Sunniside Local History Society

Historic Scenes of Scotland


Scotland and England have been ruled by the same monarchy, and governed by the same parliament, for well over 250 years. The inhabitants of both countries speak the same language and use the same currency. They don't need passports or visas to move from one country to the other and there are no customs posts on the border.

We Geordies have a great affinity with our Scottish neighbours, after all, many of our families originated from Scotland. I have been asked many times to include a feature on Scotland and I am more than happy to display some of the breathtaking scenery and historic buildings of Scotland.

Pictured above, looking north-west from the western end of Loch Moy; the River Spean has already begun its journey out of Loch Laggan, but is lost in the waters of Loch Moy before it emerges from the other end and helps to generate more hydro electricity for the grid. Binnein Shuas is the summit which looks over the top end of Loch Moy but, more significantly, marks the bottom end of Loch Laggan and also sports one of the best views to the hugely popular - but potentially difficult - Craig Meagaidh and its Nature Reserve below.


Eilean Donnan Castle was built by Alexander II in 1220 on an island in Loch Duich, the causeway was added centuries later. Eilean Donan, which means simply "island of Donnán", is named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in 617. Donnán is said to have established a church on the island, though no trace of this remains.

The castle was founded in the thirteenth century, and became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies the Clan Macrae. In the early eighteenth century, the Mackenzies' involvement in the Jacobite rebellions led in 1719 to the castle's destruction by government ships. Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap's twentieth-century reconstruction of the ruins produced the present buildings.


Loch Tummel is a long narrow loch in Perthshire, 6 miles (9.6 km) west of Pitlochry.

The area around the River Tummel and Loch Tummel is known as Strathtummel and is one of the most beautiful parts of Perthshire’s ‘Big Tree Country’, with ever changing colours throughout the seasons and a great choice of walks, cycle routes and places to relax.

Set high above Loch Tummel is the Queens View, one of the most famous viewpoints in Scotland. The panorama west to the peak of Schiehallion and Rannoch Moor is breathtaking and the viewpoint can be accessed throughout the year, thanks to a nearby Forestry Commission car park and well maintained footpath. Visitors can also enjoy the facilities at the Queens View Visitor Centre, which is a focal point for the Tay Forest Park and has an excellent audio-visual film, tearoom, forest shop and toilets. There are a number of Forestry Commission waymarked walking and cycling routes through Allean Forest on the hillside, just west of the Queens View. The trails provide magnificent views of Loch Tummel and the surrounding countryside, with plenty of historical and wildlife interest along the way.


The ruins of Castle Moil, on the Isle of Skye above the harbour of Kyleakin where the ferry leaves for the mainland.

The Castle was probably built before the tenth century by Norwegian forces who utilised the sheltered waters around the Isle of Skye as safe harbours for their warships as they vied for control of Western Scotland. The first recorded reference however is from around the year AD 900 when Findanus, chief of the powerful Clan Mackinnon of Mull, married a Norwegian bride seemingly bringing the castle (also known by the names Caisteal Maol and Dunakin Castle) into his families' hands.

It significantly enhanced his power for the site commanded the strait of Kyle Akin between the Isle of Skye and mainland Scotland. If local traditions are to be believed, it may have been the source of considerable revenue earned from a toll boom that barred this key waterway; those that didn't pay would have had to travel south of the Isle of Skye and into the stormy waters of the Minches. It is believed to be here where King Haakon IV of Norway assembled his fleet prior to the Battle of Largs (1263).


The monument at Glenfinnan commemorating the clansmen of the ’45. On Monday 19 August 1745 a small rowing boat landed at the north end of Loch Shiel. It was early afternoon. Prince Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie" came ashore and met his escort of 50 MacDonalds before retiring to a nearby barn to await the response to letters he had sent to possible supporters all over the Highlands. Another 150 MacDonalds were quickly on the scene, but for some time it seemed that Bonnie Prince Charlie was going to have to challenge for his father's right to the thrones of Scotland and England with just 200 men. Then pipes were heard approaching from the north. It was around 1,000 men of the Clan Cameron coming from Achnacarry andLoch Arkaig. Three hundred Macdonnells arrived later, having been delayed by a successful skirmish with Government troops near today's Spean Bridge.

