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This evening, I am presenting a photo record of a just completed eight day Scotland tour.

Here is Craigmillar Castle, a former home of the Preston family, which is located a few miles S.E.of Edinburgh and dates from the 1400s. This is not in such a ruinous state as many Scottish castles and is worth a visit.

Herbaceous garden at Dirleton Castle

Vaults at Dirleton Castle. Our visit coincided with a wedding.

Dirleton Castle with wedding reception in progress.

Rosslyn Chapel. This dates from the 1400s and took 40 years to build. Temporary roof facilities drying out of the stonework and will be removed in 2009.The Chapel is famous for its internal carvings and connection with the Da Vinci Code.

The National Monument at Calton Hill, overlooking Edinburgh

View of the Royal Mile at Edinburgh. This is the historic part of the City and best seen on foot.

View of Edinburgh from the Castle

St. Margaret’s Chapel at Edinburgh Castle

Intrepid mountaineers atop Arthur’s Seat

View of Edinburgh from Arthur’s Seat

Dunfermline Abbey which dates from the 12th century.

King Robert the Bruce‘s tomb in Dunfermline Abbey

St. Monan’s Church
on the Fife Coast. This is a fascinating building dating to the 13th century.

Inside St. Monan’s Church, which has strong links with the local fishing and shipping industries.

Famous fish and chip bar at Anstruther. We had a good lunch here.

View of quaint but working fishing village at Crail

Swilken Bridge at Old Course, St. Andrews

St. Rule’s Tower at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. The energetic can climb this tower and benefit from great views of the City.

View of St. Andrews from atop the Tower.

Intrepid Tour Guide!
Carved Pictish stones from the collection at Meigle in Perthshire

Edradour Distillery, near Pitlochry. An excellent free tour is provided for visitors.

Whisky Still at Edradour

Culloden Battlefield near Inverness. This was the site of the last battle on British soil-in 1746. There is an excellent visitor centre with detailed information on the famous battle.

Memorial to the fallen clansmen at Culloden.

Who is this? We are on the banks of Loch Ness, so no prizes for the correct answer!

View of Loch Ness from Castle Urquhart

This is a likeable beast. Big horns but very placid. We got very up close whilst touring on Mull.

Iona Abbey viewed from the approaching ferry. A very quiet and spiritual place.

Inside the Abbey
Carved stone with Pictish influence at Iona.

Cloisters at Iona

This is not the Canadian Pacific. However, it does provide a fun ride from Craignure on Mull to nearby Torosay Castle, a distance of about 1.5 miles.

Local vegetation, which reflects the warm, damp, mild climate.

Torosay Castle. Here we encountered an unusual dog-a Labradoodle!

Images of Tobermory, the capital of Mull. Note the very colourful buildings-and tame sea birds!

View of the landscape ( or seascape) from near our lodgings.

View of Inveraray. This is an unusual planned town dating from the 18th century. This town makes an excellent base for touring Argyll and Kintyre

Inveraray Maritime Museum aka Arctic Penguin

Images of Auchindrain Township near Inveraray.
This is a reconstruction of an original West Highland village.

View of Loch Lomond
The following images are of the quaint village of Luss which sites on the shore of Loch Lomond.

Here is a ‘hogback’ grave marker at Luss church which dates from Viking times.

A greedy bunny completely unpeturbed by the locals.

Colourful gardens at Luss village

View of Luss with the Loch in background.

Now we are in Glasgow. Our first visit was to the famous Cathedral which dates from the 12th century and managed to survive the Reformation relatively intact.

Glasgow’s emblem

Inside the Cathedral

Glasgow Necropolis ( City of the dead). On this site close to the Cathedral are buried the great and good of Victorian Glasgow.

Inside Glasgow’s oldest house, Provand’s Lordship

Templeton’s carpet factory at Glasgow Green. A very unusual piece of architecture.

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. We took the opportunity to watch a display of Scottish Country Dancing inside.

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This evening, I am presenting some images from a recent 3 day tour. We used Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh as a base.

The following two images were taken at the ‘Home of Golf’ at St. Andrews, which is also a famous, historic city which also boasts a top university, castle and cathedral.

