Page 1

Roman discovery changes history Borders spirit reborn p1

Machrihanish Dunes nature’s golf course Kilted Kiwis anniversary



inside this issue 8 History


Digging up the past in Aberdeenshire.


20 First

Scots in Dunedin Anniversary of New Zealand’s Scottish links.

26 Beauly


Romantic ruins where fact and fiction meet.

34 A


change of

Scots artist leading the way.

42 Golf

as 80 Plaid place nature intended Tartan makeover for

Making Machrihanish Dunes green.

Inverness hotel.

92 Highest


56 Gin

and share it

Reviving the Borders’ spirit.

70 Remembering

one of our own Tribute to Gerry McCann.

Birthday Tobias Smollett

Honouring the father of the modern novel.

It’s a date

Climbing champion honoured.


98 Towering

Cover Photo


Historic castle ripe for restoration.

102 A

blend of tastes

Whisky and cheese the ultimate mixer.

110 Write

place for a visit New chapter for island tourism.


113 Happy

What’s on this month

Drovers on the old road at Knoydart by Gerry McCann.

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Ancient artefacts spark a rewrite of history

Arrowheads found at Milltimber and Wester Hatton



emains of early settlements dating back more than 15,000 years have been discovered in Aberdeenshire.

Excavation work carried out during the construction of a multi-million pound bypass around the granite city has uncovered a number of amazing antiquities.


Archaeological excavations on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, between Balmedie to Tipperty, have shed new light on land use and settlement in the north east over the past 15,000 years, including Mesolithic pits, Roman bread ovens, prehistoric roundhouses and a cremation complex. Analysis of the artefacts and samples recovered from the various sites will be detailed in a limited edition book due to be published later this year.

Excavation of neolithic pot at Blackdog



Neolithic carinated bowl from Milltimber

Bruce Mann, Archaeologist for Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen City Council, claims the new discoveries are helping to rewrite the history of this part of Scotland. “There has been a range of fascinating discoveries from the archaeological works carried out on site. Some raise more questions than they answer about what we thought we knew about the north east. For instance, a very unexpected discovery was the presence of Roman activity at Milltimber, likely dating from around 83/84 AD.” A total of 90 bread ovens were uncovered, which were probably constructed by the Roman army at a time of invasion led by the Roman General Agricola. “However, no evidence of an associated camp was found, which is unusual for these types of features. We can only speculate as to why the ovens were at this specific location, and what it says about what was


happening in the area at the time,” said Mr Mann. “Going back to the very earliest finds, there was also evidence of stone tool production dating between about 13,000 and 10,000 BC at Milltimber, a near unprecedented body of evidence which pushes back our understanding of human activity in north east Scotland by several thousand years. “The same site revealed spreads of flints along with large pits dating between 10,000 BC to 4,100 BC that could have been used by hunter-gatherers to trap deer, elks or aurochs - an ancestor of modern bison.” The discoveries made during the works were not confined to the environs of the River Dee. A structure dating between 7,000 BC to 6,700 BC was also found at Standingstones, in the hills to the west of Dyce, a suburb of the city.

This tent-like shelter was likely only used for a few nights by a small group of people while they collected nuts, berries and tubers or hunted animals in the immediate area.

Reconstruction of the Nether Beanshill Cremation Complex and Roundhouse

Bronze Age activity was also identified from Nether Beanshill in the form of a roundhouse and contemporary cremation complex dating from around 1,600 to 1,250 BC.BC. “The burial comprised of an urn

Excavation of Neolithic pot at Blackdog

Cremation urn during excavation


Chalcolithic beaker from Milltimber

in which the cremated remains of an individual in their 20s had been placed. This urn was placed in a pit which was then marked by a horseshoe-shaped arrangement of timber posts. Two other similar burials were covered by miniature


mounds and surrounded by small ditches,� said Mr Mann. Although artefacts of a wide range of dates, materials and types were discovered across the project, a particularly well-preserved Beaker

period pot found in a post-hole at Milltimber was a highlight. The pot was completely intact when it was found and must have been placed in the ground with a great deal of care. It dates to between 2,400 BC to around 2,200/2,000 BC.

Hammerstone and cores from Wester Hatton

Quern stone with rubber and grain from Wester Hatton


Cllr Jim Gifford, Julie Lochrie, Cab Sec Keith Brown, Cllr Ross Grant Julie Lochrie, Headland Archaeology Finds Specialist, and Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown


Keith Brown on new stretch of AWPR

“These archaeological finds provide real insight into the history and culture of the north east. They are impressive in both time depth and range of activities represented. They push back known human activity in the region by at least 2,000 years, add new detail to how our ancestors lived and died, and reveal a new dimension to Rome’s invasions of Scotland,” said Mr Mann. Other excavations include a small hub of Iron Age activity at Goval dating from around the first and second centuries AD where a roundhouse of around 10 metres in diameter was found which would have provided space to live comfortably. The roundhouse was built of vertical wooden posts supporting a large conical thatched roof and there would have been a central hearth. An area of stone


paving – or work surface – was also found outside the entrance of the building.

paint a picture of everyday life of the incoming army while they were invading.”

A furnace found nearby showed evidence of iron smelting, the process of extracting iron from ore. The ore which was most likely extracted from nearby peat bogs, would have been heated in the furnace causing the iron to separate and pool in the bottom of the furnace.

Construction of the bypass, which is due to be completed this year, is intended to reduce congestion, cut journey times, improve safety and lower pollution in Aberdeen City Centre but the archaeological finds have proved to be a valuable bonus.

“The archaeology finds are fascinating and highlight just how rich the entire area is in history,” said Councillor Ross Grant, Aberdeen City Council transport and regeneration spokesman. “It is interesting to find out how our forebearers lived and the Roman bread ovens found at Milltimber

“The archaeology has proven to be yet another huge benefit coming from this project, helping to shine a light on Scotland’s ancient past,” said Keith Brown, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work. “The discoveries along the AWPR route, which would have remained undiscovered had the new bypass not been built, are truly remarkable.”


Photo by Guy Phillips


Scotland’s enduring links to NZ


ore than a century and half after the first Scottish settlers arrived in New Zealand the bond between the old and new country remains as strong as ever.

The emigrants, 1844, by William Allsworth


On the 24 November 1847 the merchant ship John Wickliffe set sail from Gravesend in England with a party of Scottish settlers destined for the new world. Three days later another ship, the Philip Laing, put out from Greenock, Scotland. Between them they carried a total of 344 men,

women and children with dreams of a new life in a new world. Four months later the ships arrived on 23 March 1848 in Otago. It was the culmination of a project which had started six years earlier when George Rennie, a Scottish politician


Photo by Thomas Beauchamp Robert Burns Statue in the Octagon, Dunedin

Photo by Ulrich Lange Otago Harbour

alarmed at English dominance over the establishment of the colony, began planning to build a Scottish settlement in the south of the country. Dunedin, the Gaelic name for Edinburgh, became the first major foothold for the Scots in New Zealand and to this day the Scottish influence remains visible throughout the city and surrounding region. Within 16 years the attractions of a new life and the discovery of gold by Scotsman John Buchanan resulted in more than a third of Otago and Southland residents being Scottishborn. In the same way that Scotland’s contribution to mankind as a whole has been out of all proportion to the size of the country so was the influence of the Scots on New Zealand.


