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Dunvegan Castle, Skye, Scotland

Monday, February 08, 2010

This evening, my blog theme is historic Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye (above). Will go into details later but in meantime will address today's developments:

You Tube: Had an unusual comment posted to my video clip of Raby Castle in England. This seemingly emanates from a self-confessed poacher who bagged some of the deer in the castle grounds.

Ancestry Research: Posted to my separate Glasgow Ancestry blog information on the Hill family, one member of which is actually buried in Ashkum, U.S.A. (1858).

Glasgow Weather: Dry but getting colder.

Tour Arranging: Close to finalising a few days of private tours from Edinburgh for a visiting group in June. New enquiry in for group tour of the Highlands later in the Fall/Autumn.

Dunvegan Castle: My theme tonight focuses on a press report of major restoration work planned for Dunvegan Castle which is Scotland's oldest continuously occupied property dating back 700 years and home to the Chief of Clan MacLeod.

It appears that Dunvegan Castle suffered a fire in 1938 the repair of which was 'sub optimal' and now requires further attention costing GBP1.1M. This cost is to be funded GBP598k from Scottish Government Agency, Historic Scotland , GBP100K from an organisation called Highland Opportunity with the balance coming from the MacLeod Estate.

First phase of the building work should be completed by End 2010 but the entire project could take 25 years to final completion.

In 1739 MacLeod of Dunvegan hit on a novel fund raising concept by selling a significant number of his people to South Carolina as indentured servants. More recently (2003), the Clan Chief wanted to sell the Black Cuillin mountain range (on Skye) in order to cover the cost of repairs to the castle but the sale appears not to have been concluded. I have to award the Chiefs of Clan McLeod 10/10 for innovative financing ideas worthy of a hot shot hedge fund manager!

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Broadford, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Saturday, November 28, 2009

This afternoon, I am posting some information on the village of Broadford which acts as a 'gateway' between the gentler south of Skye and the more mountainous north.

I find Broadford a very useful stopover point after driving down from Inverness during my Scotland tours. There is a wide selection of lodgings for an overnight before setting off next day for a Isle of Skye tour which can take a full day and then return to Broadford to be well positioned for connection with ferry crossing to Mallaig on the mainland.

Broadford started life as an 18th century cattle market then, with improving roads, became the hub for access to other parts of the island, a position which prevails today.

Although only a small settlement on Skye, Broadford offers a wide range of facilities including petrol station, cash machine, tourist information, art gallery, bookshop, textile crafts, boat trips, jewellery shop, upscale restaurant (Creelers) and even a Serpentarium! There are also two piers.

When conditions are right, local land and sea scapes offer excellent photo opportunities.

Images to follow.

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Isle of Skye Geology, Scotland

Friday, November 20, 2009

This evening, I have decided to read up on the geology of Skye. I am a frequent visitor to Skye with my private tours and think its time to learn about the fascinating and diverse landforms of which Skye is comprised.

Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebrides. As regards the geology:

  • Shape of the island is very irregular with numerous long peninsulas separated by sea lochs.
  • Comprised of Tertiary igneous rocks except for Sleat which is pre-Cambrian.
  • Broadford Bay eats into Jurassic shales and sandstones but the higher ground to south of Broadford is volcanic.
  • Skye best know for the Cuillin hills which consist mainly of gabbro with some dolerite. These hills are very rugged with erosion contributing to gullies and notches. The Cuillins are a fine examples of glacial landform. Typical height is 3000ft (900m)
  • The Red Hills consist mainly of granite and granophyre. Typical height is 2000-2500 ft.
  • The Cuillins and Red Hills were a major form of ice accumulation in the last ice age.
  • The northern two thirds of Skye (apart from the eastern and northern segments of Trotternish) consist mainly of plateau lavas which cover over 400 square miles.They feature table topped hills which are terraced as a result of erosion of lava flows.
  • At Trotternish can be found excellent examples of of land slips where spectacular scenery has resulted from the slippage of great masses of basalt over underlying Jurassic sediments.
The more visits I make to Skye the more I realise just how much there is to learn about this intriguing island.

Video no 1 shows the Quiraing north of the Trotternish area.
Video no 2 shows the Cuillins
Video no 3 shows the view from Torridon looking towards Loch Slapin
Video no 4 shows the view from Elgol and the Cuillins
Video no 5 is a view at the centre of Skye.


video video video video video

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Isle of Skye Pipe Band

Monday, August 31, 2009


This evening, I am posting a video clip taken August 2009 at Portree, capital of Skye, of the Isle of Skye Pipe Band performing under Drum Major Peter MacDonald. The performance was for a charity raising event (life boats).

Piping has a long tradition on Skye, most prominent of which were the MacCrimmons, hereditary pipers to the MacLeods, Clan Chiefs of Dunvegan.

The current band was re-formed in 1960 and continues to prosper with members of a wide age group.


video

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Common Seals at Dunvegan, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Monday, June 08, 2009

This evening, I am posting a video clip of a colony of seals at Dunvegan taken during a recent private Scotland tour. This was a great experience aided by sunny weather and acquiescent mammals.Trip takes about 40 mins and fitted well with our schedule. I can recommend this boat trip which can be availed of from Dunvegan Castle which itself is a popular visitor attraction and ancestral home of Clan MacLeod.


For video click here and here

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Knock Castle Tour Skye Scotland

Friday, May 02, 2008

This evening I am presenting some images of Knock Castle near Armadale, Isle of Skye.

The castle is a romantic ruin dating back to the 15th century but mainly the 17th century. The castle has featured in the historic rivalry between the Macdonalds and Macleods. For more information see this web page


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Images of Isle of Skye Tour Scotland

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This evening I am posting some images of my recent tour of Skye. These were mainly taken around Isleornsay. Weather and light conditions were in perfect alignment. THE place to be for photographs-and great local people too!!








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