I take a visit to Tinto House Hotel and get to know South Lanarkshire just a little bit better.
The borders are beautiful – there’s no doubt about that; with family hailing from the North East of England, the area’s always reminded me of a little piece of home – picture perfect and reminiscent of England’s green and pleasant land. But, when I first moved to Scotland, they were to me…well, never quite Scotland; too quant, too rounded and never quite wild enough.
In case you haven’t guessed, I’m a bit of a fan of travelling around my bonnie country; whenever I have a spare minute I love nothing more than jumping in the car armed with a camera, tripod and old pair of jeans (I’ve ruined more than I quite dare admit) to explore. But there’s just one teeny-tiny issue that sometimes gets in the way of my grand plans; the fact I don’t yet have a licence to drive (I’m working on it, promise).
It’s a decision that’s led to many a weekend sulk at home when I’m unable to visit far off places; trading sunsets and adventure for Saturday night TV and last night’s dinner. Being reliant on my oft-weekend working partner and friends to visit places means missing out on some of the best views this country had to offer, or so I thought.
The Four Seasons Hotel
St. Fillans, Perthshire, PH6 2NF
Passing Loch Earn in the car, it’s all too easy to find yourself lost in the grandeur of it all; towering mountains, six-and-a-half miles of crisp Scottish freshwater, and an abundance of foliage in all its seasonal glory. The rugged hills and blue waters that stretch from Lochearnhead to St. Fillans are, in a sense, the very epitome of Scotland and more than impressive enough to satisfy any explorer’s thirst for beauty through a simple drive through (including a quick stop for a few photos, of course). However, its here where the loch’s glory is almost its downfall, with such beauty that it’s easy to miss the subtleties of the land; winding paths through rich forest to incredible viewpoints on high-up hills, quaint villages with blissful benches to relax and unwind, and incomprehensibly breathtaking sunsets at its west-facing head.
As beautiful as the big picture is (and my word, it’s beautiful), to simply take Loch Earn on face value ignores the special nuances that make it unique. A personality trait I can’t help but feel its resident hotel, The Four Seasons, also boasts.
There’s a semi-famous (and somewhat cliched) saying round these parts that runs “Glasgow made the Clyde, and the Clyde made Glasgow”. I’ve absolutely no clue who said it but the more I learn about the city, the more I believe in it. Well, on a sunny day at least…
Before I visited Glasgow for the first time, Edinburgh was one of the most beautiful places in the world to me; from the contrasting architecture to the seemingly random crags displaced in and around its borders. It didn’t take me long, however, to find a new Scottish favourite.
Scotland’s home to some of the best-known scenes in the UK; from Arthur’s Seat to Loch Ness, Ben Nevis to the Isle of Mull – you can’t go far without seeing a postcard-worthy view (even if the weather ensures the photos you take aren’t always postcard-worthy). It’s also, however, proud to host some of the least known too. Around 15 miles from Glasgow, the Devil’s Pulpit (aka. Finnich Glen) is one of these special places; tucked behind barbed wire fences, fallen-down trees and mud as deep as your knees, it’s about as close you can be to a city, while feeling completely removed from it.
Perhaps Hope uses skilled circus performance to explore one of the most pressing issues facing modern society – global warming. Having won the Original New Circus Award in its premiere season at the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival, the show (by experienced circus performers Company Here and Now) draws on inspiration from chaos theory and biomimicry to examine the stark reality of climate change and leave viewers with renewed optimism for what humanity can achieve.
I speak to co-founder Vincent van Berkel about the troupe’s inspiration and what we can expect from the rather unusual genre of ‘eco-apocalyptic circus’.
Based on the award-winning book by Giles Andre and Russell Ayto, Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs 2: The Magic Cutlass comes to the Pleasance Courtyard’s Fringe offering from 3rd to 29th August. I speak to Director of the show Hal Chambers about the inspiration behind it, what we can expect, and why children’s theatre is so important. Continue Reading
If there’s one thing the Edinburgh Fringe has, it’s a LOT of shows. Over 3,000 in fact.
Running from 5th – 29th August, you’d need to sit down for at least 125 shows every single day to see them all. Or, to put it in perspective, queue your way through a total of 5.2 shows every hour (for 24 hours) every single day until its close (and I thought my Netflix binges were bad).
Don’t fancy crippling exhaustion and utter disappointment at the sheer impossibility of it all? I’ve hunted the online world for some of the gems I’m most looking forward to. Got anything to add? Let me know on Twitter!
In case you haven’t guessed from my numerous references basically everywhere (and the word finding all over my Instagram), I’m not originally from round these parts. Ever since I moved to Scotland’s biggest (and in my eyes bonniest) city nearly a YEAR ago (that is terrifying), I’ve made it my mission to uncover as much of Scotland’s diverse offering as I can; grabbing any opportunity to jump in the car with my partner to scale mountains, try whisky, sail boats or generally just drive as far as various A-roads will take us. Glasgow’s been no exception to this but, with such an incredible country to explore, I feel I’ve neglected the city I love to call my home and have made it my mission to make the most of it this summer through events, museums, eateries and more.
Here’s 5 things I really want to do in the city considering events, restaurants, culture, walks and general daytime activities. Continue Reading