Photo by Ulrich Lange Dunedin Town House

Throughout the south in particular Scottish names abound. The major river in the south is the Clutha, the old name for the Clyde, and familiar names such as Athol, Bannockburn, Glenorchy and Wedderburn among others litter the map. It’s estimated there are more than 130 locations in New Zealand with names associated with Scotland of which almost 100 are in the South Island alone. Between 1853 and 1870 Scots accounted for about 10 per cent of the UK population and more than 30 per cent of New Zealand’s UK-born immigrants.

Photo by D.Liebisch Dunedin


For a period during the later half of the 19th century New Zealand was the number one destination for Scots seeking a fresh start in the New World. Often they were enticed by recruiters seeking immigrants because they were viewed as being hard working and reliable.

Photo by Benchill Statue of Reverend Dr. Donald McNaughton Stuart in Dunedin

Over the years Scottish immigrants and their descendants have thrived as farmers, builders, engineers, shipbuilders, retailers, financiers and much more. Throughout New Zealand many Scots have clung to their heritage and customs. Numerous St Andrew’s Societies, Highland Games, ceilidh clubs and clan societies sprang up across the country within just a few years of the early settlers arriving. The first Caledonian games was held in 1871, the first Caledonian society was set up a year later. The first pipe


band was formed in Invercargill in 1896 and now there are more than 80 across the country. Scottish influence can be found almost everywhere from golf and curling clubs to Scottish Country Dancing events, St Andrew’s Day celebrations and Burns Night events. New Zealand’s first Burns Club to celebrate Scotland’s national poet was founded in Dunedin in 1891. Individually many Scots helped shape New Zealand into more of an egalitarian society than the English

class system many had emigrated to escape. The Scottish attitude to education for all is credited with playing a part in New Zealand being the first country in the world to give women the vote in 1893. Today almost 26,000 New Zealanders were born in Scotland and thousands more claim Scottish identity. Although the forefathers of the majority came from other countries the link between those claiming Scottish blood and the old country remains strong and unbroken.


History and romance at beautiful Beauly T

he shadows of time pass slowly beneath the branches of the gnarled old sycamore tree which stands sentry-like in the grounds of Beauly Priory. The tales that could could be told by this centuries old living link with the past would fill volumes if only it could speak. Situated on the edge of the Highland town centre of Beauly, which means beautiful place, the ruined priory remains a stunning relic of times long gone and is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Invernesshire. It is one of just three priories built in Scotland around 1230 for monks belonging to the little-known French order of Valliscaulian but only the abbey church remains. Its woodland riverside location provided peace and tranquility to Photos by Gerry McCann



members of this particularly austere order, and successive ecclesiastical occupants, for more than 300 years until the reformation brought a sudden end to their simple cloistered lives. Following the Reformation the building fell into disrepair. The lead was stripped from the roof and much of the stonework cannibalised to construct other buildings in the town. Some of it is even believed to have been transported to Inverness to build a fort for Oliver Cromwell’s troops in 1652. Today the majestic ruins remain a popular destination for visitors. Many are attracted by its historic links while others by its starring role in the romantic Outlander books and television series - it’s the location where the heroine Claire is supposed to have met with the seer Maisri. The blending of truth and fiction is further strengthened by the fact that in reality Beauly was the traditional burial ground for the chiefs of Clan


Fraser of which the fictional Jamie Fraser is related. In 1287 the real Simon Fraser of Lovat was buried in front of the alter and in 1544 the bodies of Hugh, Lord Lovat and his eldest son Hugh, Master of Lovat were laid to rest after they were both killed in battle with a rival clan. In addition to the Fraser connections the remaining north transept of the priory was rebuilt in 1901 by the architect Alexander Ross as a mausoleum for the Mackenzie family - another real-life historic link to the fictional Outlander saga. Much of the surrounding area is steeped in clan history. While the Lovat Frasers dominated the village, with their home at nearby Beaufort Castle, the Chisholms owned the land on the north side of the River Beauly, which they oversaw from Erchless Castle, and the Mackenzies ruled the area north of Beauly. Throughout the grounds of the priory

there are a number of impressive burial monuments. Many of the tombstones date back to the 1400s and carry poignant memorials to the local people laid to rest over the centuries. Over the years thousands of pilgrims and tourists have visited the site, including Mary Queen of Scots who passed through in the summer of 1564. Some 254 years later, in August 1818, the poet John Keats spent time at the priory with his friend Charles Brown resulting in the classic poem ‘On Some Skulls in Beauly Abbey, near Inverness’. The priory, which is open all year round, remains the main attraction for visitors to Beauly although there is plenty else to see and do in the surrounding area. The River Beauly is a favourite for anglers fishing for salmon while the village makes a great base for walkers, golfers and cyclists to enjoy



some of the most idyllic scenery in Scotland. Every summer the village pipe band performs in the square each Thursday evening and there are frequent ceilidhs to which visitors are made very welcome.




Pioneering artist’s brush with fame Photos by Jenna Ferguson


fter years of helping children communicate their feelings through art a young Scottish painter has been left dumbstruck by growing international demand for her critically acclaimed work. Jenna Ferguson is one of the first artists in Scotland to be recognised across the UK and beyond for her abstract creations using the relatively new medium of alcohol inks currently finding favour among fashionable art lovers.


Artist Jenna Ferguson


The process involves pouring the liquid on to a blank canvas and letting it run free or directing its flow by blowing through a straw. The result is a brilliant swirl of shapes that can be interpreted by the viewer’s own imagination. Although highly popular overseas the use of alcohol inks to create colourfully intricate free-flowing paintings is only now beginning to attract attention in the UK.


In the last few months the 32-yearold mother of one from Alexandria, near Dumbarton has seen her work exhibited in galleries across the country and online. She has already attracted thousands of international followers on social media from as far a field as mainland Europe, the USA and Australia. “The use of alcohol inks to create a new kind of fluid medium is something of a new trend which

is taking the art world by storm,” said Katy Barnfield, owner of the independent Regency Gallery and Framers in Cheltenham, Wiltshire and the first gallery outside of Scotland to show Jenna’s work. “A lot of artists are experimenting with it but Jenna’s work in particular is really lovely. Her work has some amazing movement within it and she has definitely got a nice unique style. Loads of people like her stuff.

“Alcohol ink art is doing really well in America. It is just starting to become popular here and it’s going to be huge. You can see it’s coming and I predict demand for Jenna’s work is going to go crackers.” Alf Ariño, owner of the ‘Picture It’ gallery in Helensburgh, near Loch Lomond also described Jenna’s work as a breath of fresh air. “The colours and fluidity of her work is fantastic. Every piece is unique and there is something for everyone as no two people see exactly the same thing. That’s the beauty of abstract art like this,” he said. The almost overnight acclaim has come as something of a surprise for Jenna who recently opened an online shop to sell her work after taking time off to have her daughter Arya. “For the last six years I’ve been working as an art therapist helping to support children who have gone through some sort of trauma in their lives. Often they find it difficult to open up so I help them express themselves through art using different mediums,” said Jenna.


