Page 1

Spotlight on actor Scott Kyle

Scots who shook-up the world

Celebrating 50 years of tourism

Curtain up on The Fringe

Ship shape Edinburgh fashion

Road trip North East 250 p1



inside this issue 10 Turning


A look back at 50 years of marketing Scotland to the world.


22 The

Kylander affect

Exclusive interview with actor, producer and entrepreneur Scott Kyle.

30 Shipboard


All aboard Edinburgh’s newest luxury hotel.

44 Sea


Launch of the new marine conservation trail for landlubbers.

52 Fantastic

US tour for priceless 800-year-old historic book.

75 Cheers

New craft gin named in honour of the University of Glasgow.


60 On

the Fringe

A brief guide to some of the shows in Edinburgh this summer.



78 Sourcing

the past

Antiques expert Roo Irvine on the importance of provenance.

84 From

the archives

Opening up Aberdeen’s past to the world.


92 Roll


out the

100 Sea


New ship to cater for the growing allure of Scotland’s minicruises.

Transforming the way people buy whisky.

108 Gintelligence

Resident expert Fiona Holland gives her opinion on Inshriach Gin.

116 Stacks



New evidence reveals extent of ancient Pictish fort.

140 History

166 Destination

Riddle of 2,000-yearold statue solved at last.

Looking for a place to stay? Here’s a few suggestions that have appeared in Scotland Correspondent.


146 All 122 Crivens!

Putting Oor Wullie’s charity trail on everybody’s bucket list.



Celebrating the Scots and their ideas that shook the world.


Anniversary Vaults 172

What’s worth celebrating and commemorating this July.

152 Enlightenment 176


The latest research from Scotland making lives better.

128 Bookmarker What’s new on the bookshelves this July.

130 Roadtrip

Revealing one of Scotland’s best kept secrets - the North East 250.

156 Jurassic

Date 4 Your Diary

What’s on in Scotland and abroad this month.

Cover Photo

Photo by National Library of Scotland - Ideas that shook the world.


Return of the dinosaurs to the Highlands at new visitor attraction.


Contacts: Advertising:

Editorial: Tel: +44 (0)1436 678158

General Enquiries:

Scotland Correspondent is an independent magazine published by Flag Media Limited. The monthly digital title provides an international audience of readers with comprehensive coverage of modern day Scotland, its people, achievements, culture, history and customs. Every issue covers a variety of topics of interest to thousands of people every month, many of them visitors to Scotland or part of the great Scottish diaspora. The digital edition incorporates audio, video and text in a single platform designed for use on Apple, Android and Windows devices. The magazine is free to subscribe to and download. For more information on how to get a copy, subscribe or enquire about advertising please contact the relevant departments. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for any claim made by advertisements in Scotland Correspondent magazine or on the Scotland Correspondent website. All information should be checked with the advertisers. The content of the magazine does not necessarily represent the views of the publishers or imply any endorsement. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior agreement in writing from Flag Media Limited.



50 years young and just getting started

Photo by Paul Tomkins/VisitScotland Loch Lomond Seaplane over Tobermory, Mull


by Paul Watson


ifty years ago tourism in Scotland was little more than a large cottage industry. Focussed primarily on the domestic UK market it employed less than 60,000 people, attracted around 5 million visitors a year and was worth an estimated ÂŁ100million to the national economy.


Photo by VisitScotland Tourism Trade Fair 1981 style

Today, five decades later, it is an £11.2billion global reaching business, supporting more than 200,000 jobs catering for over 15 million visitors a year. It all changed with the introduction of the 1969 Development of Tourism Act which led to the setting up of the first official Scottish Tourist Board, now known as VisitScotland, in July of that year. For the first time responsibility for the tourism industry came under the care of a single authority which, with government backing, set about creating a revolution. In the days before the Internet and social media the main weapon in the STB arsenal was printed brochures and leaflets - more than five million of them in the 1990s alone - designed to attract visitors to spend their holiday money in Scotland. Alongside colourful photo spreads of iconic locations, such as Glen


Coe or Edinburgh Castle the creative minds of the STB turned to radio and television to target a wider audience.

Catchy tunes and slogans such as “Scotland’s for me!” became household phrases in the 1980s,

especially after the likes of Dallas star Larry Hagman, golfer Jack Nicklaus and even Rod Hull and Emu were

hired to push the message. The following decade saw an expansion of the international

campaign as firstly visitors from elsewhere in the UK were encouraged to venture north.


Then it came the turn of mainland Europeans as France and German holidaymakers were persuaded to

Photo by Tom Jervis CC BY 2.0 Pennan, Aberdeenshire


come and stay. In 1983 Local Hero, a landmark

movie in Scottish cinema history which helped transform the stereotypical images of Scotland of

the 1950s, became a major boxoffice success. It attracted thousands of visitors to the Aberdeenshire

fishing village of Pennan where the red telephone box seen in the movie remains a popular draw for fans.

While Local Hero may have started a trickle of international set-jetters eager to visit the locations of their

favourite films Braveheart, which came along a decade later, turned the concept into a flood.

Mel Gibson’s epic Oscar winning story of William Wallace is estimated to have generated up to £15million in tourism income in the years

immediately after the film’s release and it still continues to inspire visitors almost 25 years later.


In more recent times the television series Outlander has had a major impact on tourism to Scotland. The Outlander Effect has been credited with raising visitor numbers to locations used for filming the show by almost 70 per cent to 1.5million. “Scotland is a cinematographer’s dream. We’ve got these big,

Photo p16 by Kenny Lam/VisitScotland Eilean Donan Castle on Loch Duich

spectacular landscapes that they can use to create and powerful imagery and amazing content,” said Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland. However, Scotland’s boom in popularity isn’t all down to the movies alone.

At the turn of the 21st century the STB was rebranded as VisitScotland which set about using the latest technology to target niche markets such as golfers, walkers, history and heritage buffs, food and drink enthusiasts, adventurers and event organisers. In 2009 the organisation appealed

directly to Scots and their descendents around the world to come home for a visit. The first Year of Homecoming was promoted with an advert featuring a chorus of celebrities, including Sir Sean Connery, Brian Cox, Lulu, Eddi Reader and others singing Dougie MacLean’s hauntingly beautiful Caledonia.

It was a major success and spawned the organisations Themed Year Events which pick a subject to encourage associated businesses and organisations to work together. Next year, 2020, is Year of Coasts and Waters. Much of the promotion of the themed years and niche activities is done

via social media, reaching millions of potential visitors at the touch of a button. It’s a far cry from the piles of brochures that used to be stacked up on travel agent shelves. “There’s a lot of hard work and continued investment that goes in to promoting Scotland and raising the profile of the country around the


Photo by VisitScotland/Airborn Lens The three bridges over the Forth

world,” said Mr Roughead, outlining the dramatic changes over the last 50 years. “The acceptance of tourism as a major industry in Scotland has grown over the years and, because of its importance to the economy,


the quality of the experience visitors receive has improved dramatically.” The growth in air connectivity from countries around the world flying directly into Scottish airports has also played a major part in helping the tourism industry to boom.

“In the last few years we’ve put on 156 new routes so Scotland is now much more accessible to the world as a tourism destination. “Scotland is also punching far above its weight in terms of hosting major events,” said Mr Roughead with

major attractions like the Solheim Cup scheduled for later this year, the European Championships in 2020 and the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow in 2023.

culture, traditions and heritage but we’re also a progressive, modern country. A good example of that is the Forth Rail Bridge sitting next to the Queensferry Crossing.

“We have an international reputation as a country that cares about its

“We are in the wonderful position of being a progressive, modern

country with lots of heritage and tradition which we can make work for whatever audience we like.”



Photo by Guy Phillips


It’s not where you start… by Paul Kelbie


itting in the conservatory of the Millennium Hotel in Glasgow, overlooking a rain-soaked George Square on a dreary Monday afternoon, it’s clear there are few things in the world capable of dampening the spirit of Scott Kyle. He rattles away nineteen to the dozen, his conversation is full of the famous “Glasgow patter’ and his eyes light up as he talks about the three greatest loves of his life - his wife, his mother and the business of show. The story of how this former latchkey kid from a working class housing estate in Rutherglen became an award winning actor, theatre producer and entrepreneur with almost one million social media followers is both highly amusing and incredibly inspirational. It’s going to make a great book someday! As the second son of a single parent mother working three jobs to keep her family fed, clothed and with a roof over their heads, he learned very early on how to be independent and always knew he would have to work for success. “My mum used to be up and away to work before I even got up in the morning to get ready for school and she wouldn’t get home until after 10pm at night,” said Scott.


“She would leave a couple pounds on the table for my brother and I to fend for ourselves. It made us quite self reliant and street smart.” Always a natural performer and a bit of a joker Scott admits he wasn’t the most academic of students at school. He left at 16, following a row with a teacher over the wearing of a football shirt during a games lesson, and got a job in a supermarket stacking shelves.

However, at the age of 21, with the encouragement of his girlfriend and future wife Karen, he decided to go back to college and study drama. It was a decision that changed his life but not as he expected. “I was still living at home and contributing to the household bills so I couldn’t just stop working and become a full time student,” said Scott who continued to stack shelves at night while he studied by day.

Scott Kyle


together a makeshift set, handdelivered flyers with his girlfriend Karen to promote the production and borrowed a clapped-out van to take the play on tour across the country to rave reviews. The show is now often cited as “Scottish theatre’s greatest success story of recent times.” Such was the success of the play Scott was able to buy a house for his mum and invest in producing other plays and projects.

Scott at one of his acting masterclasses

“I would do four nights a week at the supermarket, from 10pm to 8am, and then get on my moped and travel to college, sometimes in my work uniform, to do my drama classes. Some days my classes didn’t start until 12 but I knew that if I went home I might miss my alarm so I’d go to college and find a corner to sleep in until one of my classmate woke me up when the lesson was about to start. I did that for three years. “I think I get my work ethic from my mum. It’s amazing how a person can get by on just three hours sleep a night.” The hard work paid off. Within 18


months he had launched his own theatre company and by the time he graduated at the top of his class he was already an award winning actor lauded for his outstanding achievements and enterprise. Unable to find a suitable acting job straight from college he decided to produce his own show, the hilariously funny “Singin’ I’m No a Billy, He’s a Tim” by Des Dillion, after coming across the script by accident in his local library. Despite limited professional experience and no financial backing Scott recruited three friends, pulled

In 2010 at the Edinburgh Festival Scott was crowned ‘The Stage Best Actor’ for his portrayal of Billy and was soon spotted by BAFTA winning Director, Ken Loach, who cast him in the movie ‘The Angels Share’. That was followed by a starring role in the dramatic BAFTA nominated war movie ‘Kilo Two Bravo’ and a part as ‘Ross the Smith’ in the globally acclaimed Outlander television series. Little did he realise how much playing Ross in the second season of the show would impact his life. “I got a phone call while working at the Edinburgh Festival from my agent to go and audition for a small part in Outlander,” said Scott.


“Initially it was only three lines and, after getting the role I was booked for a couple of days but the character took on a life of his own. I ended up being on set for weeks.” But it was off-screen that Outlander had the biggest influence as fans of the show began following Scott on social media and he started getting invited to gatherings. “I follow back everyone who follows me on social media. If people are kind enough to take an interest in what I do then why shouldn’t I be interested in them. I like engaging with people and Outlander fans in particular are fantastic. “Outlander was a wonderful opportunity for me. I got to work alongside some great actors and I feel humble there are people all over the world who now know about the theatre work I’ve done and watched other films I’ve been in after getting to know me through Outlander. I feel very blessed.” Behind the scenes Scott has continued his trailblazing career in the theatre industry as an artistic director and programme manager while still teaching masterclasses


and workshops to schools and businesses throughout the world. He has also put his global connections to good use organising a series of Highlander Flings to raise money for charity and help fund drama classes for students and youth organisations at home in Scotland and abroad. “The support I’ve had from America, Canada and other parts of the world - whether that’s from people attending my events or

supporting my theatre work has been incredible,” said Scott whose next Highlander Fling gathering takes place later this year. “So far we’ve got several hundred people coming to Glasgow this September from all over the world to join us at the next Fling where we will have a young ceilidh band and a young Highland dance group performing, as well as a few surprises. It’s a great way to help promote Scottish talent.”

In 2017, Scott received a Pride of West Lothian Award for outstanding contribution to the local community and he was recently appointed lecturer at Edinburgh Acting School. “When I was asked to join the team at Edinburgh Acting School I jumped at the chance,” said Scott. “I have been working in the arts industry for almost two decades and teaching classes and delivering workshops has always been a huge part of my career. “I love sharing my experiences of being on set and on stages throughout the world with other artists, and I always feel that I learn

something in return from everyone who participates.” Teaming up with award-winning Edinburgh-based actor, playwright and director Jen McGregor, they will both lead the ATCL Speech and Drama Diploma over the next 12 months. “We cannot wait for Scott to join the team,” said Stephen James Martin, Principal of Edinburgh Acting School which provides an extensive programme of part-time courses in acting and related performance skills. “He has a great energy and passion, and experience across the board that is going to be exciting for him to

share with our students.” For Scott the opportunity to pass on lessons learned - many of them the hard way - over two decades in one of the toughest businesses in the world is another chance to give something back. “When I first went to drama college I didn’t even know know what a monologue was. I turned up at my audition totally unprepared and completely naive but they took a chance and let me in - and it changed my life,” said Scott. “Now it’s my turn to throw down the ladder and help somebody else up.”




Going overboard on the luxury

The good ship Fingal, Port of Leith


by Helen Loyd


nce she braved the roughest seas to protect the lives of sailors as they navigated the waters of northern Scotland. Now she lies in much calmer waters as an oasis of luxury for weary travellers in search of well-earned rest and recreation.

