All 69 Scottish Nationalist members of parliament wore white roses in their lapels at the swearing in ceremony of the Scottish parliament a few years back and I was recently asked why? Not many Scots seem to know the story of the white rose, with the thistle being a much more common emblem. It is an interesting topic, so lets take a look at the connection between Scotland and its symbolic flowers.
Yesterday was bright and breezy and saw us heading out along the Firth of Forth on Scotland's east coast to visit the impressive Blackness Castle. Blackness was built in the 1440s by the powerful Crichton family, and was used not as a family residence but primarily as a garrison fortress. The castle sits on the southern shores of the Firth of Forth overlooking the coast of Fife. Strategically placed right by the waters edge near the village of Blackness, this seaport served the Royal residence of Linlithgow in medieval times.
Like your whisky? Fancy hearing some trad Scottish tunes? Then we can't think of a better way to spend a few days than at the annual Festival of Music and Malt - the Feis Ile - on the beautiful island of Islay. The festival was founded by locals in 1986 to celebrate the culture and heritage of this magical island. Located in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, Islay is home to no fewer than 8 whisky distilleries including Ardbeg and Lagavuilin. The festival is held each year at the end of May, and runs for a week. Each distillery has its own open day, with special tastings and events. In addition, the music element comes from local musicians and also invited artists from the mainland. The emphasis is on traditional Scottish music with concerts and ceilidhs, pipers, as well as kids events, Gaelic lessons, local arts & crafts, guided walks and more! All in all Islay is a great place to visit at any time of year, but if you can make it during the Feis Ile you won't be disappointed! We'd be happy to out together a vacation to include the festival, plus whisky tastings, distillery tours in Islay and/or other parts of Scotland, so please don't hesitate to get in touch if you fancy exploring the home of the water of life! Slàinte :)
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 July 2013 14:56 )
Some of the best museums & galleries in Edinburgh
Monday, 20 May 2013 11:25
There are some great museums and galleries in Edinburgh, with loads to see from Rodin's The Kiss to Dolly the Sheep! And best of all, many of them are free :)
So whether you are after some culture, some ideas for somewhere to take the kids or just want somewhere interesting to pass a rainy afternoon (yes, it does rain here on the odd occasion) here are some of our favourites:
Bonnie Prince Charlie is revered in Scotland as the romantic, tragic hero of "the '45", the failed Jacobite Uprising of 1745. Grandson of the exiled Scottish Catholic King James II, Prince Charles Edward Stuart (to give him his proper title) was born in December 1720 in Rome. In 1745, at the age of 24, he set sail for Scotland hoping to raise enough support to restore his father, Prince James, to the throne.