Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Muckross House, Killarney, Ireland

This evening, I am focusing on Muckross House, an Irish heritage property situated close to the popular town of Killarney in S.W. Ireland, about 300km/3.5 hours from Dublin.

This property was designed by Scottish architect, William Burn for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, Mary Balfour Herbert. Construction was completed in 1843. Queen Victoria visited in 1861.

As will be evident from the images herein, the location benefits from a mild, wet climate which facilitates the lush and well maintained gardens for which Muckross is renowned. Other attractions at Muckross include:

  • Farms
  • Restaurant
  • Craft Shop
  • Tours of the interior which remains set in the Victorian period.
  • Torc Waterfall.
  • Jaunty Car (horse and buggy) rides.

Muckross is well positioned for start/finish of a tour of the Ring of Kerry.

Video clip of Jaunty Car ride at Muckross House

Muckross Lake from Muckross House, Ireland

Jaunty Car at Muckross House, Ireland

Jaunty Cars at Muckross House, Ireland

Torc Waterfall, Muckross House, Ireland

Front elevation of Muckross House, Ireland

View from Muckross House, Ireland

Lake scene at Muckross House, Ireland

Garden at Muckross House, Ireland

Inside Glasshouse at Muckross House, Ireland

Gardden at Muckross House, Ireland


Garden at Muckross House, Ireland

Garden at Muckross House, Ireland

Gardden at Muckross House, Ireland

Garden at Muckross House, Ireland

Garden at Muckross House, Ireland

Garden at Muckross House, Ireland

Entrance, Muckross House, Ireland

Glasgow Heliport, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on Glasgow’s Heliport which is located in the centre of Glasgow, close to the River Clyde.

The above image is from my archives showing the facility on north side of the river. Subsequently, the Heliport has been re-located 1.5 miles and now sits on the south side of the river in a former ship yard at Govan.

The Heliport is operated by Bond Air Services, has two hangers, six pads and is used by helicopters operated by the Scottish Police and Scottish Ambulance Service.

Looking behind the Heliport in the image above can be seen:

  • The Tall Ship, Glenlee which was originally built in Port Glasgow in 1896 but is now a fully restored visitor attraction.
  • Cranes used in shipbuilding.
  • Just behind the helicopter, outline of a church, Govan Old Church, which occupies an early medieval site, evidently a power base before Glasgow rose to prominence. Here can be viewed the famous Govan Carved Stones.

Overall, the image above captures about 1500 years of history.

Knock Castle, Sleat, Skye, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on one of Scotland’s lesser known castles albeit one is passed by tens of thousands of visitors each year as they transfer to/from the ferry port of Armadale on the Isle of Skye.

Knock Castle is close to the highway known as the A851, about four miles north of Armadale. Parking in the vicinity of the castle is very difficult and although there is no signage it is possible to reach the castle on foot.

As a defended settlement, the site has a history dating back to the Iron-Age, about 2000 years ago, when it was known as Dun Thoravaig. The first medieval castle was built in the 1300s by the MacLeods. This was replaced by the current structure in the 1400s by the MacDonalds who remained in control, subject to a brief period of occupation forces of King James I in 1431, through to abandonment in the 1600s whereafter the structure fell into ruin and was used as a quarry for its building stone.

Like many castle sites in Scotland, Knock is located in a natural ‘command and control’ position overlooking the Sound of Sleat ( waterway), which would have formed a marine highway before the advent of roads in relatively recent times. Land in the background is the remote Knoydart Peninsula.