The former Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) tender, MV Fingal, is now Scotland’s first floating hotel, complete with Presidential suit. Now berthed permanently at the Prince of Wales Dock in the historic Port of Leith, is a unique addition to Edinburgh’s booming hotel scene.


Launched in 1962 she was the last ship to be built by the Blythswood Ship Building Company in Glasgow. Like all NLB vessels Fingal was Leith registered but spent most of her service life working out of Oban for 30 years, followed by her last six working years based in Stromness, Orkney before being eventually retired in 2002. Fortunately the 237ft long ship

The Hyskeir luxury cabin


escaped the breakers’ yard, which is the fate of most vessels her age, and instead found a new lease of life decked out with beautiful cabins along with stunning dining and entertaining space. Developed by The Royal Yacht Britannia at a cost of more than £5million, each of Fingal’s 23 luxury cabins are each named after Stevenson lighthouses, inspired by her rich maritime heritage.


Sleek corridors lined with lighthouse images lead to the choice of cabins, from a luxury cabin with access to the deck, a duplex cabin with comfortable living space or the stunning Skerryvore Suite with extensive outdoor space to relax and entertain.  Carefully considered design offers the highest specifications of craftmanship and finish, with nautical touches and polished woods. Sumptuous Scottish leathers and the finest linens are in colour palates inspired by Fingal’s journey from land and sea.


The Ornsay luxury duplex


The attention to detail is spectacular as Art Deco and neoclassical designs compliment the beautiful teak floors, polished wood paneling, marble and granite surfaces. Brass features adorn the ship and the bedrooms have leather headboards embossed with nautical maps which add to the


romance of the ship’s history. The Lighthouse Bar offers a stylish yet relaxed setting for enjoying Fingal’s interpretation of a classic afternoon tea or a light supper celebrating the best of Scotland’s larder, from coast to port.

The Lighthouse Bar


The Ballroom


Guests are encouraged to raise a glass at the welcoming Moët Hennessy Champagne bar or enjoy a cocktail from the creative menu while the sun sets through the floorto-ceiling glass windows. Spacious outdoor decks provide a blend of private and public spaces to bask in the quayside setting or sit out under the stars. Hosting up to 60 guests, Fingal is ideal for exclusive hire, private parties, weddings and corporate events. A spectacular ballroom reached by a sweeping staircase is nestled uniquely in the former hold of the ship and flooded in light by a movable skylight above.  


The Reception

Permanently berthed in Edinburgh’s waterfront hotspot of Leith, guests will be ideally situated to access the best the city has to offer. Awardwinning restaurants, bars, artisan boutiques and galleries are just a few minutes’ walk away. The Royal Yacht Britannia is also nearby. From the moment of arrival guests are attended to with the highest levels of service to feel part of the new history of Fingal. “Fingal is like no other in Scotland,” said Andrew Thomson, Head of Hospitality & Events.

ClassicCabin - Neist Point

“It is a privilege to take this historic ship and create a new, exciting and world-class addition to the Scottish tourism landscape. “The craftsmanship and design, inspired by Fingal’s provenance and heritage, coupled with the best of Scotland’s larder will ensure our guests’ experience on Fingal is truly memorable.”


Luxury duplex bathroom

The Lighthouse Bar Afternoon Tea

The Ballroom




Whale trail for landlubbers

Photo by Herbert Frank CC BY 2.0 Kilt Rock, Skye



spectacular new trail has been launched to showcase Scotland’s west coast as a world-class destination for spotting whales, dolphins and porpoises from land.  The Hebridean Whale Trail, the first of its kind in the UK, is a unique initiative connecting more than 30 top places offering opportunities for land-based sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises, or showcasing important whale


Photo © HWDT Karen Denoon Bottlenose dolphin in Tobermory harbour

heritage sites that reveal the history of people’s relationships with whales in these communities.   Basking sharks, seals and other wildlife may also be seen from the trail, which features 33 sites across the Hebridean archipelago and along Scotland’s stunning west coast, from the Clyde to Cape Wrath, and as far west as St Kilda.   These include lighthouses at the Butt of Lewis on the Isle of Lewis, Eilean Glas on the Isle of Scalpay, and the UK mainland’s most westerly point at Ardnamurchan Lighthouse.   Beaches include Clachtoll in the Highlands, and Huisinis on the Isle of Harris. Bustling harbours include Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, and Ullapool.    The trail ranges from easily accessible attractions such as the Hebridean Whale Trail Centre in Tobermory, to remote and wild destinations such as the Oa on Islay.  


Photo © HWDT Harbour porpoise

“Scotland’s west coast is one of Europe’s best places to catch sight of whales, dolphins and porpoises from land – and you may see bottlenose and common dolphins, harbour porpoise, minke whales and killer whales,” said Karl Stevens, Hebridean Whale Trail Manager.   “We want people from all walks of life to visit the Hebridean Whale Trail to enjoy exploring the region’s unique nature, culture and history, and to be inspired to support marine conservation.”

The aims are also to boost the local economy and support communities through sustainable eco-tourism, provide educational opportunities, and improve connections between coastal areas.   “Scotland’s Hebrides offer captivating views, endless beaches, ancient history, the finest fresh food and of course, wonderful wildlife. The Hebridean Whale Trail is a clever initiative, which presents visitors with an unrivalled opportunity to explore the best of Scotland’s marine wildlife

Photo © HWDT Hebridean Whale Trail map

and seascapes,” said David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland Regional Director. “The launch of this new trail is particularly apt as we prepare for the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 – a year-long programme of events and activities which will shine a

spotlight on Scotland’s coasts and waters. It’s particularly pleasing that the trail is a conservation-based tourism product, as a key focus of the themed year will be celebrating and protecting Scotland’s beautiful natural environment.”   The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin

Trust has spent a year developing the trail, identifying sites with communities, site owners, conservation organisations, schools, and businesses. The trail’s website includes routes, transport options and site details.


On-site interpretation at key locations will explain which species of cetaceans – the collective name for whales, dolphins and porpoises – might be seen.   Across the trail there are many opportunities for visitors and residents to get involved in marine conservation activities – including joining volunteers to watch, identify and record marine wildlife from land or the ferries which connect the sites, as well as discovering more about Scotland’s seas from experts at a range of visitor centres.   “The trail encourages accessible, low-impact whale-watching from land, which for many is a completely new way of thinking about viewing marine wildlife. Scotland’s west coast is dotted with stunning places where you can quietly watch whales, dolphins, and other wildlife going

Photo © Lucy Hunter Whale watching



Photo © HWDT Kerry Froud Common dolphin

about their business, from a clifftop or harbour,” said Alison Lomax, Directorof the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. “Ultimately we want people to experience the thrill of watching a fin breaking the surface in the distance, and the challenge of identifying which type of whale they’ve seen, sharing that experience with others, and learning about the threats these animals face in our seas.”    While sightings of cetaceans can never be guaranteed, the Hebridean seas are exceptionally rich in wildlife. More than a quarter of the world’s whale and dolphin species have been recorded in the region – including many national and international conservation priority species.   The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust is based on the Isle of Mull and has been taking action for the conservation of cetaceans off western Scotland for over two decades.


Photo © HWDT. Looking out towards Dutchman’s Cap, Treshnish Isles

Photo © HWDT Minke whale


Animal magic Photos by University of Aberdeen


he Aberdeen Bestiary, one of the most beautiful examples of its kind in the world, has left the UK for the first time


since its creation more than 800 years ago to take centre stage at an exhibition in Los Angeles.

As many as 150,000 people are expected to visit Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World, which has launched at the J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles. The exhibition, which runs until 18 August, is hosting 115 loans from 45 institutions in Europe and the US, including one third of the world’s Latin illuminated bestiaries. The bestiary is a vibrant and fascinating medieval book, which describes the beasts of the world, both real and fantastical, as well as birds and even rocks, bringing them to life for readers. Vividly imagined, the beasts often ‘escaped’ from manuscripts to inhabit other art works made during


the medieval period, and even up to the present day. Bestiaries were popular in the 12th and 13th centuries and used to provide Christian moral messages, but few were produced to the high standard of the Aberdeen manuscript, which is considered one of the best examples of its type due to its lavish and costly illuminations. The book was created in England in


around 1200, and first documented in the Royal Library at Westminster Palace in 1542. Once belonging to Henry VIII, it has been in the care of the University since 1625, when it was bequeathed to the University’s Marischal College by Thomas Reid, a former regent of the College and founder of the first public reference library in Scotland. Its rare and fragile nature means it

must be protected from the light and can rarely be displayed to the public. “The Aberdeen Bestiary is, of course, one of the most famous due to its beauty. When I asked Aberdeen for the loan, I received a very warm welcome - they were excited about the breadth and ambition of the exhibition and understood the important role it could play,” said Beth Morrison, Senior Curator of Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty


Museum. “The Getty is honoured to host the Aberdeen Bestiary in its first journey outside the UK since its creation over 800 years ago. To see it in the context of other bestiaries and related works of art will help us to understand its greater role in the visual arts of the Middle Ages and its artistic legacy.” Liz Bowie, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, said that Aberdeen’s Professor Jane Geddes had led the scholarly study of the bestiary and was delighted to see it displayed in this spectacular exhibition. “It is wonderful to see this project come to fruition after years of hard work. We are delighted to have our bestiary featured prominently in this exhibition where so many people,


including our alumni, will be able to share one of the many treasures of

the University of Aberdeen’s special collections,” she said.




The roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd - it must be the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Photo by Paul Winter Witch Hunt A&E Comedy


by Helen Lloyd


very August thousands of performers from around the world descend on the Scottish capital to entertain more than 2million visitors who flock to see the biggest arts event of its kind anywhere. Now in its 72nd year the Fringe is even more international than ever. Artists from more than 60 countries will perform 3,841 shows in 323 venues over 30 days.


As usual there is an eclectic mix of shows to choose from ranging from comedy and magic to drama and dance featuring veteran performers and new comers appearing at the festival for the first time.

worlds of theatre, dance, circus, physical theatre, comedy, music, musicals and opera, cabaret and variety, children’s shows, spoken word, free shows, exhibitions and events.

Themes covered include true crime, mental health, cultural and sexual identity, politics and almost all of the most topical issues of the day.

“This year’s festival will feature 744 shows from Edinburgh, 963 from Scotland and work from a record 63 countries, which collectively help make the Fringe the greatest celebration of arts and culture on the planet,” said Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

This year’s programme offers something for everyone, regardless of their age or interests. There is a multitude of performances from the

Photo by Alex Brook Beach Body Ready, The Roaring Girls


“From the growing threat of global warming to the personal stories of migrants making a new home in a strange land; the 50th anniversary of the moon landings to exploring sex and true crime stories, this year’s programme will challenge perceptions, stimulate conversation, entertain, make you laugh, make you cry and inspire you.” Among the shows worth seeing this year are:


Beach Body Ready by The Roaring Girls Pleasance Courtyard 31July - 26 August. New to the festival this is a feelgood, high energy show from a fierce, feminist and fun all female company. These women have had enough of being shamed, dehumanised and humiliated for how they look and are smashing their way through ingrained

Photo by Alex Brook Beach Body Ready, The Roaring Girls


fears, food insecurities, and toxic advertising in a defiantly feel good show which sticks two fingers up to everything the media says women should look like. These Hull-based women are full of attitude and wanna have fun. With impassioned rants, cheesy fitness routines and a banging soundtrack, Beach Body Ready promises to leave audiences in tears of laughter while sparking further discussion and debate.


Everything I See I Swallow by Shasha and Taylor Productions Summerhall, Demonstration Room, 31 July - 25 August Billed as a provocatively erotic examination of a mother daughter relationship and shifting attitudes to empowerment, feminism and sexuality. Circus artist, burlesque performer, actor and stripper Maisy Taylor teams up with trained classical actor and theatre-maker Tamsin Shasha to perform an erotically charged fusion of theatre, aerial performance and

Photo by The Other Richard Everything I See I Swallow


shibari – the erotic art of Japanese rope bondage. Exploring themes of control, gender power, dominance and submission, just how does a woman defend the objectification of her own body? Maisy comes to the Fringe for the first time this year while Tamsin last appeared in 2007 with her show Bacchic, which drew very favourable comparisons with that year’s production of The Bacchae starring Alan Cumming.

Passengers by Vacuum Theatre/Kit Redstone Summerhall, Red Lecture Theatre, 31 July - 25 August This is a follow up to Kit Redstone’s internationally acclaimed 5 star 2017 hit Testosterone. Transgender Kit has a mild form of Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder, which is often a coping strategy for trauma. This semi-autobiographical dark comedy is about the epic battles and alliances within the psyche and the power of the mind to protect itself from pain. The three performers use a blend of comedy, tragedy, playfulness and heart, to show that by understanding we all have multiple, complex personalities, we can have more compassion and understanding.


Yukon Ho! (Tall Tales from the Great White North) by Jennifer Irons Summerhall, Upper Church, 2 - 25 August This is a very funny, boisterous, and mostly true cabaret-style guide to the unbelievably mad life in Canada’s frozen North Territory. A place where caribou outnumber people, men are men who compete to prove their masculinity by winning the bushiest beard contest and women enter hairy leg competitions. But it’s not all sophisticated fun. It’s also a genuinely challenging place to live, where escape is difficult and where many people die tragically young as a result of addiction, avoidable accidents and the harsh Arctic winters. Photo by Gigi Giannella p68 Yukon Ho! by Jennifer Irons

Fringe first timer Jennifer Irons escaped through performance specifically, via dancing the Can-Can to an audience of drunken miners in a casino in Dawson City. Her passion for dance subsequently led to an extraordinary journey out of the Yukon, and around the world. Now resident in the UK, among many other credits she was Mass Movement Director for Akram Khan Company’s Kadamati at the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival, choreographer for a number 1 hit single for Olly Murs and Rizzle Kicks and Assistant Artistic Director for the Rugby League World Cup.

