For exclusive Scottish tours, email info@catswhiskerstours.co.uk or visit my website.


Christmas Tour George Square Glasgow

Sunday, November 30, 2008

This evening, went into the centre of Glasgow to take some festive season images. Unfortunately, I just missed a ceilidh but way of consolation obtained some reasonable images of the Christmas Fair Ground.

This first pic was actually taken a couple of days ago; a patriotic trader displaying his wares in St. Vincent Street.



The following images were taken a few hours ago. The attractions were well patronised notwithstanding a cold and foggy evening.







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Visit Queen's Park, Glasgow Scotland

Saturday, November 29, 2008

This morning was cold and crisp but with good visibility. I took off to nearby Queen's Park which is elevated and offers some good views over Glasgow.

The area from where the following pics were taken is actually the site of the Battle of Langside (May 13th 1568) which marked the final defeat of Mary Queen of Scots.

The following two images are looking north towards Glasgow City with Queen's Park churches in the foreground


Looking south towards Pollockshaws and Thornliebank

Here are a couple of young mothers and children feeding the birds.

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Blogger Adrian Davis said...

Hi Nigel, nice pictures - brings back memories of when I lived in Shawlands as a student!
Deborah

December 01, 2008  

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Tour Glasgow Pubs Scotland

Friday, November 28, 2008

This afternoon, I took myself down to Glasgow to commence a task of photographing the main pubs. Weather was fine, dry and sunny but because of the time of year the light faded about 3.30pm.

Here is Fat Boab's in Dixon Street



Here is Buchanans in Howard Street

Here is The Scotia Bar in Stockwell Street which is, allegedly, the oldest pub in Glasgow dating from 1792. Promotional material states:

Oldest Pub in Glasgow
Bravest Face in the World
Cheekiest welcome in the World



More pics to come.

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Visit Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow

Thursday, November 27, 2008

This evening, I am posting a couple of images of the Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art.

Firstly, outside the entrance is the statue of the Duke of Wellington, a British military hero of the 19th century. This statue is hardly seen without a traffic cone on top of the head; as soon as one cone is removed another is put in place-presumably by students. This arrangement has almost become a permanent image of the Glasgow scene.

The Gallery building has an interesting history. In 1778 a mansion was built on the site by one William Cunninghame, a wealthy tobacco trader. Glimpses of the original mansion can still be seen in the current building. After changes of ownership, the building was transformed in 1827 into a neo-classical Exchange with a giant Corinthian portico.

The statue of Wellington astride his horse, 'Copenhagen' was erected 1844.

After WW2 the building became a library and then in 1996 assumed its current role as a Gallery of Modern Art.


View of the Gallery from Ingram Street

The Gallery sits at the heart of Glasgow and is worth a visit from both an historical/architectural perspective as well for its contemporary art collection. There are shops and restaurants nearby.

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Tour Forth and Clyde Canal Wildlife Scotland

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Today, I am following up on yesterday's Forth & Clyde Canal theme, mainly because of a timely press release covering the extensive wildlife which can be found in and around the 137 miles of Scotland's inland waterways.

The images below were taken during a walk around the Kilsyth area ( Forth & Clyde) in summer 2007 and are provided to give a flavour for the type of wildlife habitat which the canal system fosters.

According to the latest report the canals are home to increasingly exotic colonies of creatures which include terrapins, coots, voles, moorhens, damselflies, otters, kingfishers, mink, dragonflies and herons.

The presence of dragonflies and damselflies is a key indicator of an unpolluted eco-system as the insects need to lay their eggs in or near clean water.

On a personal note, I enjoy the canals with their pleasant blend of industrial archaeology, solitude, nature and countryside.

If anyone out there is interested in a cycle trip or walk along this canal then please contact me. We can also include a dip into Roman history via various sites along the nearby Antonine Wall.




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Visit Forth and Clyde Canal Scotland

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This morning I took my laptop to have some repairs undertaken and found myself close to the Forth & Clyde Canal at Anniesland, Glasgow. This canal has a long history, being at the forefront of the industrial revolution when it was built in the late 18th century (work commenced 1768) to link the east and west coasts of Scotland's industrial heartland. It operated until 1963 and was subsequently re-opened in 2001. The canal covers a 35 mile route which, intriguingly, closely follows the line of the Antonine Wall built some 1600 years previously by the Romans. Today's rail and road routes follow a roughly similar line of communication.

It is possible to cycle and/or walk along the canal between Glasgow and Edinburgh, a challenge I have longed planned to take up.

Today, the canal is made used by leisure craft and has become something of a wildlife refuge.