“I’ve always appreciated the therapeutic qualities of art and while I was on maternity leave I discovered alcohol inks and the whole process just clicked with me. “I love the way unexpected things happen when you pour the ink on the paper. No two paintings can ever be the same, each one is unique. I find the whole process really relaxing.” After uploading examples of her work to the social media platform Instagram Jenna was surprised to


see it being shared around the world and by approaches form art galleries seeking to showcase her work. “The Regency Gallery In Cheltenham contacted me after seeing my work on Instagram and they now stock a few of my paintings as does Picture It in Helensburgh. There is even some of my work on display in a restaurant in Dunfermline,” said Jenna. “Everything has happened so fast. In just a few months I’ve gone from working in my spare room to having my paintings hanging in a restaurant and in galleries with people asking to buy them. It feels incredible but it is very exciting!”




The golf resort putting the environment to the fore

Photos by Paul Tomkins / VisitScotland Machrihanish Dunes



ituated among the undulating contours of almost 300 acres of wild windswept sand dunes in a remote corner of Scotland nature and nurture have been combined to create what is possibly the world’s most environmentally friendly golf course.


Machrihanish Dunes is the first true links course to be built on the west coast of Scotland for more than 100 years and the only one ever to be designed on a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

coast of Kintyre, six miles from Campbeltown and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with Northern Ireland just 18 miles away and the islands of Gigha, Islay and Jura all in the background.

Machrihanish lies on the west

The Kintyre peninsula, which

because of its proximity to the Gulf stream is an average of eight degrees warmer than Glasgow and has palm trees growing on the seafront in Campbeltown, is already world famous among golfers. The existing Machrihanish course, designed by legendary Victorian golfer ‘Old’ Tom Morris, has the prestigious honour of being considered the best opening hole anywhere. Machrihanish Dunes makes for an ideal compliment to its neighbour giving golfers a chance to play two of the best course in the world back to back.


Situated in this easily accessible but spectacularly remote corner of Scotland, immortalised by Paul McCartney in his 1970s hit ‘Mull of Kintyre’ and the Beatles in ‘The Long and Winding Road’, Machrinhanish Dunes has established itself as a world-leading course. The dream for Machrihanish Dunes was always to create a golf course in harmony with the environment and return the game to it’s roots. Links were the first golf courses ever to be developed. Located in coastal areas, on sandy soil, amid dunes, with few trees and water hazards the game was built around the scenery where the game originated.


The information board at Westport Beach and Machrihanish Dunes

It is calculated that there are some 32,000 golf courses in the world, of which more than 15,000 are in the USA, and just 172 worldwide are real links courses. The 7,082 yard, 18-hole links course was not so much built by David McLay Kidd, one of the most influential golf course architects in the world with a track record which includes the renowned Bandon Dunes course in Oregon, the Queenwood in Surrey and the new ‘Castle’ course at St Andrews, but ‘adapted’ from an original design by God. At the time of its planning Scottish Natural Heritage took a lot of convincing as their initial thought was a golf course was not something they wanted to hear about on a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The first thing the developers did was to undertake an environmental impact assessment to record every detail of the special importance of the site and consider what impact the development might have on it.

However after a long and very constructive dialogue during which both sides found middle ground to work on the environmental body got behind the project.

As a result SNH were able to negotiate a design which avoided species rich areas and the golf course not only preserved but enhanced the site, parts of which


had been under threat from trail bikers and misuse of varying degrees for years. The fairways went on the less interesting ground, the greens and tees went on the areas which weren’t of any special interest and those parts of the site considered important were declared out-of-bounds. As part of the deal with Scottish Natural Heritage the developers


recruited an independent ecologist to oversee the whole development, carry out regular monitoring of the site and liaise with both parties.


“On a normal golf course you’ve got lots of heavy machinery running about all over the place but on this project that was out of the question,” said Paul Kimber, who was then an

Architect with DMK Golf Design and David McLay Kidd’s right hand man during the construction. “Working in partnership was great

because the ecologist would explain why parts of the land where so precious. It was a real balancing act between the needs of the golf course and the natural environment - but in


the end it was extremely worthwhile. “It was all done with a very light touch. We didn’t remove any flora and didn’t bring anything in which

wasn’t there in the first place. We used what nature provided to shape the golf green and if the area was especially precious we would lift the turf by hand and put it back in

exactly the same way after it was finished. It was very labour intensive. Machrihanish Dunes is probably the closest you can get to a hand built golf course today,” said Paul, who went on to launch his own company ‘Kimber Golf’.


Among the species of special interest Machrihanish is home to several species of orchids, some of them very rare - including March Orchids, Frog Orchids and Pyramidal orchids, which meant the areas where they occurred were

immediately declared a ‘no-go’ zone to golfers by SNH. Many of the species need the grazing of animals in order to thrive and Machrihanish found that initially only sheep provided the expert solution

to maintaining the environment and curbing the rough areas. “Of the total 279 acres only seven acres were altered or cultivated in any way.” said Euan Grant, who was head greenkeeper during


construction and growing in.

other than the greens and tees.”

”No artificial drainage was used anywhere on the course and the green keeping team was not allowed to use fertiliser, pesticides or any plant growth regulators on areas

Twice, the course has been recognised for its environmental leadership. In 2011 it became the first 18-hole golf course in the UK to achieve Golf Environmental

Organisation (GEO) Certification for creating and maintaining the course at the highest possible eco-levels. A feat it repeated again in 2014. Initially a flock of Hebridean Black sheep were employed to help maintain the delicate ecological


balance of the area. Although now largely replaced by dedicated rough mowers which make it easier to control the growth of the natural marram and ryegrass the sheep image has persisted and is now synonymous with the resort as its distinctive trademark logo.

Today the award-winning links is considered one of the top 100 must play courses in the world. Golfers who make the scenic 130mile trip from Glasgow international airport are promised an unforgettable experience and a “rare opportunity


to create and craft golf shots just as the men of Scotland did centuries ago, when they conceived the game, brought it to birth – and gave it to the world.�



Celebrating history and landscape one sip at a time Photos by Andrew MacDonald Photography p56


here is much to celebrate in the Scottish Borders, an area of the country marinaded in history and romance.

It’s a land of sweeping valleys and wild upland hills. A place where locals symbolically gallop round the edges of their towns to protect against marauding Reivers, just as they did hundreds of years ago. It’s a region that played a defining role in the development of Scotland


and gave the world, among others, novelist Sir Walter Scott and scientist Mary Somerville, the first woman to present a paper to the Royal Society. Now it has something else to offer gin. Lilliard Gin, to be precise, is one of the first gins ever to be produced in the Scottish Borders and it seeks to celebrate both the unique landscape of the Borders region and the lively history of the area.

