Scottish Highlands and Balmoral Tour
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Labels: Scotland tour
Perthshire Activity Tour Scotland
Saturday, May 30, 2009
at Gleneagles. In the moring one member of the group visted Blair Castle and gardens.
Weather was fantastic with bright sunshine and temp over 23C at times.
Hunting with the hawks proved more productive than the fishing! Maybe the fish
don't like the sun?
Labels: Scotland tour
Private Tour Perthshire Scotland
Friday, May 29, 2009
We started with a visit to Scotland's first capital at Forteviot and then to Dunning to see
the famous Dupplin Cross which dates from around the 9th century.
Then on to the famous Gleneagles Hotel where the group availed of a fascinating falconry experince.
We are planning more falconry tomorrow. After Gleneagles we had a spot of lunch at Blackford and then a
private tour of Tullibardine Whisky Distillery.
Next we drove to Kenmore on Loch Tay via Ardoch Roman Fort and the stunning,Glen Quaich route and had a quick look
at the unique Crannog.
Finally, we headed back to lodgings at Kinnaird via Aberfeldy and witnessed exciting
White Water Rafting at Grandtully.
A great day with more to come tomorrow.
Labels: Scotland tour
Private Tour East Neuk Scotland
Thursday, May 28, 2009
King Robert the Bruce. Fascinating nedieval architecture adjacent to which is the ruins of the
Former Royal Palace which was abandoned in the 17th century.A proud peacock was strutting about.
Next stop was St. Monans with its historic church and then onto Anstruther for a spot of lunch at famous
Next was Crail, once a busy port but now a charming and colourful fishing village.Good photo opps
A few miles on we came to St. Andrews, the home of golf.After photos at Swilken Bridge and some
Shopping we drove west to Dunkeld in Perthshire.
Weather very clement.
Labels: Scotland tour
Private Scotland Tour Edinburgh Scotland
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
And down the Royal Mile past John Knox House to the new Scottish Parliament and a view
Of Palace of Holyrood House.
We then moved on to the 18th century New Town including Charlotte Square.
Weather was dry but a tad on the cool side. Sunny weather is predicted for rest of the week.
A selection of images is included in this web posting.
Labels: Scotland tour
Rosslyn Castle Scotland
After checking in hotel, we visited Calton Hill (aka Athens of the North) where we benefited from superb views of Edinburgh and Firth of Forth. From there we moved on to the famous Rosslyn Chapel for a one hour tour and then to the nearby Rosslyn Castle.Both Chapel and Castle are connected to the Sinclair family. Weather was dry and sunny but a tad cold.
Great views from the walkway a top Rosslyn Chapel
Pic below is of the castle which was destroyed by Cromwell's army in 17th century.
Labels: Scotland tour
Private tour Britain
Monday, May 25, 2009
- Day 1: London's Tourist Bus Service to seethe sites of the City: Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and the House of Parliament.
- Day 2: Visit Windsor Castle/Eaton.
- Day 3: London Underground to see British Museum; London Eye.
- Day 4: Visit Rosslyn Chapel in the afternoon completing the evening with a Ghosts and Ghouls tour (Edinburgh)
- Day 5:Guided tour o foot, seeing the Royal Mile; St.Giles Cathedral; palace of Holydrood House, and Edinburgh Castle.
- Day 6: Visit Dunferline Abbey and St. Andrews. optional visit to the secret Bunker. to Dunkeld.
- Day 7: Stop at Gleneagles for the Falconry Experience, visit scone Palace.
- Day 8: Fishing with ghillie and Clay Pigeon Shooting.
- Day 9: Crossing the mountains by Gleenshee to Braemar, visit Balmoral Castle.
- Day 10: Cawdor Castle and other sites.
- Day 11: Cruise Loch Ness on the Jacobite Queen. Sailing south into Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle. visit Eilean Donan Castle.
- Day 12: Reviewing the scenic splendor of the Cuillins peaks; Dunvegan Castle.
- Day 13: Take the Ferry to Mallaig. Board "the Jacobite Steam Train" to Fort William
- Day 14:Drive south towards Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park towards Edinburghsopping to visit Sterling Castle.
- Day 15: Flight home.