The following images cover only a tiny snapshot of the waterway. However, watch this space for more images when I get round to traversing the route by cycle.


This is a waterside restaurant/cafe 'Lock 27'. There are 39 locks in total.

Whilst taking some pics I came across a couple out walking who had spotted a heron.



Here is the lock
Lock and bridge
Waterbirds in formation, mainly swans and ducks

This canal is not normally on visitors' main hit list. It is, however, an important part of Scotland's industrial archaeology. Boat trips are available, in addition to walking and cycling. I am looking forward to my cycle ride along the banks.

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Visit Royal Exchange Square Glasgow Scotland

Monday, November 24, 2008

Today, I attended a meeting in Glasgow so took the opportunity to take some images of Royal Exchange Square which is located at the heart of Glasgow City.

Firstly, here are a couple of images of the statue of the Duke of Wellington, a famous British military leader, which is located outside the entrance to the Gallery of Modern Art. It now seams to be mandatory for this statue to be capped with a traffic cone which serves to make the edifice somewhat surreal.

The Gallery of Modern Art was once a country mansion belonging to a tobacco 'lord' and parts of the original 1778 structure can be located in the current building.



The following are various images of the Square which in turns forms part of the Merchant City






Photography was aided by a sunny day. Contact me for tours of Glasgow

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Visit Greenbank House Glasgow Scotland

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This evening, I am posting images of today's visit to nearby Greenbank House and Garden, a heritage property which was decorated with a Christmas theme.

This interesting piece of Georgian architecture was built for Robert Allason, a Glasgow tobacco merchant just after 1763. This is therefore contemporary with the Tobacco Lord's House covered in Blog posting dated Nov 20th 2008.

This top image shows a Green Man, a symbol which dates back possibly to the 2nd century AD

Here is a view of the rear of the house.


Sitting room decorated in the Christmas spirit.


This is a tea urn
This carpet may be of interest to viewers interested in design.It is a replica of a much earlier carpet which illustrates the bright colours used in the 18thC.


Credenza with Christmas pudding.


Restored display alcove
Dining table set for Christmas

Greenbank is well known for its garden and is worth a visit for those with an interest in historic properties.

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Mackintosh Small Group Architecture Tour Glasgow

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This evening, I am posting a selection of images from yesterday's Charles Rennie Mackintosh themed tour of Glasgow.

Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a designer and artist whose work encapsulated a wide range of skills including jewellery, graphics, wall decoration, paintings, pottery, furniture, cutlery, light fittings and much more. He designed complete buildings from their foundations and structural steel, ventilation systems and plumbing. At the heart of his work was the design of places to be occupied in context of form, light and material.

Our first stop was the famous House for an Art Lover to which the following nine images relate.

This was designed in 1901 but not completed until 1996. The catalyst was a competition in a German design magazine which sought entries to design "a grand house in a thoroughly modern style". Mackintosh did not win the competition but was awarded a special prize.

Front elevation
Interior light fitting
Furniture
Sequence of rooms demonstrating their form.

Piano in music room. Visitors are welcome to play this instrument.

Light fittings
Fire place
Chairs, windows and light in the music room ( set up for a wedding).

Another front elevation

After the House for an Art Lover we moved to Scotland Street School Museum. This was Mackintosh's last public commission in Glasgow and was built between 1903 and 1906.
Mackintosh reversed tradition and gave the towers with conical roofs walls of glass and barrow stone mullions. He played off the verticality of the towers against the horizontal nature of the rest of the building.



For lunch we went to the Corinthian Restaurant which has no connection with Mackintosh but, nevertheless, an architectural gem. It was built in 1842 and for the next century housed various banks and subsequently the city's High Court. The stunning interior was refurbished in 1999.

Here is the roof dome.
A detail of cornice
External view of the Corinthian.

After lunch we moved on the Glasgow School of Art for a tour lasting over an hour. This is acknowledged as Mackintosh's masterpiece. For more information, see yesterday's blog posting.
Image below is the main entrance.
Our final stop was the Mackintosh Church ( 1897-9) which is contemporary with the School of Art. This design reveals a sophisticated handling of form, ornament and symbolic meaning.
This building is no longer used for worship but is the main office of the Mackintosh Society.
Regrettably, light conditions were sub-optimal at time of the visit and hence images below are not of high quality but, nevertheless, should give the viewer a basic appreciation for Mackintosh's work.






