Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tour Scotland Blackford

Blackford Old Churchyard. Blackford is located in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, approximately five miles from the town of Auchterarder.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Tour Scotland Brechin Round Tower

Brechin Round Tower, Angus, Scotland. The Round Tower represents remains of a Culdee college of the Celtic Church established here around 990 AD.

Tour Scotland Brechin Cathedral

Brechin Cathedral, Brechin, Angus, Scotland. The present cathedral had its origin in the founding of the Diocese of Brechin by the appointment of Bishop Samson by King David I in the mid 12th century. A new church or alterations in the Norman style were made to an existing church and it was not until from about 1225 that the Culdees and their Prior were replaced by a chapter of Canons and a small Cathedral built in the Gothic style. Brechin Cathedral Photos.

Tour Scotland Brechin

Brechin High Street, Angus, Scotland. There is a small museum in the former Town House, and a variety of shops and eating places. Tour Brechin.

Tour Scotland Auchterhouse

Auchterhouse Parish Church, Angus, Scotland. Rebuilt in 1775, the parish church contains the nave of an earlier medieval building.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tour Scotland Perth and Kinross

Perth and Kinross, at the geographical heart of Scotland, contain buildings which range from the remains of a Roman line of forts and watch towers, the fort at Ardoch, of the first and second centuries, is one of the best preserved and least known of such structures in Britain, early historic hill forts, a remarkable array of carved stones erected by the warrior aristocracy of the sixth to ninth centuries, the wilfully inventive medieval Dunkeld Cathedral, and mottes, castles and tower houses, among them the island fortress of Lochleven Castle and Elcho Castle's assertion of baronial status. The grandiose funerary monuments of the seventeenth century at Scone Palace and the Kinoull Aisle presaged the 'court' classicism of Sir William Bruce, which is exemplified by his own mansion, garden and landscape at Kinross House. Blair Castle's mid-eighteenth century stucco work, unequalled in Scotland, celebrates the magnificence of the Dukes of Atholl, this display challenged in the early nineteenth century by the sumptuous Gothic palaces of Scone and Taymouth Castle. A multitude of smaller country houses embrace a variety of styles, classical, Italianate, castellated and Baronial, while Georgian and Victorian churches, many with superb stained glass, abound. Among towns and villages, Dunkeld is the epitome of a small Scottish burgh while the Royal burgh of Perth has expanded from its medieval core with the addition of late Georgian 'new towns' and civic and industrial monuments of the nineteenth century. Perth and Kinross: The Buildings of Scotland.

Tour Scotland River Tay

River Tay at Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland. Early in the spring when the water temperature is low the migration of Spring Salmon can be slow and they can be caught for example even in the lower Tay around Stanley where rapids and falls slow them up. Salmon Fishing Scotland.

Tour Scotland Ballathie

Ballathie Country House Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland, dates back to the seventeenth Century and is a beautiful house. Ballathie's riverside location is ideal for a fishing break in the Scottish Highlands. Perthshire Hotels.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tour Scotland Auchtergaven

Auchtergaven Parish Church, Bankfoot, Perthshire, Scotland. There has been a Church building on the same site from the time of the Scottish Reformation in the tenth Century. The church was sadly burnt out by fire in February 2004, leaving only the shell seen in the video.

Tour Scotland Tulliallan

Tulliallan Old Cemetery, Woodlea, Kincardine-on-Forth, Fife, Scotland. The recent restoration of Tulliallan kirkyard has brought to light many previously hidden gravestones.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tour Scotland Linlithgow Church

St Michaels Parish Church, Linlithgow, Scotland. St. Michael's Parish Church is one of the largest burgh churches in the Church of Scotland. King David I of Scotland granted a charter for the establishment of the church in 1138. The church was built on the site of an older church and was consecrated in 1242. Following a fire in 1424, most of the present building dates from the mid 15th century, with extensive restorations in the 19th century. Mary Queen of Scots was born in Linlithgow Palace on 8th December 1542 and was baptised in St Michael’s Church.

This is an indispensable guide to over 1000 abbeys, cathedrals, churches and other places of worship across Scotland. It is compiled from information supplies by the churches themselves, the from history and architectural details of the building to the availability of refreshments and other visitor amenities. It also includes times of services to access for the partially abled, location details, map references, and availability of souvenirs. 1000 Churches to Visit in Scotland.

Tour Scotland Linlithgow

Linlithgow Town House, West Lothian, Scotland. At the heart of Linlithgow town is the open area in front of the magnificent Town House, built in 1668 to replace a building destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in 1650. Here you find the Cross Well, built in 1807 as a copy of its 1628 predecessor.

