Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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

Browsing Posts published by catswhiskers

Locks on Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus

Locks on Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus, Scotland

This evening, I am focusing on an interesting town in the Scottish Highlands, namely Fort Augustus. This sits at the southern tip of Loch Ness, on a main tourist route which also links with the Caledonian Canal. Due to the combination of tourist traffic from Loch Ness and the Canal, Fort Augustus is extremely busy in summer. Visitors can join boat trips on Loch Ness from here. With my Tour Guide hat on, the ‘big three’ things to consider here are:

  • The town is named after a military fort which was built by General Wade (1724-9) as part of chain of British military fortifications to control the (then rebellious) Highlands.  This fort no longer exists.
  • By strange coincidence the fort was named ‘Augustus’ after George II’s son who at the time was a boy. This boy later became the Duke of Cumberland, a military commander who was the victor at the Battle of Culloden (1746) which took place just 40 miles away. This battle was the last ever such event which occurred on British soil after which there were no further Highland uprisings.
  • The image above shows a long flight of locks which are part of the Caledonian Canal. This 62 mile long waterway was completed in 1822, principally as a job creation scheme, and runs from fort William to Inverness. It was built by famous engineer Thomas Telford utilising the lochs (lakes) in the Great Glen natural fault and even today is hailed as a major engineering feat. The canal never reached its potential a commercial waterway but is now very popular with pleasure boats and allied activities, principally because of the stunning Highland scenery through which it runs.  continue reading…
Interior of St.George's-Tron Church

Interior of St.George's-Tron Church, Glasgow

This morning I had a successful meeting with a representative of Irish tourism in Glasgow. Following this I decided to indulge in a little architecture photography. Firstly, I went into St. George’s -Tron Church in the centre of Glasgow, a building which has long intrigued me. I was fortunate to be met by a local volunteer who gave me a private tour around this Presbyterian Church which was designed by William Stark and first opened in 1808. In recent times the building has been extensively refurbished and interior re-modelled. As will be evident from the image above and this video clip the interior impresses as crisp, light and clean. I was advised this church is very popular with Sunday attendances totalling around 500 (full capacity). Tron means weighbridge and may point to the historic industrial activity around this area. continue reading…

This evening, I am focusing on one of Scotland’s most visited prehistoric sites, namely the Clava Cairns or Balnuaran of Clava, which are situated close to Culloden Battlefield and Inverness.

Clava Cairns Prehistoric Site

Clava Cairns Prehistoric Site, Scotland

This site dates back to the Bronze Age. There may have been two stages of construction: 2000 BC and 1000 BC. When viewing the images and this video clip bear in mind that this huge project was probably undertaken using only human muscle power and stone tools. Clearly the community of the day operated with a sophisticated social structure to cover all the stages of planning and construction. Interestingly, the last stage of construction coincided with the end of stone circle building in Britain ( 1000 BC), a development which may have been influenced by climate change. continue reading…