Overall, a good tour lasting from about 0930 to 5.15pm

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Mackintosh School of Art Tour Glasgow

Friday, November 21, 2008

Today, I arranged a provided a small group, Charles Rennie Mackintosh tour for some visitors from a variety of overseas countries. Tomorrow, I will post a full record of this fascinating tour, but in the meantime I am presenting some images of Mackintosh's masterpiece, namely the Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street. although officially designed by the Glasgow firm of Honeyman and Keppie, it is acknowledged that Mackintosh actually drew up the scheme.

Due to tight finances, half of the building was completed in 1899 with the western end finished exactly a decade later in 1909 when Mackintosh was 41. This has been called the most important building worldwide in that decade.

We enjoyed a full tour of the interior, which is still a working college, during which photographs were not allowed.

The images below are of the building' s exterior.

The following two images are of the main entrance.



Side of the building

Front if the building.

See tomorrow's blog for more detail on the tour.

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Tour Glasgow Tobacco Quarter

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This evening, I am posting some images of today's foray into the old tobacco quarter of Glasgow.

Glasgow was transformed through trade in the period 1740-1775, principally the trade in tobacco which was inextricably linked with slavery and the slave trade. Glasgow supplied the American colonies with manufactured goods, linen cloth and iron. The ships returned with tobacco from Maryland and Virginia and with sugar and other exotic products of slavery form the Caribbean.
Ultimately Glasgow controlled over half of all British trade in tobacco which in turn made up over one third of Scotland's imports and over half its exports. This trade in turn created huge profits resulting in the tobacco traders becoming some of the richest men in the world. The trade ultimately collapsed in 1775 with onset of the American revolution. However, the physical legacy remains as shown in the images below.

Here is the Gallery of Modern Art which site was built a mansion by William Cunninghame, one of Glasgow's richest tobacco lords. Glimpses of the original mansion can be seen in the current building: the first floor mansion house galleries and in the ellipse area with its roof-light and plasterwork.

This somewhat nondescript building is known as the Corinthian which was built by David Hamilton on the site of the Virginia Mansion which, of course, was connected with the tobacco business. It subsequently became a bank head office and then the city's High Court. The interior of this 'A' listed heritage building is particularly stunning and now comprises a restaurant.


Place names near the Corinthian which hark back to the tobacco trading with America.


The following three images are of the Tobacco Merchant's House at 42 Miller Street. This is an 'A' listed house built by John Craig.The first inhabitants were leading Glasgow merchant family of Robert Findlay.



This section of Glasgow is very compact and easily accessible on foot. Contact me for more information.

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Dalwhinnie Whisky Tour Scotland

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This evening, I am posting an image of a recent group tour of Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery. Unfortunately, images of the interior are not allowed so I am restricted to just two external pictures.

Dalwhinnie was founded in 1897 and subsequently experienced a chequered history but is now owned by international drinks conglomerate, Diageo.

The product is lightly peated with flagship product being the 15 year old malt (43pct).

On the palate the single malt is soft, buttery and bittersweet with a light body. A light whisky.

Dalwhinnie is located in the coldest inhabited place in Scotland, about 1 hour north of Pitlochry.






Contact me for exclusive whisky tours of Scotland.

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Wind Farms Scotland Tour

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This evening, I am presenting some images of a wind farm taken from an aeroplane and located to the West of Glasgow. Regrettably, I do not know the identity of the particular farm featured in the images but it could be located on Arran.

Scotland is very much in the forefront of alternative energy, being well suited to wind turbines because (a) Britain is one of the most windy places in Europe and (b) Scotland is well endowed with unpopulated, barren landscapes on which to build the wind farms.

I am happy with the quality of pic no 3, especially as it was taken through a perspex window.

When touring I find wind farms difficult to photograph, principally because of their remote locations.

A couple of years ago I actually arranged a dedicated Wind farm Tour for a group of investors from Denmark.



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Scotland Church Architecture Tour Perth

Monday, November 17, 2008

This evening, I am posting an image taken yesterday during my visit to the interesting city of Perth.

Here are some images of the (aptly named) St. Leonards-in-the-Fields and Trinity Kirk (Church).

This church is located on low lying ground just opposite playing fields where a game of football (soccer) was in progress.

I took the images just prior to commencement of the 1100 am Sunday service, which is why the church door is open as the congregation were filing in.

This is a Presbyterian church within the Church of Scotland.

The interesting architecture falls within the Late Gothic & Rennaisance Revival category.



I enjoy researching and delivering architecture tours of Scotland.

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Tour Dalguise Perthshire Scotland

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This evening, I am presenting some images from today's visit to Dalguise, a small village in rural Perthshire.

The name Dalguise derives from trees, originally dal giuthas and means fir heugh. Heugh or haugh means river meadow. So, the original name means wooded river meadow, which is spot on!