Based in the rolling countryside of the Teviot Valley the drink sets out to evoke the fragrant floral summers of a region that is all too often overlooked. Only the best local botanticals found growing in abundance near the tiny Lilliard distillery are used to create a classic dry gin with a contemporary floral twist.

Boadicea of the Borders. A warrior lady she took up arms against Henry VIII’s army after the English King invaded the south of Scotland as part of the rough wooing, a violent military campaign to force the Scots into agreeing a marriage between the infant Mary, Queen of Scots to his son Edward.

Intended to convey a sense of the passionate and often violent history of the area Lilliard is both a history lesson and a travelogue in a glass.

Generations of borderers have been inspired by the tale of the fair maiden who took part in the Battle of Ancrum Moor, which the Scots won on 27 February 1545.

The gin is named after the legendary Lilliard, sometimes referred to as

In revenge for the death of her lover at the hands of the English Lilliard


charged the enemy ranks and fought like a tigress, even after her legs had been cut off, until she was killed. Clearly she was not someone to be underestimated, and neither is her namesake. “I wanted to create a product that could reflect the stunning landscape of the Border region and act as an ambassador to the wider world. Even within Scotland, we are an area that often goes unnoticed, and I wanted Lilliard to be out there, introducing people to how amazing this region is,” said Kate MacInnes, chief distiller and founder of Lilliard Gin, which has just celebrated its first birthday.


“There were no distilleries in the Scottish Borders for nearly 180 years before 2017, which is amazing. We have the raw materials needed for distilling in abundance, so its great news that we are finally starting to

see top quality spirits being made here. We’ve got a couple of great gins in the area, and with two major whisky distilleries set to launch over the next few years, we will really be on the distilling map.”

Lilliard’s uniquely named still ‘Donald’


In setting up the distillery in a converted cowshed near Jedburugh Kate, who has a background in both financial services and food and drink, was adamant that she wanted a business that would be an asset to the community.



“The borders is not a wealthy place by any means so an absolute must for me was to do something where I was creating jobs. I wanted to be a net contributor to the region,” she said.

Galloway Kate has lived in the area since 2006 and is passionate about promoting a part of the country which is often overlooked by tourists who drive through on their way north to the Highlands.

Although originally from Dumfries &

“It’s a wonderful place,” said Kate.


“I have friends who literally don’t know where their front door keys are. You can leave your front door open, the kids can play in the streets in the evenings and we know they are perfectly safe. We have a vast amount of space and a true sense of community spirit.

“Unfortunately most people pass us by. They drive through the borders on their way to the Highlands but we could do with a bit more recognition. One of my missions is to fly the flag for the Borders.” Kate is passionate about the spirit and its almost unique ability to reflect what’s going on in the natural landscape. “We use only natural botanicals, such as elderflower, rowan and rosehip with a tiny bit of meadowsweet, to create a snapshot of where it’s made and what it is represents. Lilliard is specifically intended to invoke the Scottish borders and the Teviots at early mid-summer. It’s got light floral notes to remind you of when everything is pristine and smells beautiful. There are very few places in the world that can rival the borders in mid-summer,” said Kate. Support from the local community and beyond for the new gin distillery has been almost overwhelming.


Photo by Andrew MacDonald First light on Fatlips castle

“Gin is something people really get behind and the response has been extraordinary. It has been really quite heartwarming. People are very enthusiastic and generous when they find a gin they like,” said Kate, who managed to produce more than 12,000 bottles out of a 60-litres still called Donald.

“Within the industry tradition has always been to give stills female names, probably because most distillers are male, but there is a very specific borders’ colouring which is copper and light-brown eyes. One of my friends has that colouring so I called it after him. He pretends not to like it but I know deep down he’s very proud.”


Already Lilliard is making a name for itself throughout Scotland and the north of England. It was recently taken on by the department store Harvey Nichols and is just about to go on sale airside in the duty free


shops at Edinburgh international airport.

welcomes visitors to the distillery at Born in the Borders each weekend.

In addition to making the spirit Lilliard holds regular monthly gin making classes for enthusiasts and

Born in the Borders is an family friendly visitor centre next to the Scottish Borders Brewery. Located

on the banks of the River Teviot it showcases the best of everything that is grown, made, spun, produced, cooked and created in the area. “We are fortunate to be based at


Born in Borders,” said Kate. “People can come and see where beer is made, where gin is made and if they can combine that with a really nice meal and something to exhaust the kids then its a great trip out for

everyone. “The Borders has a lot to offer, we just need more people to realise what they are missing.”



Gerry McCann, photojournalist Photos by Gerry McCann p70 Commando memorial at Spean Bridge

Gerry McCann 1954 - 2018


erry McCann, one of Scotland’s leading photojournalists and a founding member of the Scotland Correspondent editorial team has died. The 64-year-old Glasgow-born photographer passed away after a short battle with cancer on 7 February. Highly regarded among his peers for the quality of his work he was passionate about the power of photography to convey important messages and generate change.




Although the vast majority of the work he did for Scotland Correspondent involved images of beauty and happy occasions Gerry was first and foremost a newsman.


Earlier in his career his innate compassion and social conscience saw him travel to some of the most dangerous corners of the world to highlight the plight of those suffering from famine, war and injustice. He

covered major events in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Romania, Nepal, Gaza, West Bank, The Philippines, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Spain. His powerful and thought-provoking

Climbing above Glencoe

images appeared in major publications around the world, including The Herald, Scotland On Sunday, The Times, The European, The Independent on Sunday, Japan Today, The Economist, The Observer, Der Spiegel, The Globe and Mail, and The Guardian. After the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu Gerry traveled to the war-ravaged region and took a series of harrowing photographs of abandoned babies suffering from Aids, as a result of blood transfusions. They had been left in squalid conditions in a former military hospital where patients were burning


The view from Stob Coire nan Lochan

Adventure racing in Glencoe

A family heading home on Loch Nevis


The Old Forge in Inverie Above the clouds


Sailing on the west coast

the furniture and window frames to stay warm. These and images he took of older people living in a leper colony on the Danube Delta were published around the world and helped raise awareness of the suffering. In Nepal he documented the abuse inflicted upon young children forced to work in horrendous conditions in sweat factories or trafficked into the sex trade. At great personal risk in Ethiopia he went with fighters of the Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) to report on the bombing of the market town of Hausien, which had been devastated by troops belonging to military dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam. Horizontal bungie jumping

Throughout his career Gerry used his photography to give a voice to the forgotten, to record history and to document both the horrors and beauty of the world. Many of his images have been used in successful campaigns by charities and organisations to raise funds or awareness for developing world issues. His pictures have appeared in books and in educational publications and he was closely associated with The Times Educational Supplements for 16 years. His exhibition “The Best Years...?� toured Scotland to critical acclaim in 1993 and 1994.