This is a view of St. Andrews taken from the Old Course Club House with Royal and Ancient in centre left.

View of famous Old Course. This is the Home of Golf where golf was first played some 600 years ago. It is venue for The 2010 Open Championship. St. Andrews links comprises six public golf courses including the Old Course.

Golfing is a major contributor to tourism in Scotland.

The following two images were taken at the quaint and historic fishing village of Crail located on the Fife Coast and just 10 miles from St. Andrews. Crail was once the largest fish market in Europe and today it is still possible to buy fresh lobster and shellfish here.

Note house with pantiled roofs

The following two images were taken at St. Monans Parish Church which was founded about AD 1265-67 and which may have been conceived as a thank-offering by King David II. The church sits close to the sea and location affords visitors a tang of the salty sea air.

Here is an image of the Alexander Selkirk statue at Lower Largo (Fife Coast). Alexander Selkirk was the real life role model for the fictional Robinson Crusoe.

The following four images are of the famous/historic Dupplin Cross which is situated in St. Serf’s church at Dunning. This dates back about 1100 years and commemorates King Constantine.The heavy and intricate carvings appear to contain messages which we may not be able to fully understand today.

This is a view of the village of Dollar taken from atop nearby Castle Campbell. This is a prosperous community with a famous fee paying school. The name Dollar has nothing to do with money and originates from the ancient word for field ,’Dal’.

This is an image of Castle Campbell which is located high in the Ochills atop Dollar Glen. Originally known as ‘Castle Gloom’, the stronghold was acquired in the 15th century by the senior branch of the Campbell family, who over the years became earls, marquises and dukes of Argyll. In 1489 the place was renamed Castle Campbell and remained occupied until partly destroyed by fire in 1654 during the Civil War.

This is a view of the centre of the attractive little village of Dirleton which is dominated by the ruins of Dirleton Castle.

The following three images are of the stunning formal gardens at Dirleton Castle.

This is the main entrance to Direlton Castle which originated in the 12th century and was added to over the following three centuries until destroyed by Cromwell’s army in the 17th century.
Dovecot at Direlton Castle. Pigeons were an important source of food in medieval times.

More garden scenes at Direlton Castle which include the world’s longest herbaceous border.

The following three images were taken at Glenkinchie Whisky Distillery near Pencaitland. We enjoyed a guided tour describing the process of whisky making from malting. mashing, fermentation, distillation through to maturation.

The final three images were taken at Rosslyn Chapel, about 12 miles south of Edinburgh. This 15th century chapel is famous for its stone carvings, including the Apprentice Pillar. Regrettably, photography is not allowed inside the chapel. More recently, the chapel has attracted new visitors through the connection with the Da Vinci Code.

Overall, we had a good tour. Weather was OK but could have been better!

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This evening, I am presenting some images from a just completed two day, small group tour of Scotland taking in some key sites.

Here is the quaint heritage village of Luss. The houses were originally built to house workers at a nearby slate quarry.

Loch Lomond with Ben Lomond in the distance.

Here are some images of the famous Glencoe landscape. We just arrived at the right time-as the sun was shining!

Here are some views of Loch Ness and Castle Urquhart. Loch Ness comprises the largest inland body of water in the U.K.

Happy travellers
Another view of Castle Urquhart. This is a magnificent ruin in its own right.

The following are some images from a tour of Edradour Distillery near Pitlochry. The tour is free and covers the whole whisky making process from malting, mashing, fermentation to distillation and maturation.

The following are images taken at Stirling Castle.

This is a handwoven tapestry located on the wall of the chapel. Tapestry weaving is still undertaken on-site.

The Chapel Royal. This was built in 1594 for the christening of Prince Henry.

Exterior of the Great Hall This is very impressive both inside (hammer beam roof) and outside (authentic gold coloured exterior).
The Palace
Outer Defences
Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum Glasgow. This is one of the finest civic attractions in Europe and attracts over 1.0m visitors per annum.

Glasgow University.This is one of Scotland’s premier university’s and located in the West End of Glasgow.
Overall, a good tour. Weather was reasonably clement.

Read more on Small Group Tour Scotland…