Dalguise is a delightful small village with today's unusual sunshine increasing the appeal of this magical place.

Like many villages, Dalguise was originally self-sufficient with it's railway station, shop and Kirk (church). However, only the village hall remains operational today as a community resource.

Here are some sheep making a meal of fallen apples. I have never seen sheep eat apples before.


This building is actually Dalguise Village Hall. Unusually this is a two story building with the hall comprising a purpose built facility on the first floor. There are Ceilidhs and similar functions held here.

The following are images of Dalguise Kirk (church). Now defunct as a place of worship, it it used for holiday lets.


Here is a nice image of the local country side which I could not resist.

The following two images are of nearby fishing beats on the River Tay, Scotland's longest river. Salmon fishing is big business in this area.



The following images were taken in and around Dalguise Village.




Entrace to Dalguise Village Hall.
This is Cottar House, wherein (allegedly) lived the role model for Beatrix Potter's Mrs Tiggy Winkle character, a washerwoman. This is quite feasible as Beatrix Potter spent time in Dalguise studying funghi and obtained inspiration for some of her characters in the locality.

Dalguise is something of an upsacle community with good number of holiday let cottages which are popular with visitors. Being close to Dunkeld and the main A9 road Dalguise is a good base for touring.

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Rugby Football Glasgow Scotland

Saturday, November 15, 2008

This morning I went out to get replenish my portfolio of gravestone images for my separate ancestry themed blog. The Cemetery was located next to a playing field in Thornliebank where two games of schoolboy rugby were in process so I took the opportunity to take some images.

The game of Rugby dates from 1823 and has two versions: League and Union. More information can be found on this web page

Watching these games kindled memories of my schooldays-and rolling round in the mud in the cold and wet, which was no doubt very character forming!

The towers in the background of the first image are tenanted and represent social housing for middle/low income families.

I can arrange tours to sporting events.






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Blair Athol Scotch Whisky Tour Scotland

Friday, November 14, 2008

This evening, I am presenting some images of a recent visit to Blair Athol distillery in Pitlochry.

This visit was in context of a tour of Perthshire whisky distilleries.

Blair Atholl was founded in 1798 and now owned by major drinks conglomerate, Diageo.

The product is a lightly peated malt which is a constituent of Bell's blend. The single malt ( 12 year old 43pct.) is not easily obtainable through mainstream outlets but is available at the Distillery.

Unfortunately, images of the distillery interior were not allowed, so I am restricted to the those which follow.


Tour Guide with group
Whisky maturing in oak barrels


Sampling the malt
Blair Atholl is conveniently located near the centre of Pitlochry.

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Tour Laggan Scotland

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This evening, I am posting some images of a recent visit to the Laggan area which comprises a triangular piece of low-lying ground bounded by Machrihanish to the west, Westport to the north and Campbeltown to the east. This is extremely fertile agricultural land located in the Kintyre peninsula and provides excellent grazing for dairy herds.

Here is the beach at Machrihanish

Farmland scenery

View from Kilkivan Chapel

Rural view. Note wind farm in background.

For the visitor there is golf and superb beaches.

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Tour Kilkivan Chapel Kintyre Scotland

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This evening, I am presenting information and images relative to a recent visit to the ruined chapel of Kilkivan which is one of two medieval chapels in the Laggan, west of Campbeltown.

I came across this fascinating ruin by chance. Access is via a very muddy and deeply rutted farm track, so not a place to visit wearing Sunday Best outfit.

Kilkivan is near the golfing resort of Machrihanish and offers fine views over the local countryside and towards the islands of Islay and Jura.

I was particularly interested in the medieval grave slabs ( see image no 4 below) which would suggest that the chapel must have had great importance in the past.

It is believed that the Campbeltown Cross ( 1375-82) originated at this site where from it was taken to Campbeltown in the 17th century to serve as a market cross (and where it remains to this day).

This was a truly fascinating place and well worthy of visit, especially on a sunny day.







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Tullibardine Whisky Tour Scotland

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This evening, I am posting some images from a recent tour of Tullibardine Distillery. This was my first visit to this distillery, which proved a great success.

The distillery was buzzing with activity because it distills on a continuing basis in order to meet heavy demand.

Tullibardine is built on the site of an historic brewery dating from the 12th century. Ironically, whisky distilling was started by a Welshman, William Evans, in 1947. Following an erratic history, including mothballing for about nine years, distilling re-commenced in 2003 using traditional methods.

Tour group with copper stills in the background




Here is a tasting session at the end of the tour.


Sssh.. whisky sleeping. During maturation about 2pct p.a. is lost through evaporation, this is known as the "Angels Share".

