge at Old Course, St. Andrews
St. Rule's Tower at St. Andrew's Cathedral. The energetic can climb this tower and benefit from great views of the City.
View of St. Andrews from atop the Tower.
Intrepid Tour Guide!
Carved Pictish stones from the collection at Meigle in Perthshire
Edradour Distillery, near Pitlochry. An excellent free tour is provided for visitors.
Whisky Still at Edradour
Culloden Battlefield near Inverness. This was the site of the last battle on British soil-in 1746. There is an excellent visitor centre with detailed information on the famous battle.
Memorial to the fallen clansmen at Culloden.
Who is this? We are on the banks of Loch Ness, so no prizes for the correct answer!
View of Loch Ness from Castle Urquhart
This is a likeable beast. Big horns but very placid. We got very up close whilst touring on Mull.
Iona Abbey viewed from the approaching ferry. A very quiet and spiritual place.
Inside the Abbey
Carved stone with Pictish influence at Iona.
Cloisters at Iona
This is not the Canadian Pacific. However, it does provide a fun ride from Craignure on Mull to nearby Torosay Castle, a distance of about 1.5 miles.
Local vegetation, which reflects the warm, damp, mild climate.
Torosay Castle. Here we encountered an unusual dog-a Labradoodle!
Images of Tobermory, the capital of Mull. Note the very colourful buildings-and tame sea birds!
View of the landscape ( or seascape) from near our lodgings.
View of Inveraray. This is an unusual planned town dating from the 18th century. This town makes an excellent base for touring Argyll and Kintyre
Inveraray Maritime Museum aka Arctic Penguin
Images of Auchindrain Township near Inveraray.
This is a reconstruction of an original West Highland village.
View of Loch Lomond
The following images are of the quaint village of Luss which sites on the shore of Loch Lomond.
Here is a 'hogback' grave marker at Luss church which dates from Viking times.
A greedy bunny completely unpeturbed by the locals.
Colourful gardens at Luss village
View of Luss with the Loch in background.
Now we are in Glasgow. Our first visit was to the famous Cathedral which dates from the 12th century and managed to survive the Reformation relatively intact.
Inside the Cathedral
Glasgow Necropolis ( City of the dead). On this site close to the Cathedral are buried the great and good of Victorian Glasgow.
Inside Glasgow's oldest house, Provand's Lordship
Templeton's carpet factory at Glasgow Green. A very unusual piece of architecture.
Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. We took the opportunity to watch a display of Scottish Country Dancing inside.
Labels: Scotland tour
Scottish Country Dancing Event Glasgow
Saturday, September 20, 2008
This form of dancing originated in the 18th century. It is social dancing which involves groups of 6-10 people who dance to various reels, jigs and strathspeys with music provided by accordions, flutes or piano but rarely bagpipes.
In the event we witnessed there was both demonstrations by experts and opportunities for the public to join in. A nice event to round off the day-and tour.
View from first floor.
Demonstration team in action
Labels: Scottish Dancing
Images of Luss on Loch Lomond Scotland
Friday, September 19, 2008
Here is a view down the main street towards Loch Lomond.
Luss is known for its very neat and colourful gardens. Here are a couple of images.
The village church. This dates from Victorian times but sits on a very ancient Christian site possibly dating back 1500 years.
Hogback grave marker in the churchyard which indicates links with the Viking era.
Here is a just-married couple having pictures taken.
View of Loch Lomond which vies with Loch Ness for largest loch status.
View from the end of Luss pier looking towards the village.
Visit Iona Scotland
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Today we are visiting Iona Abbey which has a history dating back to the sixth century when Saint Columba introduced Christianity to Scotland.
Loch Ness Scotland
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Today we are visiting Castle Urquhart on Loch Ness. Weather OK but no monster in sight.
Today we visited the Meigle Stones in Perthshire.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
These date from the time of the Picts around ninth century AD.
Visit Dunfermline Scotland
Monday, September 15, 2008
Today we have visited the twelfth century Abbey. Nearby is the remains of a royal palace which was capital of Scotland until 1603.
Visit Edinburgh Castle
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Today we are visiting Edinburgh Castle parts of which date to the 12th century.
Garden Tour Scotland
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Today we visited Dirleton Castle which has the longest herbaceous border in the world.