Witch Hunt by A&E Comedy Pleasance Dome, Jack Dome 31July - 26 August Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards’ irreverent 2018 show ‘Enter the Dragons’ was a huge 5 star sell out hit and was winner of best show at Brighton Fringe. Now these 50-something coven ready weird sisters return with a taboo breaking spell-bindingly darkly hilarious tale directed by Cal McCrystal.

Comedy and witchcraft combine to examine contemporary gender politics, celebrate older women’s wisdom and power and, ultimately, to bring down the patriarchy and entrenched social misogyny. A genuinely funny comedy made by mature women that has already gained exclusively 5 star rave reviews in preview at Brighton Fringe 2019.

p69 Photo by Paul Winter Witch Hunt A&E Comedy

Last Life: A Shakespeare Play by The Box Collective & Piece of Yourself (USA) Greenside 2-17 August

new play for three performers entirely created from the plays, songs, sonnets, and poems of William Shakespeare.

The first new Shakespeare play for over 400 years. Fringe first timers with off-Broadway NY hit. A unique

The sections are all woven together to create a story examining the evolution of a relationship and

gender dynamics. It reveals The Bard as an early feminist who wrote strong parts for women. Kill The Princess by Bait Theatre Heroes @ The SpiegelYurt 1 – 25 August A dissection of the gender stereotypes that play out in every aspect of our lives, that still resonate through every advert for shampoo, tax incentives, job promotions, school textbooks, toothpaste, condoms and three piece suites. If the princess needs to be rescued by the handsome prince is she really worth saving?Attempts at retelling fairytales in the wake of #MeToo came unstuck. Storytelling, clowning, spoken word and illusion combine in a genre-defying work that teases and provokes. A highly playful and visual exploration of ‘fairytale’ behaviours, gender roles and narrative. Viscerally, touching and hilarious journey through a DIY punk garage dreamscapes incorporating sex n’ mops n’ rock n’ roll.

Photo p70 by azumi Last Life Box Collective and Piece of Yourself

Hotel Paradiso by Lost in Translation Underbelly Circus Hub, The Beauty, 13-24 August A funny new circus show for all the family from Lost in Translation, creators of the internationally

successful The Hogwallops.

laughs and drama.

These purveyors of ‘good old fashioned contemporary circus’, use daring, virtuosic aerial skills, stunning floor acrobatics and juggling, combined with clowning and physical comedy to deliver thrills, gasps,

The narrative tells the story of the staff of a quirky hotel battling to save their home and livelihood from repossession by the dastardly banker and her outsized sidekick. Photo by Trevor p71 Fuller Hotel Paradiso Lost in Translation

Children of the Quorn™ by Megan from HR Just the Tonic, La Belle Angele 1 – 25 August Described as ‘comedy geniuses’ by Jeremy Vine Ambika Mod and

Andrew Shires wrote and starred in The Durham Review’s award-winning hits Gigglebox and Laugh Actually. These two have been writing and performing comedy together for five years. Children of the Quorn™ is

Photo by Samuel Kirkman Children of the Quorn TM by Megan from HR


their first full length show. Comedy sketches combine with séances to provide an out of this world experience and enough laughs to raise the dead.

Phrases by Lewys Holt Summerhall, Anatomy Lecture Theatre 31 July - 25 August

A comic study of miscommunication and confusion. Projections of stream of consciousness writing combine with improvised movement and discussions of communication to create a subtly humorous yet unnerving piece touching on themes of mental health and taking in anxiety, confusion and overthinking.

A funny, semi-improvised show

that uses dance/theatre/comedy to examine the consequences of taking common sayings and words literally.

Photo by Matthew Cawrey PHRASES - Lewys Holt Photo by Liam Keown and Paul Banks FOOTNOTES - Lewys Holt

Footnotes by Lewys Holt Summerhall, Anatomy Lecture Theatre 31 July - 25 August As a verbose and loquacious lecturer attempts to deliver his script, he is repeatedly de-railed by his own footnotes. This dance/ theatre comedic parody

solo by choreographer and theatremaker Lewys Holt highlights the comic possibilities of the situation. Like a TED talk gone wrong, the show begins as a lecture, where the topic, subject and purpose are obscured by dense jargon and pseudo-intellectual nonsense.

The footnotes begin as semi-useful, if somewhat unnecessary asides with extra information, but quickly devolve into more expressive outbursts, actions and impulses. Each triggers a shift into dancing, oversharing, flirting and ever more surreal behaviour.



Glasgow cheers T

he University of Glasgow has unveiled its own branded gin created by a former Arts student.

Helen Stewart from Badvo Distillery near Pitlochry (featured in Scotland Correspondent issue 28) has worked

Badvo Gin as featured in Scotland Correspondent

with the University to create the exclusive branded version of her gin which is called 1451 – after the year the institution was founded. It is being launched for the Summer Graduations 2019. Ms Stewart, an English Literature and

Linguistics graduate, created the new gin which she has been distilled with 100 per cent hand foraged botanicals from the Perthshire hill farm which has been in her family since 1599. The gin is predominantly sweet apple with a wild mint finish.


Gin and mini still

“I have been so lucky to have had great support from the University of Glasgow when I began setting up my business,” said Ms Stewart, farmer, forager and founder of Badvo Distillery. “I am delighted to now be back and working with the University to create a great Scottish gin for a great Scottish institution.” The Stewart family established Badvo Hill Farm on the 7 July 1599. The site of Helen’s Badvo Gill Distillery was previously used for


small batch distilling as detailed in a family handbook.

converting the disused farm buildings before launching Badvo in 2018.

“We had first thought about creating our own whisky. But I came across Helen and learned about her story it felt right especially as Scottish Gin has seen such a resurgence in recent years. We are absolutely delighted to partner with Badvo to create 1451,” said Matthew Williams, General Manager at University of Glasgow Retail.

Helen said the support she received from her lecturers and Student Enterprise Hub at the University were invaluable on her entrepreneurial journey to set up her own distillery.

Helen spent two years designing the gin, gaining grant money, and

“I love distilling and as long as I love distilling this is what I will be doing. I’d love to do more on the farm and I love being outside. I have a sweet life doing what I love,” she said.

Helen Stewart and her mini Gin still


Antique hunting with Roo Irvine Power of provenance W alk into an antique shop or auction house anywhere in world and one question more frequently heard than others is: ‘What’s the provenance?’

Derived from the French ‘provenir’ meaning ‘to come from’ provenance is undeniably one of the most important words in the antique lover’s dictionary. The value of an item can soar if it can be undoubtedly linked to a major event, key figure or a monumental piece of history. It is the dream of every collector - to find that one item at the right time, in the right place with the right name associated with it and retire for life. Recently the gun believed to have been used by Vincent Van Gogh to commit suicide in 1890 sold for over £144,000 at a Paris auction. The story of the weapon is spellbinding - just by knowing its place in history and the part it played in ending the life of one of the world’s greatest, most tortured artists is enough to send shivers down one’s spine. The auction house selling the item described it as “the most famous weapon in art history”. But what proof is there that it really is the gun that killed Van Gogh? The quick answer is none, well at least not enough to satisfy everyone. There


Vincent van Gogh self portrait (PD)

p79 All the members of the Titanic orchestra (PD)

Sinking of the Titanic (PD)

was no such thing as a Bradford Exchange Certificate of authenticity at the time of Van Gogh’s death and there isn’t an attached police file to verify the provenance of the weapon. However, there is strong circumstantial evidence and when dealing with antiques sometimes that is the best we are ever going to get. What is known is that rusty revolver was found by a farmer in 1965 in a field close to the village of Auverssur-Oise where the troubled Dutch painter spent his final days. On 27 July 1890 Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a low-calibre weapon which had insufficient power to kill outright. It took several days for him to die of his wound. The age of the weapon put up for auction certainly belonged to the right period, the caliber matched the bullet which killed the artist and modern forensics showed it had been buried in the ground for up to 80 years.


Other examples are easier to source. A violin played as the Titanic sank sold for over £1million at auction in 2013. Who can forget the poignant scene in the movie Titanic which reenacted the moment when the band, led by their heroic leader Wallace Hartley, played ‘Nearer My God To Thee” as the ship slipped under the waves? Days after the ship sank in 1912 Hartley’s body was pulled from the water with his violin case strapped to his back. The instrument, which still had traces of salt deposits from the sea water, featured an engraved silver plate that undeniably linked it to Hartley. However, it still took auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son seven years to confirm the provenance of the violin, which had been given to his fiancee along with the rest of his recovered possessions soon after the tragedy. When it comes to protecting or increasing the value of family heirlooms it pays to keep as much

physical evidence as possible. Anecdotes aren’t enough. It doesn’t matter how great the story is of how your great-grandfather came by a souvenir of a historic moment or received a gift from a famous person unless there is some way of verifying it. Anything that can be presented to show provenance can measurably add value. My advice is to seek out and keep safe as much evidence as possible, from original purchase receipts and letters to any old photographs or even diary entries, that can help illustrate the source of an item and the story behind it. A lack of provenance doesn’t mean an item is fake or illegally obtained. It may simply be the evidence has been lost in the sands of time. However, even some of the most simple documentation can add tremendous value - be that monetary or sentimental.

Wallace Henry Harvey (PD)




Fresh from the archives Photo by Jimmy Guano CC BY-SA 4.0 Aberdeen Harbour Skyline


ascinating facts of life going back more than 500 years, including details of the first ever recorded ship to sail from Scotland to the New World, have


been released to a global audience.

Aberdeen’s earliest medieval Burgh Records have long been regarded as a jewel in the city’s crown – earning

UNESCO status for their historical significance – but they are now open to the world after researchers painstakingly transcribed more than 1.5 million words contained within

their volumes.  Researchers in a project based at the University of Aberdeen have worked with archivists at Aberdeen City Council, where the records are held, to decipher the complex Scots and Latin text which constitutes one of the great reservoirs of historical information on urban life anywhere in northern Europe. The resulting digital transcription, together with the original images of the pages from eight volumes covering a period from 1398 to 1511, have been made accessible online – meaning they can now be viewed from anywhere in the world. It has taken researchers three years to unpick the complex hand written entries which contain details of

Burgh records


everyday life in the reigns of Robert III, James I, James II, James III, and James IV, and run to more words than the complete works of Shakespeare. The project was led by Dr Jackson Armstrong, a senior lecturer in history at the University of Aberdeen, and was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Aberdeen City Council and the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies. “The early council registers are an important cultural asset providing a great insight into Scottish history and language. They are so significant that in 2013 they were recognised by the UK national commission for UNESCO, a body of the United Nations responsible for the protection of the world’s cultural heritage,” said Dr Armstrong. “This important corpus of material will now be much more accessible to others investigating medieval and renaissance life,” he added.


Dr Jackson Armstrong

“The registers are a local archive but they stand for all of Scotland in this period. What survives from Aberdeen alone before 1500 comprises more than that of all other Scottish towns combined.” The Burgh Records offer historians a precious glimpse into medieval life and have already offered up many fascinating insights including a letter written by King James V which shows he stepped into a dispute on piracy and details of the first ever recorded ship to sail from Scotland to the New World. They also give clues about the region’s response to outbreaks of plague, in one entry from 1499 detailing the setting up of two lines or quarantine first around the town and then in the hinterland stretching from the river Dee on the southern edge of Aberdeen, out to St Ternan’s, modern-day Banchory, in the west, and from there up through Monymusk to Strathbogie,modern-


day Huntly. As editorial research fellow Dr Edda Frankot coordinated the transcription of the material. She said the need for researchers to spend hours – and sometimes days – deciphering just a few paragraphs of text had now been removed, meaning greater focus can be placed on unlocking the historical secrets they contain. “Getting to grips with the information contained within more than 5,000 pages is no easy task, not least because of the mix of Latin and Scots and the particularities of the handwriting of the period. Some of the pages presented a challenge because they have suffered from damage over the centuries, while others remain in pristine condition,” she said. “It meant progress on some days was faster than on others but in just over two years we had successfully transcribed every word contained within the volumes. After three years we had completed the detailed


Burgh records date back hundreds of years

checking, editing and processing of the digital transcription. “It has been a challenging project and, when the team started, deciphering just a couple dense pages could take most of the day. But as we became more and more familiar with recurring letter forms and sentence structure the speed increased and by the end together we could transcribe nearly seventy pages a week.” The team has not translated the Latin or Scots text into modern English – that was never the intention of the project. Translation would create an additional layer of interpretation, and raises the challenge of what sort of translation is desirable: a word-forword translation is not necessarily the best way to capture meaning. However, Dr Armstrong said there are a number of possible and creative ways to interpret the material in the future, with a view of making it accessible to wider audiences.


Aberdeen. House on School Hill (now demolished) circa 1887 (PD)

“We have made huge progress in understanding the Burgh Records but this is far from the end of the story. It will be fascinating to see how


others beyond Aberdeen are able to work with this wonderful resource,� he said.

