The Magic of Scotland

cnwriter..carolina By cnwriter..carolina, 22nd Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>Scotland>Stirling, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs

A fascinating journey through the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland. Its history and the famous people and places who have come down through the centuries.

Ancient Lore

Scotland is truly magical for those attuned to that wondrous mystery but even for those who lack such ability, this land holds a definitive charm. Steeped in ancient lore, its castles and historical sites are set in a countryside of incredible beauty, yet it is a land torn by strife and centuries of bloodshed. From the days of its earliest recorded history, the land of the Scots, as it is known today, has been invaded by the Celts, the Romans, the Gauls, the Vikings and they have all left an indelible mark, a rite of passage. From the sweeping vista of Queens View at the head of Loch Tummel in Perthshire to the Queens Way in Galloway, Scotland boasts many links with the monarchy.

Dunfermline was the seat of the Royal Scottish family in the 11th century until Queen Margaret, the English wife of Scottish King Malcolm, persuaded him to move to Edinburgh. Dunfermline Abbey was also the burial place of Scottish kings until the time of Robert 1 (the Bruce), Scone Palace being the ancient crowning place of Scottish monarchs.

In its beautiful wooded setting, Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside is the holiday home for the present Royal family. Nearby Braemar is a picturesque town surrounded by heather clad hills. It is reached by winding country roads where each turn opens up another breathtaking vista. Castles abound in this area but most famous is Braemar.

In 1565 Mary, Queen of Scots who had such a profound affect upon people of her own time and even today fascinates and beguiles, restored the estranged estates to the Erskines and in 1628 John Erskine, the Earl of Mar, built Braemar Castle which remains today their beautiful family home.

Nairn's Clarity of Light

Driving northwest through deeply bosomed hills covered in purple heather takes you to Nairn, part of the Highlands eastern seaboard. Situate on the Moray Firth, this sweet town with its superb beaches, holds a magic of its own, a quietness and solitude untouched by the cacophony of human sound so eloquent nowadays all over the world. Journey further north through endless loch-studded moorland rolling down to rugged coastlines with dazzling white beaches, and a clarity of light peculiar to this area.

Stirling and William Wallace (or Mel Gibson ha ha ha)

Of course every visitor to Scotland will want to visit Stirling where stands the National Wallace Monument dedicated to William Wallace, alias Braveheart, or as history may remember Mel Gibson! The 220 ft. tower dominates the surrounding plain and you can climb 246 steps to the top and enjoy some of the most awe inspiring and spectacular views in Scotland - as far as the Forth Bridge to the east and Ben Lomond to the west.

Stirling Castle, itself a landmark in Scottish history has been completely renovated. Painstakingly doors and floors, walls and fireplaces are being restored to their former grandeur and I highly recommend the audio visual show where you are taken back in time to the castles heyday and experience the lifestyle of those living in the 15th and 16th centuries - the quality and quantity of food is astounding! It was here that King James 1 of England (James V1 of Scotland), the son of Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley was baptized and the chapel where this event took place, has been completely renovated. Stirling Old Town is a fascinating mix of narrow cobbled streets, ancient gardens and what has been described as Europe's finest urban walkway, with outstanding views of the Ochil Hills and Forth Valley beyond.

Be sure to visit Bannockburn Heritage Centre commemorating Robert the Bruce's famous victory over the much larger English army at Bannockburn in 1314; the Church of the Holy Rude where James V1 was crowned in 1567, Argyll's Lodging, perhaps Scotland's most important surviving 17th century Renaissance mansion built in 1630 by the first Earl of Stirling and Old Town Jail, a notorious Victorian jail.

The people in Stirling, as you will find all over Scotland, are very proud of their heritage and happy to share their city with visitors. So many people who visit the British Isles do not know how enjoyable food there can be. Scotland, over the centuries, has created a cuisine of its own influenced by Italy and France.

Following the Malt Whiskey Route..just don't imbibe too much!!!

You can follow the Malt Whiskey Route and visit many distilleries throughout the Highlands and a few in the Lowlands and Islands. More than forty have visitor reception facilities. Start your tasting excursion at Glenkinchie at Pencaitland and continue to Aberfeldy Distillery on the A9. Rejoin the A9 to Blair Athol Distillery in Pitlochry and then onto Dalwhinnie said to be the highest in Scotland. You can also visit the Tomatin Distillery being the largest in the country.

These Malt Whisky Routes continue up to the Highlands, Glenmorangie overlooking the shores of the Dornoch Firth on the outskirts of Tain, and Highland Park on Orkney, the most northerly of all.

The Royal connection can be followed to Royal Lochnagar Distillery within easy reach of Balmoral Castle. Then through Royal Deeside on the A93 where you will be enthralled by the wide horizons and open views of the Cairn o'Mount road, joining the B974 which drops down to the Fettercairn Distillery.

The island of Islay is home to Lagavulin, Bowmore and Laphraig malts, whilst Glengoyne Distillery is north of Glasgow.

Culloden where the Highland Clans were decimated by the English....very naughty!

Scotland is a place for all seasons, all reasons. There are hotels and hostels, bed and breakfasts - prices in all ranges. Even if you do notwish to drive on the right side of the road, you can travel by train or bus, frequent schedules make journeying very easy and accessible. North, on a hopscotch tour of the Islands. You can fish, play golf or be the quintessential traveller and explore the highways and byways of this truly exquisite land, a land containing more history per square mile than most entire countries.

Do pay a visit to Culloden where Bonnie Prince Charlie took stand and his loyal followers were massacred by the English army in 1746. A hush still lies over this area and you may feel the prickling of hair on your arms as you walk by stones marking the spots where each Heeland Clan fell that day.

Loch Ness invites you to meet the monster or visit Cawdor Castle, the most romantic castle in the Highlands where fine collections of paintings can be viewed.

Culture, history, nature and so much more abound in this country but dont take my word for it, find out for yourselves, you will be well pleased!

Tags

Bonnie Prince Charlie, Loch Lomond, Loch Ness, Malt Whiskey Route, Mary Queen Of Scots, Mel Gibson, Nairn, Perth, Scotland Abbey Of Scone, Stirling Castle, The Bruce, William Wallace

Meet the author

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
I have been writing on food, wine, travel, cosmic creation and erotica for over 30 years I do horoscopes and numerology and light readings.

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
23rd Feb 2012 (#)

thank you for doing this so quickly...

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author avatar ittech
23rd Feb 2012 (#)

Very nicely done!

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author avatar Teila
23rd Feb 2012 (#)

Very nice

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author avatar Teila
23rd Feb 2012 (#)

Very nice

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author avatar Buzz
23rd Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks, Carolan. I enjoyed reading this article. Great info, too.:)

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
23rd Feb 2012 (#)

thank you Buzz, we share so many interests...

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author avatar Songbird B
24th Feb 2012 (#)

A really lovely guide to the history and beauty of Scotland, Carolan.. This was a really great travel article..

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
24th Feb 2012 (#)

thanks love, I enjoyed very much travelling the hiways and byways of bonny Scotland...for sure

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author avatar Denise O
26th Feb 2012 (#)

cn, I have not yet been to Scotland but, it is on my dream vacation list. Good information on the country and its history. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
26th Feb 2012 (#)

ta much Denise...try and visit it s a very beautiful country..

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author avatar Retired
5th Mar 2012 (#)

Wonderful article - I was able to visit all these places and more on a trip with my mother before she passed on and felt an emotional kinship as we drove through the country where my grandmother was born and raised :) Thank you for this trip down memory lane!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
6th Mar 2012 (#)

so glad I could awaken lovely memories for you...
thank you Dee...does my heart good to hear this

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