Visit Dunkeld Scotland
Friday, September 12, 2008
The name Dunkeld means 'Fort of the Caledonians'.
Around AD 700 followers of St. Columba founded a monastery at Dunkeld. In 878 AD the bones of St Columba were moved to Dunkeld from Iona for safety and remained there until 1560. The Cathedral, which stands on the site of the former monastery, was started in AD 1318 and was completed in 1448. During the Reformation the Cathedral was largely destroyed but partially re-roofed in 1600 when it became a parish church. In a battle following that at nearby Killiecrankie in 1689 most of the town was burned during the conflict between Jacobite and Government forces.
The Dukes of Atholl rebuilt Dunkeld in the 19th century with further restoration work carried out by the National Trust and the County Council since 1950.
Perthshire is a garden county-and my favourite!. The scenery ranges form luxuriant valleys to high craggy peaks and is a mecca for people who love the outdoors. Nearby are faculties for white water rafting, hillwalking, bird watching, fishing, golfing and stalking. Other places of interest include castles, lochs, historic monuments, battlefields, theatre, Beatrix Potter sites and lots of history.
Most of the above background information was obtained from a brochure produced by The Pend B&B
The following two images are of the Square including the Atholl Fountain
River Tay looking upstream from Dunkeld
River Tay looking downstream towards Birnam
Taybank pub-well renowned as a centre for traditional Scottish music.
View of Bridge Street with its many and varied shops.
Dunkeld's central location makes it ideal as a base for touring Scotland.
Fish River Tay at Kinnaird Scotland
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Kinnaird is an upscale country house hotel focusing on scenery and sporting pursuits including fishing.
Here is a view across the Tay valley
Aspect of Keeper's Cottage
View of Keeper's Cottage which is a just a few steps down from the main entrance
Ghillie's dog enjoying a swim on the fast flowing Tay
Hut (cabin) at the Lower Kinnaird fishing beat.
View of Kinnaird House from the fishing beat.
River Tay at Lower Kinnaird
We were met by Jimmy the Ghillie and introduced to the Lower Kinnaird beat. This is 2 miles long double bank which starts at the junction of the Tay and Tummel Rivers and ends at Dalguise. Lower Kinnaird beat is at its best in low water when it is a lovely fly beat. Today nine salmon had been caught.
Visit Holmwood House Glasgow
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This site is a "must" for followers of 'Greek' Thomson.
Labels: Glasgow Architecture
Visit Melrose Abbey Scotland
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
This is a ruined Cistercian Abbey founded by King David I of Scotland around AD1136. It was largely destroyed by an English army in 1385 but was rebuilt in the early 15th century.
The Abbey is famous as the burial place of the heart of King Robert the Bruce.
The site now ranks as one of Scotland's most famous ruins because of its elegant and elaborate stonework . Nearby is the Commendator's House which contains a large collection of objets trouves including Roman artifacts.
Next to the Abbey is Priorwood Garden where plants are grown specifically for dried flower arrangements. There is also a dried flower shop on site.
Melrose itself is a pleasant little town and well worth a visit
Labels: scottish borders
Visit Govan Stones Scotland
Monday, September 08, 2008
The stones range from a sarcophagus and recumbent stone slabs to free-standing crosses and cross-slabs together with a fascinating collection of five hogback monuments.
These stones are situated inside Govan Old Church which is no longer used for worship but is now a quasi museum.
The following six images are of the famous sarcophagus which is believed to have been constructed to hold the bones of St. Constantine to whom the church is dedicated. The sarcophagus is believed to date from between the second half of the 9th century to the mid 10th century. The interior of the sarcophagus is considered too narrow for a full grown body and may have been designed to hold relics in the form of bones. The monument is 2.1m long, 0.79m wide at the head, 0.65m wide at the foot and 0.34m deep.
All four sides of the sarcophagus are decorated in low relief with panels of interlaced ribbons, animals and a single horseman.
This is the 'sun stone' which is a cross slab with a cross filled with an interlace pattern on the other side. The image shows the sun with its swirl of fat serpents.
This is one of the four hogback monuments which appear to date form the second half of the 10th century.
This is the 'Jordanhill' Cross on which is carved a solitary horseman. The shaft is almost 2m tall and was broken just below the head.