The website for the Aberdeen Registers Online: 1398-1511 can be accessed at


New approach to whisky

David Nicol



dinburgh based whiskytechnology company Uisge Tech Ltd has launched an industry-first platform to transform the way consumers buy single cask whisky. Caskshare allows whisky lovers to reserve ‘shares’ of whisky casks from their favourite distilleries, choosing between a wide variety of wood types and ages as the whisky matures. Single cask bottles will then be sent directly to buyers upon maturation, or even traded between them on this new leading-edge technology platform. Described as ‘crowdfunding for whisky’, the aim of Caskshare is to allow whisky-lovers the chance to experience different cask variations by lowering the financial barrier to cask-ownership. Customers pre-order cask ‘shares’ from their distillery of choice via the Caskshare online platform. Cask ownership stays with the distillery


where the spirit matures into whisky and until the ageing process is complete. Once ready for bottling, whisky allocations are bottled and distributed to ‘shareholders’. The first casks to be featured on the Caskshare platform are from the trailblazing Raasay Distillery. The initial offering includes exBourbon, Chinquapin virgin oak, and Bordeaux red-wine wine casks, giving customers the opportunity to experiment with several different finishes. There is peated and unpeated spirit on offer, with the first whisky cask listed on being bottled in 2022.


Raasay Distillery Co-founder Alasdair Day believes Caskshare offers distilleries a new way to connect with potential customers. “We believe this is an industry-first that offers the opportunity to share a cask with others and allows us to share the story of our Raasay spirit. Caskshare offers real choice, the opportunity to select bottles from our different oak and cask types filled with our unpeated and peated spirit matured for three to twelve years,� he said. Uisge Tech, trading as Craft Whisky


Club, was co-founded by David Nicol who created Caskshare with the aim of making single cask whisky more accessible to whisky fans across the globe. “Caskshare offers whisky fans a way to get closer to their favourite distilleries and wood types. Reserving shares of a cask by the bottle allows consumers to discover and experience all of the cask expressions their favourite distilleries have to offer. What’s more, you don’t need to part with the vast sums of money required to purchase a full cask,” he said.


Caskshare has attracted attention from several prominent whisky producers, with a number of new distilleries set to offer casks in the coming months. Craft Whisky Club will be featuring whisky from Scotland and beyond on the Caskshare platform, allowing customers to sample whiskies of different ages and finishes from the world’s old and new whisky regions.

David Nicol




Anchors aweigh for growing cruise line

The Glen Tarsan moored off Mull


by Scott Aitken

S fleet.

cotland’s pioneering small ship cruising company, The Majestic Line, has added a new addition to its growing

The specially designed ‘Glen Shiel’ has been built in response to the increase in demand for small-ship cruising to the Hebrides and the west coast of Scotland. The company’s first two vessels are lovingly converted fishing boats while Glen Shiel is the second vessel the company has had built on the Clyde by ‘Ardmaleish Boatbuilding Ltd based on the Isle of Bute.


In keeping with the company ethos, Glen Shiel, has been fitted out internally to resemble a 1930s gentleman’s motor yacht. She has been designed with twin engines to enable her to travel further and faster reaching outlying destinations such

Glen Shiel arriving in Holy Loch


as St Kilda much more quickly than other vessels. “Glen Shiel is a great addition to our fleet and this season’s cruises on her have been booked out since last year,” said Ken Grant, Chairman of

The Majestic Line. When the company began 15 years with a single boat there were very few other operators, now there are over seven companies offering smallship cruising.

The Majestic Line pioneered small ship cruising on the west coast of Scotland with the launch of their first vessel, the Glen Massan in 2004. Three years later a sister ship, the Glen Tarsan, joined the company with both vessels offering three and six

night cruises to the Inner Hebrides and Argyll. In 2016 the Glen Etive, a new custom built vessel, was launched to explore the Outer Hebrides and St Kilda offering 10-night cruises in

addition to the already popular and well established three and six night packages. Now, the Glen Shiel will take passengers on a variety of magical three and six night inner Hebridean


cruises or 10-night cruises to the north west coast of the Scottish mainland, as far as the Summer Isles and across the Minch as well as to the Outer Hebrides and St Kilda. In addition to a choice of 13

Glen Massan passing Duart Castle


exclusive itineraries all of the vessels are also available for private charter, an option that has proved very popular sometimes with groups booking one, two, three or even all four vessels together.

Both the Glen Massan and Glen Tarsan can accommodate up to 11 guests in six double ensuite cabins while the Glen Etive and Glen Shiel has room for up to 12 guests in seven double ensuite cabins.

A major feature of the cruises is the outstanding food onboard as the chefs have the freedom to create their own menus from the excellent local produce available on land and from the sea.

The season runs from April to October sailing mainly out of Oban with some departures from Inverness and also the Holy Loch. Each boat has a crew of four, comprising Skipper, Engineer, Chef

and Bosun, ensuring the best of Scottish hospitality. The new vessel was launched at the Holy Loch Marina, Sandbank the site of the famous yacht builder’s ‘Morris and Lorimer’. In keeping


Glen Shiel passing Gantocks

with tradition it was the great grand-daughter of yard founder Robert Lorimer, 95 year old Molly McLauchlan who performed the

Three of the Majestic fleet together


naming ceremony. “I have watched the Majestic Line with interest from its early days in 2004 and it is wonderful to have been

asked to name the Glen Shiel, she is a beautiful ship and I am sure that the company will sail on to further success,� she said.



- with Fiona Holland F iona Holland is a journalist and long-time gin lover, collecting and sampling unusual and uncommon gins for more than

20 years. Recently, her job amassing the juniper-laced spirit has become significantly easier with the explosion of craft distilleries in Scotland. It’s

difficult to keep up with them all, but you can be assured she’ll try her best…

Cairngorm magic

Insriach distillery shed

Inshriach Gin

Nr Aviemore, Cairngorms 43 and 57 per cent ABV £38 and £48 for 70cl inc P&P


hat do you get if you cross an award-winning shed, 200 acres of Cairngorms National Park flora and a spring?


All in all, it’s not a bad combo for a successful distilling project – which is just as well, as that’s precisely what Inshriach Estate has become wellknown for. Those of you whose memories stretch back five years or so, will remember Inshriach Estate as the

initial home of Crossbill Gin and, in 2015, it picked up Channel 4’s Shed of the Year crown. While Crossbill has moved on to pastures new in Glasgow, that innovative shed – once the humble domain of chickens – has since become home to the eponymous Inshriach Gin.


Owner Walter Micklethwait moved from London to the estate, previously owned by his grandmother, 10 years ago. His background in the antiques trade, property renovation and set design has brought together a creativity which is felt in all areas of the estate – not least the famous shed and the gins it has fostered. In addition to Walter’s own Inshriach Gin – which is available in the 43 per cent ABV Original and the robust 57 per cent Navy Strength versions –

Walter Micklethwait


the distillery also produces spirit for others, including Fidra Gin. One thing which Walter discovered early on in his new life at Inshriach was native juniper on the estate – plenty of it and all in good health. And that hit of junipery loveliness is one of the first things you notice about this very classic dry gin. It’s low on botanicals, with the mainstays being rosehip, Douglas fir


and, of course, the Inshriach juniper – “I can stand in one place and as I turn around all my ingredients are collected within a 100 metre radius, including our spring water.


The botany and sustainability is everything,” said Walter.

produced distinctive and more than acceptable gins.

But this concentration of a handful of flavours skilfully combined, has

The Original gin is very piney on the nose, with a slight background

sweetness – all of which reverses once sipped neat; suddenly the pine flavours, undoubtedly supplied by the Douglas fir, slip into the background and there is prominent

fruity roundness laced with a touch of aniseed . With Franklin and Sons Natural Light Tonic and a sliver of lime added, this

mix suddenly brings together the two sides, combining with the juniper, to make this clean, dry and eminently quaffable.


I turned then to the Navy Strength version with a slight level of trepidation. At 57 per cent ABV this is a bit of a monster – or so I thought. What could have been a growling and irritable tiger turns out to be a soft, honeylicious kitty. While I say that, there is no getting round that this concoction doesn’t so much punch you on the nose with juniper, as practically lift you out of your seat and slap you round the face – it’s a very prominent hit. But I enjoyed it and once you take that first taste it is somehow forgotten. It is so thick with essential oils it’s practically syrup and it does bring with it a surprising smoothness as well as an inviting and somewhat unexpected sweetness – in this gin, the fir has become orangey in its flavour and has developed a spicy feel. Once diluted – same tonic as the Original, again with some lime – the pine seemed to come to the fore for the first time, as the oils danced in the glass releasing an almond and floral hit, none of which is cloying in any way. As with Downpour Gin last month, Inshriach Navy Strength produces a louche of cloudy goodness in the glass, as the oils intensify with every sip producing a viscose slick of flavours. In terms of shelf appeal its look is utter simplicity – the Original has a cream coloured label with black text, while the Navy Strength has a blue label with white text, both in a simple bell-shaped bottle. The text is sparse and its lack of any logos and clutter is entirely its conspicuous strength.


Ginteresting Inshriach snippets


he famous chicken shed is growing up a bit this year. With plans for more events at Inshriach in the future, Walter is having it rewired, new fire alarms installed and lots of other mature developments demanded by the rigours of a public entertainment

licence. While that is being done, however, it doesn’t stop festivities elsewhere on the estate and this year brings with it the first GinJazz Fest – two days of music, good food, gin and cocktails on July 12-13 – if that sounds like your thing, then grab yourself a ticket and indulge.


A glimpse into the Pictish past

Photo: University of Aberdeen Dunnicaer Pictish fort



rchaeologists investigating a substantially eroded sea stack near the site of the ruined Dunnottar Castle have made a startling discovery. Researchers from the University of Aberdeen believe they may have uncovered one of the earliest known Pictish forts dating from around the 3rd or 4th century. A new video has now been created which illustrates how the fort may



have looked if the sea stack, called Dunnicaer, was still connected to the mainland. The archaeologists required help from experienced mountaineers to scale Dunnicaer, a rocky outcrop which measures at most 20 x 12 metres with sheer drops on all sides. The team discovered partial remains of houses on the cliff edge, which shows that much of the settlement had fallen into the sea. They found turf and timber structures and preserved floor layers and hearths. Some of the hearths were built on top of one another which also suggests space is likely to have always been restricted on the site. The inhabitants had connections to the Roman world with Roman pottery and glass found on site. The site first came to prominence in 1832 when a group of youths from Stonehaven scaled the sea stack and found a number of decorated and carved Pictish symbol stones, some of which they had thrown into the sea and had to be recovered. Pictish symbol stones are a unique tradition of carving that may have denoted high status names. The

radiocarbon dates for the settlement suggest that these stones may be among the earliest in the carving tradition. “We always knew that Dunnicaer was a site of major significance but carrying out an archaeological survey was hampered by the inaccessibility of the site. Thanks to the help of mountaineering experts, we were able to carry out some extreme archaeology,” said Professor Gordon Noble. “It is plausible that, although already in an eroded state, the outcrop would have been significantly bigger in the time of the Picts, making it a suitable site for a settlement. “This video helps to fully visualise how the fort may have looked in the fourth century which we think helps to further bring to life the lives of the Picts, who are so poorly understood because of the lack of historical records. “We’re so glad we have been able to do the dig on Dunnicaer at this time. Coastal erosion is a huge threat to archaeological sites of this kind and the remaining stack will continue to erode.”




Jings! Crivvens Help Ma Boab! Oor Wullie’s got a new job!

Wullie on top of Ben Nevis



or the last 83 years the cheeky kid with the black dungarees and tousled hair from Auchenshoogle has amused millions of Scots. The image of Oor Wullie sitting on his upturned bucket has become an integral part of the nation’s popular culture - as familiar to most Scots as whisky, haggis and Edinburgh Castle. Successive generations have grown up following his weekly capers in


the comic pages of the Sunday Post newspaper. Such is his popularity that in 2004 a search to find Scotland’s favourite son put him at the top - beating William Wallace, Sean Connery and Robert Burns into second, third and fourth places. But now the wee laddie with a big heart has emerged from the pages of print to take on a new role as the champion of children in hospitals across the country. Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail is the first nationwide art trail in the world. A series of 200 life-sized sculptures of the loveable laddie have started appearing on the streets of Scotland’s five major cities - Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness - to support children’s hospital charities. The Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, The ARCHIE Foundation and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity have joined forces with international arts events company Wild in Art and DC Thomson Media, custodians of Oor Wullie, to create the 17-week long event. Photo by Chris Scott Photography Dundee Oor Wullie


The project aims to significantly boost the country’s provision for

children and young people in hospital by raising essential funds through the trail, associated events and sculpture auctions. This is the first time that all of Scotland’s children’s hospital charities have united for the same worthy cause. Up until September the trail is expected to attract over one million members of the public who will be encouraged to explore the country with free maps and a downloadable app, in order to ‘spot’ all sculptures in the trail which stretches across 700 miles.  A further 350 ‘wee’ sculptures decorated by local schools, youth and community groups will accompany the main trail, forming mini trails in local libraries, art galleries, shopping centres and public spaces where families can take part in fun activities.  In September, when the trail has ended, all sculptures will be brought together in their respective cities


Photo by Chris Scott Photography Dundee Oor Wullies

and exhibited as part of a Farewell Weekend. The culmination of the campaign will be a series of regional auctions to raise significant funds for each of the charities involved. The aim is to raise awareness for Scotland’s children’s hospital charities, which work in partnership with the NHS to provide care for a combined half a million babies, children and young people each year.  Money raised by the charity goes towards hospital equipment, family support services, research, staff, training and play and recreation spaces. Each life-sized Oor Wullie sculpture is unique, reflecting many aspects of Scotland’s cultural identity, and has been individually designed by 200 commissioned artists. For the past eight months the three charities have been working with local businesses and organisations to sponsor the Oor Wullie sculptures, which are now placed at iconic and interesting locations throughout the


five trail cities. “The Trail gives us a unique opportunity to join with our counterpart charities in Glasgow and the North of Scotland to transform the lives of babies, children and young people in hospital and healthcare, so they can be a child first and a patient second,” said Roslyn Neely, CEO of Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity. “Edinburgh is famed for its historic landmarks like Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament and soon the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People.  We’re excited to be adding over 50 bespoke designed Oor Wullies to the world famous city skyline this summer.  The Trail will unite businesses, artists, schools, families and Scotland’s favourite son, Oor Wullie, and we hope to attract tens of thousands of participants to come and take part.” David Wood, CEO of The ARCHIE Foundation said all funds raised would go to help sick children and

their families across the country by providing additional family support, specialist staff, equipment and training, and creating childfriendly spaces. “Oor Wullie is bound to knock the Duke of Wellington off the top spot as the city’s most famous sculpture this summer, with more than 50 Oor Wullies taking pride of place in Glasgow and the West,” said Shona Cardle, CEO of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity “The trail has already captured the hearts and imaginations of thousands of schoolchildren across Scotland, and we can’t wait to see many more visit Oor Wullie at iconic locations across the country this summer. We hope that everyone will get behind the trail and help to raise vital funds for the babies, children and young people treated at Scotland’s busiest children’s hospital.” To find out more about how to support Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail go to


Book Marker - edited by Helen Lloyd Common Cause by Kate Hunter

Price: £9.99 Publisher: Fledgling Press


t’s 1915 and Britain is at war as Kate Hunter’s sequel to The Caseroom - shortlisted for The Saltire First Book Award 2017 - opens on the next stage in the lives of Iza Orr, skilled compositor, and the workers in Edinburgh’s print industry. At a time of momentous events Iza copes with unexpected complexities of patriotism, women’s suffrage, worker victimisation and a historic wartime lockout. It seems the country needs starched cloth-lappers and lunatic asylum attendants, but it does not need books, does not need learning and intellectual stimulation. Printers are denied reserved occupation status but, with bankruptcies looming, the jobs of Edinburgh’s dwindling number of female hand typesetters are on the line. Riven by challenges both political and personal, Iza must weather conflicting calls for loyalty to nation, to class, to gender, to family – her marriage to troubled John, her children, her estranged daughter Mary, now a grown woman – to discover her true common cause.