Whether you are a Black Bitch, an incomer or a visitor, this book has much to tell you about the West Lothian town of Linlithgow. It is steeped in history; James IV had a vision in St Michael's Church before he marched off to Flodden; Mary Queen of Scots was born here; James Stuart was assassinated in the High Street; and Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed here with his army in 1746. But Linlithgow is not simply a historical footnote - it is today home to a vibrant and dynamic population, and hosts an array of clubs and societies. In Linlithgow Life and Times, Wallace Lockhart looks at the unique qualities of the town, and tells why he is proud to call himself an honorary Black Bitch. For visitors, this book will provide places of interest to visit and explore, while for locals it offers a chance to reflect on what makes Linlithgow such a great place, and perhaps learn a thing or two about their own town. Linlithgow: Life and Times.

Tour Scotland Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian, Scotland, has had a long association with royalty. King David I founded the burgh and a royal manor house existed there in the 12th century and in 1301 King Edward I of England stayed there with his invading army while supporting the claim of John Balliol to the Scottish throne. In 1424 most of the town of Linlithgow was destroyed by fire and King James I, who had just returned from exile in England, began the palace that we see today. In 1461 the Palace was used as a residence for King Henry VI of England after he had been overthrown by King Edward IV. Mary Queen of Scots was also born at Linlithgow.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Tour Scotland Canal Boat

From Falkirk, Scotland, canal boats journey up and down the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals.

The Forth and Clyde Canal, completed in 1790, was by far the largest engineering project that had ever been seen in Scotland. It allowed coal and machinery to travel East and grain to travel West. Passengers could travel between Glasgow and Edinburgh in greater comfort than by stagecoach, and it produced employment along its entire route. But it required capital on a scale previously unknown; it required the collaboration of Edinburgh, Glasgow and London; it required new technology; and it encountered its full measure of constructional problems. It took 22 years to build. The Forth and Clyde Canal enjoyed half a century of success before it was eclipsed by the railways. Although the passenger trade was lost, and much of the freight also, the canal struggled on for another century before the rise of road transport resulted in its decline. Now, after a long period of neglect, and sporting the spectacular Falkirk Wheel, it enjoys new life as an imaginative leisure resource. The Forth and Clyde Canal: A History.

Tour Scotland Falkirk Wheel

The Falkirk Wheel, named after the nearby town of Falkirk in central Scotland, is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, which at this point differ by 24 metres, roughly equivalent to the height of an eight storey building. Falkirk Wheel Photos. Tour Scotland.

Tour Scotland Airth

Airth Castle, Stirlingshire, Scotland, is steeped in history dating back to the 14th Century. The present castle here incorporates a 15th century tower, known as Wallace's Tower, but it has been extended several times, notably in the 19th century which obscured much of the earlier buildings. The castle was owned by the Bruce family before it passed to the Elphinstones and Dundas families before finally reaching the Grahams. The Graham family became Earls of Airth in 1633. The castle is now a hotel.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tour Scotland Carnbee

Carnbee Parish Church, Fife, Scotland. The old parish church of Carnbee, which was rebuilt in 1793, belonged prior to the reformation to the Abbey of Dunfermline and the session records ministry from 1564, in the person of William Scott. In 1971 the Kirk Session of Carnbee, which sits within the jurisdiction of the Presbytery of St Andrews, established a link with Pittenweem.

Tour Scotland Kellie Castle

Kellie Castle, near Pittenweem, Fife, Scotland. Originally a simple tower house, the lower section of what now constitutes the northwest tower is the oldest part of the castle, dating from around 1360, and is said to be haunted. In 1573 a new tower was built by the 4th Lord Oliphant to the east of the original tower. Between 1573 and 1606 the two towers were linked by a new range, terminated by another tower in the south-west, creating the T-plan layout that remains today. The castle is a fine example of Scots Baronial domestic architecture, with an imposing mix of gables, corbelled towers, and chimneys.

Tour Scotland Anstruther

Anstruther, in the East Neuk of Fife, is where I was raised in Scotland. The Buckie House stands at the east end of the Dreel Bridge opposite Anstruther Wester Town Hall. It dates back to 1692. It was decorated by shells or buckies by a local Slater. If you drive through Anstruther, you will find it is a tight bend at the Buckie House, so be careful. Tour Scotland.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tour Scotland Rattray

Rattray Parish Church, Rattray, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland. Most of the historically important folks from Clan Rattray history are buried here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tour Scotland Angus Glens

Drove up to Glenisla today, in Angus, Scotland. The wee video shows Glenisla at Auchavan, where the paved road ends. The river is the River Isla, and in the distance the Cairngorm Mountains. Tour Scotland Glenisla Photo Album.

