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A Weekend in Edinburgh and a Room with Some View

I'm off back to the capital..... Every July, I make a point of heading to Edinburgh for a couple of days. Just to confirm that it’s still got it and that the complimentary appeal is as strong as ever with my home city of Glasgow. In so doing I beat the imminent pandemonic rush from the Edinburgh Festival but still see this most tourism-centred of cities at the height of its powers as one of the most visitable in Europe. When the Royal Mile is chocka with more nationalities that you can wave a stick at, hotels and restaurants are
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Launching our new Video Channel!

Travels with a Kilt is Going on Video After 6 years of blogging, travelling, tweeting and Instagramming I’m finally accepting the call of video and turning my eye increasingly towards YouTube and vlogging. As a writer, in my heart of hearts, it clashes more than a wee bit with my instincts. A big believer in quality content that is researched, relevant, entertaining and, hopefully, educational, the thought of joining the world’s legions of vloggers and recording video clips of myself having a pointless carry on doesn’t exactly float the boat. Hopefully, it’ll be obvious that I’m looking to steer clear
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On the Hunt for a Whirlpool!

Exploring Argyll and a Thrilling Corryvreckan Boat Trip It’s one of Scotland’s natural wonders. A powerful beast that lends yet further foreboding and awe to a western coastline that hardly needs it. The fearsomely named Corryvreckan belongs on the tele. Playing centre stage in a Game of Thrones or a Vikings, such is it’s unusual and intimidating presence and sense of fantastic impossibility. The world’s third largest whirlpool is a maelstrom of watery chaos just off the Isle of Jura and a Corryvreckan boat trip has long been on my list as I've sought to cast my own eye over
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A Day Out with the Scottish Seabird Centre

North Berwick Boat Trips After my East Lothian adventures in April, my flirtation with the region continues at pace as I head back to the coast for an expedition with the Scottish Seabird Centre and one of their North Berwick boat trips. Taking to the water, I’m headed to the brilliant nature reserve that is the Isle of May. Hosting countless thousands of seabirds every year, there is one particular species that pulls the punters in with more than any other – the puffin. With an unprecedented opportunity to see them on land – between April and July – this
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Charles Rennie Mackintosh – Making the Glasgow Style

A Look at one of Glasgow's Favourite Sons His inspiration has always been there, deeply embedded in the core of Glasgow’s identity – a 100-year-old legacy that the rest of us can only marvel at. With the city’s wealthy and powerfully far-reaching past, it has long had an openness and fertility towards innovation and creativity. Opportunities existed for those with ambitions and visionary mindsets….and no-one seized on these more than Charles Rennie Mackintosh. To this Glaswegian’s knowledge, there’s never been a better time to reflect on and appreciate the eternal legacy left by the man than 2018. Celebrating the 150th
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Road Tripping the Western Stretch of the NC500

Campervan Travel Between the North Coast 500 Campsites Immediately on heading northwards from Plockton, the magnitude and scale of the far northwest bears its soul. Lurking clouds obscure the rugged peaks’ highest points, sullen waterways bring no warmth and limited, barely-there settlements offer no hearty welcome. No, there is an inescapable dread about dusk in these parts. A fear even, as the glowering mountains snooze with one angry eye ever-so-slightly ajar. Almost hoping to catch your gaze and glare you back from whence you came in Mordor-like fashion. Welcome to Sutherland. Compared to the downright jolly peaks of Perthshire and
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Scotland’s Spectacular North West and the Walks of Sutherland

Lochinver Walks - The Heart of Sutherland The truth is there’s something about our mountains. If Scotland was an animal, there's no doubt it’d be a lion. But not any old lion and not just because there's one in our unofficial flag. It’d be a wise, elderly beast, one carrying the weight of a lifetime of effort and relentless contemplation. And a big soul, Scotland’s all about soul. I don’t think this soul is embodied any more intensely than by our mountains. And, based on my recent trip to Lochinver, I'm starting to conclude that nowhere does them better than
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The Scotlanders Head to East Lothian!

Things to do in East Lothian I always find myself getting irritable and impatient over winter – especially such a hideously extended winter such as we’ve just had – as my desire to get out and take on the best of Scotland intensifies by the day. Our long-running Scotlanders campaigns are very much part of the itchy feetedness as I anticipate our blogger team shaking off the slumber to team up for another travel challenge. Our first of 2018 sees us head to unearth the best things to do in East Lothian. Welcoming back our friend Kim and new team
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The Spectacular North Uist Beaches

The Beaches of North Uist Glowing white sands stretching for miles, uninterrupted by anything that humankind has brought to the world. Fresh winds and crashing waves the only sounds. A mess of vibrant colours bouncing back at you. Distant peaks and islands standing proud on the horizon. It all sounds like something pulled out of a lullaby. But this is the reality of the coastlines of the Outer Hebrides, places that no-one could not love. Whether these thoughts creep in while staring glumly at the photocopier, plodding to work amidst a concrete jungle or it’s just Hawaii Five-O that’s giving
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Walking Holidays Scotland – Taking on the Uists

Walking Holidays Scotland - I'm off to the Uists! I’ve always enjoyed a very intense relationship with the Outer Hebrides. Since I was able to pull myself upright as a baby, I’ve never been able to get enough of these jaw-dropping coastlines and peaks – stretches of landscape that truly define raw, natural beauty. Since taking on my travel blogging work, I’ve found myself back here each year to remind myself that this is a part of the world that has no comparable rivals. This time, it’s the turn of the Uists to challenge my expectations and see if they
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Looking back on a long, cold winter with a dram in hand

