There are a few places in Scotland where you can guarrantee a close up encounter with Highland Cattle. Cow being ‘coo’ in Scots they are affectionately known as ‘hairy coos’ here. The thick coat protects them from the cold in winter and from insects in summer. Although they look fierce they are actually very gentle creatures.
People see postcards of Scotland with the hills covered in purple heather and imagine it is like that all the time. Not true! The heather blossoms only for a few weeks in early spring and in August. Though I did manage to find this small clump of blossoming heather on Loch Lomond in July. I think its bioclock must need resetting.
Sorry, had to block comments to the posts as I have just had to remove more than 400 spam comments. Apologies if I removed a genuine comment or two in amongst those.
Twice in one week at St.Andrews, which is great. Surprising how advanced the preparations for The Open golf championship are, considering it is not until July it seems they only need to add scoreboards and cameras.
This is me at the top, it only took 45 minutes. A little steep and scrambly at the very top. Well worth the effort for the views.
Having a free afternoon in Edinburgh I decided to do something I had never done before – to climb Arthur’s Seat, the hill which dominates the old town of Edinburgh.
Dunnottar, perched on sea cliffs is a roofless but substantial ruin. It was here, when filming Hamlet, that Mel Gibson heard of the story of William Wallace massacring the English garrison. This was the spark that ignited ‘Braveheart’.
From the Borders to the North East and two castles: Crathes and Dunnottar.
This is Crathes, home of the Burnett family for almost 400 years. It has remarkable painted ceilings and original furniture, including a four poster bed dated 1595. The oldest object on display, however, is the ivory hunting horn given to the family by Robert the Bruce. They family kept the castle intact by keeping out of civil wars and rebellions as much as possible.
This must surely be it! Tom Church’s statue of Mel Gibson as ‘Braveheart’ was so hated when it was displayed at the Stirling Monument that it had to be put in a cage for its own protection. Eventually it was given back to the sculptor who was unable to sell it at auction. It is rumoured that it was offered to Donald Trump who turned it down.
Of the many inaccuracies in the film ‘Braveheart’ number one must be that William Wallace was never called ‘Braveheart’. There are some grains of truth in the film, i.e. he did fight for Scottish independence against the English and the execution in London is actually a sanitised version of what happened. This is the Wallace statue in the Borders. Not the most flattering portrait but not the worst. The staring bulging eyes are probably the least appealing feature.