Gerry always considered himself a news photographer but he also found time for other things. He was just as happy taking pictures of weddings, corporate events, sporting occasions and adventure activities. He liked meeting people and discovering their stories. A keen runner, hillwalker, cyclist, mountaineer, fly-fisherman and general lover of the outdoors he was often to be found somewhere in the Highlands, almost always with a camera, enjoying the land he loved. When a small group of us decided to launch Scotland Correspondent at the end of 2016 Gerry was onboard from the very start. He believed in the concept of a free, independent, nonpolitical publication that promotes Scotland and all things Scottish to a world-wide audience. There are millions of people who were not born in Scotland but they identify with or admire the country, its heritage and culture. Every week Gerry would enthusiastically submit ideas for features in the magazine and volunteer to provide images to illustrate stories. Gerry McCann was a talented photojournalist and a good friend to Scotland Correspondent. He will be sorely missed but not forgotten. mfl

The Rough Bounds of Knoydart



City centre style and tartan chic

Mercure Hotel, Inverness



nverness, the capital of the Highlands, is booming under the growing influx of visitors from around the world.

The historic city provides an ideal base from which to explore the north of Scotland and take in some of the most important locations in the nation’s story from Loch Ness to Culloden.


In recent years the number of international tourists heading to Inverness as a destination in its own right rather than a stop-over point has risen by up to 26 per cent. The city and surrounding area is full of boutique hotels, high quality bed and breakfasts and guesthouses but, for a luxury stay in a city centre location, the stylish Mercure takes a

bit of beating. The 121 bedroom hotel with great views over the scenic River Ness has been extensively refurbished so there’s no mistaking you’re in Scotland. The whole place has been tastefully decked out with traditional local tartan fabrics throughout, including


tartan print chairs in the public areas with kilt buckle details, tartan covered pillows and throws in the bedrooms and conservatory, as well as framed kilts and sporrans on the walls in the reception area showcasing heritage prints such as MacKenzie, Douglas Blue and Wallace.



Other unique heritage artwork includes a framed row of vintage highland dancing shoes laced with tartan ribbons in the lounge area, a deserving nod to the distinctive nineteenth century regional dance form which is still practiced in modern day ceremonies and celebrations. Additional locally inspired design features, which acknowledge and highlight Scotland’s rich culture and history, include a section of Robert Burns poems at the front entrance of the hotel. Guests can also enjoy references to the classic Burns Book in their bedrooms with mounted front covers and sections of the book on the walls. Among the bespoke artwork in the hotel there are a series of black and white photographs of the muchloved River Ness, printed on the headboards and framed in the corridors, displaying the dramatic and picturesque local scenery. “We wanted to give the hotel a



refreshing new look, which was influenced by the area’s notable warm and welcoming highland hospitality,” said Helen Hooper of HH Interiors who managed the project. “Locally inspired touches are evident


throughout the design and it is these touches that celebrate the warmth, passion and personality of the region. The new interior fuses contemporary fabrics and colours with traditional Scottish period features and details, epitomising nostalgic elegance with a

modern-day style.” Guests are encouraged to enjoy the hotel’s own 33 Church Street Bar & Brasserie which promises a stylish and comfortable space to meet and socialise with good food using only



the freshest of ingredients and locally sourced produce.

Laphraoig and Ardbeg from Islay with their smoky and fiery flavour.

With a mouth watering snack menu, which includes Salt & Pepper Squid, Pork Crackling with Spiced Apple Sauce, Handmade Sausage Roll with Blackberry Ketchup and a Beetroot, Goats Cheese and Candied Walnut Crostini, guests can indulge in a tipple or two from the revamped bar. There’s an exclusive range of local gin and whisky available, from a gentle Glenfiddich 12 - one of the best-selling malts in the world - to the more discernible

Inverness is a great place for a private weekend getaway or a business trip and the Mercure caters for both. The hotel offers comfortable and practical meeting spaces with two fully equipped meeting rooms providing complimentary Wi-Fi, audio-visual equipment and space for up to 200 delegates. The hotel also provides a wedding service with a number of bespoke packages.



Champion climber wins award for promoting mountain culture



hauna Coxsey, MBE, the United Kingdom’s most successful competition climber, has been awarded the Fort William Mountain Festival’s Scottish Youth Ambassador Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture 2018. The Scottish Youth Ambassador Award recognises and celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of one inspiring young person and their outstanding contributions to Scotland’s mountains.   Specialising in the climbing discipline of bouldering, Shauna is the current two-time reigning IFSC Bouldering World Champion and came third in the Combined event in 2017. She is also the first British woman to climb the outdoor bouldering grade of V14 (8b+).  

Shauna Coxsey



Shauna is a Director of the Women’s Climbing Symposium which, an event she organises to promote participation and progression of women in all disciplines of climbing. In 2016, the event was awarded the #BeAGameChanger Inspiring Initiative (regional) Award by the Women’s Sport Trust. Shauna is also a trustee of the charity


Climbers Against Cancer, set up by the late John Ellison to raise funding and awareness about cancer among a global climbing community. “Shauna Coxsey has achieved great success in competition climbing to become the United Kingdom’s most successful ever competition climber. She has also demonstrated her strong commitment and great desire

to share and encourage participation amongst the wider climbing community,” said a spokesman for the festival. Shauna, 25, who was born in Runcorn and now lives full time in Sheffield where she trains, is only the fourth person to receive the award since its inception.

“It is a real surprise and huge honour to receive this award,” said Shauna. “I am incredibly grateful to those who have nominated me. Although most people will know me from my day job as a competition climber, much of my free time is spent climbing outside. I love the fact that climbing is so varied and attracts people from all walks of life to try the sport either down a wall or at a local crag.”



A castle to keep


hen it comes to property genuine ‘fixer-uppers’ come in various states of repair but few can boast the history and romance of Knockhall. The 16th century fortified tower house fit for a king near Aberdeen has been dubbed Scotland’s cheapest castle, having been put up for sale a year ago for offers over £130,000 (about $182,000 USD). It is believed to have been built for Henry, Master of Sinclair, the future 6th Lord Sinclair, in 1565.

The lands of Newburgh were held by the Sinclair family from the 13th century, with a settlement established there in 1261. Historical records reveal Scotland’s King James VI, who was later to become King James I of England with the Union of the Crowns in 1603, paid a visit to the castle and stayed the night on 9th July 1589. The castle remained in Sinclair hands until 1633 when it was sold to a son of Udny of that Ilk . Unfortunately it was damaged in 1639 in a battle against the Earl Marischal who took the castle for the Covenanters.


James VI of Scotland

Photo by Savills Knockhall Castle

The property was eventually returned to Udny hands and the family continued to occupy the building until 1734 when an accidental fire gutted the castle and it has remained a ruin ever since. Only the quick actions of servant Jamie Fleeman saved the occupants from death or serious injury. Better known as “the Laird of Udny’s Fool” Fleeman is more famous than the family who employed him, having been immortalised in legend and literature. His name can be found in one of Bram Stoker’s Dracula stories and the character of Davie Gellatley in Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley is based on Fleeman.