This is the reverse side of the Sun Stone mentioned above. This shows a rider on a strange beast below the cross.
I believe these stones are one of Glasgow's most valuable historic treasures yet are not easy to find and are definitely off the tourist trail. Staff at the church provide a warm welcome with cups of tea and refreshments.
Private Glasgow Tour Scotland
Sunday, September 07, 2008
The following two images are of Holmwood House in the Southside.
This was designed by Alexander 'Greek' Thomson ( 1817-1875) who believed that the architecture of the Ancient Greeks could be the basis of truly modern architecture, yet he never visited Greece.
Holmwood House as built 1857-8 and represents Thomson's finest and most elaborate villa, which was built for the owner of the paper mill beside the White Water of Carte in the valley below. The house had a dual function: it was a residential home for the owner's family and served as a high status entertainment property to impress potential customers of the paper mill who would be wined, dined and entertained in very impressive surroundings.
Thomson appears to have been the first modern architect to make houses in the Greek style, asymmetrically, according to Picturesque principles.
We were provided with a personalized tour of the interior which is still undergoing preservation work.
The following eight images are from Govan Old Church, dedicated to Saint Constantine. Although the current (and very impressive church) is Victorian it is located on a very ancient site which may have been dedicated to Christian worship for possibly two millenia.
Govan Old Church is most famous for its collection of 1000 year old stone sculptures which total 31 most of which are intact and highly decorated. These date from a little known period when the Norsemen were Christianised and represent an important part of Scotland's prehistory legacy.
Here is the sarcophagus which is linked to St. Constantine. It was first discovered in 1855 and the surface suggest it was intended as a reliquary in which to display the bones and relics of St. Constantine who was martyred defending Scotland from pagan invaders.
This is the 'sun stone' with its swirl of fat serpents. This seems to be a very clumsy version of a motif familiar from some of the finest early Christian sculpture in Scotland, known as snake-and-boss.
This one of five 'hogback' monuments in the Govan collection. It is a personal memorial designed to lie along the grave at ground level and it consists of a solid block of stone carved into a long hump-backed shape. Typically, the carving includes rows of 'roof tiles' copying wooden shingles, and there are often animals embracing either end of the stone. Most of the hogbacks belong to the latter 10th century.
This is the broken shaft of the Jordanhill Cross which is decorated by panels of elaborate interlace. On one side rides a solitary horseman. This shaft is almost 1,7m high and seems to have been broken just below the head.
This is the reverse side of the 'sun stone' with a rider on a strange beast below the cross.
The following two images are of the interior of the Govan Old Church which was designed by leading Scots architect ( 19th century) Robert Rowand Anderson. Sadly this church, although in good condition, is no longer used for worship.
This is the oldest legible grave marker in the Govan churchard and records one John Rouan of Greenhead who died 1624 age 76. The stone and inscription are in excellent condition for such an ancient monument.
Here are a couple of happy travelers at House of an Art Lover.
The following two images are Glasgow Necropolis. This has been described as a 'unique representation of Victorian Glasgow, built when Glasgow was the second city of the empire. It reflects the feeling of confidence and wealth and security of that time.' It is a memorial to the merchant patriarchs of the City and contains the remains of almost every eminent Victorian of its day.
The following are images of the (mainly) 13th century Glasgow Cathedral. However, the site has a history dating back perhaps to the 5th or 6th centuries.
This interesting stained glass window can be found in the Blacadder Aisle. In medieval times it was opened so that lepers outside could here the service without being seen by worshippers inside.
Interior of the Blacadder Aisle
Overall, we had a good day.
Visit Glasgow Cathedral Scotland
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Important features of this building include:
- The fan vaulting around St. Mungo's tomb in the crypt
- 15th century stone screen, the only one of its kind left in a pre-Reformation secular church in Scotland.
External image taken from Religious Museum
Stained glass in a window of the Blacader Aisle. This used to be open so that lepers in medieval times could here the services without being seen by the congregation.
Stained glass windows
Glasgow Cathedral is a 'must' on any City Tour. Can be linked in with a visit to the nearby Necropolis.
Whisky Distillery Tour Scotland
Friday, September 05, 2008
The production of Scotch whisky is a complex process which entails:
- Converting the starch in barley to soluble sugars by a process called malting.
- After malting, the malt is ready for distilling via a crushing which converts the malt into a rough flour of grist.