About the author: Kate Hunter’s father’s family earned a living in the Edinburgh print trade. They made books and newspapers; they read them, but they never got the chance to write them. Kate has read thousands of books and helped to make a fair few. Now she writes them. She grew up in Edinburgh, worked in a printers there when she was fifteen and, later, was a Mother of the Chapel in Milton Keynes where she now lives.

Inference by Stephanie McDonald Price: £9.99 Publisher: Ringwood Publishing


atalie Byron was happy with her life. She had a steady job, supportive friends and a family who loved her. But the morning after a reunion with an old flame she wakes up in a stranger’s bed in a house surrounded by cliffs and sea. All her things are there, the clothes are hers and there’s even a laptop full of songs that could easily have been picked from her own iTunes library - but this isn’t her life, and the man living with her is definitely not her boyfriend. When everyone around her insists her life in Glasgow is nothing but a delusion, Natalie begins to doubt her own sanity. She needs to get off this island. Inference is the story of a young woman’s struggle against her own sanity when she wakes up miles from home in the remote Scottish Hebrides. The book explores themes of isolation, revenge and psychological torment. About the author: Stephanie McDonald was born in Glasgow and worked in financial services for 20 years where she specialised in Risk intelligence. She got into writing initially by


producing short stories and poetry, then, in 2016, she wrote and self-published her first full-length novel, Learn to Let Go. Her new novel, Inference, is a foray into the mystery genre, with a very strong homage to her Scottish roots.


Not so secret escape

Photo by The Scotlanders, Neil Robertson Craigievar Castle, Aberdeenshire



he North East 250 has everything for which Scotland is famous for - in abundance.

It is a unique road trip taking visitors into the heart of the Speyside whisky country, through the spectacular mountain passes of the Cairngorms National Park, along by famous castles of Royal Deeside to the Granite City of Aberdeen and the rugged North Sea coastline with its picturesque seaside villages of Moray.


Photo by The Scotlanders, Migrating Miss Rattray Head lighthouse


Launched in 2017 the 250 mile circular route is often considered one of Scotland’s best kept secrets - but no more. A new digital marketing campaign has been launched to inspire visitors from across the UK and further afield to discover the rich diversity of the North East 250.


The campaign, involving collaboration between Moray Speyside Tourism and North East 250, aims to harness the power of


social media and digital marketing to promote the route as a top visitor attraction, focusing on history & heritage, outdoor & adventure and

food & drink experiences. The Scotlanders, Scotland’s first travel blogger collaboration,

Photo by The Scotlanders, Kim Grant Bow Fiddle rock on the North East coast


kickstarted the campaign by taking on the route and showcasing its diversity. “The North East 250 is not just a driving route, it’s a journey which offers visitors a varied and rich experience, traversing six distinct areas each with its own rich story,” said Laurie Piper, Tourism Operations Manager at Moray Speyside Tourism.

Photo by Sally Gale/North East 250. Laurie Piper, Tourism Operations Manager at Moray Speyside Tourism, Guy Macpherson-Grant, Director of North East 250, and Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director.





Ancient Egyptian statue mystery solved

Photos by Neil Hanna National Museums Scotland curator Dr Daniel Potter with the Montrose Museum statue



he extraordinary story behind an important Egyptian statue, donated to Montrose Museum by a relative of the poet Robert Burns, has been revealed by experts from the National Museums of Scotland. Following a review of ancient Egyptian and East Asian collections held in local museums the figure of a female musician has been identified as being more than 2,300 years old. Â


The limestone statue has been at Montrose Museum since 1837, but little was known about its provenance or its subject until now. During the review, the object was identified by curators as being an exquisite example of Ptolemaic (c.332–30 BC) statuary depicting a non-royal individual. It has now gone on public display as part of Discovering Ancient Egypt, a touring exhibition from National Museums Scotland currently on at Montrose Museum. The exhibition brings together fascinating objects and hidden stories from the collections of National Museums Scotland and each of touring venues to reveal how ancient Egypt has captivated Scotland over the past 200 years, as it still does today.   It was donated to the newly formed museum in 1837 by Montrose-born Dr James Burnes, a relative of the poet Robert Burns, who worked as the physician general for Bombay, now known as Mumbai. After being sent on sick leave suffering from malaria, he travelled home to Scotland via Egypt in 1834 and collected the statue during his visit.


It depicts a female temple musician called Meramuniotes, who lived between 332-30 BC. The back of the statue is inscribed with a long, hieroglyphic text which has been fully translated for the first time. It discusses her family, her role in the temple and her wishes for the afterlife.   Her parents, siblings and descendants were all involved in the temple priesthood of ancient Thebes, and the inscription tells us she played the sistrum – a percussion instrument - in the temple of AmunRa. Her mother, Nehemesratawy, held this same role, and they may even have worked together. Statues commemorating other members of her family can be found in museums in Cairo, Turin and London.    “This statue is one of the finest of its type in the UK. Not only it is beautifully carved but it shares an amazing connection with Montrose,” said Dr Daniel Potter, Assistant Curator, Revealing Cultures Project at National Museums Scotland. “Until recently, rather little was known about it. Now, by working with our colleagues at Montrose Museum to explore their collections,

we have been able to reveal some of the secrets of this remarkable object. Through this work, we have established how unique the statue is, and to put a name to the person it depicts and learn more about her and her relatives. It is a wonderful chance to connect with a family from over 2,000 years ago.” The Discovering Ancient Egypt touring exhibition examines Scotland’s contribution to Egyptology through the lives of three remarkable people whose work in the field helped to improve our understanding of ancient Egyptian culture; Alexander Henry Rhind (1833-1863), Annie Pirie Quibell (1862-1927) and Charles Piazzi Smyth (18191900). An archaeologist, artist and astronomer, their skill, dedication and enthusiasm ensured that they each made a significant contribution to the study of ancient Egypt.   The statue of Meramuniotes can be seen in a new display case which allows visitors a 360° view of it. The display and the story of Dr James Burnes will form the centrepiece of Montrose Museum’s contribution to Discovering Ancient Egypt which runs until 7 September.




Ideas that shook the world by Helen Lloyd


major new exhibition exploring the Scottish Enlightenment and its intellectual influence on the world has opened at the National Library of Scotland. Northern Lights takes a fresh look at one of the most concentrated periods of intellectual enquiry the

Robert Burns


world has ever seen, a time when polymaths peer-reviewed, challenged and encouraged one another’s work through the many social networks available to them.

James Watt. A rare first edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica will be on display, as will a first edition of Smith’s Wealth of Nations and countless unique manuscripts.

Household names connected with the Scottish Enlightenment such as David Hume and Adam Smith feature in the exhibition, as well as other figures less commonly associated with it such as Robert Burns and

“We have an unparalleled collection of items relating to the Scottish Enlightenment. Indeed, some of the chief figures such as David Hume and Adam Ferguson worked at our predecessor institution, the Library

Adam Smith

Ideas that shook the world - the National Library of Scotland’s exhibition exploring the Scottish Enlightenment, Northern Lights


of the Faculty of Advocates,” said Dr John Scally, National Librarian. “This exhibition tells the story of those who helped shape the world we live in today. These individuals developed radical ideas on the sciences, economics, society and identity, amid a growing awareness of the world around them. “The exhibition celebrates 18th century Scotland as a place of enlightened discourse and debate. It was a time of mutual respect and politeness, where people appreciated each other’s opinions and values, and further developed their theories on the basis of such conversations. Some may find this a contrast to the present day, where people are less inclined to expose themselves to alternative ideas. “We present the world as it was then, and we are in a prime position to do so given we were actively collecting items relating to the Enlightenment during the Enlightenment itself. We welcome those whose appetite is whetted by the exhibition to explore these ideas further in our reading rooms, and we will also be examining the period with a contemporary lens in our programme of talks and events.” The National Library is a major

European research library and one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Scotland and the Scots – an information treasure trove for Scotland’s knowledge, history and culture. Currently the Library holds more than 29 million physical items dating back over 1000 years in addition to a growing library of e-books, e-journals and other digital material. Every week the Library collects around 3,000 new items. Northern Lights is curated by Robert Betteridge, Curator of 18th Century Printed Collections, and Ralph McLean, Curator of Manuscripts for the Long 18th Century.

Smith’s Wealth of Nations

The free exhibition explores the Scottish Enlightenment through the display of rare books and manuscripts from 18th Century Scotland, and is grouped into themes: pre-Enlightenment Scotland, moral philosophy and religion, social science and academic innovation, language and literature, art and architecture, science and medicine, and sociability and society. Northern Lights runs until 18 April 2020 at the National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW. Entry is free.

Photo by Kim Trainer CC BY-SA 3.0 David Hume and Adam Smith statues, Edinburgh

Between now and next April there will be a series of public talks taking place at George IV Bridge in Edinburgh. These include: •

4 July – The Northern Lights Exhibition with curators Ralph McLean and Robert Betteridge

17 July – ISECS Northern Lights: The Scottish Enlightenment panel discussion with curator Ralph McLean

5 September – Why did Enlightenment happen in Edinburgh? with Murray Pittock

26 September – David Hume on God with David Purdie

5 November – A Feminist Perspective on the City: Edinburgh’s Enlightenment with Sara Sheridan

21 November – Robert Adam with Colin Thom

3 March 2020 – Women in the Enlightenment with Rosalind Jane Carr

Booking will be available nearer the time. More talks and events may be programmed – check for updates. p148

Solar system




Enlightenment 2.0 building a better world Computing breakthrough

Photo by Mike Peel University of Glasgow


new form of magnetic interaction which pushes a formerly two-dimensional phenomenon into the third dimension could open up a host of exciting new possibilities for data storage and advanced computing, scientists say. Physicists from the University of Glasgow have described how they have found a new way to successfully pass information from a series of tiny magnets arrayed on an ultra thin film across to magnets on a second film below.   Their breakthrough adds both a literal and metaphorical extra dimension


to ‘spintronics’, the field of science dedicated to data storage, retrieval and processing, which has already had a major impact on the tech industry. Anyone who’s ever played with a pair of magnets understands that opposites attract – the south pole of one magnet attracts the north pole of the other. While that’s true at the scale most people are familiar with, the way magnets interact with each other undergoes some significant changes as magnets shrink.   At the nanoscale – where magnetic materials can be just a few billionths of a metre in size - magnets interact

with each other in strange new ways, including the possibility of attracting and repelling each other at 90-degree angles instead of straight-on. Scientists have already learned how to exploit those unusual properties to encode and process information in thin films covered in a single layer of nanoscale magnets.   The benefits of these ‘spintronic’ systems – low power consumption, high storage capacity and greater robustness - have made invaluable additions to technology such as magnetic hard disk drives, and won the discoverers of spintronics a Nobel prize in 2007.

Photo by University of Glasgow

However, the functionality of magnetic systems used today in computers remains confined to one plane, limiting their capacity. Now, the University of Glasgow-led team – along with partners from the Universities of Cambridge and Hamburg, the Technical University of Eindhoven and the Aalto University School of Science – have developed a new way to communicate information from one layer to another,

adding new potential for storage and computation. “The discovery of this new type of interaction between neighbour layers gives us a rich and exciting way to explore and exploit unprecedented 3D magnetic states in multi-layered nanoscale magnets,” said Dr Amalio Fernandez-Pacheco, an EPSRC Early Career Fellow in the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, is

the lead author on the paper. “It’s a bit like being given an extra note in a musical scale to play with - it opens up a whole new world of possibilities, not just for conventional information processing and storage, but potentially for new forms of computing we haven’t even thought of yet.”

Scots scientist has been awarded £1.4 million to develop research that could bring a ceasefire to cellular warfare taking place within human DNA that can cause blood cancers such as Leukaemia.

methylation affects gene expression is greater than ever,” said Dr Rasmussen.