Day Tour of Glasgow Scotland
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Squinty Bridge over River Clyde
Science Centre Tower. This is one of the tallest buildings in Scotland. It is possible for visitors to travel up to the top of the tower which affords superb views when visibility is right.
Armadillo Conference Centre. The design is redolent of the Sydney Opera House.
Gallery of Modern Art. This is built on site of, and incorporates some features from, an 18th century Tobacco Lord's mansion. ( Tobacco Lords were extremely wealthy business people who derived their income from tobacco trading with what is now Southern States of U.S.A.)
The Nelson Monument at Glasgow Green
Templeton carpet Factory, Glasgow Green. This was modelled on the Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy.
This collection of images is by no means exhaustive of sites and places to visit in Glasgow and environs.
Macmillan Cross Kilmory Knapdale Scotland
Saturday, May 23, 2009
- The cross is over twelve feet in height.
- Carries inscription 'Haec est crux Alexandri Macmillan'.
- Was carved for Alexander Macmillan and depiction on one side of a Highland chief hunting deer may be Macmillan himself.
- Claymore on reverse side may belong to Macmillan.
- Was carved locally and dates from late 15th century.
- On one side is the crucifixion with Virgin Mary on left and St. John on the right.
- On other side is hunting scene with a woodman looking on.
Castle Sween, Knapdale, Scotland
Friday, May 22, 2009
We visited Castle Sween in Knapdale which is a very early castle, possibly dating from the 11th century. Has been held by both MacDonalds and Campbells but was destroyed by MacColla and his band of mercenaries in 1644 and has remained a ruin ever since.
Great location above Loch Sween and the Sound of Jura.
Rhododendron Flowers at Glasgow Scotland
Thursday, May 21, 2009
These bushes can be found widely dispersed across Scotland but are not native to this country; they originate from the Himalaya region of Asia.
The bushes are particularly vibrant at this time of year.
Whitelee Wind Farm Scotland
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
- Europe's largest wind farm comprising 140 turbines.
- Current generating capacity 322 MW
- Another 36 turbines planned which will increase output to 452 MW, enough to power 250,000 homes.
Forth Bridges Scotland
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
These bridges span the Firth of Forth. A firth is a Scottish word for bay or estuary, i.e.where the River Forth enters the North Sea.
On the left is the Forth Road Bridge, a long span suspension bridge which dates from 1964. This bridge is currently experiencing structural defects due to corrosion and is to be replaced in the medium term.
On the right is he famous Forth Rail Bridge which dates from 1890 and was completed at the cost of the lives of some 100 workmen. This was the world's first major steel bridge. It is 2.5km (1.5m) long and employs the use of double cantilevers.
Very impressive views of the bridges can be obtained from South Queensferry, itself a quaint and historic small town.
Labels: Forth Bridges
Anchor Mill Paisley Scotland
Monday, May 18, 2009
Here is there tangible evidence of the town's former industrial glory as a textile and thread making town.
The video clip shows the front/side elevation of the former Anchor Mill operated by the Clark family. After falling into serious decline the mill has been refurbished as a mix of residential and industrial premises. A very imposing building surround on two sides by the White Cart Water (river) which used to provide power for the mill.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Paisley achived fame in the 19th and 20th centuries on back of boming textile industry which grew out of intricately patterned Kashmir shawls imported by the East India Company. Sadly this textile and thread industry dominated by the Clark and Coats families has largely disappeared but tangible evidence remains as manifested in the former mill buildings and grand Town Hall.
The video clip below, taken this evening in overcast conditions, captures the Abbey, Town Hall and central area of Paisley.
Glasgow Cathedral Scotland
Saturday, May 16, 2009
This morning I visited Glasgow Cathedral key features of which are:
- Survived Reformation without major structural loss.
- Stands on a hill on the west bank of a valley through flows the Molendinar Burn (stream).
- Unusual plan in that main part is contained within an elongated rectangle divided in two halves.
- Dates from 13th century under Bishop Walter. However, site has a religious history dating to 6th or 5th centuries AD.
- Extensive additional building work undertaken in the 15th century.
- Dedicated to St. Mungo (aka St.Kentigern) who died AD 612.
- History of Glasgow as a commercial settlement closely linked to the existence of the Cathedral.
- No longer strictly a cathedral in sense of being a bishop's church. Now Presbyterian parish church for part of Glasgow in which it is set.
