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


Visit Wallace Monument Stirling

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Today our tour takes us to Stirling Castle and Wallace Monument. The latter celebrates William Wallace's famous victory over the English in 1297 at Stirling Bridge.

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Tour Pitlochry Pub Scotland

Monday, December 29, 2008

Today, I am presenting an image of the Moulin Hotel which is a combined pub, hotel and micro-brewery located in Moulin near Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland. Here we enjoyed a good bar meal in convivial surroundings.

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Visit Ardoch Roman Fort, Scotland

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Today our tour group visited Ardoch Roman Fort, which dates from about AD70.
Very impressive earthworks.


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Tour Gorbals Pubs Glasgow Scotland

Saturday, December 27, 2008

This evening, I am presenting an image of one of the Gorbals' best known pubs, the Brazen Head located in Cathcart Road near to the Caledonia Road Church.

This pub is patronised by supporters of Celtic FC, one of Scotland's top soccer clubs. No doubt much celebration here tonight, as earlier today, Celtic beat their arch rivals, Rangers 1-0.


The following two images show the entrance to 'Durty Nellies' bar. It would be interesting to learn the origin of this bar's name!


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Glasgow Gorbals Architecture Tour Scotland

Friday, December 26, 2008

This morning I visited the Gorbals area of Glasgow to obtain images of grave markers for my separate ancestry blog. Because visibility was poor I was unable to obtain decent images of the surrounding buildings and architecture so I am presenting the images below which were taken just a few days ago.

Historically, the Gorbals has been a byword for social deprivation but during the 1960s and 1970s the slums were replaced by some very interesting modern buildings with attractive design.

Here is a very 'average' apartment block (social housing) which would appear to date from the 1960s.


This is more interesting and very recent. I like the subtle, contrasting colours.

Here is a tower block (possibly 1970s vintage) viewed through the avenue at the Southern Necropolis.


This attractive building can be found in the centre of the Gorbals.


This office block can be found on Caledonia Road.

Apartments on Caledonia Road

More residential architecture on Caledonia Road


I can arrange and provide architecture themed tours of Glasgow.

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Tour Southern Necropolis Glasgow Scotland

Thursday, December 25, 2008

This evening, I am presenting some images of Glasgow's Southern Necropolis.

This is located close to the Gorbals area and is home to the last resting place of some 250,000 deceased in a space of some 21 acres.

The site was opened in 1840.

A fascinating pace with grave markers recording wealthy citizens of what was then an upscale area.

Winter view towards Hutchesontown and Glasgow City

View of the cemetery looking towards the Gorbals

Avenue of trees with view to the entrance and high rise block behind. Ancient and modern!

Formal entrance to cemetery. It is possible to drive a car through the entrance and around the site.

This site is a 'must' for visitors wishing to get an understanding of the people and history of the Gorbals and Hutchesontown.

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Tour Glasgow Gorbals Scotland

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

This evening, I have finally been successful in uploading some images of my recent visit to the Gorbals district of Glasgow. Historically, the name 'Gorbals' has been synonymous with extreme social deprivation but the area has now been transformed, certainly in terms of its housing conditions for what remains a local income area.

Here is one of the few remaining old tenement ( apartment) buildings for which the Gorbals was notorious.



This is a street sculpture named the 'Gorbals Boys' by Liz Peden and dates from Aug 29th 2008. The statues are named Joe, Nicky and Lee.



This is the entrance to the Southern Necropolis which holds the remains of wealthy citizens dating form the 18th and 19th centuries when this part of Glasgow was considered 'upscale'. Some of the memorials have been vandalised, albeit in the past, which adds a somewhat eerie tone to the the place, especially in the evenings. Would make a good film set for a horror movie!


Here is an example of some modern architecture at the junction of Caledonia Road and Laurieston Road. I find this very impressive and stylish.

This is 'Greek' Thomson's Caledonia Road Church dating from 1856-7 and is a building of national importance. It was gutted by fire in 1965. Interestingly, Thomson is buried just a few hundred yards (meters) away in the Southern Necropolis.

Here is a street scene showing the pub with tower blocks (social housing) in the distance.

This is a former church on Pollockshaws Road which is now used as a hostel for the homeless.