Despite being described as a fool his

amusing antics and ready wit made him a popular character in the area and he was the last person in Britain to be employed as a family jester. As a member of the Laird of Udny’s household and pauper appearance he roamed where he pleased and was even used by the Countess of Errol to carry messages to Jacobite rebels. He could get away with a lot. Once, when stopped by a self-important gentleman who condescendingly asked “Whose fool are you?” Fleeman is supposed to have replied “I’m Udny’s feel. Wha’s feel are ye?” In 1734, while staying with the Laird and his family at Knockhall Fleeman was roused by a barking dog. Discovering the castle on fire

Fleeman’s grave Blessed are the Cheesemakers

he woke everyone else by picking up a large oak chest, which usually required three men to lift it, and threw it through a window. His actions were credited with saving the lives of the family. When Fleeman died in 1778 his last words of “I’m a Christian, dinna bury me like a beast” were taken to heart and he was laid to rest at nearby Longside where a stone was erected to mark his grave in 1861. Today, Knockhall Castle is ripe for restoration. Real Estate agents Savills, who are selling the B-listed property on behalf of the owner, claim the building would make an ideal family home or business. “The tower is externally complete and in there is often sufficient evidence for a tower to be restored for modern occupation without detracting from its historic significance,” claims the Savills sale brochure. “The planning of this tower, with a large stair serving the two wings, and with ample light through the large rectangular windows, would also make its adaptive re-use possible.” The castle is a classic example of Scotland’s historic heritage as it manages to combine an air of romance and rugged charm with intrigue and intimidating grandeur. Overlooking the picturesque fishing


village of Newburgh, and within short distance of a designated nature conservation area at Forvie Sands, Knockhall is less than 15 minutes from Aberdeen International Airport and just five miles from US President Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort. It has panoramic views of the the colourful faming landscape which stretch out towards the North Sea. The surrounding area is renowned for great golf courses and there is salmon and sea trout fishing on the nearby River Ythan and plenty of spectacular coastal walks just a short distance away.


Photos by Stewart Cunningham


Blessed are the cheesemakers. SlĂ inte mhath! T

he idea may have been around for a while but, according to those supposedly in the know, one of the hottest culinary trends tipped for 2018 is the pairing of whisky and cheese. At first glance the idea of mixing a classic peaty island malt with a lump of mouldy old cheddar is enough to give any self-respecting whisky drinker the vapours. But, apparently like any good cocktail, there is an art to the science (or vice versa). Back in the dim and distant past of the 1970s and 1980s wine and cheese parties were all the rage. Any self respecting PTA or local volunteer organisation would hold at least one of these plonk and nibbles parties each year to raise much needed funds. But then, it all became rather serious as sommeliers became obsessed with the idea of perfecting the ideal cheese and wine combo. Now, the grape has given way to


the grain and it’s the turn of whisky connoisseurs to experiment with mixing the water of life with the most delectable of dairy delicacies. But, before you rush to unwrap the cheese board and open the malt, there are a few simple guidelines worth following. A good rule of thumb is that a strong, hard blue cheese is likely to work best with a rich, full-bodied malt while a soft cream cheese might go better with something a little lighter and smoother. With so many cheeses and whiskies to choose from the combinations are almost endless. According to the British Cheese Board cheese and whisky are the


perfect pair as the high level of alcohol in whisky cuts through the fat in cheese and allows for the flavours to be released. The undertones of grass, barrel fermented notes and salt are found in both whisky and cheese and complement each other well. Key to getting the right balance is to select pairings that compliment each other. High fat cheese is usually best savoured with a whisky with a slightly more acidic flavour. A few examples to get started might include: Mature cheddar and Dalwhinnie 15-year-old. The good old fashion basic staple of cheddar, which is found on most

cheese boards, often goes well with a classic Dalwhinnie 15-year-old. The crisp, light taste slightly citrus taste evoking images of sun-kissed heather hillsides goes exceptionally well with a nice mature cheddar. Crottin de chavignol with Aberlour 12-year-old. Matured in oak sherry casks the rich and fruity flavour of the Aberlour compliments perfectly the nutty flavoured creamy goat’s cheese from the Loire valley of France. Camembert and Glenlivet 12-year-old. This smooth and fruity Speyside malt is ideal for whisky novices and is an excellent accompaniment to the rich soft, creamy Normandy cheese.

George Mews, one of Scotland’s top cheese specialists, and whisky expert Victor Brierley compare notes


Gouda with Tomatin 12-year-old. The firm, yellow Dutch cheese is one of the most popular, and possibly one of the oldest, in the world. It’s saltiness and nutty flavour is a perfect foil for the Tomatin 12-yearold. The Highland malt’s time being matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks adds to the rich flavour of the cheese. Brie and Glenmorangie Original. The 10-year-old single malt, produced by marrying the delicate spirit from Scotland’s tallest stills with first and second fill American white oak casks, provides a mellow and creamy dram that goes well with the soft, creamy cheese. Stilton and Laphroaig 10-year-old. The flavour of a peaty whisky can be overwhelming, especially for those new to the taste, and can overwhelm delicately flavoured cheeses. But



when combined with equally strong Stilton or Roquefort the competing intensity of flavours make a for a tasty match that is simply divine. Roquefort and GlenDronach Parliament.

flavoured sheep milk cheese could overpower a subtle whisky but the full-bodied GlenDronach Parliament 21-year-old, with a hint of dark oak, rich fruity chocolate from 21-years left maturing in Sherry casks is more than an equal match.

A strong, creamy melt-in-the-mouth cheese such as Roquefort needs an equally vibrant whisky to compliment its taste. Such a rich, sharp, tangy

Like everything to do with food and drink it is ultimately all down to personal taste and preference. The fun is in the experimentation.



Novel destination


estselling crime writer Peter May claims his readers have fallen in love with the Outer Hebrides and endlessly request for him to return to the archipelago with his tales of mystery and intrigue. His latest novel, I’ll Keep You Safe, sees the author back on the Isle of Lewis and weaving one of the island’s most famous exports, Harris Tweed, into a story of infidelity, murder and fashion.

