Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Replica Viking Longboat at Largs, Scotland

TOUR MAY 19th 2016

This morning, I collected guests from Glasgow’s West End and embarked on a tour as follows:

  • Clyde Coast, passing through Port Glasgow¬†(with brief stop to view Newark Castle), Greenock, Gourock and Inverkip with a coffee/refreshment stop at Largs Marina. From here we could see the ‘Pencil Monument’ which marks site of the sea battle in 1263 when the Scots finally defeated a Norwegian/Viking force and thereby secured control over the whole of Scotland.
  • After departing Largs we drove on down to Ardrossan and caught the 12.30 pm ferry to Isle of Arran.
  • On arrival at Brodick, Arran we drove north to the village of Lochranza with purpose of visiting a famous geological site known as¬†Hutton’s Unconformity. At Lochranza we also Red Deer and Lochranza Castle.
  • Next, we drove around the east coast of Arran with aim of visiting the famous prehistoric site known as Machrie Moor but were defeated by heavy rain. (To reach the site entails a 1.5 mile round trip hike.).
  • After refreshment near Pimmill we continued round the perimeter of the island passing Drumadoon Bay, Whiting Bay and Lamlash with views of Holy Island before returning to Brodick where we availed of refreshments prior to connecting with the 7.20pm return ferry to Ardrossan,
  • On arrival at Ardrossan we drove N.E. to Glasgow, passing through rolling Ayrshire countryside, arriving back at start point about 8.30pm.

Pencil Monument, Largs, Scotland

At Hutton’s Unconformity, Arran, Scotland

Primroses at Hutton’s Unconformity, Arran

Bird’s Foot Trefoil at Hutton’s Unconformity, Arran

Red Deer at Lochranza, Arran, Scotland

Lochranza Castle, Arran, Scotland

Goatfell (2866 feet), Arran, Scotland

Brodick, Arran, Scotland

Ardrossan Harbour, Scotland

We achieved a full agenda of sites but the tour was affected by persistent rain and poor visibility.

Traquair House, Scottish Borders

This evening, I am posting information on Traquair House which is located seven miles from Peebles in the Scottish Borders region.

Summary facts and information:

  • Reputed to be the oldest continuously inhabited house in Scotland with history dating back to 1107.
  • Long association with the Jacobite and Catholic supporting Stuart family.
  • Main building dates from 1500s and 1600s.
  • Inside the building can be found old prints, maps, library, museum, vaulted cellars and a china collection.
  • Outside is a maze, brew house, woodland walk, craft workshops, ¬†and gardens.
  • Currently occupied by¬†Catherine Maxwell Stuart, 21st Lady of Traquair and family.
  • Bed and Breakfast facilities are available for visitors.

Entrance Gates at Traquair House, Scotland

Sitting Room at Traquair House, Scotland

Library at Traquair House, Scotland

Embroidery at Traquair House, Scotland

Bedroom at Traquair House, Scotland

Collection of irons at Traquair House, Scotland

Brewery at Traquair House, Peebles, Scotland

Riparian view at Eglinton Country Park

This evening, I am reporting on a recent small group hike around Eglinton Country Park which is located in North Ayrshire, Scotland, about thirty miles S.W.of Glasgow.

Castle

At heart of the park sits a very unusual building which is styled a castle but actually comprises the remains of a grand mansion dating from the early 19th century located near Kilwinning in Ayrshire, S.W. Scotland.

The property was built in Gothic castellated style by the wealthy Earls of Eglinton family between 1797 and 1802. In 1839 the 13th Earl hosted a grossly extravagant-and financially draining- mock medieval tournament in the adjacent grounds.

During the 20th century the Montgomeries wealth deteriorated to the extent that the castle was abandoned in 1925. The building suffered further ignominy during WW2 in being used by the army for munitions practice.

The remaining masonry represents but a shadow of the mansion at its peak. Nevertheless it sits in a park open to the public; a pleasant enough spot with special affection for members of Clan Montgomery. This video clip  affords a useful perspective of the site.

Parkland

Extends to 1000 acres which is available for public recreation and is traversed by a network of trails and footpaths.There is a river, wetlands, old buildings including a Doocot ( Dovecot), fishing and many opportunities to connect with nature and local wildlife.

Hikers at Eglinton country Park

Tournament Bridge at Eglinton Country Park

Dovecot at Eglinton Country Park

Wetlands at Eglinton Country Park

Landscape at Eglinton Country Park

Ruins of Eglinton Castle

Ruins of Eglinton Castle