Here is the Brazen Head Pub at 1-3 Cathcart Road. This is patronised by Celtic supporters.

More Gorbals images and comment tomorrow.

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Tour Gorbals Parish Church Glasgow

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This morning I undertook a tour of the Gorbals area of Glasgow, an area formerly notorious for poor housing and social problems. However, the area has since been transformed and now boast a very interesting selection of architecture.

I have lots of images to post, but regrettably, there seem to be technical problems with blogger.com tonight as a function of which it has taken about 1 hour to get just one image posted.

This is of the Gorbals Parish Church (Church of Scotland) located at 5 Cumberland Street.

Hopefully, Google will allow me to post a wider selection of images tomorrow.

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Tour Central Glasgow Pubs Scotland

Monday, December 22, 2008

This evening, I am posting more images of Glasgow's pubs. (Please bear in mind these images were taken during a heavy rain storm.)

The first two images are of Pivo Pivo located at 15-17 Waterloo Street. This establishment serves a selection of world beers and food.


This is the Rhoderick Dhu at 21-23 Waterloo Street. The bar is named after a Scottish Clan Chief.


More images to follow..

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Tour Clarkston Christmas Farmers Market Glasgow

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This morning my wife and I visited Clarkston farmers market, south Glasgow. Notwithstanding poor weather conditions the event was well patronised.

Here is a cheese and honey stall


Meat
This is the stall of Carmichael Estate Farm Meats, an enterprise which, allegedly, dates back to 1292.
Jam and bakery products

Products from olive oil
A selection of cheeses
Very popular bakery stall

The following two images show the products of Strathgaven Ales, a micro brewery located about 1 mile from the country town of Strathaven


Ostrich, venison and other meat products.

Vegetables


By coincidence, this farmers' market followed on from yesterday's market at Queen's Park. A different shopping experience to that offered by the supermarkets!

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Tour Queen's Park Farmers Market Glasgow Scotland

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This morning, I took myself off to nearby Queen's Park ( south Glasgow) to visit the pre-Christmas Farmers' Market. These type of markets operate from stalls and tend to specialize in organic and rural produce direct from the producer.

First image evidences the heavy rainfall of yesterday with the local properties reflected in the flooded pathway at Queen's Park.


Here is a stall selling turkeys-birds, not banks or auto manufacturers!

Self-evident
Organic bread

A stall selling olive based products. I am not aware that Scotland possesses many olive groves, but with climate change, maybe one day!

Pork, Lamb and Beef

Bread
Seasonal vegetables
General view of stalls

This gentleman is selling blueberry juice and raspberry juice. He is a good salesman-he persuaded me to buy a bottle on the strength of a free sample.


General overview of the market stalls.

Overall, I enjoyed myself and by chance met up with a business acquaintance. The market was well patronised by the local community.

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Pubs and Bars of Glasgow Scotland

Friday, December 19, 2008

This evening, I am presenting some images of a couple of Glasgow pubs.

The first two images show the Quarter Gill at 42 Oswald Street (near the City Centre). Note interesting collection of street furniture outside the entrance.




This is the Kiloran Bar at 219 Eglinton Street, close to the Gorbals.

More images to follow tomorrow.

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Tour Paisley Scotland at Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This evening, I went into Paisley ( near Glasgow) to photograph the Christmas decorations at night.

Here is historic Paisley Abbey



Paisley Town Hall

Paisley Town centre
White Cart Water


Another image of the Abbey

An interesting evening aided by reasonably clement weather.

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Tour Glasgow's Bars Scotland

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This evening, I am publishing more images of Glasgow's pubs.

This first image is of the Allison Arms at 720, Pollockshaws Road.



This is the Bon Accord at 153 North Street, close to the Mitchell Library. This is described as an 'Ale House' and specialises in Real Ale.

More images and info to follow.

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Tour of Glagow's Best pubs

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This evening, I am continuing my Glasgow pub theme.

Here is an image of The Avalon, 25 Kent Road. This is located close to the Mitchell Library.




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Tour Glasgow's Historic Pubs Scotland

Monday, December 15, 2008

This afternoon, I am presenting an image of a historic pub, M.J.Heraghty, which dates from 1890. This can be found at 708 Pollockshaws Road. For more information see this web link.