Alcohol spirit in full flow.


Yeast at work in the Mash Tun

External view of the distillery.



This was a good tour aided by the feel of visiting a true, live distilling process with steam, workmen and noise.

I will definitely take groups there in the future. Location is also convenient- just off the A9 between Stirling and Perth.

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Henry Clifford Scottish Architect Tour

Monday, November 10, 2008

This evening I am posting images of a fascinating building in Campbeltown, namely the Craigard House Hotel.

I am inspired by Scottish architects and regularly provide architecture themed tours around Glasgow ( Mackintosh and Greek Thomson) so this particular building came as a pleasant surprise.

Although now a hotel, the building was actually completed ( Italianate style) in 1882 from a design by architect, Henry Clifford who also designed Auchinlee (on road to Carradale) and several other prominent buildings in the locality.

In the late 1800s Campbeltown was very prosperous with about 30 distilleries. Craigard House was built as the home of local whisky distiller, William McKersie who vied with his brother (a rival distiller) to create the finest house in the town. The property stayed in the same family until 1942 when it became a maternity home. It was subsequently converted into flats and then to its current state as a hotel.

This is a good hotel located about 1 mile from town. The principal room has a four poster bed with magnificent views over the loch. The hotel also provides a free broadband computer for use by its guests-a nice touch.

If you are interested in architecture this hotel is a must. It's located about 1 mile from town so own transport is necessary.

The hotel also has a friendly dog which guests are allowed to take for walks. In fact the dog will take you for a walk!




Painted window in interior stairway.


If you are visiting Campbeltown and have enough time and money then stay at the Craigard.

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Tour Machrihanish Scotland

Sunday, November 09, 2008

This evening, I am presenting some recent images and information on the fascinating site of Machrihanish. This unusual name means an extensive, low-lying fertile plain.

Machrihanish is synonymous with its famous links golf course, indeed the community is entirely golf-orientated. The golf facilities are unusual in that they exist on a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

On the day of my visit the sun was shining and the local scenery was stunning. However, there seems to be no shops in the locality, but plenty of golfing facilities.

Machrihanish is about a 10 min drive from nearby Campbeltown ( I actually hired a bike and cycled there).

View of Machrihanish village from the beach. The sand is quite hard and suitable for cycling.

Notice on the beach describing the site's scientific features.

View of the bay and links golf course


View of Machrihanish from the air.


Here is a nice image of the beach from which can be seen Islay and Jura. However, the view is deceptive because bathing in the sea (temperature permitting!) is not recommended owing to strong currents.

If you are visiting Campbeltown then a drive out to Machrihanish is recommended. If you are a golfer then a visit is essential!

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Visit Croft Moraig Stone Circle Scotland

Saturday, November 08, 2008

This evening, I am posting some recent images of Croft Moraig Stone Circle which is located four miles west of Aberfeldy in Perthshire.

The circle stands at the north-east of Loch Tay on low ground below steep mountainside. The stones are of local schist and stand on an artificial platform.

Excavation in 1965 revealed:

  • First phase was Late Neolithic, around 3000BC and consisted of some 14 heavy timber posts arranged in a horseshoe pattern. A boulder lay at the centre with a scatter of burnt bone nearby. There was a constricted entrance composed of two pairs of wooden uprights. A ditch surrounded the monument.
  • The posts were subsequently replaced by eight stones graded in height towards the SSW. A kerbed rubble bank enclosed the stones.
  • Finally, a circle about 12 meters in diameter, of 12 big stones, was erected around the horseshoe. To the ESE some 5.5m outside the ring two stones were erected which formed an entrance.







Croft Moraig is easily accessible, very close to the main Kenmore-Aberfeldy road, and is worth a visit to ponder on the mindset of the stone age people

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Scotch Whisky Campbeltown Tour Scotland

Friday, November 07, 2008

This evening, I am posting some images and information on whisky distilling in Campeltown, Scotland.

Historically, there about 30 distilleries in Campbeltown which led to it being designated a whisky region in its own right. However, due to a combination of industry problems and poor grade whisky the region is now limited to three working distilleries, namely Springbank, Glengyle (both under same management) and Glen Scotia

Arguably, Springbank is now the leading producer with its products in great demand owing to management's strcit adherence to tradition. Springbank produces three different malts: Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn. Glengyle has only recently re-started and hence the product is some years from market.

The following images are from Springbank distillery.

Here is the maturing whisky in barrels


Copper stills

Whisky safe where an expert will determine how heavy the whisky is before entering the cask.

Washbacks where fermentation occurs. Once the wort (sugary liquid) has begun fermentation and has an alcohol content it is classified as 'wash'.

