Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Wall Mural, High Street, Glasgow

Today, guests availed of a ‘free day’ in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city. I took the opportunity of a photography themed tour bus ride around the key sites the results of which can be seen on this page.

Glasgow is located on the banks of the River Clyde in the South West of Scotland. The city is Scotland’s largest with a population of about 600,000 and a history dating back about 1500 years to the time of St. Mungo, the Patron Saint of Glasgow.

The city’s early prosperity arose from tobacco trading in the 18th century and then moved on to heavy manufacturing, notably shipbuilding, and other trading activities which generated substantial wealth and led the city to aspire to status as ‘second city of the (British) Empire’. Benefiting from this long history and heritage coupled with modern architecture and a vibrant culture Glasgow has much to offer the visitor via a wide range of tour themes.

George Square, Glasgow

Doulton Fountain, Glasgow Green

Buchanan Street Shopping

Clyde Arc (or ‘Squinty Bridge’)

SSE Hydro

Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre

Finnieston Crane

Tall Ship reflected in glass of Riverside Museum

Tenement Buildings, Argyle Street

Nesting Swan near Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum

Glasgow and River Clyde

Glasgow University Entrance

Byers Road

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

Glasgow University

Beresford, Art Deco Building in Sauchiehall Street.

Jedburgh Abbey, Scotland

Today, we travelled to the Scottish Borders, an often overlooked part of Scotland with rolling hills, rich arable farmland and ancient buildings.

First stop was Melrose which has a history dating back to the Roman period. Here our key focus was Melrose Abbey. This now ruined structure was originally founded by King David I in 1136 for an order of Cistercian monks. Severe damage was inflicted by English armies during the Anglo-Scottish wars with re-building during 15th century. Catholic worship ceased at the Reformation in 1560 and the last monk died in 1590. Notable for a stone carving of a pig playing the bagpipes and (the alleged) burial-place of the heart of King Robert the Bruce.

Melrose Abbey

Burial place of King Robert the Bruce’s Heart

Next, we moved on to nearby Jedburgh where we spent time visiting the ruined abbey and aspects of the old town.

Jedburgh Abbey was also founded by King David I, in 1138 with construction taking 100 years. An order of Augustinians occupied the site. Due to military conflicts between England and Scotland damage was inflicted on the Abbey by English armies in 1464, 1523, 1544 and 1545. After the Reformation in 1560 part of the building was converted to use as a parish church.

Jedburgh Abbey, Scotland

As the images below illustrate, Jedburgh has connections with famous Scots including Robert Burns, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Mary Queen of Scots.

Entrance to Jedburgh Castle

Burns House, Jedburgh

Prince Charlie’s House, Jedburgh

High Street, Jedburgh

Mercat Cross, Jedburgh

Mary, Queen of Scots House, Jedburgh

Upon concluding our visit to Jedburgh we drove N.W. to Glasgow where we checked into our lodgings.

Royal & Ancient, St Andrews Links.

This morning, the tour group split into two with half staying to explore Edinburgh and remainder joining tour of Fife. This post covers the Fife trip.

First, North-West to Culross via Forth Road Bridge. On crossing the Firth of Forth we saw the new Queensferry Crossing (bridge) which is near completion, the 1890 rail bridge and two aircraft carriers under construction.

Upon arrival at Culross we spent about one hour exploring this 17th century village comprising twenty buildings and palace all of which have been heavily restored by Scotland’s National Trust. Wealth for original construction of the properties was generated from coal mining and salt panning. There is also a 13th century ruined Abbey. In recent times Culross has been used for filming including scenes for the Outlander series.

Culross Street Scene

Village houses at Culross

Mercat Cross, Culross

Craft Shop and Cafe,Culross

Culross Palace Garden

Culross Palace

Next, we transferred east to the coastal village of Anstruther which benefits from a marina, shops and small beach. We availed of fish and chips lunch at the famous Anstruther Fish Bar.

Shore Street, Anstruther

Anstruther Marina

Beach at Anstruther

After lunch we moved on to the nearby university town of St Andrews which boasts a ruined medieval cathedral and the famous links golf courses including the Old Course where there is a record of golf being played as far back as 1457. We visited both Cathedral and golf links sites before transferring back to our lodgings in Edinburgh for the evening.

West Sands, St Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews Links Golf

St Andrews Links Golf

St Andrews Cathedral

Tomorrow we visit the Scottish Borders.