Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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River Dee west of Baremar, Scotland

This evening, I am posting images and information on Deeside in the Highlands of Scotland. Because of the proximity of Balmoral Castle and association with the British Royal Family the area has become known as Royal Deeside.

The River Dee rises high in the Cairngorm Mountains on the Braeriach Plateau and runs in roughly west to east direction for about 90 miles, close to Braemar and Ballater to Aberdeen and the North Sea in the east. The river traverses spectacular scenery plus important sites such as:

  • The Highland village of Braemar.
  • Braemar Castle.
  • Balmoral Castle
  • Royal Lochnagar Distillery
  • Crathie Kirk ( church).
  • Burial place of John Brown, favoured servant of Queen Victoria.

At Braemar is held is the Braemar Gathering (Highland Games) on the first Saturday of September each year. This is arguably, the premier Highland Games event in Scotland and is patronised by the Royal Family.

Burial place of John Brown at Crathie

Royal Lochnagar Distillery, Deeside, Scotland

River Dee west of Braemar, Scotland

Crathie Kirk, Deeside, Scotland

Balmoral Castle, Scotland

Braemar Castle, Scotland

Braemar, Scottish Highlands

River Dee at Balmoral, Scotland

Intrepid Time Traveller at Ballymeanoch Stones, Kilmartin Glen

This morning, I collected guest from Glasgow and embarked on a tour as follows:

  • North, past Dumbarton, Loch Lomond and Arrochar to Rest and be thankful where we stopped for photos.

Rest and be thankful, Argyll, Scotland

  • Next, west to Loch Fyne and then a brief refreshment stop at the planned 18th century town of Inveraray.

Inveraray, Argyll, Scotland

  • Next, we went south, tracking the western side of Loch Fyne, through Lochgilphead and then north towards Oban to our destination of Kilmartin House Museum. After time at the museum we visited key sites in Kilmartin Glen, Scotland’s richest prehistoric landscape populated with a mix of burial cairns, stone circles, standing stones, rock carvings and Scotland’s only henge all of which date from around 3500 BC to 1500 BC.

Medieval Graveslabs at Kilmartin Church

Cist Burial inside Nether Largie North Cairn

Nether Largie Mid Cairn

Nether Largie South Chambered Cairn

Temple Wood Circle, Kilmartin Glen, Scotland

Nether Largie Stones, Kilmartin Glen

Baluachraig Carvings, Kilmartin Glen

Dunchraigaig Cairn, Kilmartin Glen

Ballymeanoch Stones, Kilmartin Glen

Achnabreck Carvings, Kilmartin Glen

This was a rewarding trip tempered by indifferent weather. Fortunately, the worst of the rain held off until end of the day in course of our return trip to Glasgow.

Abbey Strand and Sanctuary, , Edinburgh, Scotland

Repeated post from July 19th 2015. (Original subject to technical problems.)

This evening, I am posting information on the Abbey Strand and Sanctuary which are close to the Palace of Holyroodhouse at foot of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The 16th century Abbey Sanctuary buildings are often overlooked by the many thousands of visitors who are focused on the nearby Royal Palace and Scottish Parliament. The buildings formed part of a residence for aristocratic debtors up until 1880 when imprisonment for unpaid debt was abolished.The occupants were known as ‘Abbey Lairds’ and were able to live under effective house arrest within the confines of a designated sanctuary area which included Holyrood Park, a few minutes away, and Arthur’s Seat, also close by. The occupants were safe from arrest provided they stayed within the designated sanctuary area. However, they were at liberty to stray outside the designated sanctuary area on Sundays only.

The western section of the buildings has been renovated to accommodate palace and court officials.

The term ‘Strand’ is derived from a small stream which once crossed the street at this site.