Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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This evening, I have chosen for my theme the topic of my favourite Scottish lochs (lakes). Scotland has many thousand lochs of which perhaps only a tiny minority regularly feature on the ‘tourist trail’ including such famous waterways as Loch Ness and Loch Lomond. My personal favourites, based on real world touring experiences, are listed below with appropriate images.
 
Scottish lochs offer a wide range of options for the visitor including fishing, boating, photography, bird watching, sailing and various water sports all or any of which can be incorporated in my various personalized tours of Scotland.

Loch Linnhe from Isle of Mull

Loch Tay

Loch of the Lowes, Perthshire

Loch Duich

Loch Ness

Loch Sween

Loch Carron

Loch Lomond

Loch Achray

Loch Ness

Today, I have had another enquiry in for a private tour to Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands which prompts me to write a short note on the very popular destination.

For many visitors to Scotland, Loch Ness is a ‘must see’, usually conjunction with other popular sites such as Skye. A day trip from Glasgow or Edinburgh is possible but such means a long day, sometimes up to 12 hours in order to get the most out of the day and visit other key sites en-route, such as Loch Lomond, Glencoe and Fort William.

Loch Ness features high on visitors’ agenda due the famous Loch Ness Monster story although sightings of this beast have reduced significantly in recent years. Monster aside, Loch Ness is worth a visit in its own right. In my view the best location to view the famous Loch is from Castle Urquhart, not far from the Highland town of Inverness. The castle is a deserving attraction in its own right, dating back to the 12th century and earlier.

Urquhart Castle is superbly positione for viewing Loch Ness due its location on a promontory jutting out into the middle of the loch about half way down. On good weather days this location affords superb views of the waterway, both north and south, especially from atop the tower of the ruins.

I actually enjoy visiting Loch Ness which affords great photo opportunities both at the loch and at various stops to and from.

Also today, posted information on Tod family history to my Glasgow Ancestry blog

This evening, my focus is on Waterford Crystal in the Republic of Ireland.

Although primarily Scotland based I do offer tours of the island of Ireland in course of which I have paid two visits to Waterford and its famous crystal facility.

Crystal manufacture has a long history in Waterford. My penultimate visit was when the industry was at a low, just after the parent company had entered insolvency protection and transferred manufacture to Eastern Europe. However, I am pleased to report that when I visited again, a couple of months ago, there was a brand new visitor centre with on-site manufacturing, albeit on a much smaller scale than hitherto. Nevertheless, a step in the right direction with the visitor centre now located close to the town centre which provides easy access albeit parking can present a problem.

Images below show a selection of products and activities at Waterford.

Blowing Waterford Crystal, Ireland

Finishing Waterford Crystal

Waterford Crystal-Finished Product

Elsewhere today, I have attended to a couple of interesting tour enquiries, one for the Highlands of Scotland later this year and the other from a cruise ship next June.

Tonight, there is heavy rain in Glasgow with temperature down to 7 C.

Separately posted information on Steuart family history to my Glasgow Ancestry blog.