Judging that he had enough support to mount his rebellion, Charles Edward Stuartclimbed the hill behind today's NTS visitor Centre and raised his standard. A brief ceremony, translated into Gaelic for the benefit of the Jacobite clansmen, followed, and the Prince then ordered that brandy be distributed.

And so the '45 was born. It was to end in bloody failure at Culloden on 16 April 1746, less than eight months later. In its aftermath the Highland way of life that had existed for hundreds of years was swept away by brutality, suppression and self interest.

But in the meantime, Charles had come very close indeed to taking the crowns he sought. His army reached Derby on 6 December 1745, before retreating after a closely argued meeting in the upstairs room of a Derby pub. Meantime, the Hanoverian court was packing its belongings onto ships in the Thames. Had Charles advanced George IIwould probably have fled, leaving Charles' father as James VIII of Scotland and III of England.

Some say that if this had happened the English and French would have avoided a further 70 years of conflict; the English would not have had to raise taxes in the colonies to pay for the French wars; the Americans would not have had cause to fight a war for their independence; and the French revolution might not have happened. The world would be a very different place. On the other hand if the Jacobites had advanced from Derby they might have been cut to pieces by government troops four months earlier than they actually were, and at somewhere like Northampton rather than at Culloden. Who can say for sure?

But given Bonnie Prince Charlie's real interest lay in London, he spent more time than he intended in western Scotland. Before raising his standard at Glenfinnan, Charlie had initially landed on Eriskay in the Western Isles. He then landed on the mainland in Loch nan Uamh, near Lochailort some miles west of Glenfinnan, before making his way here by a roundabout route. The irony is that after Culloden he passed this way again, several times, while evading the Government troops searching for him. It says much for the loyalty of his supporters that no one collected the vast reward of £30,000 placed on his head. And on 20 September 1746 he left Scotland for the last time when he was picked up by a French frigate on the shores of Loch nan Uamh, close to where he had landed just over a year earlier. Today The Prince's Cairn marks the spot from where he departed. See ourHistorical Timeline. By 1815 the Jacobite threat had receded sufficiently into history to allow the erection at Glenfinnan of a monument to mark the raising of the standard, paid for by the wealthy descendant of a Jacobite. This is a stone tower surmounted by a statue of a kilted highlander (not the prince himself as is often thought). The monument was made possible by the construction in 1812 by Thomas Telford of the road from Fort Williamto Arisaig, which passed Glenfinnan as its successor does today. The Glenfinnan Monument came into the care of the National Trust for Scotland in 1938, and they have maintained it ever since.


Encouraged by David I's widespread ecclesiastical reform, a group of monks came from Alnwick to a loop in the Tweed some miles south of Edinburgh. Here they founded Dryburgh Abbey, whose fertile lands made it rich, but whose strategic position laid it open to constant border raiding. A particularly violent attack in 1544 reduced it to the ruins that survive today.

In recent years the Abbey has become a tourist attraction as it holds the remains of Sir Walter Scott and Field Marshal Earl Haig.


Loch Leven, runs from Kinlochleven, to the west of Glencoe, out to join Loch Linnhe, and provides a walkers’ paradise with various trails and walks around this area from Glencoe to Fort William.


Loch Leven Castle is a ruined castle on an island in Loch Leven, in the Perth and Kinross local authority area of Scotland. Possibly built around 1300, the castle was the location of military action during the Wars of Scottish Independence (1296–1357). In the latter part of the 14th century, the castle was granted by his uncle to William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas, and remained in Douglas' hands for the next 300 years.

Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned here in 1567–1568, and forced to abdicate as queen, before escaping with the help of her gaoler's family. In 1588, the Queen's gaoler inherited the title Earl of Morton, and moved away from the castle. It was bought, in 1675, by Sir William Bruce, who used the castle as a focal point in his garden; it was never again used as a residence.

Loch Leven Castle was strengthened in the 14th or early 15th century, by the addition of the five-storey tower house or keep. According to Historic Scotland, it is of the 14th century, making it one of the oldest tower houses in Scotland which still substantially survives. In 1390 King Robert II (reigned 1371–1390) granted the castle to Sir Henry Douglas, the husband of his niece Marjory. From the 14th century, the castle served as a state prison. Prior to becoming king, Robert II was held here in 1369, as was Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas (d. 1439) in the first half of the 15th century. Patrick Graham, Archbishop of St Andrews, died in captivity at the castle in 1478.