Cancer Research UK awards Career Development Fellowships to outstanding scientists to support them in establishing their own independent cancer research group.

Stepping up the fight against cancer A

Dr Kasper Rasmussen from the University of Dundee will use the funding to set up a research group to study the biological warfare taking place between two enzymes which when mutated increase the risk of life-threatening blood cancers. “The need to develop a deeper understanding of how DNA

“Currently, those suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, one of the diseases these mutations promote, are treated with chemotherapy but sadly more often than not they die because of disease relapse that cannot be stopped in its track. Understanding the role of DNA methylation in this process might provide a way to prevent this from happening by exploiting vulnerabilities shared by malignant and premalignant cells alike.”

World leaders in research have been discovered through the charity’s Fellowship Awards and the work they produce is of the highest international quality. “If we’re to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured, it’s vital we recruit the best people and help them grow at every stage of their career. Our fellows make crucial discoveries that increase


Photo by University Glasgow Dr Kasper Rasmussen

our fundamental understanding of cancer and help develop new and better cancer medicines, tests and treatments,” said Karen Noble, Cancer Research UK’s Head of Research Careers.

“The main treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia is chemotherapy, and this has been the case for decades. Dr Rasmussen’s research will help us to understand what goes wrong in the body to cause

this aggressive blood cancer. With this new insight, we may be able to develop more targeted and effective treatments for the disease with fewer side effects, helping to improve patients’ quality of life.”

Tapping into the human brain


yewitness testimony, especially in the detection of crime, can be notoriously unreliable but now Scots scientists might have come up with a solution. In a world first, neuroscientists from the University of Glasgow have been able to construct 3D facial models using the unique information stored in an individual’s brain when recalling the face of a familiar person. The research will be the cornerstone for greater understanding of the brain mechanisms of face identification, and could have applications for AI, gaming technology and eyewitness testimony. A team of Glasgow Scientists studied how their colleagues recognised each other’s faces, by determining which specific information they used


Photo by University of Glasgow Face recognition

to identify them from memory.   The scientists then devised a method which led them to be able to reconstruct what information is specific to the identity of an individual in someone else’s memory.   “It’s difficult to understand what information people store in their memory when they recognise familiar faces. But we have developed a

tool which has essentially given us a method to do just that,” said Philippe Schyns, Professor of Visual Cognition at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology. “By reverse engineering the information that characterises someone’s identity, and then mathematically representing it, we were then able to render it graphically.”

The researchers designed a Generative Model of 3D Face Identity, using a database of 355 3D faces that described each face by its shape and texture. They then applied linear models to the faces to be able to extract the shape and texture for non-identity factors of sex, age and ethnicity, thereby isolating a face’s unique identity information.


In the footsteps of dinosaurs at Scotland’s own Jurassic Glen

Photos by Landmark Forest Adventure Park


by Scott Aitken


hey’re back! More than 160 million years after they last roamed through the landscape of Scotland the extraordinary giants have returned to thrill young and old alike. The colossal, reinforced gates of Dinosaur Kingdom have been opened to the public near Aviemore to reveal what has been hailed as ‘Scotland’s Biggest & Best Dinosaur Experience’.


This extraordinary attraction houses more than 20 moving, roaring and life-size dinosaurs, a first for the country. Many of these are actually close relatives of those that made Scotland their home so many millenia ago. Most of the dinosaurs are truly epic in size and really have to be seen to be believed - including a fearsome nearly 50 feet (15 metres) long Tyrannosaur Rex. Two of the dinosaurs, the diplodocuses, are each the length of three double-decker buses! Opening of the park, in the middle of June, was carried out by Dr Neil Clark, one of the leading authorities on dinosaurs in Scotland and Curator of Palaeontology at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. “It’s a little known fact that many of these incredible creatures actually made Scotland their home over 160 million years ago! Since the



first Scottish dinosaur footprint was discovered on the Isle of Skye in 1982 there have been discoveries of a whole host of dinosaur tracks there,” said Dr Clark, who.very recently discovered Dinosaur footprints on the mainland for the first time to the north of Inverness. In 2006 Dr Neil Clark appeared in the book of Guinness World Records with his discovery of the World’s smallest dinosaur footprint. Since the first Scottish dinosaur footprint was discovered on the Isle of Skye in 1982, there have been many more discoveries of a whole host of dinosaurs’ footprints there. The early ancestors of tyrannosaurs may have been identified from bones and teeth found on the Isle of Skye along with footprints that suggest these animals cared for their young rather than making them fend for themselves.



Visitors to the new £1million Landmark Forest Adventure Park can now come nose to muzzle with all of their favourite characters from the Jurassic Era – Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Velociraptors and even the dreaded Tyrannosaurus Rex - all 50 terrifying feet of her. As well as watching ‘living’ Dinosaurs close up, younger visitors will very soon be able to enjoy rides on mini dinosaurs and have a go at digging


for a fossil dinosaur skeleton in a giant sand pit. “These animals are very is mesmerising to watch as they move and call to each other. Plus, they are seriously huge. Two of the dinosaurs - the fully fleshed out versions of Diplodocus like ‘Dippy’ who recently took Kelvingrove Museum by storm - are each 90 feet long. That’s as long as three London buses,” said Danny Fullerton, General Manager of Landmark.


“There are some small dinosaurs too, including an Oviraptor and her tiny hatching babies - very cute and some compact Velociraptors


hunting down a lumbering herbivore – perhaps not so cute.� Mr Fullerton said that given the

recent amazing dinosaur discoveries in Scotland, Dinosaur Kingdom had opened at a particularly exciting time.


Destination Scotland P

lan your trip to the most beautiful country in the world with our directory of places to stay, eat, visit and enjoy.

The Chester Hotel Aberdeen

Situated in the heart of Aberdeen’s historic west end The Chester Hotel, with its 50 luxurious bedrooms and suites, renowned restaurant and stylish lounge bar, is ideally placed for accessing some of the most exciting and challenging golf courses Scotland has to offer.


As featured in issue 19 of Scotland Correspondent. It provides a perfect base to explore the north-east with its abundance of castles, whisky distilleries and breathtaking scenery. 59-63 Queen’s Road Aberdeen, AB15 4YP. T: 01224 327777

Royal Scots Club

Meldrum House

More personal than a hotel the Royal Scots Club offers a rare combination of all the charm of a country house with the added cosy atmosphere of a private members’ club in the heart of Scotland’s historic capital of Edinburgh.

More than 800 years of history are wrapped up in this unique boutique country house hotel nestled in the heart of Aberdeenshire’s tranquil countryside. Complete with its own golf course the 240-acre estate and 13th century baronial mansion is the epitome of luxury. As featured in issue 27 of Scotland Correspondent. Meldrum House provides a truly exceptional experience and is an ideal base from which to explore the rich and colourful north east corner of Scotland.


Founded in 1919 as a living memorial to those who fell in The Great War the club is situated in one of Edinburgh’s finest Georgian streets and is open for bed and breakfast, meetings and events, functions and private dining. Featured in issue 22 of Scotland Correspondent.

Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire

Chester Residence Edinburgh

A luxurious bolthole in central Edinburgh with an expanse of space and all the perks of a grand hotel as featured in issue 21 of Scotland Correspondent. Behind the facades of gracious, listed Georgian townhouses in Edinburgh’s New Town these 5-star apartments are spacious and packed with luxury features, including a top of the range kitchen, a heavenly bathroom or two and sumptuously grand living rooms. 9 Rothesay Place (Main Reception), Edinburgh, EH3 7SL. Tel: +44 (0) 131 226 2075

Embo House Sutherland

Luxury exclusive self-catering accommodation in a Grad-A listed Georgian mansion overlooking the Dornoch Firth. As featured in issue 24 of Scotland Correspondent. Embo House is steeped in history. This former ancestral castle of Clan Gordon with its 8-spacious bedrooms provides contemporary and luxurious accommodation for large family groups, golfers or even weddings. Embo House, Dornoch, Sutherland. IV25 3PP Tel: 01738 451610


Gleddoch Hotel

Carnoustie Golf Hotel

An independently owned hotel resort overlooking the Clyde Estuary with 75 bedrooms, an 18 hole championship golf course, an elegant banqueting room and a luxury Imperia Spa.

Carnoustie Golf Hotel offers an extensive collection of facilities, including 75 luxury en-suite bedrooms and 10 suites with amazing views over the Championship course, the sea and the local town of Carnoustie. Featured in issue 16 of Scotland Correspondent.


One of the most prestigious, luxury hotels in the Glasgow area just 10 minutes from the airport featured in issue 13 of Scotland Correspondent.


Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island

Mercure Hotel inverness

Located on the west coast of Scotland on a private 300 acre island with gorgeous views overlooking Loch Linnhe and the dramatic Morvern mountains beyond.

Featured in issue 15 of Scotland Correspondent. This stylish Inverness hotel has been refurbished throughout, blending traditional Highland hospitality with supreme comfort in the finest waterside hotel Inverness has to offer.

Benderloch, Oban

Featured in issue 3 of Scotland Correspondent. The hotel offers a variety of accommodation with 16 bedrooms in the main house, five spa suites in the gardens with private hot tub, two garden cottages with two bedrooms each which are ideal for families and six hilltop reserves overlooking Loch Linnhe with private hot tub and balconies.



Portavadie Lodge on Loch Lomond Luss, Loch Lomond

The Lodge on Loch Lomond Hotel, on the beachfront at Luss near Glasgow, is the perfect place to relax overlooking Scotland’s favourite loch.

Loch Fyne, Argyll Sitting on the shores of Loch Fyne on Scotland’s west coast, Portavadie is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and unwind amid glorious scenery.

As featured in issue 5 of Scotland Correspondent. The 48-bedroom hotel, complete with a range of conference and banqueting facilities for up to 200 guests and leisure facilities, enjoys an intimate, warm and charming atmosphere. The award-winning Colquhoun’s Restaurant and Lounge are the perfect place to relax and unwind and watch the changing landscape of the loch.

As featured in issue 2 of Scotland Correspondent. The resort offers world-class marina facilities, a range of holiday accommodation, restaurants and bars, beauty and wellbeing treatments, shopping and event spaces. The spa and leisure experience provides an exceptional way to enjoy the views over Loch Fyne at any time of year, making Portavadie the destination of choice for all occasions.

Trump Turnberry

Dundas Castle

Trump Turnberry is an iconic landmark on the spectacular Ayrshire coast providing warm Scottish hospitality.

Dundas Castle is a most spectacular venue for any event. This authentic Scottish Castle has been transformed into a 5-star ‘Exclusive Use’ venue with 17 bedrooms. As featured in issue 13 of Scotland Correspondent. Parts of the castle date back to 1416 and has belonged to the Stewart-Clark family since the late 1800s.

Turnberry, Ayrshire

As featured in issue 7 of Scotland Correspondent. It offers a range of exceptional venues ideal for meetings, events and weddings. Enjoy the fresh Scottish air while enjoying the wonderful scenery, exceptional dining options, indulgent spa treatments, outdoor activities and championship golf.


Enjoy all the amenities of the finest hotels but with the exclusivity of staying in your own castle.


George Hotel

Inveraray, Argyll Imagine relaxing by an open peat fire, sipping a singlemalt whisky after a sumptuous meal before retiring to a luxury bed in a 247-year-old hotel by the side of a spectacular Scottish loch. As featured in issue 11 of Scotland Correspondent. Each of the George’s 17 rooms have been beautifully decorated and many boast a super king-size bed, jacuzzi bath and even a real open log and coal fire to add an extra layer of romantic cosiness.

Glamis House Glamis, Angus

Built in 1798 Glamis House is a stunning, traditional home with an impressive history, as featured in issue 19 of Scotland Correspondent. The house is situated in the grounds of Glamis Castle. With room for up to 13 people to sleep the house is situated in a stunningly beautiful part of the country boasting superb beaches, great walking trails and renowned golf courses close by, including Carnoustie. Glamis House, Forfar, Angus Tel: 01738 451610

The Station Hotel

Glen Nevis Hostel

Situated in the heart of Scotland’s world renowned whisky country the Station Hotel in Rothes, as featured in issue 30 of Scotland Correspondent, provides the perfect blend of of history, tradition and modern luxury.

Visitors on a budget looking to spend time in one of the most spectacular areas of the Scottish Highlands can do so Glen Nevis Youth Hostel in Fort William, Lochaber.


With 14 bedrooms, including five luxury suites, the fourstar hotel is ideally placed to serve as a base for visitors interested in exploring the well-signposted nearby whisky, golf and castle trails of Speyside.


Fort William

As featured in issue 20 of Scotland Correspondent this jewell in the crown of Hostelling Scotland has recently been refurbished to provide a mix of private en-suite rooms and shared accommodation with all the comforts and modern conveniences of a home from home.

Trump International

Balmedie, Aberdeenshire MacLeod House & Lodge is a five-star luxury hotel located near Balmedie, Aberdeenshire at Trump International Championship Links Golf Course and award-winning five-star resort.

As featured in issue 20 of Scotland Correspondent. This historic Scottish mansion and lodge, set amid mature woodland, provides sumptuous accommodation, exquisite dining and an intimate bar. Available for exclusive use, corporate events and weddings it has all the facilities and amenities to suit the modern, traveller.


This month in history


Kirkbean, Dumfries. He become the best known naval commander of the American Revolutionary war and his exploits earned him an international reputation. He died in Paris, France aged 45 on 18 July 1792

cotland has much to celebrate and commemorate from the births and deaths of worthy persons to notable events in history. Here’s a brief guide to some of the events and dates worth remembering this June.