Tour Scotland Glenisla Sheep

Sheep at Folda in the Angus Glen of Glenisla, Scotland. These Scottish Sheep were brought down from the hills for Spring lambing.

Tour Scotland Glenisla Church

Kirkton Of Glenisla Church, Angus, Scotland. The Church is mentioned in the history of Bamff Estate written by George Halliburton in 1627. The present Church was built in 1821.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tour Scotland County by County

The ultimate journey around Scotland. Travelling county by county, this irresistible miscellany unearths the enthralling stories, firsts, birthplaces, legends and inventions that shape the country's rich and majestic history. To uncover the spellbinding tales that lie hidden within Scotland's wild and romantic shores, to experience what inspired the country's powerful literature and towering castles, and to tread in the footsteps of her villians and victors, is to capture the spirit of this fascinating country and bring every place you visit to life. You will discover the story of the original sweetheart, John Balliol, whose embalmed heart is buried beside his devoted wife, Devorgilla at Sweetheart Abbey in Kirkcudbrightshire. In Aberdeen, you will find the only granite cathedral in the world. And, you will hear the haunting echo of the Bear Gates of Traquair House in Peeblesshire were slammed shut when Bonnie Prince Charlie left Scotland in 1746, legend has it that they will never be re-opened until a Stuart King once more sits on the throne. I Never Knew That About Scotland.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tour Scotland Kemback

A cold day in North Fife. It is an area that I like and know well. Kemback Old Church and Churchyard, Fife, Scotland. The church was founded or completed in 1583, and in 1760 the walls were heightened and the galleries added at either end. In the old part of the graveyard, all the upright stones face east, in anticipation of Christ's Second Coming.

Tour Scotland Dairsie

Dairsie Church, Fife, Scotland. Dairsie Church, which is in the Saxon style of architecture, and surmounted by a neat spire, was built at the commencement of the 17th century.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tour Scotland St Andrews Castle

There has been a fortification of some sort at this site on the East Coast of Scotland since the late 1100's. St. Andrews castle has been through many changes in ownership. It fell to the English in the early 1300's. The Scots retook the castle in 1314 but once again the English captured it in 1330. The Scots recovered the site in 1337. After this siege, the Scots destroyed the castle so that the English would find it unusable. Reconstruction was undertaken in the late 14th century by Bishop Walter Trail. During the 1400's, the Sea Tower was used as a state prison and had a bottle dungeon. The other unusual attraction is the existence of a mine and countermine used when the castle was under siege in 1546-1547.

Tour Scotland St Andrews

A short video of the incoming tide at the West Sands, St Andrews. There is always much to see in St Andrews, including the Old Course, St Andrews Cathedral, St Andrews Castle, and much more. St Andrews is always worth visiting on any Tour of Scotland.

Tour Scotland St Andrews

Quite a change in the weather here in Scotland. Lots of snow North of Perth, and bitterly cold and windy in Southern Scotland. I spent a few hours in St Andrews, one of my favourite Scottish Cities. Took the photograph above nearing high tide by St Andrews West Sands, just a few yards from the famous Old Golf Course.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tour Scotland Ploughing

Spent this morning at the Scottish Vintage Tractor and Engine Club Charity ploughing match at Haughs of Tulliemet in Perthshire, Scotland. It was a bitterly cold morning with strong winds and some bright sunshine, followed by rain and then light snow. Added a few photographs from the event onto one of my Tour Scotland Photo Albums.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tour Scotland Horse Fair

Just one of my photographs taken at Coupar Angus Horse Fair. A very windy day, with some spells of bright sunshine, though mostly it was overcast. Check out a few more of my photographs on this Tour Scotland Photo Album.

Coupar Angus Burgh Pipe Band

Coupar Angus Burgh Pipe Band, Scotland. The small pipe band practising before leading the parade at the Coupar Angus Horse Fair.

Tour Scotland Coupar Angus

Had an enjoyable day at the Coupar Angus Horse Fair, Scotland. A spring gala in celebration of the historic horse market, and the horse shows that were held in Coupar Angus until the 1950s. The event included a street market and craft fair, and a parade through town.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tour Scotland Abernethy

A windy day today, as you can see from the Scottish Flag flying above Abernethy Tower in Perthshire, Scotland.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tour Scotland Dundee

Dundee Western Cemetery, Perth Road, Dundee, Scotland. This is a large, and very accessible, cemetery which is located in West Dundee. Built as a commercial enterprise in 1845 and then taken over by the Dundee Council, it has panels of biblical references at the entrance. It has many splendid monuments include those of newspaper proprietors, shipyard owners and the ornate tomb in the classical style of Baron Armitstead of Castlehill.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tour Scotland Tayport Lighthouse

You are either fascinated by lighthouses, or you aren't. I am one of those folks who has really likes to visit lighthouses. The working lighhouse in the photograph is located at Tayport in Fife, Scotland, at the Southern entrance to the Firth of Tay, east coast of Scotland.