- Then fermenting is undertaken by placing the grist in circular mash tuns and covering same with water warmed to about 64 degrees centigrade. The resultant liquid is called wort which is cooled, pumped into washbacks and to which yeast is added. This causes fermentation by converting the sugar into alcohol with the final liquid known as wash.
- The next stage is distillation via boiling the wash and condensing same into a concentrate known as low wines. The low wines are distilled for a second time and from this a liquid is produced which will become whisky.
- The final process is maturation entailing maturing the liquid in oak casks for a minimum of three years.
Tour guide in full flow
Whisky safe in the distilling process
Whisky stills. These are made from beaten copper and are onion shaped. No two stills are the same.
Mash tuns which produce wort
The mill for crushing
The following three images are scale models covering various aspects of the distilling process.
Overall, a good tour which provided a fascinating insight into the manufacture of Scotch whisky.
Visit St Monans East Neuk Scotland
Thursday, September 04, 2008
The name may have come from an Irish missionary, Monanus or Monans or Monan who may have come to Fife about AD832 and is believed to have preached on the nearby Isle of May. Monanus was slain by Danish invaders about AD 875.
St. Monans church was founded by Alan Durward about AD 1265-67 with the present building attributable to King David II ( 1329-1371), possibly as a thank-offering to God. It was Sir William Dishington who was actually commissioned to build the church during 1362-1370 at a total cost of 750.00 Scots pounds.
Sometime before 1477 the church was granted to Dominican Friars then was burned by the English in 1544 and subsequently became the parish church in 1646. Only the choir was used for worship from 1646-1848. In 1955 a restoration was planned under direction of Ian G. Lindsay.
At time of our visit the church was being prepared for a wedding-which added a special dimension.
This church is a fascinating part of heritage on the Fife Coast.
Labels: east neuk
Tour Dirleton Scotland
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Direlton is ranked as one of the prettiest villages in Scotland and is well worth a visit. The village is dominated by the ruins of the eponymous castle which, together with associated gardens, is a popular attraction.
Village green with castle perimeter wall on right.
Here is the Castle Inn which serves traditional 'pub' meals.
Tour tip: Using Edinburgh as a base, visit Rosslyn Chapel, Glenkinchie Distillery and Dirleton in one day.
Labels: scottish villages
Tour Dirleton Castle and Gardens Scotland
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
There are really two attraction here, first the magnificent ruined castle which dates back to the 12th century and secondly, the colourful gardens.
Here is a colourful display of a formal garden.
Here are the vaults of the castle.
Here is the entrance to the ruined castle which has experienced a chequered history since the 12th century when the Anglo-Norman de Vaux family acquired the Barony of Dirleton and built the original stone castle.Very briefly, the castle was:
- Successfully besieged in 1298 and held by the English until 1311.
- Occupied by the army of Robert the Bruce.
- Passed to the Halyburton family in the mid 14th century.
- Rebuilt from 1515 by the Ruthven family.
- occupied and ruined by Cromwell's troops in 1650.
Here is the dovecot. Pigeons were an important source of food in medieval times.
Here is the world's longest herbaceous border
Direlton is one of the oldest surviuving castles in Scotland and has the added attraction of being situated close to the pretty village of Dirleton.
Tour Loch Ness Scotland
Monday, September 01, 2008
Loch Ness ( or Loch Nis in Gaelic) contains the largest body of fresh water in the U.K.. The loch extends for some 23 miles (37km) in length and a maximum depth of 754 feet (230m).
The loch is best viewed from Castle Urquhart which itself has fascinating history and is superbly positioned on a promontory extending into the middle of the loch.
Advantage has been taken of the loch and associated waterways to build a waterway linking Fort William in the south with Inverness in the north. This is known as the Caledonian Canal.
One of the key attractions to the area is the legendary Loch Ness Monster sighting of which have fallen in recent years. However, the Loch and associated scenery of the Great Glen are worthy of a visit in their own right.
Apart from viewing the Loch from its shores, it is possible to avail of regular boat cruises.
Here is an image taken from Castle Urquhart showing a boat cruise in process.
View through the tower of Castle Urquhart
The castle and loch looking south
On a sunny day the views can be spectacular, but don't rely on glimpsing the monster!
Labels: loch ness
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