Today, the remains of the castle are protected as a category A listed building, in the care of Historic Scotland. Loch Leven Castle is accessible in summer by the public via a ferry.


Urquhart Castle, (Scottish Gaelic: Caisteal na Sròine) sits beside Loch Ness in the Highlandsof Scotland. The castle is on the A82 road, 21 kilometres (13 mi) south-west of Inverness and 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) east of the village of Drumnadrochit. The present ruins date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though built on the site of an early medieval fortification.

Founded in the 13th century, Urquhart played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century. It was subsequently held as a royal castle, and was raided on several occasions by the MacDonald Earls of Ross. The castle was granted to the Clan Grant in 1509, though conflict with the MacDonalds continued. Despite a series of further raids the castle was strengthened, only to be largely abandoned by the middle of the 17th century. Urquhart was partially destroyed in 1692 to prevent its use by Jacobite forces, and subsequently decayed. In the 20th century it was placed in state care and opened to the public: it is now one of the most-visited castles in Scotland.

The castle, situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness, is one of the largest in Scotland in area.[2] It was approached from the west and defended by a ditch and drawbridge. The buildings of the castle were laid out around two main enclosures on the shore. The northern enclosure or Nether Bailey includes most of the more intact structures, including the gatehouse, and the five-storey Grant Tower at the north end of the castle. The southern enclosure or Upper Bailey, sited on higher ground, comprises the scant remains of earlier buildings.


Lyle Hill is a viewpoint in Greenock, Inverclyde. A war memorial to the Free French forces who fought in the Second World War stands on the western brow of the hill. It was built in the shape of the Cross of Lorraine, the emblem of the Free French, combined with an anchor.


The summit of Ben Nevis above Loch Linnhe and Fort William. Fort William was originally called Inverlochy, “Mouth of the Lochy”, which drains the loch of the same name. The name Inverlochy lives on in Inverlochy Castle, just a stone's throw north of today's Fort William. The castle, sadly now in ruins, is thought to be the second to have been built on this site. The first is said to have been in existence by the early 700s and by the end of the 8th century surrounded by a wealthy and cosmopolitan town. The ancient Inverlochy Castle was amongst the primary strongholds of King Achaius the Venomous (c.787-819), ruler of the Scots of Dalriata and grandfather of King Kenneth MacAlpin, who united the Scottish and Pictish kingdoms in 843. Legend has it that it was Inverlochy Castle in which Achaius celebrated a treaty of alliance with the Emperor Charlemagne, c.809. The alliance with Europe's most powerful leader was not a permanent guarantee of Inverlochy's security; within a century the castle was razed to the ground by Viking invaders.

The Comyns built the existing castle in the 1200s. It was still in the family's hands in 1306 when John Comyn, the head of the family and a competitor for the Scottish Crown, was stabbed to death by Robert the Bruce, the future king, in Greyfriars Monastery in Dumfries. Bruce as king ensured the castle and lands were taken off the Comyns and from then on Inverlochy was gifted to a series of families, beginning with the Gordons of Huntly, who were favoured by whatever king happened to be in power at the time. Nonetheless, it remained an important site and was to be the location of two important battles. In 1431 the Royalist forces of King James I were defeated by the MacDonalds, the powerful family of the Lords of the Isles. In 1645, the Campells, who were holding the castle, were defeated by government forces led by the Marquis of Montrose. Realising defeat was imminent, the Campells attempted to flee. In pursuit, the government forces massacred somewhere in the region of 15,000 men. The Marquis of Montrose reportedly lost just 8 men.

Inverlochy Castle was surpassed as the prominent military site in the area in the mid 17th century. The shift was instigated by General Monk, who built a fort in 1654 at a strategic position at the head of Glen Mhor, on behalf of Oliver Cromwell who sought to pacify the Highlands. In the 1690s the fort was enlarged at the behest of William of Orange, who feared the Highlands be used as a base for an invasion by supporters of the Stewart dynasty, which his house had displaced. It was then that Inverlochy took the name of the new king and became Fort William.

William's fears were well grounded; 1715 and 1745 were to mark Jacobite (from the latinised form of James, the traditional name of the Stewart kings) uprisings in the Highlands. On both of these occasions Jacobite armies tested the newly constructed battlements of Fort William. On both occasions William's northern fortress survived. However, the fort was not to survive the arrival of the railway. In 1894 it was destroyed to make way for railway tracks, which now make what was once a northern outpost easily accessible to thousands of travellers each year.

