It’s summer and, although ye cannae escape the dreich weather entirely in Scotland, have been especially up for getting out & about tae see varying parts of our beautiful country to get a wee peek at some of its historical gems.
Waverley Trip Doon the Watter 2023
Waverley Day Oot on the Watter. Embarked at the Glasgow Science Centre – up past Dumbarton & Greenock with views of Helensburgh opposite – round to Kilcreggan – over to Dunoon – then Blairmore – before taking a wee trip to see some views on Loch Long, Loch Goil, & up to Lochgoilhead – then returned right back the way we’d come. Thank you to May MacPherson who suggested & arranged the obtaining of tickets, &c., for our wee group.
Additional music as performed by RSH’s very own fantastic fiddler, Paul Burns:
For RSH’s visit to the Clydeside Distillery scroll down the Updates to the entry for “23/11/2018” or search the page for “Clydeside Distillery.”
For information & scans on other Scottish scenes everyone should visit once while here I’d recommend Prof Wilson’s ‘Scotland Illustrated‘ (1845).
For more of Scotland’s Railway Incidents from 1900-1907 (so far) head Here.
Or, for readings of those from 1900, catch Alex & myself Here.
Helensburgh, via Faslane Peace Camp, to Balquhidder
Day trip out with friends & patrons of RSH to Helensburgh, where I spent some of my youth, then over to Faslane Peace Camp, where I spent a wee bit more of my youth, opposite Faslane Naval Base, then up for a view across the Base, before heading up to Balquhidder to visit Rob Roy MacGregor’s grave. We ended the day out with a quick stopover in Stirling to fill up the car.
Accies took me out down the Clyde Valley. We made a stop at the Hamilton Mausoleum, the final resting place of the Dukes of Hamilton, normally not accessible to the public. We gained access almost by accident &, I don’t want the guy to get in trouble, so I’ve cut him out as much as possible. The full video of that will be uploaded for Patrons only.
Then we went to the reconstructed Chatelherault Hunting Lodge; dog kennels, stables, & holiday residence of the Dukes of Hamilton, at Chatelherault Country Park. Across the Duke’s Bridge I came across the ruins of Cadzow Castle.
Next was Lanark to make a quick stop for the statue & mural of William Wallace. Then on to New Lanark, founded by David Dale, which was a cotton mill with attached social residences for those who worked there. His son-in-law, Robert Owen, joined him in the endeavour & set up a school for the children.
Then Lesmahagow Priory, which was uncovered by archaeologists & left. Almost at the end of our day we got to Strathaven Castle, getting up to which I was convinced my death was looming (getting down was worse).
Our final stop was Bothwell Castle which was sadly fenced off to the extent I couldn’t get round to see most of the place, but super impressive, regardless. Hopefully they can make the site a bit safer & folk like ourselves can pay it a proper visit.
Newark Castle, Through Burns’ Country, to Sanquhar Castle
This time around we started at Newark Castle, Port Glasgow, which made for an interesting experience when realising the fencing didn’t quite prevent access.
Then we headed up to see my wee childhood home in Greenock (my own photos from the mid 80’s incl.), before going through Ardgowan, Largs, Ardrossan, & Troon to get to Alloway for a wee bit of a visit with the legacy left by Robert Burns.
We had a wee bit of fun over at the Electric Brae & an attempt to get near Culzean Castle, Maybole. Fortunately, the rain held off as we finished our day oot over at Sanquhar Castle, where, once again, I found myself in a wee bit of a precarious situation, out in the middle of nowhere, gaining access to somewhere that didn’t seem to appear to be accessible.
Then it was back via Mennock Pass, Scotland’s highest village, Wanlockhead, & Leadhills, home.
Initially I wish to pass on my very sincerest condolences to Laura for the loss of her husband, a wonderful friend & patron of RSH, Simon Kyrollos. He was one of the best of people & we’ll miss him.
For this week’s Accies Tour & Adventure we started at Crookston Castle, Crookston, which is a monument close to home for us.
Then it was on to the Devil’s Pulpit, Finnich Glen, where, as has become usual for these trips, I almost died – drowning this time around, rather than falling from a thing. You’ll get a good look in the video at the swirling eddy, over the very deep water, below the wee waterfall – right before I put my phone in my pocket & slipped… There was a wee baby otter, beaver, stoat, mink, weasel, vole, that seemed to be doing it’s best to escape the pulpit. It kept falling from the high rocky surrounds. I got so close to it I was tempted to pick it up and bring it out with me to see if that would help it find family, but I was kind of concerned I’d get bitten for my trouble.
Next we drove up to the Bridge of Orchy, via the Eas Urchaidh (Orchy Waterfall [Lower]), Easan Dubha (Black Falls), & Inveroran Hotel, where we stopped for a wee drink, as it had started to rain.
Dumbarton Castle, Inverary, Loch Awe, & St Conan’s Kirk
Started by meeting Virginia (Gingers), who was over visiting from the US, at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Clyde street, Glasgow city centre. My phone is perhaps still recovering from the Devil’s Pulpit since the footage I got from within the cathedral was nowhere to be found.
We went off to Dumbarton Castle, where I’ve not been since I was a wean. There were a lot of stairs but the views were worth it. Didn’t make it into the closed off, Wallace Tower, part of the castle, like I wanted, since I was being watched by a volunteer. I think the word’s out about our recent forays into certain restricted sites.
Then it was straight up to Inveraray, where we stopped & made friends at the Inveraray Inn, got to the Jail too late for a tour, & lost Gingers at the Castle – was entirely expecting someone in authority to come & chin us about disturbing the peace by shouting “Gingers” repeatedly around the Duke of Argyll’s estate. Didn’t help that we ended up in a restricted area of the Duke’s garden… She joined us just as we were in the process of calling the police to help us out, having spent the £16.50 to go into the castle for the final 30 mins of its being open. The ticket lassie apparently just didn’t recognise my description.
We went up to Loch Awe and its Hotel in Dalmally. Took a wee wander down on to the railway line & the loch, as well as up around the hotel to see the views, including that of Kilchurn Castle.
Finally it was St. Conan’s Kirk, Lochawe, which was beautiful to stroll around. While Accies & Gingers made it into the kirk by sheer luck, I was elsewhere enjoying the gardens & missed on that bit. We had a good sunset home over Loch Lomond.