Whisky 2018 – My Top Suggestions Coming off a seemingly endless winter, it’s fair to say the whisky cabinet has taken a bit of a battering in early 2018. Dark, cold and unwelcoming nights have seen the increasingly set-in-his-ways old grouch that I am spend much of my time slippered-up, dram in hand, mumbling cantankerously at the state of things. Aside from just sitting there getting increasingly inebriated though, there has been an undisputed positive. I’ve been sampling some new expressions, exploring new distilleries and trying hard to extend my knowledge of Scottish whisky. Every cloud and all that. I’m
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The Outlander Adventure Continues with the Season 3 Filming Locations

Outlander Season 3 Filming Locations While we all patiently awaited the release of Season 3 of Outlander, I have to admit to being concerned upon hearing that Jamie and Claire would spend much of the Season in far more exotic places than moody Scotland. Coconuts, snakes and rum seem a far cry from rough drams necked back from the saddle, sideyways rain and over-zealous redcoats. But although South Africa was to deputise as a location for much of the Caribbean locations as the tumultuous couple braved the Colonies, I’m delighted to say that Scotland still got its fair share of
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What to do in and around Aviemore

What to do in Aviemore and Around With the alarmingly cold burst of Siberian weather that has found its way to Scotland, early optimism towards spring has been postponed. Moping around the city is certainly not the answer to such changes in expectation and when it comes to embracing wintery Scotland, The Cairngorms has no equal. A favourite for skiers, winter hikers, wildlife spotters and landscape photographers amongst others, I’m currently exploring the best things to do near Aviemore. The go-to base for exploring the best of the Cairngorms National Park, I’m branching out a little to take on culture,
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The William Wallace Story

William Wallace, Scottish Patriot and Icon Whenever I’m feeling the need to be especially, and very heart-thumpingly, Scottish, I internalise the immortal quote from Braveheart that rallied the troops before they headed to their near-certain death at the Battle of Stirling. I like to think that if William Wallace could see this as being my definition of utter, awesome Scottishness, he might raise a smile. But this week I’ve been pondering it more often than most as I’ve been visiting some of the great remaining tributes to one of Scotland’s most famous sons. Wallace’s 'Sons of Scotland' speech from Braveheart,
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A Different Way to Experience the Highlands – Campervan Hire in Scotland

Campervan Hire Scotland My first road trip to the Highlands this year sees me breaking from the mould. I’m ditching the car and embracing an alternative means of travel – the motorhome. While very much a tentative campervan newbie here, it’s an area that I get a lot of enquiries about and it’s high time I developed some experience from which to give some useful advice. It’s all very well getting a guided tour of one of these things, but nothing puts it to the personal test like getting it out on the road and seeing how it measures up.
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Hidden Glasgow: A Visit to the GMRC

Surprising Scotland - Glasgow Museums Resource Centre Perhaps my favourite element within this strange job of mine is when I see something familiar from a completely different perspective. I spend a lot of time investigating what Scotland has to offer and, while I’m generally in a state of constant appreciation, it's a great feeling when I unearth a place that completely takes me aback. Especially when it’s been right under my nose the whole time. The Glasgow Museums Resource Centre is one such place. I’ve spent the last several weeks blazing a culture trail through my home town, which is
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The Cateran Trail with a Difference – Join me for a Yomp in the Highlands

The Cateran Yomp Muddy boots, damp socks, sweaty brows, trembling knees….and an ear to ear smile. Just some of the typical characteristics of a long-distance walker that has found the necessary inspiration to take on the Scottish Highlands. For lovers of the outdoors, endurance events are about as much fun as it gets and this year I’m working in support of the Cateran Yomp to get folk out for a good cause. Raising funds for soldiers, veterans and their families, the result of this inspired hike is an unmatched camaraderie, the achievement of personal and team milestones….and memories to last
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things to do in scotland 2018

Things to do in Scotland 2018

Activities to get up to in Scotland 2018 It’s that time of year again. When those best laid plans and resolutions seem more ominous by the day and the first shifts back at work trigger soul searching and an alarming amount of time spent on Google. But, unlike the overly optimistic gym membership, those fanciful cookbooks you intended to delve into or that bizarre amount of quinoa that's optimistically taken over the cupboard, making travel plans is much more straightforward. And much less painful. With a new year comes new objectives and, whether you’re coming from near or far, here
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What I Love Most About Glasgow’s West End

Living in the West End of Glasgow First of all, a very Happy New Year to you! Hopefully 2018 brings lots of great experiences and memories, even better still if they involve Scotland. I'm kicking off my year by staying close to base, with a look at my home turf of Glasgow and a reflective wander into my relationship with the city. For someone with such a wanderlust throughout my twenties I’ve not been able to make much sense of my overwhelming contentment to be home, and home to stay. Not just home in Scotland but home within a couple
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A Look Back at a Year of Scotland Travel Memories

My 2017 Year Summary It’s been another great year on the road for this traveller. From continuing to unearth local treasures close to my Glasgow base to stretching my travel limits to new geographies, my calendar for the year has thrown up a little bit of everything. My long-awaited trip to Shetland was a first for me – and the most northerly I’ve ever been. Proudly boasting its own micro-culture and a distinctly different travel experience, it’s always special when you learn something very new in this line of work. My annual jaunt to the Isle of Harris was a
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