People come to Fort William for many reasons. It is a perfect base from which to explore the Highlands. It is the end of the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way: two popular walking routes through Scotland. The Caledonian Canal, completed in 1803, linking all of the lochs of the Great Glen, now allows sailing trips through the heart of the Scottish Highlands and Fort William is a starting or finishing point for this unforgettable journey. Perhaps most importantly there is Ben Nevis, whose awesome presence is impossible to ignore. The largest mountain in the British Isles has silently borne witness to the often sentinel events which have occurred within her dominion. Looking up at her changing moods one is tempted to think that the immensity of her presence has contributed in some secret way to the unfolding of history at her feet. See also: Fort William Cycling


Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852, having been first leased in 1848.

In the autumn of 1842, two and a half years after her marriage to Prince Albert, Queen Victoria paid her first visit to Scotland. They were so struck with the Highlands that they resolved to return. A further visit to Perthshire and then Ardverikie encouraged them to seize the opportunity to purchase Balmoral. After searching enquiries they bought the estate on the 17th February 1848 and on 8th September 1848 they arrived to take possession of a property they had never seen, but to which they had committed themselves for many years to come. They were not disappointed and when they returned South they opened negotiations for the purchase of the land on which Balmoral stood.

These protracted negotiations were completed on 22nd June 1852, when the fee simple of Balmoral was purchased by Prince Albert. Once the land was purchased they decided to rebuild as the building was no longer adequate for their needs. The architect selected was William Smith, City Architect of Aberdeen. Soon after the family arrived at the Castle, Mr Smith was summoned from Aberdeen on 8th September 1852.

Prince Albert decided to build a new Castle as the current one was considered not large enough for the Royal Family. A new site was chosen, 100 yards to the North West of the building, so that they could continue to occupy the old house while the new Castle was under construction. The foundation stone for Balmoral Castle was laid by Queen Victoria on 28th September 1853 and can be found at the foot of the wall adjacent to the West face of the entrance porch. Before the foundation stone was placed in position Queen Victoria signed a parchment recording the date. This parchment, together with an example of each of the current coins of the realm, was then placed in a bottle, inserted into a cavity below the site prepared for the stone.

The Castle was completed in 1856 and the old building was then demolished. This building is commemorated by a stone which is located on the front lawn at a point opposite the tower and about 100 yards from the path. This stone marks the position of the front door to the demolished castle. When Queen Victoria died in 1901 Balmoral Estates passed, under the terms of her will, to King Edward VII, and from him to each of his successors. Balmoral Estates has been more than just a favourite home to successive generations of the Royal Family.

Although it remains largely the same as it was in Queen Victoria's reign, successive Royal owners have followed the initiative of Prince Albert in making improvements to the estate. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales take a close personal interest in running and improving the Estates.




Inverness is often called the capital of the Highlands. Inverness means the mouth of the River Ness. It is an ancient settlement. In the 6th century AD St Columba is supposed to have visited the Pictish king Brude at his fortress there. Centuries later, in 1040, Macbeth is supposed to have murdered King Duncan at his castle, which stood on the site of Auld Castle hill. Early in the 12th century King David I (1124-1153) made Inverness a royal burgh. He also built a new castle. In the late 12th century King William the Lion gave Inverness 4 charters. (A charter was a document granting the townspeople certain rights). From 1180 a ditch and a wooden stockade surrounded Inverness. Medieval Inverness flourished. Many fishermen operated from Inverness and from the 13th century there was a shipbuilding industry there. Inverness was also a busy little port in the Middle Ages. The main exports were wool, fur and hides. By the middle of the 13th century there was a bridge over the River Ness.

For centuries there was a wooden fort at Inverness but King David built a stone castle. This was largely destroyed by Robert the Bruce in the early 14th century but it was rebuilt early in the 15th century. In 1233 a Dominican Friary was founded in Inverness. The friars were like monks but instead of withdrawing from the world they went out to preach. Dominican monks were called black friars because of the colour of their costumes.