New Tradeston Squiggly Bridge Glasgow Scotland.
Friday, May 15, 2009
The sharp, angular design reminds me of 1920s Art Deco architecture which is quite pleasing. The sinuous double curve creates a wave like structure.
This new bridge provides a pedestrian and cycle link between Tradeston on the south with Glasgow's financial district.
The bridge was designed by Dissing and Weitling from Scandinavia, cost GBP6.0M and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Together with associated river bank refurbishment, the effect is positive for the area and provides a new amenity for enjoyment in this central area of Glasgow.
House for Art Lover Glasgow Scotland
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Unfortunately, interior was closed at time of visit but extremely favourable weather conditions suited filming of the impressive exterior.
This building was completed in 1996 from Mackintosh's drawings dating from 1901 which were submitted via a competition entry to a German design magazine.
Mackintosh designed everything, from buildings down to all aspects of the interior. The house incorporates a permanent exhibition of decorative furnished rooms by contemporary artists and craftspeople.
Mackintosh's wife, Margaret McDonald, was also involved in the design.
Entry fee is modest and the House is deserving of a visit when in Glasgow.
Labels: Mackintosh Tours
Scotland Countryside and Wildlife
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Here is an image of male deer which ha become very tame and will not now be released into the wild.
Here is an elderly gannet which was washed up after heavy storms. I was amazed at the size of these birds.
Woodland scene with early summer flowers.
Here is a video clip of a lamentation of swans.
Overall, a worthwhile trip. The rescue centre has an official open day next month which I will attend if poss and obtain some more pics.
Witherspoon Paisley Scotland
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Key link is clergyman John Witherspoon who was born in East Lothian in 1723 and became an ordained minister in the Church of Scotland firstly in Beith, Ayrshire and then at Laigh Old Kirk, Paisley, Renfrewshire.
Witherspoon was concerned with the disparity in wealth between the social classes in Scotland at the time. He moved to New Jersey and became principal of what is now Princeton University. He was subsequently elected to Congress and became a signatory to the Declaration of Independence.
There is an identical statue to that featuring in the image below (Paisley) outside Princeton University.
The actress Reese Witherspoon is a descendant of John.
This is just one aspect of Paisley's diverse and fascinating history.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Duncarnock Fort may date from the Iron Age but has never been excavated.
Superb views on a sunny morning!
Glasgow Scotland and Campsie Fells
Sunday, May 10, 2009
The area is rich in history with evidence going back to the Iron Age. However, key claim to fame is the 1568 Battle of Langside where Mary Queen of Scots suffered a defeat.
The current park was laid out 1857-1862 to a design by Sir Joseph Paxton (of Crystal Palace, London fame).
Key reason for visit this morning was to use the vantage point to photograph Glasgow. Below is a video clip showing the centre of Glasgow with the Campsie Fells (hills) in the distance.
Labels: queen's park glasgow
Waterfall at Rouken Glen, Glasgow, Scotland
Saturday, May 09, 2009
This afternoon, I visited Rouken Glen park through which flows the Auldhouse Burn. (Burn is Scots word for stream or river). Here is a video clip of the gushing waterfall in the midst of the park. Quite awesome for such a normally docile stream.
Labels: rouken glen
Thomas Coats Baptist Church, Paisley, Scotland
Friday, May 08, 2009
This afternoon I took the opportunity to tour the interior of this famous church which is also known as the 'Baptist Cathedral of Europe'. Key facts:
- Commissioned by the wealthy Coats textile family and opened in 1894.
- Gothic design by Hippolyte Blanc of Edinburgh.
- Can accommodate up to 1000 people.
- Ground plan in shape of cross.
- Vestibule contains 350,000 pieces of coloured marble to make up mosaic floor.
- Pulpit made from marble and alabaster.
- Finely carved communion table.
- Baptistry made from black-veined marble.
- In the chancel are three carved alabaster panels.
Unfortunately, the building is in need of considerable funds for repairs and maintenance. For more information on the church and donations visit www.fenet.net/coats
The building is open Friday afternoons for two hours during the summer period.
Baptist Cathedral of Europe Paisley Scotland
Thursday, May 07, 2009
This building dates back about 100 years and was built with wealth generated through the then prosperous textile industry for which Paisley was famous. The Coats family were key drivers in the Paisley textile industries.