Tour Guide at Mash Tun where grist (ground barley) is converted to 'wort'.

The next two images are of the malting area where barley is converted to malt in the traditional way.

The following two images are of Glenbank's sister distillery, Glengyle.


Campbeltown is somewhat remote but definitely worth a visit. Visitors can fly or drive but, sadly, no ferries at present.

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Campbeltown War Memorial in Scotland Tour

Thursday, November 06, 2008


This evening, and in context of upcoming Remembrance Day, I am listing names of World War 1 casualties as found listed on Campbeltown War Memorial, Scotland. Although extensive, this list is not complete. I will add the final batch of names when I next visit the area.

New Zealand Forces

Donald McConnachie
Archd. Huie McMinn
John Cameron
John Campbell
Peter Campbell
Donald Muir
Donald O'May
Robert A Reid
Gavin Reid

USA Forces

Alex McPherson

Cameronians

James Brown
Alex Ritchie
Neil F Duncan
Robert B Wallace
Dugald S Stewart
John McMillan
Peter Sinclair
T.E.Mackinnon
James Coffield
Archd. Mackinnon
George Stewart

Royal Army Service Corps

William Johnston
John McAlister
Donald McCallum
Alex McMillan

Machine Gun Corps

John Brown
Duncan Cook
Andrew Hamilton
A.J.Galbraith
Chas. McMichael
Joseph McSporran
Donald Stewart

Labour Corps

Robert Kelly

Royal Air Force

Ian Ure McMurchy
William Mitchell

Australian Forces

Kenneth Johnston
Dugald McIntyre
Edward McMillan
Chas.A. McMurchy
John Paterson

South African Forces

John Strang
A. Henderson
Robert R Cameron
Ralph C.S. Gillan

Yeomanry

Neil McArthur
Gilbert Blackstock
Duncan Wilson
Hugh Paton
Lachlan McGoag
William O'Hara
Chas McEachran
A.J.Tandy
Thomas Urquhart
J.C.E.Mackinnon
James Dunlop
Daniel Docherty
James McFadyen
John Stalker
John Taylor
Donald McPherson
Alex McMillan
Peter Carmichael
James Taylor
D.R.McKerral
G.E.B.Pownall
T.T.B.Pownall
Allan Murray
John Rodgers
David Andrew
Peter Armour
Donald McIntyre
Thos.R Morrison
William Cook
Peter McCallum
Angus McKinnon
John Muir

Black Watch

Archd. Armour
Norman S Campbell
Alex Graham
Donald McAlpine
Robert Mclaig
Neil Mackay
Hugh Mitchell

Seaforth Highlanders

Fred J. Broom
Alex Henderson
James McEachran
Neil McKinven
Edward McKinnon
John McKinlay
John Morrison
William Speed

Gordon Highlanders

Archd. H. McMillan
Archd. McKinlay
Peter Campbell
Dugald Conley
Neil Currie
John McCallum
James McCulloch
Donald McDonald
Robert McNiven
William Morrison
William Paterson
Alex A Wilson

Cameron Highlanders

Malcolm McIntyre
Neil Campbell
Donald McMillan
John Brown
Richard Kelly
Charles Macgrory
James McQuilkan
Alex J.S.Rae
J.M. Stewart

Argyll Mountain Battery

Sgt Archbld Johnston
Cpl Archd Johnston
James F McLean
Charles Sheddon
James Ferreti
John Hamilton
High Kane
John McCallum
Proudfoot McIntyre
Thomas McIntyre
Robert McMillan
James Morrison
William Sheddon
William Mc G Taylor
William Wallace

Royal Field Artillery

D.Mc A Bowie
S.G.Cunningham
John Armour
Archibald Huie
James B Johnston
Duncan McCallum
William McDonald
William McIntyre
Thomas A Mutch
Dugald Shearer
Hector McMillan

Royal Garrison Artillery


William Gillon
Duncan Lang
Hugh McGuire

Royal Scots

Hugh M Crooks
Matthew C Reid
James Forrester
Malcolm Galbraith
Jas R McPherson
Peter Quigley

Canadian

Donald M Macallum
Peter McIntyre
Angus K McKinven
Lachlan McKinnon
Neil Houston McLean
John McLean
Hugh McMillan
Peter McPherson
Thomas McPherson
Alex McSporran
Alex Mansfield
Hugh G Martin
John A R Martin
William Taylor Reid



If anyone in or visiting Campbeltown would like to complete this list please let me know.