The Middle Ages were a troubled time for Scotland. It was a violent and lawless age. Inverness suffered several disasters. Disaster struck when the Abbot of Arbroath's men burned the friary and part of Inverness. (That was easily done since the buildings were of wood with thatched roofs. On the other hand if they burned they could be easily rebuilt.) Then in 1411 when Donald, Lord of the Isles, burned part of the town. Inverness suffered another disaster in 1429. In 1428 the King arrested the Lord of the Isles, Alexander MacDonald, and some clan chieftains in Inverness. After his release the Lord attacked Inverness and partly destroyed it. However Inverness recovered and continued to prosper.


During the 16th century and the 17th century Inverness was a busy port and market town. In 1591 it was granted a new charter called the Golden Charter. In 1562 Queen Mary came to Inverness. She tried to enter the castle but the governor refused to admit her as his family had a disagreement with the Queen. She stayed somewhere else in the town but later the governor was hanged. Abertarff House was built about 1593. Then in 1644 the wooden bridge over the Ness collapsed. However it was a replaced by a stone bridge which survived until the 19th century. Then in 1652-1657, during the English occupation of Scotland, Cromwell's men built a citadel in Inverness but it was demolished in 1662. Today only the clocktower (Cromwell's Clocktower) remains.

Dunbar's Hospital (almshouses) were built in 1668 by Provost Alexander Dunbar, using building materials from the citadel. The Old Town Cross or Old Mercat Cross was erected in 1685. Nearby is the Clach-na-Cudain or stone of the tubs. Women would rest there coming from washing their clothes.


Inverness Castle was enlarged in the early 18th century by George Wade. However the Jacobites captured the fort in March 1746. However after the Jacobites were crushed at Culloden in April government forces laid mines under the fort to destroy it. It is said that the Frenchman in charge of laying the mines was killed himself when they exploded early. After the collapse of the Jacobite rebellion the government erected Fort George some miles from Inverness. Several new buildings were erected in Inverness in the 18th century. Balnain House was built in 1726. The Court House was built in 1789. In 1791 a steeple was built to be part of Inverness prison. It still stands. Inverness Academy was built in 1792. However most of the houses in Inverness in the 18th century were still simple huts. Most had thatched roofs and many had clay floors.During the 18th century Inverness continued to be a busy port and market town. Citadel Quay was built in 1732. There was also a flourishing brewing industry in Inverness. Whiskey distilling first became important in Inverness in the late 18th century. The first bank in Inverness opened in 1775.


Thornbush Quay was built in 1817. The Caledonian canal was built in 1822 to link east and west Scotland. However it was not a great success. Yet the railway reached Inverness in 1855 and it boosted the town because if made it much easier for tourists to reach Inverness and easier to transport goods from the town to other parts of Britain. Many new buildings were erected in Inverness during the 19th century. The Royal Northern Infirmary opened in 1804 and a new 'castle' was built in Inverness in the years 1834-1846. West Church was built in 1834 and St Andrew's Cathedral was built in 1869. It was designed by Alexander Ross. The Town House was built in 1882. There were several improvements to Inverness in the 19th century. Inverness gained its first newspaper in 1808. Inverness gained gas light and a water supply. However even at the end of the 19th century many houses in the town had thatched roofs and some still had clay floors. The first public library in Inverness opened in 1883.

Meanwhile the Ness Bridge, which had stood since the 17th century was destroyed by a flood in 1849. It was replaced by a new bridge in 1855. Meanwhile a second bridge called Waterloo or Black Bridge was built in 1808. Infirmary Bridge was built in 1879.

During the 19th century industries in Inverness included shipbuilding, rope making, sail making, tanning and wool. In 1817 a sheep market began in Inverness.


By the early 20th century Inverness had a population of 21,000. Inverness doubled in size during the 20th century. Meanwhile the British cabinet met outside London for the first time in 1921 when it gathered in Inverness Castle.

In the 20th century industries in Inverness included distilling, shipbuilding, tweed and engineering. In the late 20th century industry diversified. Inverness also continues to be a busy port. Today the main imports are oil and timber. Furthermore tourism is now a major industry in Inverness. Eden Court Theatre opened in 1976. Inverness Kiltmaker Exhibition opened in 1994. Inverness is also a regional shopping centre. Eastgate Centre opened in the 1980s. Meanwhile a new Ness Bridge was built in 1962. Kessock Bridge was built in 1982.


Inverness was made a city in 2000 and the Eastgate Centre was greatly enlarged in 2003. Today the population of Inverness is 42,000.


Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position.

Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has made it an important fortification from the earliest times. Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defences fronting the town date from the early eighteenth century. Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542. There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle. Stirling Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and is now a tourist attraction managed by Historic Scotland.


Glenfinnan Viaduct is a railway viaduct on the West Highland line in Glenfinnan, Inverness-shire, Scotland. Located at the top of Loch Shiel in the West Highlands of Scotland, the viaduct overlooks the Glenfinnan Monument and the waters of Loch Shiel.

The West Highland Railway was built to Fort William by Lucas and Aird, but there were delays with the West Highland Railway Mallaig Extension (Guarantee) bill for the Mallaig Extension Railway in the House of Commons as the Tory and Liberal parties fought over the issue of subsidies for public transport. This Act did pass in 1896, by which time Lucas & Aird (and their workers) had moved south. New contractors were needed and Robert McAlpine & Sons were taken on with Simpson & Wilson as engineers. Robert McAlpine & Sons was headed by Robert McAlpine, nicknamed "Concrete Bob" for his innovative use of mass concrete. Concrete was used due to the difficulty of working the hard schist in the area. McAlpine's son Robert, then aged 28, and his nephew William Waddell, took charge of construction, with his younger son Malcolm appointed as assistant.

Construction of the extension from Fort William to Mallaig began in January 1897, and the line opened on 1 April 1901. The Glenfinnan Viaduct, however, was complete enough by October 1898 to be used to transport materials across the valley. It was built at a cost of GB £18,904.

A long-established legend attached to the Glenfinnan Viaduct was that a horse had fallen into one of the piers during construction in 1898 or 1899. In 1987, Professor Roland Paxton failed to find evidence of a horse at Glenfinnan using a fisheye camera inserted into boreholes in the only two piers large enough to accommodate a horse. In 1997, on the basis of local hearsay, he investigated the Loch nan Uamh Viaduct by the same method but found the piers to be full of rubble. Using scanning technology in 2001, the remains of the horse and cart were found at Loch nan Uamh, within the large central pylon

The viaduct is built from mass concrete, and has 21 semicircular spans of 50 feet (15 m). It is the longest concrete railway bridge in Scotland at 416 yards (380 m), and crosses the River Finnan at a height of 100 feet (30 m).

The West Highland Line it carries is single track, and the viaduct is 18 feet (5.5 m) wide between the parapets. The viaduct is built on a curve of 792 feet (241 m). The concrete used in the Glenfinnan Viaduct is mass concrete, which unlike reinforced concrete does not contain any metal reinforcement. It is formed by pouring concrete, typically using fine aggregate, into formwork, resulting in a material very strong in compression but weak in tension.


St Andrews, (Scottish Gaelic: Cill Rìmhinn) is a former royal burgh and parish on the east coast of Fife in Scotland, 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Dundee and 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Edinburgh. The town is home to the University of St Andrews, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world and the oldest in Scotland. According to some rankings, it is ranked as the third best university in the United Kingdom, behind Oxbridge. The University is an integral part of the burgh and during term time students make up approximately one third of the town's population Andrews has a population of 16,800 (in 2012).

The town is named after Saint Andrew the Apostle. There has been an important church in St Andrews since at least the 8th century, and a bishopric since at least the 11th century. The settlement grew to the west of St Andrews cathedral with the southern side of the Scores to the north and the Kinness burn to the south. The burgh soon became the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland, a position which was held until the Scottish Reformation. The famous cathedral, the largest in Scotland, now lies in ruins.

St Andrews is also known worldwide as the "home of golf". This is in part because the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, founded in 1754, exercises legislative authority over the game worldwide (except in the United States and Mexico), and also because the famous links (acquired by the town in 1894) is the most frequent venue for The Open Championship, the oldest of golf's four major championships. Visitors travel to St Andrews in great numbers for several courses ranked amongst the finest in the world, as well as for the sandy beaches. The Martyrs Memorial, erected to the honour of Patrick Hamilton, George Wishart, and other martyrs of the Reformation epoch, stands at the west end of the Scores on a cliff overlooking the sea. The civil parish has a population of 18,421 (in 2011).