1728 July 3 - Architect and interior designer Robert Adam was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife. His neoclassical designs influenced the development of Western architecture, both in Europe and North America.

1274 July 11 - Robert the Bruce was born at Turnberry Castle in Ayrshire. Want to know what he looked like? See here


1747 July 6 - Father of the US Navy John Paul Jones was born

1878 July 14 - Actor Donald Meek, best known as Mr Peacock in the 1939 John Wayne movie Stagecoach, was born in Glasgow. He appeared in over 100 movies and has a posthumous Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1882 July 27 - Birth of actor Donald Crisp who despite almost always playing a Scot in movies, such as

Disney’s ‘Greyfriar’s Bobby’, and claiming to be from Aberfeldy in Perthshire he was not a Scot - but wanted to be. Read more here. 1914 July 15 - Gavin Maxwell, author of “Ring of Brightwater” born in Elrig near Dumfries.

July 25 1394 - King James I of Scotland born in Dunfermline Abbey, Fife

July 21 1796 - Scotland’s greatest known poet Robert Burns died in Dumfries, aged 37


July 19 1896 - Novelist A J Cronin, author of the Dr Finlay’s Casebook stories, was born at Cardross, Dunbartonshire. July 20 1889 - Lord Reith, the first governor of the BBC, born in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. July 23 1916 - Nobel Prize winner Sir William Ramsay, the Glasgow-born Scottish chemist who discovered helium, xenon, neon, argon, radon and krypton, died in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England.

July 23 1886 Arthur Whitten Brown who flew with John Alcock on the first west to east aircraft crossing of the Atlantic was born in Glasgow.

July 25 1843 - Charles Mackintosh, inventor of the rubberised raincoat that bears his name, died in Glasgow aged 76.

3 July 1582 - Polymath James Crichton, the original “Admirable Crichton”, who was one of the most gifted individuals of the 16th century renowned for extraordinary accomplishments in languages, the arts, and sciences was murdered in Mantua aged 21.

7 July 1930 - Edinburgh-born Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories, died in Sussex aged 71


Notable events

8 July 1822 - Renowned porter painter Sir Henry Raeburn, died in Edinburgh aged 67.

1 July 1505 - Seal granted by Edinburgh Town Council to the Incorporation of Barbers and Surgeons to practise their craft. The organisation is now known as the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

13 July 1834 - Scone-born botanist and explorer David Douglas, who gave his name to the Douglas-fir tree, died in Hawaii under mysterious circumstances.

3 July 1928 - Helensburgh born inventor and television pioneer John Logie Baird transmitted the world’s first colour television images. 5 July 1530 - Border reiver John Armstrong and 50 of his men were hanged for blackmail at Carlanrig by King James V.

6 July 1919 - Record-breaking Airship R34, built in Glasgow, landed at Long Island after the first TransAtlantic airship flight - from East Fortune, East Lothian. It took 108 hours. 1 July 1782 - The Proscription Act was repealed to allow the wearing of tartan and the carrying of weapons which had been banned as a result of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie. 2 July 1266 - Norway officially renowned its claim on the Hebrides with the Treaty of Perth.

1790 July 17 - Economist and philosopher Adam Smith, best known for his work the “Wealth of Nations” died in Edinburgh aged 67.


2 July 2 1645 - Royalist forces, under the command of the Marquis of Montrose, defeated an army of Covenanters at the Civil War Battle of Alford in Aberdeenshire.

Lizzie CC BY-SA 2.0

6 July 1988 - An explosion aboard the North Sea oil rig Piper Alpha, killed 167 men.

July 22 1913 - Edinburgh Zoo opened.

7 July 1548 - The Treaty of Haddington was signed between France and Scotland confirming the betrothal of Mary Queen of Scots and the Dauphin of France. 8 July 1790 - The Forth and Clyde Canal, which took 22 years to build, was finally opened.

Carlos Delgado CC BY-SA 3.0

Kim Traynor CC BY-SA 4.0

July 14 1927 - Scottish National War Memorial opened at Edinburgh Castle. 8 July 8 - First test run of the Bennie Railplane at Milngavie near Glasgow. Although there was a lot of enthusiasm for the futuristic mode of transport it was never developed.

15 July 1889 - National Portrait Gallery for Scotland opened in Edinburgh. July 16 1832 - Disaster in Shetland when 31 fishing boats sank in a storm with the loss of 105 souls. The event is still remembers in the islands as “The Bad Day”. July 17 1652 - Great Fire of Glasgow broke out, destroying nearly one third of the city.

9 July 1857 - The case against Madeleine Smith, accused of poisoning her French lover, was sensationally found “not proven” and she was released. 10 July 1633 - The sailing ship Blessing of Burntisland sank in the Firth of Forth carrying gold, jewellery and silver plate belonging to King Charles I.

July 23 1637 - A riot broke out at St Giles in Edinburgh after parishioner Jenny Geddes shouted “Don’t thou say Mass in ma lug” and threw her chair at the pulpit. July 23 1745 - Bonnie Prince Charlie landed on Eriskay at the start of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion. July 24 1411 - The Battle of Harlaw Hill, one of the bloodiest battles in Scottish history, took place between the armies of Donald, Lord of the Isles and the Earl of Mar. July 24 1567 - Mary Queen of Scots abdicated in favour of her infant son James VI.

July 22 1298 - The Battle of Falkirk took place. Iain Lees CC BY-SA 2.0

July 22 1793 - Explorer Alexander Mackenzie completed the first overland crossing of North America.

July 24 2002 - Scotland’s first national park, The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, was opened. July 27 1689 - Bonnie Dundee and his Jacobite army won the Battle of Killiecrankie.


Date 4 ur diary


3 July Kenmore Highland Games Kenmore, Aberfeldy, Perthshire Kenmore Games are known locally as the ‘friendly’ games as it welcomes everyone who cares to join in with this small community in their annual games. Events include, highland dancing, pipe band, heavy weight events (tossing the caber, throwing the hammer, putting the shot), children’s & adult races, the challenging Kenmore Hill race, trade stands, food & bar stands plus lots lots more. 4-6 July Electric Fields SWG3, Glasgow A festival celebrating the best music around, taking place for 2019 at the incredible SWG3 complex in Glasgow. 5-7 July Scottish Game Fair Perth, PH2 6BD The 31st Scottish Game Fair, in association with NFU Mutual, leading rural insurer, returns to stunning Scone Parklands. This fantastic three-day event attracts tens of thousands of visitors and is a true celebration of conservation and the countryside, while raising vital funds for wildlife conservation science. 5-8 July The Kelburn Garden Party Kelburn Castle, Kelburn Estate Fairlie, Fairlie KA29 0BE The Kelburn Garden Party is known for its diverse and exciting music programme. Across 7 unique stages scattered around our stunning glen you’ll encounter proper dance music, firing folk, plenty funk and disco, dub to jungle, alt-pop experimental excursions, a good dose of jazz and blues, and intriguing global sounds. 6 July Corrieyairack Challenge Aviemore, PH22 1AD Follow in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie over Scotland’s highest mountain road (2526ft). The Corrieyairack Challenge demands respect and a special place in your heart. General Wade’s historic mountain pass was built by hand in 1731 and successfully defended by Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745. Join us for the 22nd Corrieyairack Challenge raising


If you have a future event you would like included in our diary please email details to funds for people with disabilities to enjoy an outdoor holiday at Badaguish. 6 July Doune and Dunblane Agricultural Society Annual Show Keir Mains, Dunblane FK15 9NU 6 July Isle of Harris Half Marathon Isle of Harris, Scotland, UK The Harris Half is a popular event in the Scottish running calendar and attracts a large number of entries from the Scottish mainland and beyond. One of the reasons for this is the scenic quality of the route which meanders and undulates past the spectacular sandy beaches on the west side of the island before climbing across a stretch of rugged, loch-strewn moorland and finally descending towards the finish in the vibrant ferry port of Tarbert. 6 July The Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon Ardtalnaig, PH15 2HX An exhilarating 57 miles of swimming, running, kayaking and biking. One of the best one day challenges in the UK, The Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon is an exhilarating test of stamina, strength and fitness. 6-14 July Shetland Nature Festival Lerwick, ZE1 0NY Whether you’d like to sit amongst Puffins at some of Europe’s most spectacular seabird colonies, watch Killer Whales as they hunt around the coast, see otters up close or find some of Britain’s rarest flowers, Shetland has it all and there’s no better time to visit than during the Shetland Nature Festival. 6 July Luss Highland Games Luss The first Luss Highland Gathering was held in 1875 by the side of Loch Lomond and has been held annually since, except for a break during the two World Wars. Over the years it has become a symbol of local sporting endeavour and community spirit. It has also become the focus of the annual gathering of the Clan Colquhoun, bringing with it an influx of visitors from distant lands seeking their heritage.

6 July Forres Highland Games Grant Park, Forres, Forres, Moray Games day commences with a Pipe Band procession up Forres High Street before the Games flag is raised over the arena. The day follows with a spectacular show of Scottish tradition, sport and culture with Highland Dancing, Track and Field, Heavy Events, Tug ‘o’ War, Solo Piping and may more disciplines on display. 6 July Glengarry Highland Games Invergarry, Inverness-shire 7 July St Magnus Marathon Birsay, Orkney, KW17 2LY The Birsay Community Association welcomes you to the St.Magnus Marathon - Britain’s most northerly marathon. 10-14 July Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open The Renaissance Club, North Berwick The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open heads The Renaissance Club in North Berwick this year, for the 37th staging of the event. 12-14 July Stonehaven Folk Festival Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, AB39 2AA Some of the best traditional and contemporary folk music. concerts, ceilidh, sessions, singarounds, workshops.the famous aqua ceilidh and world paper’n’comb championships! 12-14 July TRNSMT Glasgow, G1 5DB Three day TRNSMT Festival on Glasgow Green. In a country already renowned for having the best audiences in the world, TRNSMT Festival, set within the city’s Glasgow Green, shows artists from around the world that there’s nothing better than a Scottish crowd. 12-21 July Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival Edinburgh Edinburgh Jazz Festival was set up in 1978 by banjoplayer and guitarist, Mike Hart. Mike’s initial focus was on traditional jazz and a host of events taking place for free admission in pubs. By the mid-80’s the Festival had added ticketed events, and had broadened its musical policy to encompass swing and mainstream jazz and

occasionally some more modern groups. 13 July Kirriemuir Show Kirriemuir, Angus The show has been running since 11th August 1877 and has survived two world wars, two foot and mouth epidemics and the Scottish Weather! The show could not run for 140 years without the support of the trades, competitors, sponsors and, of course, the crowds! 13-20 July St Ronan’s Border Games Week and Cleikum Ceremonies Innerleithen Innerleithen’s annual family festival, incorporating St Ronan’s Border Games and Cleikum Ceremonies. A 10 day festival that incorporates many events for every age group. 13 July Loch Lomond Highland Games Balloch, Loch Lomond Traditional Highland Games with pipe bands and Scottish country dancing alongside stalls and many other activities. The games are now one of the top three Highland Games in Scotland hosting the Scottish Highland Games Association World Heavyweight Championship and the 80 metre Scottish Sprint Championship. 13 July Tain Highland Gathering Tain, Ross-shire A traditional Highland Gathering with all the usual events - Highland Dancing, Piping, Track & Field Events, Cycling, and, of course, the Heavies - see the Heavies compete in a special Caber event where they attempt to turn one of the longest and heaviest Cabers in the Games circuit! 13 July Alva Highland Games Alva, Stirling The games feature the full range of traditional events including athletics, cycling, highland dancing, heavy weight events and the crowning glory of games day, the four hill races. 15 July Burntisland Highland Games Burntisland, Fife Founded in 1652, these are the second-oldest highland games in the world and feature highland dancing,


running, cycling and heavy events. 16 July Inveraray Highland Games Inveraray, Argyll We look forward to welcoming you to the grounds of Inveraray Castle, the venue of the Inveraray Highland Games. The Games celebrate our rich culture and heritage with field and track events, piping, highland dancing competitions and heavy events including the world championships for tossing the caber. You will also find a good selection of local Scottish food and drink stands as well many trade and charity stalls. 17-20 July Hebridean Celtic Festival Stornoway, Isle of Lewis Four day festival set against the unique backdrop of the the Hebrides. Acclaimed new and up and coming acts will join established festival favourites as the main arena line-up for this year’s HebCelt. 18 July Celtic Summer at the Scottish Crannog Centre Loch Tay, By Aberfeldy, Perthshire Try ancient games, compete in boat races, listen to outdoor music and enjoy tasty ancient party treats cooked over an open fire! 19-20 July Caithness Agricultural Society Annual Show Wick Annual agricultural show with competitions for all animals from horses, cattle, sheep, goats to rabbits. 19-21 July Anstruther Harbour Festival Anstruther, Fife This year’s festival will again revive the burgh’s historic market ‘Anster Fair’ with food and craft stalls from local traders. There will also be a range of live music and dance events throughout the 3 days as well as children’s events. This year’s festival will be hosting the Dunedin International Folk Dance Festival which will be held on the Friday afternoon with dance teams from across Europe performing in traditional costume. 19-21 July 80’s Rewind Festival Perth Taking place in the spectacular grounds of Scone Palace - Rewind Scotland is a sight to behold! Expect a weekend of iconic performances from musical


legends, themed venues, pop-up performers and an unrivalled festival atmosphere. 20 July Sutherland Show Dornoch Links, Dornoch, Sutherland The Sutherland Agricultural Show began in 1951 to showcase the vitality and productivity of the largest county in the United Kingdom. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea, from the far north coast to the Dornoch Firth, Sutherland encompasses a wide diversity of landscapes and climatic conditions, and its industries and agriculture reflect this. 20 July Biggar Show Biggar, Lanarkshire It’s all going on at the Biggar Show on the 20th of July as the show field will be bursting with Livestock, Poultry and Equine Classes, Ladies Industrial Section, Craft Marquee, Highland Dancing, Dog Show, Food Fair, Trade Stands, Fun Fair, Children’s Entertainment and main ring attractions! 20 July Inverness Highland Games Inverness Annual Highland Games featuring a mix of track and field events, displays and family entertainment. Open 11.00am - 6.00pm. .. 20 July Tomintoul Highland Games Tomintoul, Moray, Scotland, UK Traditional Highland Games featuring Highland dancing and piping. 20 July City of Inverness Highland Games Inverness, IV3 5SR Founded in 1822 Inverness is the biggest Highland and most spectacular Highland Games staged in the North of Scotland. 20 July Lochcarron Highland Games Lochcarron, Strathcarron, Wester Ross ‘The Friendly Games’ held in beautiful Wester Ross in the North West Highlands of Scotland.  Lochcarron Highland Games feature the traditional mixture of heavy events, track and field plus highland dancing and piping displays (these are not competitions).