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Tour Scotland in the Fall

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This evening I am presenting some recent images taken around Perthshire and which show just what magnificent scenery Scotland has to offer when there is the right combination of sunlight and visibility (admittedly not an every day occurrence).


This was taken from the Falls of Braan near Dunkeld.


This is a scene at Ossian's Hall near Dunkeld.


Another view of the Braan at Ossian's Hall


My guests were so impressed they just had to hug one of the trees!


More tree scenes


Here is a view of Blair Castle with a snow capped Ben Vrackie in the distance.


In the centre is one of the tallest trees in Britain (near Ossian's Hall).



This scene was taken at Blair Atholl Distillery, Pitlochry. The beech tree has tuned golden but the weeping willow remains steadfastly green

Perthshire is great place for a photography tour in the Fall (autumn).Numbered List

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Tour Campbeltown Scotland

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This evening, I am presenting images and a record of a recent visit to Campbeltown where Clan Currie is scheduled to hold a reunion in 2009.

Campbeltown is located at the southern tip of the long, narrow peninsula of land named Kintyre. This peninsula is about 40 miles fron north to south and some 6-8miles wide.

Firstly, here are some images from our tour of Springbank Distillery. In the 19th century Campbeltown boasted over 30 distilleries and was classified as a distinct whisky producing region.However, there are now just three distilleries of which only Springbank provides tours. Springbank is the oldest independent family owned distillery in Scotland dating from 1828 and is unusual in that it carries out the full production process, including malting, on site. The distillery produces three different single malts, Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn using three different production methods.

On the day of our visit the distillery was not in operation.

Here is the tour guide at the whisky safe.



Maturing barrels of whisky. To qualify as Scotch, the product must be matured in oak barrels for a minimum of 3 years and 1 day in Scotland.

Malting floor



Victoria Hall in the town. This available for group events.


A Currie grave marker from the main cemetery

A Currie found on the town's War Memorial ( WW1). I would guess there would be at least 100 names listed which must have impacted heavily on the local community.

Rural landscape between Campbeltown and Machrihanish

Just outside Machrihanish can be found the remains of Kilkivan Chapel which is accessed via a very rough and rutted farm track. This seems to date from medieval times.

Memorial to Janet Currie at Kilkivan

Medieval grave slabs at Kilkivan which would suggest the site was very important in the past.

View of Machrihanish from the air.

Beach at Machrihanish. This is not safe to bathe owing to strong currents.

Another rural scene near Machrihanish

Bar at Campbeltown

The Old Smoke House at Campbeltown

Centre of Campbeltown in the fall


In the centre of Campbeltown can be a large stone cross which may have been relocated from Kilkivan chapel (adverted to above) in the 17th century to serve as a market cross. The cross appears to date from aroun d 1380 and carries the inscription (in Latin) "This is the cross of Sir Yvarus MacEarchan, sometime parson of Kylkecan and of Sir Andrea his son, parson of Kilchoman (Islay), who caused this cross to be made."


Lorne and Lowland Church
Main Street, Campbeltown


View from bedroom window at Ardshiel Hotel

Whisky Bar at Ardshiel. There are some 400 different malts available here. A delight for the whisky connoisseur

View of the Ardshiel which is under the management of Flora and Marion

Old cinema building. This is a heritage building and of historic interest owing to its status as the oldest cinema in Scotland still showing films.

View of Campbeltown Loch from the town.

Town war memorial

Another view of Campbeltown Loch

The following images are of a architecturally interesting building which is now a successful hotel. Craigard House Hotel was completed in 1882 in the Italianate style popular at the time. it was built as a private home for William McKersie, a local whisky distiller. The architect was Henry Clifford who also designed other local prominent buildings. To me, this design is redolent of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson of Glasgow.

Campbeltown has suffered from industrial decline and is obviously trying to regain its former prosperity. There is talk of re-establishing a ferry link which, if approved, should prove beneficial especially for the tourist industry.

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Scotland Whisky Tour

Monday, November 03, 2008

This evening, I am posting images from a just completed four day whisky tour centred on Dunkeld in Perthshire.

The group arrived at Glasgow Prestwick. From there we visited our first distillery, Auchentoshan, near Glasgow.

This distillery was founded in 1823 and is now part of the Japanese, Suntory Group. The whisky produced here is classified as Lowland; it is unpeated and triple distilled. More information on this visit can be found on yesterday's Blog posting.

The distillery guide was well informed and first class.

Auchentoshan produces three main categories of single malt with the Three Woods, a 43pct 10 year old possibly ranking as the best. When tested on the nose this whisky produces a delicious combination of fruit and sherry. A malty flavour with spices and orange.