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Tour Glasgow's Pubs and Bars Scotland

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This evening, I am reverting to my Glasgow pub theme.

First image is Nicensleazy, a student orientated bar located at 421 Sauchiehall Street.

Food, drink and music with a 1950s theme.


This is Nico's Cafe Bar at 375 Sauchiehall Street. This offers beer, wine, snacks and live music.

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Glasgow Architecture Tour Scotland

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This afternoon, I am posting some images of a couple of contrasting buildings in Glasgow.

The following three images show the Aurora Building dating from 2006. This is located at 120 Bothwell Street. Cost was GBP55M and designed by Cooper Cromar.

I was very impressed by the slightly concave front of the building shimmering in the sunlight.




Here is something completely different! The following images show the Mitchell Library in North Street. This solid Victorian building dates from 1891-3 and was designed by William B Whitie.

The building is a major public resource in Glasgow containing Glasgow city archives and a large public reference library. Very useful for persons wishing to trace Glasgow ancestry.



Entrance to the building.

Glasgow is full of fascinating architecture including designs by Mackintosh and Greek Thomson.
Contact me for a dedicated architecture tour.

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Tour Dunkeld Region Perthshire Scotland.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This evening, I am presenting a selection of images following my visit to Dunkeld yesterday.

Images were taken in the early morning and temperature about zero Centigrade.

This first image is of the River Tay looking upstream. On the right bank, behind the trees, is located Dunkeld Cathedral, a famous religious site dating back about 1500 years. The Tay represents Scotland's largest river system. Origin of the name 'Tay' is unknown but may mean 'fast flowing water' or similar. Phonetically, not dissimilar to the River Tyne in England.


Hear is an image of Dalguise, a small village located in the Tay Valley about 3 miles from Dunkeld. Dalguise is a rural/residential community with connection to Beatrix Potter who vacationed there and obtained inspiration for some of her characters, e.g.Mrs Tiggy Winkle.

Another winter morning view of the Tay Valley at Dalguise looking east.

The following two images are of Dunkeld town centre. This is a prosperous small town, popular with tourists. Central location is ideal for touring Scotland. Note the hotel is named 'Atholl'. Many places and streets feature the name 'Atholl' in this part of Scotland with reason being vast tracts of the area are owned by the Duke of Atholl whose base is nearby at Blair Castle.


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Exclusive Whisky Tour Perthshire Scotland

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This evening, I am presenting some images of yesterday's small group whisky tour centred on Perthshire.

Our first call was Glenturret Distillery near Crieff. This claim to be Scotland's oldest distillery (founded 1775) and is closely associated with the Famous Grouse Brand. Glenturret single malt is a constituent of the Famous Grouse Blend.

Glenturret is reliant of water from nearby Loch Turret. This is a small distillery with only one pair of stills. The whisky is made with lightly peated malt and matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.

We availed of the Connoisseur tour which included tastings.

Regrettably photography is not allowed inside the Distillery.

External view with whisky casks.

Enjoying some wee drams at the conclusion of the tour.



This bottle of whisky is available for GBP6,000.00 at the Distillery shop. A gift for special friend?!

Another view of the distillery
At midday we went high up in the Ochills to visit Castle Campbell. This sits on a site which has probably been fortified since prehistoric times. Closely associated with Clan Campbell, it was at this site that the Protestant reformer John Knox converted the Campbells to the Reformed faith and thereby influencing the dominance of Protestantism in Scotland.

The castle was embroiled in the conflicts arising from the English civil war and was partly burned by General Monck in 1654.

Overall, a good example of a late 15th century Tower House.

We had benefit of a tour escorted by the resident Steward, Ken.

View of the Tower House

View from the Castle looking east with Dollar in the middle distance.

Hall and Chamber Range viewed form the terrace gardens


After a spot of lunch at nearby Dollar we moved on to Tullibardine Distillery where we enjoyed a malt tasting tour led by expert guide, Gavin.

Here is a pic of the group with Gavin at commencement of the tour.

Here is Gavin explaining the process at the Mash Tun. It here that sugar is extracted from the malted barley using hot water


Yeast plays an important role in the fermentation process.


