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


Scottish Highlands and Balmoral Tour

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today, we set off from magical Perthshire, leaving behind green rolling fields, sheep and big trees to head north. After a refreshment stop at Spittal of Glenshee (about 45 mins north of Pitlochry) we arrived at Balmoral, a Highland Castle and estate owned by the Royal Family since 1852. We seem to have been granted VIP status as the gatekeeper allowed us to drive right up to the coach park close to the castle itself.






Balmoral basked in brilliant sunshine which afforded great photo opps.




After an hour or so we moved on from Balmoral, heading N.W. to Inverness through stunning Highland scenery via Grantown-on-Spey (a major whisky producing centre) to our destination, Castle Stuart.

Castle Stuart is a genuine castle which has been refurbished to a high standard to accommodate small groups of visitors and extend genuine Highland hospitality under guidance of the delightful host, Caroline.



Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:01 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Perthshire Activity Tour Scotland

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Key activities today were fishing on the River Tay at Lower Kinnaird and hunting with hawks
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:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 10:45 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Private Tour Perthshire Scotland

Friday, May 29, 2009

Today,weather commenced cloudy but improved to brilliant sunshine as day progressed.

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:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:01 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Private Tour East Neuk Scotland

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today our tour commenced Edinburgh and then headed north to the historic Dunfermline Abbey wherein is buried
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
Fish bar.

Next was Crail, once a busy port but now a charming and colourful fishing village.Good photo opps
Here.

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:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:39 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Private Scotland Tour Edinburgh Scotland

Wednesday, May 27, 2009







Today,our small group toured Edinburgh on foot,visiting the famous castle,St.Giles Cathedral,Old Parliament
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:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:22 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Rosslyn Castle Scotland

Yesterday, I commenced a private Scotland tour for a visiting family of four.

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:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 2:43 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Private tour Britain

Monday, May 25, 2009

Today I have been preparing for an upcoming tour an outline of which is proudly below.

  • 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.

posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:17 PM  1 comments

1 Comments:

Blogger cityrambler said...

I like your blog.
Had you heard of walk talk tours? - the downloadable audio tours of Edinburgh, York, Chester, Manchester and London to play on your MP3 or iPod. Ideal for independent travellers like you.

Take a look at www.walktalktour.com and see what you think.

May 26, 2009  

Post a Comment

Day Tour of Glasgow Scotland

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Here are some images taken during today's day tour of Glasgow.

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.


Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:30 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Macmillan Cross Kilmory Knapdale Scotland

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Today, I am posting a video clip of the elaborately engraved cross in Kilmory church, a few miles from Castle Sween. Key features:

  • 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.
A very impressive monument which is in excellent condition.



video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 4:34 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Castle Sween, Knapdale, Scotland

Friday, May 22, 2009

This evening, I am posting a video clip taken during today's short, 'Macmillan' themed ancestry tour.

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.


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:16 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Rhododendron Flowers at Glasgow Scotland

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This evening, I am posting some images of colourful Rhododendrons at Rouken Glen Park, Glasgow this afternoon.

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.




Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 11:50 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Whitelee Wind Farm Scotland

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This evening I visited the site of the new Whitelee Wind farm near Eaglesham, Scotland. This mammoth project was officially opened today. Key features:

  • 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.
The video below gives an indication of the sheer size of the project.


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 11:04 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Forth Bridges Scotland

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This evening, I am posting a video clip taken from South Queensferry of the two Forth bridges.

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.




video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:18 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Anchor Mill Paisley Scotland

Monday, May 18, 2009

This afternoon, I visited Paisley, located in S.W.Scotland.

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.


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 10:01 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Paisley S.W.Scotland

Sunday, May 17, 2009

This evening (Sunday), I visited the historic town of Paisley, S.W.Scotland which sits astride the White Cart Water (river) and where the 800 year old, medieval Abbey dominates the central area.

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.


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 2:04 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

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.


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 8:33 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

New Tradeston Squiggly Bridge Glasgow Scotland.

Friday, May 15, 2009

This evening I visited the newly opened Tradeston or Squiggly Bridge over the River Clyde at Glasgow. Unfortunately, weather was wet, windy and overcast.



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.




video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:33 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

House for Art Lover Glasgow Scotland

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thia afternoon I am posting a video clip taken within last 24 hours of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's House for Art Lover in Glasgow.

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.


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 6:47 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Scotland Countryside and Wildlife

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Today, I travelled to Beith, S.W.Scotland to visit a wildlife rescue centre. Brilliant sunshine, blue skies and pleasant countryside all combined to provide a pleasurable experience.

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.

video

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.

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 9:30 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Witherspoon Paisley Scotland

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This evening, I am presenting an interesting story linking Paisley, Scotland with the American Declaration of Independence with Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon.

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.

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 3:33 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Glasgow Scotland

Monday, May 11, 2009

This morning I took advantage of the bright sunshine to climb the 204m Duncarnock Fort near Barrhead, Scotland. From this vantage point I took this video clip looking north east and taking in Barrhead, Paisley and Glasgow with Campsie Fells in background.

Duncarnock Fort may date from the Iron Age but has never been excavated.

Superb views on a sunny morning!


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 6:26 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Glasgow Scotland and Campsie Fells

Sunday, May 10, 2009

This morning, I visited Queen's Park in the south side of Glasgow which provides commanding views over the surrounding area.

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.



video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 6:55 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Waterfall at Rouken Glen, Glasgow, Scotland

Saturday, May 09, 2009

This afternoon was the culmination of some three consecutive days of rain in Glasgow which has resulted in some minor flooding incidents.

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.


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 11:17 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

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.
Overall, a truly stunning piece of design and craftsmanship.

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.









video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:03 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Baptist Cathedral of Europe Paisley Scotland

Thursday, May 07, 2009

This afternoon, I am posting a video clip of the Coats Memorial Church at High Street, Paisley. This was taken within the past 24 hours.

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!


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 4:05 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Inside Paisley Abbey Scotland

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

This morning I visited nearby Paisley.

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.


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:05 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Viking Hogback Grave Marker Luss Scotland

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Today, there is heavy rain in Glasgow which is preventing me from venturing out to obtain some topical images.

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.


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 6:46 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Dumbarton Scotland

Monday, May 04, 2009

This afternoon, I am posting a video clip taken during my visit to Dumbarton Castle, near Glasgow.

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!


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 3:41 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Mackessog's Church, Luss, Loch Lomond, Scotland

Sunday, May 03, 2009

This evening, I am posting some images following recent visit to Luss on banks of Loch Lomond.

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.

video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 7:38 AM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Luss Loch Lomond Scotland

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Earlier today, I visited the 'Yon bonnie banks, and yon bonnie braes' of Loch Lomond. This loch (lake) is 27 miles long and 5 miles across at widest point. It covers more than 27 square miles and contains over 90,000 million cubic feet of water, two thirds of which lies below sea level.Maximum depth is 620 feet. Quite a body of water!!

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.


video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:58 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Visit Burrell Collection Glasgow Scotland

Friday, May 01, 2009

This evening, I am posting a video clip of the specially constructed building located in Pollock Country Park, Glasgow. This houses the world famous Burrell Collection comprising some 8000 items of art and antiquity spanning thousands of years.

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.




video

Labels:

posted by Catswhiskers @ 12:15 PM  0 comments

0 Comments:

Post a Comment