Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

CatsWhiskersTours provide unique tour experiences tailored to suit you. Call +44 (0) 141 638 5500

Clouds over St Andrews, Scotland

This morning, we departed our lodgings in Dunkeld, central Scotland and drove east stopping briefly at the village of Abernethy to view the historic Round Tower which dates from the 9th-11th centuries AD.

Dunkeld Square, Perthshire.

Abernethy Round Tower

Next, onward to our first destination of St Andrews which is famous for golf and a prestigious university. Additionally, there are ruins of a substantial Cathedral and castle. We had refreshments at Northpoint Cafe where, allegedly, the British royals, Kate and Wills met for coffee whilst attending the University.

Traditional house architecture at St Andrews

Northpoint Cafe, St Andrews

St Andrews Castle

St Andrews Cathedral

West Sands, St Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews Links Golf

St Andrews Links Clubhouse

Next to the fishing village of Crail and its picturesque harbour.

Crail Harbour, Fife, Scotland

Next, to Anstruther, another coastal village with a fishing tradition. We had lunch of fish and chips at the famous Anstruther Fish Restaurant and then visited the nearby Scottish Fisheries Museum which is very well presented and tells the story of Scottish fishing and its people from the earliest times to the present.

Lighthouse at Anstruther, Fife

Inside Anstruther Fish Restaurant

Reaper at Anstruther Waterfront

Inside Scottish Fisheries Museum

Inside Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther

Inside Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther

Next to Pittenweem and a drive round the active commercial fishing port with auction house.

Next, to St Monans, a small village on the banks of the Firth of Forth with a substantial church which dates from the 9th century.

St Monans Church

Next to the village of Elie which benefits from sandy a harbour.

Elie Harbour, Fife

Next, around the coast to Lower Largo and the former home of Alexander Selkirk  (1676 – 13 December 1721), the real life role model for Robinson Crusoe.

Next, we continued round the coast past Lundin Links and Leven and then across the new Queensferry Crossing (road bridge over River Forth) to our overnight accommodation at Edinburgh Airport.

Tomorrow, we have another appointment for falconry at Dalhousie Castle.

Whitewater Slalom Paddling at Grandtully, Scotland

This morning, we departed our lodgings in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands and drove south for a couple of hours stopping for a break and refreshments at the House of Bruar shopping mall near Blair Atholl. Here we encountered a small group of West Highland Terriers (“Westies”).

House of Bruar

Next, further south toward Dunkeld but turned off to the village of Amulree and then connected with the single track road which passes Glen Quaich and affords stunning views of the local landscape. Here we encountered numerous game birds including Black Grouse.

Glen Quaich, Perthshire, Scotland

Highland Perthshire near Kenmore.

Taymouth Castle, Kenmore, Scotland

Next, we stopped to photograph Taymouth Castle near Kenmore then into Kenmore for lunch at the marina on Loch  Tay followed by a tour of the nearby Crannog Centre. Here has been reconstructed a high status homestead from the Iron Age ( about 2000 years ago)  based on underwater archaeology in Loch Tay. During the Iron Age crannogs were commonplace in Scotland and Ireland with about eighteen on Loch Tay alone. At this site examples of experimental archaeology were provided, specifically, wood turning and fire lighting.

Firemaking at the Crannog Centre

Iron Age wood turning at Crannog Centre.

Crannog, Kenmore, Lpoch Tay

Next, to nearby Croft Moraig. This is one of the best prehistoric stone circles on mainland Scotland with the site dating back to at least 2000 BC and probably much earlier. There were three distinct phases to Croft Moraig, viz:

  • Ring of wooden posts.
  • Timbers replaced by eight stones set in an oval.
  • Circle of nine stones set around the oval with change of emphasis from S.E. to S.W.

Croft Moraig prehistoric site, Perthshire

Croft Moraig prehistoric site, Perthshire

Next, to Grandtully and a whitewater site on the River Tay which is also Scotland’s national slalom site. Here we watched a group of supervised youngsters negotiate the rapids.

Finally, we drove to Dunkeld and our lodgings for the night. Route was through rural and farming scenery populated by sheep, cattle and many game birds.

Tomorrow, we visit St Andrews and Scotland’s east coast.

Young Farmers Promotion at Cromarty Firth

Today, our focus was on places in N.E. Scotland associated with Clan Ross. Our endeavours were partly successful in that whilst we did visit locations such as Tain (Easter Ross), Pitcalnie (Ross-Shire) and Kildary (Easter Ross) we were unable to view Balnagown Castle, ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan Ross, as ownership has changed and the property is very secluded. However, weather conditions were, on balance, favourable and we were fortunate to view a wide range of sites plus a wedding and crew of a sea-going skiff undergoing training.

First, we toured the Black Isle (north of Inverness) with first stop at Chanonry Point with object of viewing dolphins but the animals were not present.

Lighthouse at Chanonry Point, Black Isle

Rowers undergoing training on sea-going Skiff at Cromarty

Oil Rigs at Cromarty, Black Isle

Cromarty Firth, Scotland

Cromarty Firth, Scotland

Cromarty Bridge over Cromarty Firth

Next to the quaint village of Cromarty where we viewed the skiff adverted to above plus a large number of ‘retired’ oil platforms moored in the Cromarty Firth (sea loch).

Next, to a refreshment stop at the Storehouse on western side of the Cromarty Firth then to Kildary, Pitcalnie and Tain.

Tain Parish church

Next, north across past Glenmorangie Distillery and across the Dornoch Firth Bridge to the popular small town of Dornoch which boasts numerous shops, an ancient Cathedral and links golf course. We had lunch here.

Dornoch Cathedral

Centre of Dornoch

Bride entering Dornoch Cathedral

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Dornoch Beach, east of Scotland.

Finally, we returned down the A9 highway to Inverness where guest purchased various items of Clan Ross tartan from Highland House of Fraser.

Tomorrow, we travel south to Dunkeld in central Scotland.