Culzean Castle was constructed as an L-plan castle by order of the 10th Earl of Cassilis. He instructed the architect Robert Adam to rebuild a previous, but more basic, structure into a fine country house to be the seat of his earldom. The castle was built in stages between 1777 and 1792. It incorporates a large drum tower with a circular saloon inside (which overlooks the sea), a grand oval staircase and a suite of well-appointed apartments. It is the former home of the Marquess of Ailsa, the chief of Clan Kennedy. The cliff top castle lies within the Culzean Castle Country Park and is opened to the public. Since 1987, an illustration of the castle has featured on the reverse side of five pound notes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In 1945, the Kennedy family gave the castle and its grounds to the National Trust for Scotland (thus avoiding inheritance tax). In doing so, they stipulated that the apartment at the top of the castle be given to General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower in recognition of his role as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during the Second World War. The General first visited Culzean Castle in 1946 and stayed there four times, including once while President of the United States.

The Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick's Own) Yeomanry, a British Yeomanry cavalry regiment, was formed by The Earl of Cassillis at Culzean Castle in about 1794. On 24 June 1961, the regiment returned to the castle to be presented with its first guid on by General Sir Horatius Murray, KBE, CB, DSO. The castle re-opened in April 2011 after a refurbishment funded by a gift in the will of American millionaire William Lindsay to the National Trust for Scotland. Lindsay, who had never visited Scotland, requested that a significant portion of his $4 million go towards Culzean. Lindsay was reportedly interested in Eisenhower's holidays at the castle.

Culzean Castle received 220,000 visitors in 2013, making it the National Trust for Scotland's second-most popular property.


Loch Linnhe is a sea loch on the west coast of Scotland. The part upstream of Corran is known in Gaelic as An Linne Dhubh (the black pool, originally known as Loch Abar), and downstream as An Linne Sheileach (the salty pool).

The name Linnhe is derived from the Gaelic word linne, meaning "pool".Loch Linnhe follows the line of the Great Glen Fault, and is the only sea loch along the fault. About 50 kilometres (31 mi) long, it opens onto the Firth of Lorne at its south western end. The part of the loch upstream of Corran is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) long and an average of about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide. The southern part of the loch is wider, and its branch southeast of the island of Lismore is known as the Lynn of Lorne. Loch Eil feeds into Loch Linnhe at the latter's northernmost point, while from the east Loch Leven feeds in the loch just downstream of Corran and Loch Creran feeds into the Lynn of Lorne. The town of Fort William lies at the northeast end of the loch, at the mouth of the River Lochy.


Eshaness Lighthouse overlooks the most dramatic coastline in Britain, on the Northmavine peninsula in the north-west of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The name is sometimes rendered as Esha Ness Lighthouse.

A temporary light powerful enough to give warning of the Ve Skerries eight and half miles offshore was erected in 1915 on the Eshaness peninsula on the north-west coast of mainland Shetland. The temporary light was torn down after World War One. In 1929 engineer David Alan Stevenson designed the permament lighthouse. It was the last Northern Lighthouse Board manned facility designed by a member of the Stevenson family, David A. Stevenson being the engineer for the station.

It was one of the first lighthouses in Scotland with a square tower which is 12 metres (39 ft) high and was built by David Alan Stevenson, one of the famous 'lighthouse' Stevensons. It was built from concrete because of the unsuitability of local stone. It flashes white every 12 seconds and has a nominal range of 25 nautical miles (46 km). The 37 foot square tower sits on top of a 200 foot cliff. The small house beside the lighthouse was home to only one keeper, which was unusual in that most manned facilities had three keepers.

It became one of the first 'self generating' stations completed by the Northern Lighthouse Board being automated in 1974. The former lighthouse keepers' accommodation was bought by an American writer, teacher and consultant Sharma Krauskopf in 1999; Sharma lived in Michigan where they are not short of lighthouses, but she had fallen in love with Scotland - and Scottish lighthouses in particular. After losing out on trying to buy three other lighthouse keepers' houses, she and her husband made a successful bid for Eshaness. She then spent part of each year there, using it as a writing retreat and looking after the "Scottish Radiance" Web site.

But after more than ten years of trans-Atlantic travel she had to move back to Michigan and reluctantly sold the lighthouse accommodation. But the Shetland Amenity Trust, who took it over to create self-catering holiday accommodation, kindly allocated a month each year to Sharma for life so that she could return there if she wanted


It is the highlight of any visit to Bonny Scotland to see a drum major and pipers in full dress on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

Tourists of all nations gather round to enjoy the wonderful sound of the bagpipes.