21 July Stonehaven Highland Games Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire The 2019 Games will be held on Sunday 21st July 11am to 5pm at Mackie Academy and will feature,  Highland Dancing, Running and Heavy events like Tossing the Caber, Hammer Throwing etc and Pipe Band Competition. 21-26 July The Royal Deeside Golf Classic Aberdeenshire The Royal Deeside Golf Classic is played over four majestic courses: Aboyne, Ballater, Banchory and Braemar. Prizes are awarded for each round and for the full week across various playing categories.  As well as fantastic and challenging golf courses, there is also an optional social programme in the evening where you can meet your new friends and fellow competitors in a relaxed environment. It is a fabulous week of golf, friendship and people return year after year to enjoy the event. 25 July-25 August Edinburgh Art Festival Edinburgh Edinburgh Art Festival is the platform for the visual arts at the heart of Edinburgh’s August festivals, bringing together the capital’s leading galleries, museums and artist-run spaces in a city-wide celebration of the very best in visual art. 26-27 July Border Union Show Kelso, Scottish Borders The show is a traditional farming show with over 500 open competitions for horses, livestock and industrial arts. There are over 200 trade stands for everything you could imagine from tractors and farm supplies to clothing and food outlets. 26 July Durness Highland Gathering Durness, Sutherland There can be little doubt that traditional Games of agility and strength have been practised in the Highlands from very early times. Durness Highland Gathering is a small event with all the trimmings of traditional Scottish Highland Games. 26-28 July ButeFest Rothesay, Argyll & Bute A non stop weekend of fun ,family and cracking music

the last weekend in July on the mystical and magnificent Isle of Bute… Join us this year on our wonderful 5th year as a festival ( and on the breathtaking beach no less!) for a a mythical carnival of Scottish spirit with bands, Grub and some cracking shows to entertain and delight every age group. 26-28 July Eilean Dorcha Festival Isle of Benbecula Uist’s only annual Summer Music festival. 26-28 July Speyfest East Street, Fochabers, Moray, IV32 7DY Three days of the best in traditional and contemporary Celtic music. The tented village hosts a variety of seated and standing events including the Friday and Saturday concerts and stomps, the music marathon that is Speyfest Sunday, a craft and food fair with taster sessions and an ecumenical Celtic Kirk service. 27 July Braco Show Braco, Auchterarder, Perth & Kinross Agricultural show. A fun day out for all the family. 27 July Banchory Show Banchory, Aberdeenshire, AB31 5HT Agricultural show with livestock, dog show, Highland dancing, pipe band, produce displays and refreshments. A fun day for all the family set in the heart of Aberdeenshire. 27 July Airth Highland Games Wilderness, Airth, Falkirk Airth Highland Games founded in 1871 are always held on the fourth Saturday in July, the games are held in an area called the Wilderness with loads to see and do its a great family fun day out. Coach tours, Tourists and members of the public always welcome at our Highland Games. 27 July Dufftown Highland Games Dufftown, Moray The Dufftown highland games have been held the last Saturday in July since 1892. Today they are a taste of something Scottish for everybody.  A full programme of light and heavy events, massed pipe bands, highland dancing and hill races.  Visitors can take part in the


overseas race - an opportunity to participate in a northern highland games. Fun for the entire family and much more. 27 July Big Fun Run Glasgow Glasgow Big Fun Run is a series of 5k untimed runs staged within scenic settings throughout the UK from July to October. Run for fitness, run for charity, run for fun…just run! There’s no pressure, just some easy moves and lots of laughs. It’s all about getting involved, having fun and enjoying the whole experience of the day. 27 July Halkirk Highland Games Thurso, Caithness, KW12 6YN The Halkirk Highland Games, a traditional and spectacular Scottish sporting event established in 1886, is held in Caithness in the far North of Scotland, near to Thurso and the famous end of the road landmark of John O’Groats. The Games is the premiere sporting event in the North of Scotland. The prize money of over £16,000 is one the best in Scotland and attracts the country’s best amateur and professional competitors. 28 July Big Fun Run Edinburgh Holyrood Park, Edinburgh Big Fun Run is a series of 5k untimed runs staged within scenic settings throughout the UK from July to October. Run for fitness, run for charity, run for fun…just run! There’s no pressure, just some easy moves and lots of laughs. It’s all about getting involved, having fun and enjoying the whole experience of the day. 28 July St Andrews Highland Games Station Park, St. Andrews, Fife St Andrews Highland games are relative newcomers to the highland games scene as this year will be only the 34th time they will have been held. From humble beginnings in 1984 they are now firmly established as one of the top highland games in Fife, if not in Scotland.


3-7 July Robert Burns Scottish Festival Camperdown, Victoria The Robert Burns Scottish Festival is a weekend of music, dance and poetry celebrating Camperdown’s link to Scotland’s national Bard.


6 July Aberdeen Highland Games Aberdeen, New South wales Throughout the day there will be fun for all the family – there will be Highland and Country Dancing, Pipe Band displays, Strong Man events with the Tartan Warriors to enjoy as well as tug-of-war, three-legged races, and the famed Kilted Dash to participate in. A multitude of stores and stands will surround the area selling all manner of Scottish heirlooms and souvenirs, clothing and garb, and food and drink to complete your day. 6 July Scottish Masonic Charitable Foundation of WA Tartan Ball Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, Western Australia The Ball is a night where people of the community can come together as one and enjoy some Scottish Traditions with dinner, dancing and fun. The Heel ‘n’ Toe band provides the music, there is a performance by the Perth Metro Pipe Band, and an Address to the Haggis and plenty of raffles prizes to be won. 12-21 July The Melbourne Tartan Festival Melbourne, Victoria The Melbourne Tartan Festival is a joint initiative of the Victorian Scottish Heritage Cultural Foundation (VSHCF) and Scots of Victoria Co-ordinating Group (SVCG) to promote the ongoing support and encouragement of Scottish cultural heritage within and alongside Victoria’s rich, culturally diverse community of today. 13 July Hawthorn Pipe Band: Taking Flight Hawthorn, Victoria Join us in our last performance before we travel to Scotland for the first time in our 105 year history to compete in the World Pipe Band Championships. We will perform music we plan to compete with and selection of concert sets with special guests. 20 July The Celtic Shindig Morley Sports and Recreation Centre Wellington Road, Morley, Western Australia Perth Metro Pipe Band is hosting a Christmas in July event as part of the 2019 Celtic Shindig. It promises to be a great night, filled with music, dancing, games and prizes. 20 July 23rd International Tartan Day King George Square, Brisbane, Queensland Australian Scottish Community is putting on a free day

of family entertainment, including Pipe Bands, Highland Dancing, Scottish Country Dancing, Celtic Choir, Family History and Genealogy and more, as part of its aims to help promote and advance the Scots culture and Heritage in Australia


1 July Embro Highland Games 355644 35th Line, Zorra, Ontario Family fun with a Scottish flair. Popular with visitors of all ages, the 81st Embro Highland Games offers a wide variety of Scottish-entertainment options. 1-5 July FiddlyNess 2019 Big River, Saskatchewan Traditional fiddle music has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Come join us as we continue this time honoured tradition, sharing tunes from many Canadian styles, including Prairie, Metis, Down East, Ottawa Valley, Quebecois, and Celtic. FiddlyNess will feature jam sessions for all levels, exciting concerts, old time dances, new friends and new tunes, all in the beautiful setting of Ness Creek! 4 July Great Scots: Canadian Fiction Writers with Links to Scotland Toronto Reference Library, Hinton Learning Theatre, Toronto, Ontario Douglas Gibson presents Great Scots - recounting the literary contributions of Scottish-Canadians from 1867 to the present day. Having worked with several ScottishCanadian literary icons as an editor and publisher - including Hugh MacLennan, W.O. Mitchell and Alice Munro, among others - Gibson draws on his extensive knowledge and experience. He brings their works and lives into dramatic focus in this entertaining and informative journey through Canadian literary history. jsp?Entt=RDMEVT398157&R=EVT398157 5-7 July Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games Kincardine, Ontario For almost 20 years, our award-winning festival has welcomed thousands of visitors from all over North America to the beautiful lakeside town of Kincardine to join us in celebrating all things Scottish. 5-7 July Almonte Celtfest Gemmill Park, Almonte, Ontario

Celtfest is a fun weekend of Ottawa Valley and Celtic entertainment, in the natural amphitheater of Gemmill Park in the heart of Almonte. It also presents a select group of artisans and vendors of goods with a Celtic flair. 6 July The Penticton Scottish Festival King’s Park, 550 Eckhardt Ave, Penticton, British Columbia A unique one-day event that combines traditional Scottish Highland Games of musical and athletic competition with  Celtic cultural expos of entertainment and family fun. 7-14 July The 156th Annual Antigonish Highland Games Columbus Field, Antigonish, Nova Scotia The Games feature athletic competitions such as the Elite Mile, Scottish Heavy Events, and a Tug-Of-War, as well as competitions in Piping, Drumming, Pipe Bands and Highland Dance. The Antigonish Highland Games are this summer’s can’t miss event! 19-21 July Scottish Festival Orillia Couchiching Beach Park, Orillia, Ontario We look forward to seeing you at the 42nd Scottish Festival in the Sunshine City, Orillia. Whether you are new to the festival or have been coming for years, every year brings new sounds and experiences. 19-20 July Cambridge Scottish Festival 200 Christopher Drive, Cambridge, Ontario Bring your family and friends for a Scottish adventure full of entertainment and fun activities 26-28 July The New Brunswick Highland Games Festival Government House, Fredericton, New Brunswick Be a Scot for the weekend and come along to celebrate Scottish/Celtic culture. We offer workshops, entertainment, competitions and an opportunity to learn more about your Scottish heritage. We are regarded by competitors and enthusiasts as one of the top events of its kind in North America. 27-28 July Okanagan Military Tattoo Kal Tire Place, 3445 43rd Ave, Vernon, British Columbia A musical extravaganza of pipers, drummers, musicians, military bands, marching troops, multicultural dancers and singers of all ages brought together in an action packed, non-stop choreographed two-hour event.


Featuring over 400 performers from all over North America

New Zealand

19-20 July Art ‘n Tartan Wearable Art Awards 2019 Waipu Celtic Barn, Waipu Museum, 36 The Centre, Waipu 0510, Northland Held annually in Waipu’s Celtic Barn, this extravaganza of light and sound shows off some fantastic entries of wearable art from far and wide and show cases the concept of how much tartan can be seen to symbolise not just the idea of Scottishness but so much more! 20 July Robert Burns’ Winter Dinner 52 Princess St, Palmerston North Central, Palmerston North 4410 Join us for the evening of fine tradition that is Robert Burns’ Winter Dinner hosted by the Manawatu Scottish Society. Enjoy the fantastic three-course traditional meal, superlative entertainment, lively speakers and unique warmth of atmosphere the evening of Saturday 20 July shall bring. 27 July Gaelic Ball 2019 Wellington , New Zealand Dancing starts at 7:30pm doors open 7:00pm. Semi formal attire.


11-14 July Grandfather Mountain Highland Games MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain near Linville, NC A celebration of traditional dancing, piping, drumming, athletic achievement, music and Gaelic culture 20 July Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games Eagan Central Park, 1501 Central Pkwy, Eagan, Minnesota 55121 Celtic Music, Highland Dance Competition, Heavy Games Competition, Pipe Bands Competition and Mass Bands, Scottish Country Dancing, Children’s Activities, Clan Row, Organizations/Exhibits, Food, & Scottish Marketplace Vendors


20 July Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Look Park, 300 North Main St. Florence, MA Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival is the only Scottish Festival in Massachusetts, and the second largest one in New England. We are proud to have been bringing world class Scottish Arts to the Pioneer Valley for 26 years. 20 July Portland Highland Games Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham, Oregon For more than 60 years, the Portland Highland Games have delighted participants with a unique, Scottish experience featuring incredible Scottish pipe bands, bag pipers and drummers, dancers and athletes. Come enjoy a full day of this Scottish festival. Explore Scottish clan tents and learn about your Scottish history and immerse yourself in the music and culture. 26-28 July 73rd Annual Pacific Northwest Highland Games and Clan Gathering Enumclaw Expo Center, 45224 284th Ave SE, Enumclaw, WA Bringing Scotland to the Pacific Northwest for over 70 years through the skirl of the Pipes and Drums, the beauty of Highland Dancing, the brawn of Scottish athletics, and the sharing of clan history. The Seattle Scottish Highland Games Association is dedicated to the perpetuation of the Scottish arts, their traditions & customs to inspire new generations to take part in their stories.



Profile for Scotland Correspondent

Scotland Correspondent Issue 31