Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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According to Harden’s 2007 UK Restaurant Guide both Edinburgh and Glasgow feature in the top ten gastronomic rankings outside London.

Edinburgh ranks as number one with more than half the 48 Edinburgh restaurants featured in Harden’s 2007 UK Restaurant Guide impressing the panel of independent reviewers compared with just 28pct for Bristol.

Within the Edinburgh restaurants featured are VinCaffe and the vegetarian David Bann

Glasgow ranks as number 8 in the league ranking.

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Battle of Falkirk

0830 Collect group of Army personnel from Edinburgh barracks. Head North West to Stirling passing close to Falkirk where on Jan 17th 1746 there occurred a battle between Jacobite forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie and a Royalist army under command of Lieutenant General Hawley. The battle lasted just 20minutes and the result appeared inconclusive although the royal army lost around 350 men killed, wounded and missing with 300 captured. The Jacobites lost some 50 dead and 70 wounded. Hawley was a ruthless disciplinarian and his handling of the army was inept. Subsequently, the Duke of Cumberland arrived to take command on Jan 30th 1746.

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Bannockburn

We arrive at Bannockburn in the shadow of Stirling Castle. Here on June 23rd and June 24th 1314 was fought arguably the most decisive battle in Scottish history and which acted as a watershed in Scotland’s fraught relationship with England.

The catalyst for the battle was the Scots’ siege of Stirling Castle. This was the only remaining English occupied stronghold in Scotland which was to be surrendered on June 25th. 1314 if not relieved by that date.

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Supported by cash support from the Lottery and Government grants, various communities have clubbed together to buy the estates and islands on which they live. Recent examples include:

  • Gigha: Island acquired for GBP3.5m with support from the Scottish Land Fund
  • North Harris: Estate acquired for GBP4.5M in 2003 supported by GBP1.6M from the Scottish Land Fund and GBP400K from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
  • North Harris: Estate and 19th century Amhuinnsuidhe Castle were acquired for GBP4.5M by the local population of 800 in conjunction with businessman Ian Scarr-Hall. The transaction was facilitated by a GBP1.6M grant from the Scottish Land Fund and GBP400K from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s Community Land Unit.
  • Lochinver, Wester Ross: 800 strong community purchased 44,000 acres of the Assynt Estate for GBP2.9M aided by grants from the Scottish Land Fund and other public bodies.
  • Isle of Eigg: Heritage Trust focused on 76 strong community acquired the island in 1997 for GBP1.5M.
  • South Uist Estates: Islanders have been awarded GBP2.0M of public funds to help acquire the 93,000 acre estate. The transaction includes virtually all of South Uist, Benbecula and Eriskay for a total cost of GBP4.5M.

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