The following two images are of the Mash Tun wherein the sugar is extracted from the barley using hot water. The Mash Tun is like a giant teapot.




A barrel for PR purposes.
Here is one of the copper stills used to distill alcohol.

Distillery guide offering samples of the product range.


After an overnight at Birnam, our first stop next day was Blair Atholl distillery in Pitlochry. This dates back to 1798 and is now owned by Diageo, a multinational drinks conglomerate.

Unfortunately, pictures of the distillery interior are not allowed.

The whisky produced here mainly goes into Bell's blends and is difficult to find on sale as a single malt.

On the palate the malt is described as fruity, oaky and earthy with sugared raisins. Medium bodied.


Sampling the product at Blair Atholl.

After leaving Blair Atholl, we drove up the A9 to Dalwhinnie, the coldest inhabited place in Scotland. Fortunately, the weather was unusually dry and sunny which proved great for photos. We stopped en-route to take images of Blair Castle and surrounding scenery. The image below features Blair Castle with a snow covered Ben Vrackie in the background.


Snow covered landscape at Dalwhinnie


This is the tour group outside Dalwhinnie Distillery. No images allowed inside the distillery.

Dalwhinnie has had a chequired history. It was founded in 1897 but is now owned by Diageo. The product is lightly peated. On the palate the malt is described as soft, buttery, bittersweet and with a light body.


After Dalwhinnie, we turned south and toured the area around Aberfeldy taking in Croft Moraig Stone Circle (below), Taymouth Castle, the Crannog Centre and Glen Quaich.

On day 3 we drove south stopping first at Forteviot. This is now a small village but in AD845 was the power centre of a unified Scotland under Kenneth McAlpine.


After Forteviot, we called at Stirling Castle which offered great views across the local landscape as the weather remained benign.

By chance we came across a couple who had hired a piper to celebrate a proposal of marriage-nice touch!

Interior of the chapel at Stirling Castle. Note the tapestries which are weaved on site.

Exterior of the chapel
Aspect of the Great Hall

View from the Castle towards the Wallace Monument


Our final stop for the day was Tullibardine Distillery, founded in 1947 but on a site which has history of brewing dating back hundreds of years.

The distillery tour here was first class, helped by the fact that distillation occurs continuously enabling us to witness the process "live".

The image below shows the distillery with a truck parked along side delivering malted barley.

Here is the tour group with the stills in the background.


Here is the spirit receiver with alcohol in full flow on left hand side.


Sampling the finished product

On the final day we started with a visit to nearby Ossian's Hall on the River Braan. Scenery was stunning with the bright sunlight illuminating the seasonal leaves and foliage.

The image below captures the top of one of the tallest trees in Britain.


Viking tree huggers.
Ossian's Hall with autumn colours

Next stop was Doune Castle where some scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail were filmed.

Our final distillery visit was to Glengoyne which, uniquely, straddles the Highland/Lowland border for whisky classification purposes. Again, no images allowed inside so we are restricted with a picture of the group together with local guide.

Glengoyne was founded in 1833 and remains under private ownership. The product is unpeated.

Main products are:

  • 10 year old at 40pct
  • 17 yr old at 43pct
  • 21 yr old at 43pct
The 17 year old is possibly the best. On the palate this produces flavours of oranges and lemons. Briny. Sherry, toffee, apricots, sugared almonds. A light whisky.

After Glengoyne we headed back to Prestwick airport to connect with return flight.

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Whisky Tour Auchentoshan Scotland

Sunday, November 02, 2008

This evening, I am posting images of a recent whisky tour which included Auchentoshan Distillery, near Glasgow.

Auchentoshan
was founded in 1823 and is now owned by Suntory of Japan.

The malt is unpeated and, unusually for Scotland, triple distilled.

We were treated to a tour by a first class guide who led us through the entire process from malting to mashing to fermentation, distillation and maturation.

Auchentoshan's main malts are:

  • Auchentoshan Select -40pct ( 8-10 yrs)
  • Auchentoshan 10 yrs old -40pct
  • Auchentsohan 21 yr old-43pct

Tour Guide providing samples at the bar.


Fermentation

Mashing
Inside the Mash Tun

Tour guide explaining the different whisky regions of Scotland which comprise:

  • The Highlands, Islands and Speyside
  • Campbeltown
  • Islay
  • Lowlands
Overall, a good start to our four day whisky tour. More information and images in tomorrow's blog

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First Winter Snow at Dalwhinnie

Saturday, November 01, 2008

This afternoon I am posting an image of ducks in the winter snow at Dalwhinnie. This was taken earlier today.
Dalwhinnie is the coldest inhabited location in Scotland.

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