Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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This morning, I collected guests from central Glasgow and then proceeded on a tour, visiting three local whisky distilleries plus a short visit to Doune Castle. Although each of the distilleries displays unique idiosyncrasies and history, the whisky making process is identical entailing malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation. We fisrt called in for the 10.00 am tour at Auchentoshan and then moved on to Glengoyne, lunch at the Beech Tree Inn, a brief visit to Doune Castle with tour culminating in a visit to Deanston Distillery. The weather progressively improved after a poor start featuring heavy rain showers. Our route entailed driving through gently rolling countryside of the Trossachs region.
Auchentoshan Distillery

Tasting Scotch Whisky at Auchentoshan Distillery

Spirit Safe at Auchentoshan Distillery

Washbacks at Auchentoshan Distillery

Tour Group at Auchentoshan Distillery

Inside Mash Tun at Auchentoshan Distillery

Stills at Glengoyne Distillery

Tour Group at Glengoyne Distillery

Single Malts at Glengoyne Distillery

Distillery Cask at Glengoyne Distillery

Doune Castle

Waterfall at Glengoyne Distillery

Video clip of stills at Deanston Distillery

Tour Group at Deanston Distillery

Washbacks at Deanston Distillery

Mash Tun at Deanston Distillery

Deanston Distillery, a converted cotton mill.





This evening, I am reporting on today’s group hike around the city of Perth, Scotland and adjacent countryside. Distance covered was about 15km (9 miles) and took in Perth city, the River Tay and Kinnoull Hill. Weather was clement, which augmented the experience in providing good photo opportunities.

River Tay

Kinnoull Hill

Woodland Camp

Deuchny Wood

Lonely Dog

Colourful autumn fungi

Rodney Gardens, Perth

Waterfront architecture, Perth

River Tay, Perth

(Above image shows the Forth Rail Bridge from South Queensferry.)

Today, I provided a family group from the U.S.A. with an ancestry themed tour which commenced Edinburgh, Scotland and concluded Berwick-upon-Tweed, England. Scotland ancestry was centred on the name Cassells whilst another part of the family can trace Dudgeon ancestry back to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

After collecting the group in Edinburgh we proceeded as follows:

  • Auchtermuchty High Street and Parish church. William Maxwell, born June 26th 1802, was a labourer in Auchtermuchty. He was christened there July 4th 1802 and died 1856. His father, Henry Maxwell was also christened in Auchtermuchty on May 3rd 1755,

  • Kingskettle ( or Kettle) Church and Burial Ground. James A Cassels was born Feb 10th 1822 in Beathes Craggs. Janet Laing was also born in Beathes Craggs Dec 27th 1791.

  • The small village of Star ( Drive through.) Isabella Maxwell and James A Cassells were married Star.
  • Markinch where we stopped for refreshment and visited the church. Thomas Cassels, spririt dealer was active in Markinch in 1877.

Balbirnie Street, Markinch. James Cassels was born Balbirnie, Markinch, May 31st 1795 and died in Kettle/Kingskettle.


Balgonie Castle, an unscheduled stop. No known connection with personal ancestry.


  • Kennoway (Drive through.) Jmaes A Cassels married Isabella Maxwell in Kennoway March 7th 1856.  William Maxwell married Elizabeth Inglis on Dec 23rd 1821. Elizabeth was born 1806 and died Nov 20th 1865 at Whalley Den, Kennoway.
  • Lunch at Hawes Inn, South Queensferry, close to the famous Forth Rail Bridge.

  • Then on south to Berwick-on-Tweed, located just over the border in N.E. England. Here we stopped at Golden Square where there are records of a marriage in the Presbyterian Church there although there no longer seems to be a Presbyterian place of worship there. Here guests were left to explore the town and return to Edinburgh by train.

Berwick Baptist Church, Golden Square, Berwick

The weather was, surprisingly, benign for most of the day,