Tour Scotland Dry-Stone Dyke

A dry-stone wall, also known as a dry-stone dyke, or drystane dyke, is a wall that is constructed from stones without any mortar to bind them together. The wall is held up purely by the interlocking of the stones, which must be carefully selected by shape to ensure that they have a large contact surface area with their neighbours and so do not slip. Such walls can be seen all over Scotland, both in building construction and as field boundaries.

Tour Scotland Signs Of Spring

Signs of Spring, under the trees, here in Scotland. It was a very mild February, and it looks like March might be one of the warmest on record.

Tour Scotland Gardens

I always enjoy popping in to Dundee Botanic Gardens, even if out of season, and sometimes just for a coffee. The Garden has a wide range of plants, with fine collections of conifers and broad-leaved trees and shrubs, tropical and temperate glasshouses, water garden and herb garden. Located on south facing, gently sloping land near the banks of the River Tay, the Garden features many species of indigenous British plants as well as representative collections of important plants from all the continents of the world.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Tour Scotland In March

Just finished my third tour of Scotland for this year. For a tour of Scotland in March, the weather was quite exceptional, with many warm days. The tour, which was for a family from the USA, was organized around their roots in Fife, Scotland. Since Fife is where I was born and raised, the tour was a most enjoyable experience. We did tour further than Fife, into the Scottish Highlands, and Stirling area. You can find just a few of the Tour of Scotland In March photographs at the following web photo album.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Not A Day To Tour Scotland

Not a good day to Tour Scotland, the weather being what we call "dreich", a word that means dull, grey, and damp. A good day to go shopping from either the USA or the UK.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tour Scotland Photo Albums

After all my Tours Of Scotland, I place online a photo album of the tour so that my guests can enjoy reliving their wonderful trip to Scotland. They can then download these photographs into their home computer, or share them online with family and friends. During each tour I also shoot Scottish video snippets, which my guests can also download, and share with others. With more than one thousand Scottish videos, and many thousands of Scottish Photographs; this service to my tour guests is unique in Scotland

Tour Scotland Dunkeld

Crossing the Dunkeld Bridge. The 4th Duke of Atholl commissioned Thomas Telford the great Scottish engineer to build the toll bridge in 1809. Telford did much to open the Highlands with canals, roads and bridges, many still in use today.

Tour Scotland Windy Day

I spent the morning in Dunkeld. It was a fairly typical day for March, with rain, sunshine, and not a little wind.

Scottish Luck

In Scotland, it can be unlucky to walk under a ladder, depending entirely upon your point of view.

Scots Drinking

"Will you have a pale ale with me Donald ?"
"No, but I would have a pail of ale with you."

Scots Standing Around

Some folks stand a round, and some folks just stand around.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tour Beautiful Scotland

Even in early March, if you are a knowledgeable Scottish Tour Guide, there is much to see and enjoy in beautiful Scotland. I took this wee video just North of Trinafour in Highland Perthshire. After a few days of heavy rainfall in Scotland, the Scottish Highland streams are in full spate and well worth a visit, especially if you enjoy photography or videography.

Tour Scotland By Rail

The railway station at Blair Atholl is located behind Blair Atholl Hotel. The line is part of the Perth to Inverness railway service. Pepper-pot turrets and castellated towers adorn granite buildings of village, which stands at meeting point of several highland glens. Mill dating from 17th century is now a coffee shop. Blair Castle, in Blair Atholl, lies at the southern end of the Drumochter Pass and, together with Ruthven Castle at the north end, was built by the Comyn family to secure their power right across the Scottish Highlands.