Here are the stills which produce the alcohol.

Happy group of visitors

This is maturing barrels of whisky. About 2pct p.a. is lost through evaporation and is known as the 'Angels Share'.

Group members enjoyed tastings from the casks.


At conclusion of the tour, Gavin provided further insight into the different type of whiskies.

Overall, a good tour. We all came away better informed on the ancient skill of whisky making.

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Pubs of Glasgow

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This evening, I am presenting an image of O'Neill's Pub located at 457 Sauchiehall Street.
This is an Irish themed bar. Club venture is located next door.

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Pub Tour Glasgow Scotland

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

This evening, I am continuing my review of Glasgow pubs.

Below are images of two pubs located in Sauchiehall Street.

This is the Sauchiehaugh at number 410


This is the Henglers Circus at no 361

More to follow..

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Best Pubs of Glasgow Scotland

Monday, December 08, 2008

This evening, I am presenting some more images of Glasgow's pubs.

Here is the Toby Jug in Hope Street


This is the Laurieston, corner of Bridge Street and Nelson Street.



This is a follow-up image of the Glaswegian from yesterday's posting. A loyal 'Rangers' pub.


More to follow..

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Tour Glasgow Pubs Scotland

Sunday, December 07, 2008


This afternoon, I am continuing my Glasgow pub theme with an image of the Glaswegian Bar at corner of Bridge Street and Nelson Street.

This pub is very football (soccer) orientated, as is evidence by the flags. Strongly connected with Glasgow Rangers.

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Whisky Tour Glasgow

Saturday, December 06, 2008

This morning, I went into Glasgow to replenish my portfolio of pub and architecture images.

In Hope Street ( City Centre) I came across the Pot Still which featured on the local TV news a few days ago. This bar actually specializes in scotch whisky. The bar tender informed me there about 200 single malts in stock.

The TV news item mentioned the bar is heavily patronised by visitors from Sweden. Sure enough, the only people in the bar when I visited was a group of seven Swedes with whom I had a chat-and discussed the possibility of a whisky (distillery) tour for them.

To my mind, the name of the bar does not immediately lend itself to its niche product. Maybe the title Exclusive Scotch Whisky Bar would be a better description and more easily understood by locals and visitors alike.

The first two images are of the inside of the bar, showing then extensive range of malts.



This is the entrance to the bar in Hope Street

I have recently commenced providing whisky tours so please contact for more information.

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Glasgow's Best Pubs Scotland

Friday, December 05, 2008

This evening, I am continuing my pub theme with some images of Glasgow's pubs. I find it strange that most of the pubs featured so far do not have discrete websites.

The following three images feature the Auctioneers pub at 6 North Street, in the centre of town.





This is the aptly named 78 St Vincent Street



More to follow....

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Visiting Glasgow's Best Pubs Scotland

Thursday, December 04, 2008

This evening, I am continuing my Glasgow pub theme.

The following two images are of All Bar One at 56 St. Vincent Street.


The following two images are of Failte at 79 St Vincent Street. Failte means welcome in Gaelic.


This is Denholms at 17 Hope Street


More to follow....

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Glasgow's Pubs

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

This evening, I am continuing my pubs them.

Here are some images of more of Glasgow's pubs.


The first two images are of the Drum & Monkey, 95 St. Vincent Street


This is the Grant Arms, 186 Argyle Street


Crystal Palace, 36 Jamaica Street


More to follow....

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Visit Glasgow Pubs Scotland

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

This evening, I am continuing my previous theme of Glasgow pubs, which are quite interesting and colourful.

Here is the Imperial at 6 Howard Street




This is MacSorleys Bar at 142 Jamaica Street.


This is the Square Peg at St. Enoch Square


More to follow...

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Tour frosty Glasgow

Monday, December 01, 2008

Winter has arrived!

This morning was clear, cold and frosty and thereby offering good opportunities for ice themed pics. I selected the field behind my home where I was able to obtain some good images of ice covered vegetation in the bright sunlight. Overall, I am reasonably happy with the results shown below.The few remaining red hawthorn berries offer good contrasts against the icy white background. Image number 1 may make a good Christmas Card!












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