A Classic Tour of Scotland
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Includes features on: The Royal Yacht, Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, the Jacobite "Harry Potter" train, the Skye Museum of Island Life, The Black Watch Museum and the Culloden Battlefield.
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A CLASSIC TOUR OF
A Footloose Special
4 chapters on one DVD
1. Introduction, Glasgow & the Drive
to Fort William ~
The Necropolis graveyard makes an unlikely but interesting start to our Glasgow walking tour. We pass by the Cathedral, medieval Provand's Lordship and down to Glasgow Cross, the historic city centre. Next we walk across Glasgow Green alongside the river Clyde and call in at the magnificent glass Peoples Palace. Our trail then takes us into the heart of The Second City of the Empire surrounded by magnificent Victorian buildings, halls and shops. We take in Buchanan Street, then Sauchiehall Street with a refreshment stop at the Willow Tea Rooms, made famous by designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. By taking the tour bus or Subway you can reach more of Glasgow's attractions like the Riverside Museum, part of the shiny Clyde redevelopment complex.
Next in this chapter, we drive to magnificent Stirling Castle and find out about its long history,
including the world's oldest football! From here we travel to the pretty village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond to take in the views. Next we drive up into the Highlands and take the A82 through Glenfillan to reach wild Rannoch Moor; the Kingshouse and the dramatic mountains of Glencoe. We pitch at lovely Bunree on the shores of Loch Linnhe.
2. Fort William and the Road to Skye~
We couldn't leave Fort William without seeing the Jacobite Steam train leave for Mallaig. The drive to Skye is an eventful one, we've hardly left before we see the magnificent bulk of Ben Nevis. This is best viewed from Banavie where you can also see Neptune's Staircase, the famous flight of 8 locks on the Caledonian Canal. Next is a busy viewpoint at the Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge, with vistas of the Great Glen. Some miles on we join the A87, the road to Skye, with multiple viewpoints to stop at, even with a vintage caravan! A must-see is Eilean Donan Castle before crossing the graceful arc of the Skye Bridge.
A motoring tour of Skye is on the agenda once we have pitched up. We go to Portree, to explore the main town on the island. From here we travel north up the Trotternish peninsula to see amazing rock formations like the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Quiraing. At the top of the Island is an authentic collection of crofts which form The Skye Museum of Island Life. We sit down and talk to The custodian and creator, Jonathan MacDonald. Completing the island tour we call in at Elgol, in the south west, to make a clifftop walking trail: See opposite column...
3. Along to Inverness & Down to
After 3 nights on Skye we travel back down the A87 to rejoin the A82 at the Great Glen. A scenic stop at Urquhart castle is the highlight of the journey and there is a faint possibility of a monster sighting! 2 miles on, Drumnadrochit is home to two Nessie exhibitions. We hit the shops at Inverness and take a look at the Castle and Cathedral. Six miles east, at Culloden, is the site of the famous historic battlefield. We talk to site manager Andrew Mackenzie who tells the story of the final battle between the Hanoverians and the Jacobites in 1746.
Leaving the area, we travel south on the A9. First stop is Aviemore the centre for outdoor activities in the Cairngorms National Park ...and host to the Strathspey steam railway. Continuing down the A9 we arrive at the pretty Victorian town of Pitlochry and spend a few nights there. There's lots to see in the area and the curious fish ladder at the dam fascinates us. Not far away is the historic village of Dunkeld and its ruined cathedral. We take an unusual walking trail from Birnam across the river: See opposite column...
Travelling further south we visit the Black Watch Museum and Castle at Perth, to discover more about my father's WWII regiment. Not too far to go to journey's end at Edinburgh, but not without seeing the iconic Forth Bridge first!
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RUNNING TIME 151minutes!
