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River Esk at Gilnockie Tower

River Esk at Gilnockie Tower, Scottish Borders

Today, we joined other participants of the 2011 Gathering and proceeded as follows:

First to Gilnockie Tower which stands on the banks of the River Esk.  This Tower House dates from the 16th century and is the only survivor out of  60/80 stone or wooden towers in the Scotytish Eskdale, Ewesdale and Liddesdale districts. Now under care of Clan Armstrong, the Tower may have been connected to the legendary Johnnie Armstrong. We were able to tour the Tower which was resplendent in the sunshine.

Read more on Tour Armstrong Country, Scottish Borders…

This morning we departed our Dunfermline lodgings at 9.00am and then drove for about 45 mins to Rosslyn Chapel, about 7 miles south of Edinburgh. This small church dates from the 15th century and took 40 years to complete. It is famous for (a) quality and intensity of the stone carvings which adorn the interior and (b) connection with Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. Latter has been double edged in that visitor numbers have multiplied since release of film and book swamping facilities at the Chapel whilst on the plus side the increased revenue has proved of great help in funding the on-going repair and remediation work.

Read more on Borders Tour, Scotland…

Today was characterised by persistent rain, a feature which only marginally impacted on our tour.

We departed our Dunfermline lodgings and drive into Edinburgh, a journey which we had planned to undertake by train but was thwarted by a derailment on the line in Edinburgh. Another schedule disruption occurred on arrival owing to closure of the Palace of Holyroodhouse (royal residence) and accompanying heavy police presence. Similarly the Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile was also subject to closure and heavy police presence. We discovered that the security was a function of the upcoming Royal wedding (Zara Phillips) on Saturday.

Read more on Private Tour of Edinburgh…