Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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

Browsing Posts in Nature

Another cold, foggy day in Glasgow with hints of ice on the ground.

This afternoon, my wife and I participated in garden walk at nearby Greenbank Garden with an underlying Christmas decorations theme.

Greenbank House is a mansion dating from the late 18th century when it was constructed by an entrepreneur engaged in the then lucrative tobacco trade with what are now Southern States of the U.S. For an appreciation of the property see image no 2 below.

Greenbank now belongs to the National Trust, a heritage organisation which uses the property as an administrative base.The gardens are well regarded in horticultural circles and are open to the public throughout the year. There are also plants and bulbs for sale as per image no 1 below.

Here is the tour group at rear of the property.

This is Viburnum, an evergreen which produces white flowers during the winter time.

This an aspect taken at front of Greenbank and shows false windows. In past times there was a tax on windows so this was probably an architectural feature with tax avoidance in mind!

Here is a Highland Cow, forming part of a small herd in a field at the front of Greenbank House.

Here is a local overjoyed with a Christmas wreath.

More information:

Read more on Christmas Garden Walk, Scotland…

This evening, I am focusing on one of Scotland’s top scenic and historic visitor sites, namely Glencoe.

The name probably comes from the Gaelic gleann comhann meaning ‘narrow glen’. However, the second part comes from the River Coe which runs through the glen (valley) and whose etymology is obscure.

In course of my Scotland tours I am a regular visitor to Glencoe but realise there is much more to see than is practical on a typical ‘drive through’ day visit.

To my mind the are two aspects to Glencoe: (a) the famous (or infamous) massacre which took place in 1692 and which still resonates through parts of Scottish society to this day, and (b) the raw and rugged beauty of the landscape which attracts walkers, hikers, mountaineers -and thousands of people with cameras!

The Massacre of 1692

I am going to concentrate first on the massacre which dates back to the late 17th century when the Government/King was trying to get some sort of control over the clan chiefs in the remote Highlands. On August 27th 1691, a proclamation was read in Edinburgh ( capital of Scotland) pardoning all those who had taken up arms provided they took an oath of allegiance to King William before Jan 1st 1692. All chiefs met the deadline with exception of Maclain, the MacDonald Chief of Glencoe and Glengarry. Due to various circumstances was unable to swear the oath until Jan 6th 1692. However, the Government was not satisfied with this and embarked upon a plan to exterminate the MacDonalds of Glencoe. On February 1st 1692 a contingent of British Army (120 of Argyll’s regiment) were billeted with the MacDonalds of Glencoe. These soldiers were mainly of Clan Campbell. On February 12th the military officer, Robert Campbell of Glenlyon received his final instructions from Robert Duncanson, a Major in the Argyll Regiment which commenced with the following narrative:

You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels the MacDonalds of Glencoe, and to put all to then sword under seventy. You are to have a special care that the old fox and his sonnes do not escape your hands.”

In all 38 MacDonalds were shot. However, after taking into account the destruction of houses by fire and driving off the cattle, the total death toll may have been 127.

The image below is that of a memorial to the slain at Glencoe.

To this day there is a hotel in Glencoe with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek’ sign over reception which states ‘No Hawkers or Campbells’. No doubt this is in full compliance with all human rights and anti-discrimination legislation!

Glencoe Landscape

A wild and natural environment which includes the following sites:

Read more on Glencoe, Scotland…

This morning was dry so I took myself of to Rouken Glen to obtain some autumn scene images.

Rouken Glen is a fascinating place, located on the south of Glasgow. In the past it has been a gentleman’s estate, an industrial area and an army camp (WW1). It is now a pleasant and extensive park containing a wide variety of trees, a waterfall, a golf course and formal gardens. Not surprisingly, the park is very popular with dog walkers and southsiders for general exercise. A vet practice was recently established at one of the entrances, no doubt to capitalise on he passing canine footfall!

My vi st proved rewarding as the trees and leaves provided quite a colourful spectacle producing some interesting, seasonal images. It would have been nice to have some sunshine but this is Glasgow in October!

This first image was taken at the local cemetery.

The following images and video are all of Rouken Glen

Artificial pond. This is home to many waterfowl including swans and ducks.

Timing of this video coincided with some canine antics. The dog came right on cue, just as I pressed the button!

Read more on Colours of Glasgow in the Fall…