4. The City of Edinburgh ~
The finale of our Classic Tour of Scotland. We talk to tourism director Manuela Calchini about this much loved capital of Scotland. The first visit has to be a tour of Edinburgh Castle. Here we learn some of its long and violent history. Our recommended city trail takes us down the famous Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace, taking some curious detours on the way. Calton Hill provides the views over the city, whilst Princes Street provides the shops and gardens. We walk into the Georgian New Town, with planned avenues and elegant squares. Rose street is full of bars and restaurants waiting to be discovered. Our city trail finishes at Charlotte Square.
There is so much to see and do in Edinburgh, and many galleries and museums to visit. Our Classic Scottish tour ends with a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia, berthed at the Ocean Terminal shopping centre, Leith. We are treated to afternoon tea on the Royal Deck, and our host Elaine shares some stories with us as we explore this enthralling historic ship.
Our Scottish Walking Trails ~
1~ Elgol (Skye)
The Walk to Prince Charlie's Cave
It's a boggy clifftop walk for 2.5 miles (and 2.5 miles back) with some fantastic views in fine weather~
You need waterproof boots as you set out from the little village of Elgol, the grassy moorland above the cliffs is often saturated. Some 270 years ago Bonnie Prince Charlie is said to have waited in a cave near Elgol ready to be picked up by boat and taken abroad. To find this intriguing destination, you pass over some rugged landscape with no real defined path. There are superb views of the Black Cuillins, threatening jagged peaks rising from the shore. You can also see other islands of the Hebrides, Soay Rhum and Eigg across the water. Eventually you descend to a stony beach faced with a number of caves. The problem is ...which one? With a decent description to hand, you ascertain one of the caves has a grassy shelf to it, quite a few feet above the beach. It's a bit of a scramble to get to it, and when you do, you are rewarded with a dripping, slimy, yet satisfying orifice that would have befitted a Prince on the run. Check the tides before you leave though, you could get trapped!
2~ Dunkeld and the Hermitage Pleasure
A fascinating and easy six-mile walk through attractive woodland discovering whimsical 18th century follies ~
After exploring the town, you leave Dunkeld and cross Telford's Bridge to the riverbank footpath. After less than a mile you come across the ancient Birnam Oak, featured in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Walking into Birnam, you pass through the Beatrix Potter garden and under the A9 to reach a woodland trail leading to the Hermitage. Passing through very tall trees you arrive at a wonderful waterfall and a sturdy stone bridge. These are the Hermitage pleasure grounds, developed in the 18th century by the 3rd Earl of Breadalbane for his friends and visitors. Ossian's Hall is a turreted folly, celebrating the legendary Scottish bard and poet. Inside it's decorated with mirrors and there's a balcony overlooking the waterfall. Further on you come across Ossian's Cave, another folly built for the legendary hermit. The walk continues through more lovely woodland and along the riverside back to Dunkeld.
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roads we travelled on were largely "A" roads, and whilst the
surfaces were pitted here and there with the occasional pot-hole, most of
the journey was good going. From Inverness to Edinburgh (A9) was fast and
often dual carriageway. Surprisingly there were no steep gradients on the
600-mile journey we took, welcome news to anyone with a caravan!
Climate ~ West Coast of Scotland
Climate ~ East Coast of Scotland
UndiscoveredScotland.co.uk very comprehensive information website & recommended by us
Walking Trails ~ Glasgow
The Willow Tearooms
The Jacobite Steam service operated by West coast Trains
Skye and Lochalsh information
Culloden Battlefield NTS
Edinburgh Walking Trails
OUR OTHER WALKING TRAILS:
Walk to Prince Charlies cave Elgol
Walk at Dunkeld ~ the Hermitage this trail by WalkHighlands has been adapted to reach the Hermitage.
NB: there has been a mud slide in the area and the Hermitage is best reached from the National
Trust for Scotland's car park.
CASTLES WE VISITED:
Eilean Donan Castle
We recommend hotel bookings by www.expedia.co.uk or booking.com
© Grindelwald Productions Ltd. 2015 | P.O Box 38, Princes Risborough, Bucks, HP27 9YL, UK Tweet