Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

CatsWhiskersTours provide unique tour experiences tailored to suit you. Call +44 (0) 141 638 5500

Glastonbury Tor, Somerset, England.

St Michael’s Tower on Glastonbury Tor

This evening, I am posting information on Glastonbury Tor, Somerset which is part of England’s West Country.

The Tor is a conical hill which, many thousands of years ago, before draining of the local landscape would have formed an island. (Tor is an Old English name for rocky hill.)

The site appears to have had spiritual significance for local people both pre and post Christianity.

The terracing on the hillside has been dated to Neolithic times, around 3000 BC.

In the 10th or 11th century the top was levelled to facilitate construction of a church which was itself levelled by an earthquake in 1275. A smaller church was rebuilt on the site in 1323 and lasted until the demise of  nearby Glastonbury Abbey in 1539. After the Reformation the replacement church fell into decline and was quarried for stone leaving only the tower which survives today.

A hike up to the tower can be rewarding, offering spectacular 360 degree views over the local landscape.

Glastonbury and Somerset Levels from Glastonbury Tor.

Somerset Levels viewed from Glastonbury Tor.

Shore Porters Society, Aberdeen

This evening, I am providing information one of Europe’s oldest continuing businesses, the Aberdeen Shore Porters Society which is believed to have roots going back to the 1100s but with firm records from 1498.

The business originated as a mutual self-help society for labourers (longshoremen) working at Aberdeen Harbour in N.E. Scotland. Over the subsequent centuries the businesses has grown and evolved into a quasi co-operative focused on haulage and removals with interests in warehousing and property operating from bases in Aberdeen and London.

Membership of the Society is by invitation only and persons so joining are required to contribute a cash investment and be subject to a probationary period of three years.

Clearly the business structure and employment practices are a far cry from the hurly-burly of the Stock Market and competitive employment interviews. However, based on past record, this business will probably outlast many of the world’s current top corporations.

GlenDronach Distillery, Forgue, Aberdeenshire.

This evening, I am posting information on GlenDronach Distillery, Forgue, N.E. Scotland.

Glendronach has a history dating back to 1826 subsequent to which it has been subject to numerous ownership changes culminating in a sale in 2016 to Brown Forman (U.S.A.) as a result of which GlenDronach is now in the same family as Jack Daniel’s and Benriach.

The Distillery has four stills (two wash and two spirit) and an annual capacity of 1.4m litres p.a. The spirit is sherry- matured although a small amount of peated whisky has been produced and matured in bourbon casks.

Core single malt range comprises The Hielan 8 years, Original 12 years, Allardice 18 years, Parliament 21 years and Grandeur 25 years. The peated GlenDronach appeared in 2015.

GlenDronach malt is classified as Highlands Region.

There is a visitor centre and regular tours.

Warehouses at GlenDronach

Collecting Draff

Still House