The building is of red sandstone and of Gothic design.The spire rises to a height of 60 metres above ground level.
The building is open to the public on Friday afternoons. The interior is equally impressive, containing wood carvings, marble, alabaster and mosaics.
The video should be viewed in context of the rain in process at the time, not unusual for West of Scotland!
Inside Paisley Abbey Scotland
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I always find the Abbey a fascinating building to visit but it does not normally attract high numbers of tourists which is unfortunate because it is a very old site with history dating back to 1163.
The original priory became an Abbey answerable to Rome in 1245 and was dedicated to St. Mary, St. James, St. Mirin and St Milburga.
Paisley Abbey has played a role in Scotland's turbulent history including Royal power struggles, destruction by fire and collapse of the tower. Following re-roofing and re-building the Abbey was re-dedicated in 1928.
Buried in the Abbey are six High Stewards of Scotland, Marjory Bruce, King Robert II's wives and King Robert III.
Tucked away in a corner in the 10th century Barochan Cross.
This building is surely the equal of the historic cathedrals in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Labels: Paisley Abbey
Viking Hogback Grave Marker Luss Scotland
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
I am taking this opportunity to post a video clip of a (very) recent visit to Luss at Loch Lomond where I filmed this ancient, Viking era, 'hogback' grave marker in the burial ground of Mackessog's Church. Close by are a couple of similar (but less grand) hogbacks and the film clip ends with a shot of a tall single stone which has echoes of a stone circle but is probably nothing to do with that, prehistoric, era.
Hogbacks are not uncommon in Scotland. There is a strong Viking influence which harks back to the days of early Christianity. One school of thought suggests that hogbacks are meant to resemble dwelling houses contemporary with the deceased person.
The hogback shown here could be about 1100 years old. However, decoration on the sides is still discernable.
Contact me if interested in history/heritage themed tours of Scotland.
Labels: loch lomond
Monday, May 04, 2009
The film was taken from atop Dumbarton Rock and shows a view of the Clyde Estuary (with tide out) and the commencement of football (soccer) match. The latter proved to be an historic event with Dumbarton beating Elgin 6-0 resulting in Dumbarton jumping to top of their league.
Dumbarton translates as 'Fort of the Britons'. From at least the 5th century AD until 1018 Dumbarton was the centre of the British kingdom of Strathclyde which emerged after the collapse of the Roman empire.
The populace of Strathclyde spoke a language akin to modern Welsh.
There are now few remains of the original castle fortifications but there is evidence of the defensive gun battery which the castle later became. There are many cannons dotted around the defences.
On the right day with good weather the views are superb. However, there are many steps to navigate. Enjoy!
Mackessog's Church, Luss, Loch Lomond, Scotland
Sunday, May 03, 2009
The focus is on Mackessog's Church which dates from 1875 but is just the current iteration of a long line of places of Christian worship on the site dating back 1500 years.
The still image is of the ancient christening font which is made of solid sandstone and is reputed to be 1000 years old. This font continues to be used for baptisms.
The video clip shows the magnificent hammer-beam roof with oak beams and pine rafters. The design is believed to signify an up-turned boat in commemoration of the 1873 drowning of local laird, Sir James Colquhoun. Light condition for the video were not ideal but, nevertheless, key features are evident. It was pleasing to learn that this church will be open to visitors on a regular basis form now on.
Luss Loch Lomond Scotland
Saturday, May 02, 2009
The loch is home to a wide variety of fish and waterfowl. There at least 30 wooded islands one of which boasts a resident population of wallabies.
There are opportunities for walking, golf, cycling and boating. When the weather is right a good spot for an enjoyable day out-or a longer vacation.
Video clip below was taken from the pier at Luss and includes Ben Lomond, one of Scotland's highest mountains.
Labels: loch lomond
Visit Burrell Collection Glasgow Scotland
Friday, May 01, 2009
The collection was assembled by Sir William Burrell in the first half of the 20th century using proceeds from the sale of a shipping business in 1916. The collection was donated to the City of Glasgow in 1944.
For anyone visiting Glasgow , especially those with an interest in art or antiques, a visit is strongly recommended. Entrance is free.
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