It’s hoped the setting of the book will boost literary tourism in the area, following on from the popularity of May’s Lewis Trilogy and Coffin Road, set on Harris, with visitors. The Outer Hebrides has provided a bountiful supply of creativity for

Photo by Kenny Lam / VisitScotland Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Isle of Lewis


Photo by Kenny Lam / VisitScotland Iron Age settlement Dun Carloway Broch, Isle of Lewis

Photo by Kenny Lam / VisitScotland The Lewis Chessmen in Lews Castle Museum

Peter May. His Lewis Trilogy proved so popular with visitors that Outer Hebrides Tourism created a literary map and trail to the places featured in the books, The Blackhouse, The Lewis Man and The Chessmen. A companion photobook, Peter May Hebrides, also includes such highlights as the beehive dwellings at Morsgail, the Bridge to Nowhere and the Iolaire Memorial. “The Outer Hebrides provide a unique setting for my crime novels, which help them stand out against the competition,” said Peter. “The islands have struck a chord with readers around the world, and I am in receipt of daily contact from readers – many of whom have been moved to visit them for themselves – imploring me always to return to the Hebrides for my next book.” “I always try to find a story element which is unique to the location that I am using, so that it would be impossible to set that tale


Photo by Kenny Lam / VisitScotland A working loom for making Harris Tweed

elsewhere. The Outer Hebrides have provided me with several uniquely island elements for my stories – the guga hunt on the Isle of Lewis; the ‘homers’ (orphan children from mainland Scotland) sent to live with island families; the sinking of the Iolaire bringing islanders home at the end of the First World War; The Highland Clearances; and, of course, Harris Tweed for I’ll Keep You Safe.” I’ll Keep You Safe is out now

and follows the story of Niamh Macfarlane, co-owner of Ranish Tweed: a Hebridean company that weaves its own special variety of Harris cloth, which has become a sought-after brand in the world of high fashion. When Niamh learns of her husband’s affair with a Russian designer and then witnesses the pair killed by a car bomb in Paris, her life is left in ruins and she returns to the Isle of Lewis.


Time to remember a literary giant A tiny village in the west of Scotland is home to a unique literary monument. A tall Tuscan column stands in the centre of Renton, 23 miles from Glasgow to commemorate the life and talent of the world’s first great novelist. Despite being almost completely forgotten by the majority of his own people Tobias Smollett is revered in other countries. For decades academics have argued that the son of a local landowner and judge, who was born close to Renton by the banks of Loch Lomond on 19 March 1721, is the father of the modern novel. Without Smollett, who is probably best known among literary lovers for his books “The Adventures of Roderick Random” and “The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker”, the likes of Dickens, Orwell or even Irvine Welsh may not have existed. Smollett was born beneath a plane tree at the long ago demolished Dalquharn House, the foundations of which were identified by Firat Archaeological Services, on the family estate in Renton in 1721. “We found the foundations to a mansion house which we dated back to the 18th century. We knew Smollett had lived there and had entertained the likes of Rabbie Burns in the house but we couldn’t be sure it was where he was born until we carried out further research,” said Fiona Baker, director of Firat Archaeological Services, about the discovery “There was some confusion because


Tobias Smollet by Nathaniel Dance-Holland

we know Smollett was born in Dalquhurn House and there are two in Dalquhurn Houses shown on the 18th century map we used as a guide while doing our digging. “However we now know that the 18th century mansion house is the

only house in the area that matches the date so we eliminated the other possibility.” Only the foundations of Smollett’s mansion remain as it was demolished in the 1980s.

Photo by Flag Media Smollett monument in Renton

Tobias Smollett was a man of letters, a novelist, playwright, poet, journalist, historian, travel writer, critic, translator, editor and one of the world’s first political spin doctors.

Photo: cc Houghton Library, Harvard University Illustration from The Adventures of Roderick Random

Trained as a physician at the University of Glasgow, he developed an acute insight into the social fabric of his day and used that to describe the realities and idiosyncrasies of the time in his writings. His work has been described by scholars as the literary equivalent to William Hogarth in the way he chronicled and interpreted what he saw through the use of unforgettable characters. His novels - “Roderick Random” (1748), “Peregrine Pickle” (1751), “Ferdinand, Count Fathom” (1753), “Sir Launcelot Greaves” (1762) and “Humphry Clinker” (1771)- were an important influence on writers such as Charles Dickens, who mentions Smollett in his book David Copperfield, and Sir Walter Scott.


For years local people have claimed Renton should make more of Smollett and his reputation, maybe by even organising an annual book festival to turn the village into a literary destination. Many believe it’s a national shame that Tobias George Smollet’s profile isn’t held in the same esteem in Scotland which people internationally think he should be due to his contribution to literature, poetry and the Scottish identity. Every day thousands of people, many international tourists, travelling from Glasgow to Loch lomond and on to the Highlands from Glasgow miss the village completely as it is bypassed by the main A82 road north.

Although widely recognised among academics as one of the six most important writers of all time he is almost forgotten in his home country.

Rudyard Kipling is known to have held Smollett in the highest esteem, as did Robert Burns who wrote that Smollett had an unconquerable humour. Charles Dickens, an avid reader of Smollett, said that without Smollett he wouldn’t have written

any of his novels and George Orwell contended that Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw was based on Peregrine Pickle.

Photo by Flag Media Signpost at entry to Renton

Things may have been a little different if Smollett, who also wrote several plays, hadn’t fallen out with the proprietor of Covent Garden resulting in the cancellation of a work called The Regicide. If the play had gone ahead the great composer Frideric Handel had intended to write the music to accompany it. He is said to have remarked “that damned ein fool Scotsman, I could have made his work immortal.” Smollettt died in 1771. He had been suffering from an intestinal disorder of some kind and having failed to find a cure in the waters of Bath had retired to Italy where he passed away on 17 September and was buried in the cemetery in Livorno. Three years after his death the monument was erected in Renton with a Latin inscription written largely by Samuel Johnson. It translates as: “Stay Traveller. If elegance of taste and wit, if fertility of genius and an unrivalled talent in delineating the characters of mankind, have ever attracted your admiration, pause awhile on the memory of Tobias Smollett, MD, one more than commonly endowed with these virtues which, in a man or citizen, you would praise or imitate. Who, having secured the applause of posterity by a variety of literary abilities and a peculiar felicity of composition was, by a rapid and cruel distemper, snatched from this world in the fiftyfirst year of his age. “Far – alas! – from his country he lies interred, near Leghorn in Italy. In testimony of his many great virtues, this empty monument, the only pledge, alas, of his affection, is erected on the banks of the Leven, the scene of his birth and of his latest poetry, by James Smollett of Bonhill, his cousin, who should rather have expected this last tribute from him. Try to remember: this


Photo by Flag Media Inscription on Smollett monument

honour was not given alone to the memory of the deceased, but for the encouragement of others; deserve like him, and be alike rewarded.” Other tributes have been paid to him over the years. He is one of 16 Scottish writers whose faces are depicted on the lower section of the Scott Monument on Princes Street in Edinburgh and there is also a street in the French city of Nice named after him. Photo cc Etienne (Li) Smollett’s tomb, Livorno

Date 4 ur diary


1-4 March Braemar Mountain Festival Braemar The 2nd Braemar Mountain Festival celebrating the mountains in winter and promoting ski touring, winter skills, avalanche awareness, low level walking, navigation and fell running. 3-4 March Scottish Motorcycle Show Ingliston, Edinburgh Scotland’s biggest and best motorcycle show with all the latest models, major manufacturers, and breathtaking live action. 3-4 March Scottish Cycling, Running & Outdoor Pursuits Show Exhibition Way, Glasgow Everything you need to know about and enjoy Scotland’s spectacular out door activities. http://www.scottishcyclingrunningoutdoorpursuitsshow. 7-11 March StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival St Andrews All things poetical with a jam packed programme of events, installations and exhibitions which celebrate and interrogate this year’s festival themes of Borderlines and The Self. 8-25 March Glasgow International Comedy Festival Glasgow Top comedy stars from around the UK and beyond to appear at the biggest comedy festival in Europe, now in its 16th year with over 370 shows. 8-18 March Aberdeen Jazz Festival Aberdeen. One of the city’s top music festivals, presenting an exciting programme of UK exclusives, international stars, new collaborations, old favourites, and the special atmosphere of Jazz on the Green, Aberdeen’s biggest free admission music event