Tour Scotland Struan Church

Struan Church, Perthshire, Scotland. The most sacred place in Clan Donnachaidh country has a history as a religious site going back to the earliest times that mankind occupied the area. Long before the first Christian missionary ventured into Atholl, it was a place of Druidic worship as witnessed by the old Druid Stone still standing in the churchyard. The old church sits where the Erochty water joins the River Garry. With the exception of five Donnachaidh chiefs known to be buried at Dunalastair’s burial ground, and Stout Duncan believed to be at Dull, most if not all Donnachaidh chiefs lie buried at Struan.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tour Scotland Leslie House

Leslie House, Fife, Scotland. From 1660 to 1670 a magnificent mansion was built for the 7th Earl of Rothes, later the Duke of Rothes, originally known as The Palace of Leslie. Built in the style of Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, it was designed as a quadrangle and extended to eighty bedrooms, the Long Gallery was said to be three feet longer than the one at Holyrood. On Christmas Day 1763 a disastrous fire burned the house to the ground. Bad weather at the time prevented effective firefighting and many valuable items were destroyed. The present house, shown in the video, is the least damaged wing of the original Palace. Tour Fife.

Tour Scotland Markinch

Markinch Parish Church, Fife, Scotland. This church was established as a preaching station in the sixth century by Saint Drostan, a Culdee monk, an early Celtic missionary. When the saintly pastor died his flock named the church in his memory and this church was thus dedicated to Saint Drostan. The current church building dates from 1786. A spire was added to the tower during the period 1807 to 1810 at which time the parish church was extended. Tour Fife.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Scotland Eclipse Of The Moon

A short break in the clouds at 10.30pm on March 3rd, 2007, allowed me to record this eclipse of the moon from Perthshire, Scotland. The moon was changing colour from silver to orange and brown. A total eclipse is expected by midnight.

Scotland Clydesdale Horse Show

I spent most of the day at the The National Stallion Show, in Perthshire, Scotland. It is a show held indoors at Perth Agricultural Centre, with Clydesdales, Highlands, Shetlands, Mixed Mountain and Moorland Ponies plus competitions for open and apprentice farmers. This is the type of event I enjoy showing my guests on my Tours of Scotland.

Tour Scotland Clydesdale Horse

The Clydesdale Horse is noted for rugged grace and versatility; they are strong yet amiable animals exceeding six feet in height and over one ton in weight. A Clydesdale horse has a large head with somewhat arched profile, or Roman-nose, small ears, intelligent eyes and profuse forelock. The neck is generally straight, the chest deep, the shoulders with a lot of heavy bone. The back is rather short and a little curved, the withers high and the rump presenting a distinctively rounded silhouette. The legs should be long and strong with characteristically large hoof size, being about twice the width of a thoroughbred race horse's. The characteristic action of a Clydesdale is demonstrated at a trot. The Clydesdale is a breed of draft horse derived from the very hard-working farm horses of Clydesdale, Scotland.

Tour Scotland Shetland Ponies

An owner grooming her Shetland Ponies at the Perth Agricultural Centre, Perth, Scotland.

Tour Scotland Barnbougle Castle

Barnbougle Castle, Scotland, located near Edinburgh, is connected the stories of two families, the Mowbrays and the Roseberys. For three hundred years the estate has belonged to the Roseberys who now live at Dalmeny House, built by the fourth Earl in 1815. Barnbougle, the original house just a quarter of a mile away, came into the family's possession in the 1660s when Sir Archibald Primrose bought it for his son who was created First Earl of Rosebery in 1703. The hound of Barnbougle.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Tour Scotland Comrie

Spent yesterday in Comrie, a small town situated towards the western end of the Strathearn district of Perthshire, Scotland, seven miles west of Crieff. Comrie sits at the confluence of three rivers. The Ruchill and the Lednock are both tributaries of the River Earn, which itself eventually feeds into the River Tay. The name Comrie is of Gaelic origin and means a place where rivers meet. The White Church, the former parish kirk, is Comrie's most striking building, with its prominent tower and spire situated on the roadside of the ancient churchyard at the heart of the village. This is an early Christian site, dedicated to the obscure early saint Kessog or Mokessog, who may have flourished in the eighth century.

Tour Scotland Loch Earn

Though most folks take the North Road along Loch Earn, I prefer the more scenic South Road, which is also far quieter, but, of course, much narrower.

Tour Scotland Dalginross Bridge

Dalginross Bridge spans the River Earn at Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland.

Tour Scotland Edinample Castle

Edinample Castle is a late 16th century castle on the southern shores of Loch Earn near Balquhidder in the Stirling council area of Scotland. The caste takes the form of a Z-plan tower house, originally built by Black Duncan Campbell, Donnchadh Dubh, of Glenorchy. It is built on land acquired by the Campbells after their campaign for proscription, and subsequent demise of the MacGregors. It is said that Black Duncan pushed the castle's builder off the roof, in part to avoid paying him, but also because he omitted to construct the ramparts that had been requested. It is also said that the ghost of the builder has been seen walking on the roof.