If you have a future event you would like included in our diary please email details to 9-11 March Fibre Fest Sutherland Road, Dornoch Come celebrate the 9th festival of fibre and woollen crafts, with Masterclasses in weaving and botanical printing and lots more 10 March Fife Whisky Festival St Catherine Street, Cupar, Fife Enjoy the Water of Life from the best whisky producers from Fife and beyond! 12-23 March Ayrshire Music Festival Ayr, Ayrshire The Ayrshire Music Festival is an annual festival held in Ayr, celebrating music, dance and speech and drama through participation in competitive and non-competitive events. 16-18 March Niel Gow Festival Tay Terrace, Dunkeld Celebrate the life and music of Perthshire’s fiddle legend. 17 March Gleneagles Spring Hunter Trials Auchterarder, Perthshire Qualifier for Horseware Hunter Trial Championships Eland Lodge in October 2018 21-25 March Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema 10 Hope Street, Bo’Ness Where movies and music come together. hippodrome/silent-cinema/ 21-25 March Aviemore Adventure Festival Aviemore The Aviemore Adventure Festival is an annual festival celebrating the best of Outdoor Sport & Adventure culture held in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. It’s all about Hill walking, Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Mountain Biking, River & Sea Kayaking, Canoeing, Trail & Ultra Running, Surfing, Paragliding, Base Jumping, Wild Camping, Wild Swimming, Skiing and Snowboarding and much more.

23-25 March The Scottish Golf Show Exhibition Way, Glasgow The show that’s all about golf 24 March - 14 April Puppet Animation Festival Edinburgh Now in it’s 35th year the Puppet Animation Festival is the UK’s largest performing arts event for children, with a diverse programme of events for children between the ages of 0-12. This programme includes puppet-making and stop-motion animation workshops, puppet theatre and animated films. 30 March - 4 April Edinburgh International Harp Festival 294 Colinton, Edinburgh Edinburgh International Harp Festival


3 March Scots Day Out Bendigo, VIC Australia Scots Day Out in Bendigo, Australia, is one of the world’s largest Scots Diaspora gatherings, regularly attracting some 5000 people for one weekend each March, from Australia and across the world. 18 March Geelong Highland Gathering Corio , VIC Australia The 2018 Gathering will mark 161 years since the first Geelong Highland Gathering was held on New Years day 1858 and will be the 60th anniversary of the modern era, which began in 1958. 25 March Ringwood Highland Games Ringwood, VIC Australia A traditional Highland Games, with pipe bands, highland dancers, Heavy Games and an array of interesting alternative Celtic activities, such as Folk Singers, Sound Healing, Story Telling, Clan History Talks and representation of people and groups from the wider Celtic world. 30-31 March Maclean Highland Gathering Maclean, NSW Australia A fun event for all the family at a Highland Games with traditional heavy athletics like caber tossing, log


wrestling, shot put, track events, pipe bands, dancing and lots of great entertainment.


23-25 March Winnipeg Scottish Festival Winnipeg, MB Canada A festival to promote all things Scottish and provide an excellent opportunity for members of the local and neighbouring communities to get involved and showcase their talents and promote their wares. Pipers, drummers, dancers, heavy events athletes, and enthusiasts from all over Western Canada come to Winnipeg each year to participate in this exciting line-up of events.

New Zealand

3-4 March DramFest 2018 Christchurch The team at Whisky Galore are delighted to bring you their 6th Whisky Festival, DramFest 2018. The Main Event takes place at the Horncastle Arena over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of March 2018.


3 March Panama City Beach Scottish Festival Panama City Beach, FL The 26th Annual Panama City Beach Scottish Festival will be at Frank Brown Park on March 3. Feel free to bring your hats, sunglasses and folding chairs. This event includes: Scottish Athletic Competitions, Scottish Clans, Bagpipe Bands, British Car Club Show, Children’s Activities, Scottish & Irish Food, Irish Step Dancers & more. 3 March 34th Annual Southeast Florida Scottish Festival & Highland Games Plantation Heritage Park, Plantation, FL, USA A celebration of Scottish heritage and culture with pipe bands, a gathering of the clans, highland dancing, traditional sports and much more. 3-4 March 54th Phoenix Scottish Games Steele Indian School Park 300 E Indian School Road in Phoenix Phoenix, AZ The Caledonian Society of Arizona is proud to host the 54th Annual Phoenix Scottish Games. You don’t have to be Scottish to attend. We welcome everyone and hope you’ll share with us about your cultural background too! Visit the Genealogy tent and trace your own family roots. There will be so much to see and do! 9-11 March 8th Annual St Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival Francis Field, 29 W Castillo Dr. St. Augustine 32084 St Augustine, Florida. The Finest Celtic MUSIC Festival in the United States with 7 of the top 100 Celtic bands in the world! Plus The St. Augustine Highland Games, St. Patrick Parade, Celtic artisans, Celtic food, and much more…all in America’s oldest Celtic city. 17 March The Southeast Alabama Highland Games Houston County Farm Center, 1701 E Cottonwood Rd, Dothan AL A fun day out for all the family celebrating the heritage and culture of Scotland and other Celtic nations. 22-25 March Tartan Day South Columbia, SC The 8th Annual Tartan Day South Celebration is a four day event honoring Celtic heritage in our area. The


festival is an array of different events at many different venues featuring unique sports, incredible music, great foods and interactive as well as interesting exhibitions. 23-24 March CelticFest MS MS Agriculture & Forestry Museum, I-55 & Lakeland Drive Jackson MS An annual event held at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum since 1992, celebrating traditional music and dance of the Celtic nations including Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany. 24-25 March Saltwater Highland Games & Heritage Festival North Myrtle Beach Little River, SC The Saltwater Highland Games & Heritage Festival is dedicated to furthering the Celtic Heritage through music, athletics and customs of the Scottish Heritage and the continuance of the Gaelic culture. The Festival is full of activities that offer something for everyone and include Athletic Competitions, Clan Village, Celtic Marketplace, Scottish Whisky Tastings, Kid’s Glen, Live Music & Entertainment, and many other exciting events. 24-25 March Kern County Scottish Games and Gathering The Kern County Fairgrounds 1142 South P St. Bakersfield, CA Promoting Scottish heritage and cultural traditions in Kern County.  Some of these traditions include Highland Games, Highland and Scottish Country Dancing, genealogy, piping and drumming, tartans, Highland dress, and Gaelic,  the native language of Scotland.



Scotland correspondent issue 15  
Scotland correspondent issue 15  

THE magazine for lovers of all things Scottish. Great stories and pictures covering history, heritage, lifestyle, travel and much more. Ins...