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We’re all familiar with the saying, when life gives you lemons – make lemonade. In 2020, the Corona virus gave the travel and hospitality industry worldwide, including in Scotland, a veritable orchard of lemon trees. With domestic and international travel shut down almost overnight, those in the travel business faced a very uncertain future. Touris…
 
There can be no denying the Scots diaspora worldwide. There are millions of us spread around the globe. Elements of Scottish culture can be found across the Americas to be sure, but also in far flung destinations like the Carribean, in New Zealand, India, Singapore, Japan and elsewhere. Scots truly are all about family and community. You need only …
 
There’s no question that there is more to tartan than meets the eye. For the well dressed Scottish lad or lassie a simple ready made gentlman’s tie or scarf just isnae enough. There are trousers and trews, skirts and shoes, dresses and kilts, caps and cummerbunds, jackets and waistcoats, and all in a variety of tartans from which to choose… A tailo…
 
A view of the Cruden Bay beach with the ruins of Slains Castle in the distance from the Cruden Bay golf course. Image by @StewartPaul1 and used with permission. Picturesque Cruden Bay is like many other seaside villages dotting the Scottish coastline. Originally named Port Erroll, it was first established as a fishing village though the long unspoi…
 
Dacre Stoker, Bram’s great grand-nephew, calls Cruden Bay, with the ruins of Slains Castle still evident, the visual palette for Stoker’s Dracula. Photo used with permission and courtesy Stewart Paul When it comes to ghosts, ghouls, and the many Halloween traditions we celebrate in the USA, we only have to look to Scotland to find many of their ori…
 
Nothing says “Scotland” as universally around the world as tartan. The colorful, criss-cross patterned fabric is considered the symbolic national dress of the country. While the wearing of tartan dates back hundreds of years, the care, preservation and registration of the thousands of distinct tartan patterns is a relatively recent phenomenon. The …
 
Long before the terms “networking” and “contacts” found their way into our everyday business vocabulary there was the old saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” meaning simply, it’s sometimes easier to get ahead if you know people in the right places. The phrase is thought to have originated in the early 19-teens and was in regular use …
 
There is a battle raging across the Scottish Highlands - the battle to save the Scottish Wildcat, aka the Highland Tiger. News this Spring of the birth of three new wildcat kittens at the Aigas Field Center in Inverness-shire is a welcomed sign of progress in a captive breeding program that is just one prong of a multi-pronged approach to save one …
 
History – in its purest form, is simply the story of what came before us. Storytelling is an art form, defined by the National Storytelling Network in the USA as “the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination.” Like many nations, Scotland has a tradition of o…
 
It’s been estimated that as many as 27 million Americans can trace their lineage to the Scots people. A 2017 American Community Survey found 5.4 million respondents claimed Scottish heritage while another 3 million specifically identified as Scots Irish, or Scotch Irish – indicating they are descendants of immigrants who originated in Scotland, mig…
 
History. That is the calling card for the Orkney Isles. Orkney’s history goes back to the Neolithic period and research has found that in those times Orkney was one of the most important places in Europe. There are numerous examples of this from the Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, and the spectacular Skara Brae. Archeological discoveries h…
 
Since its launch in 2015, the North Coast 500 has succeeded in making the northernmost part of the Scottish mainland a must visit tourist location. The 516 mile route that begins and ends in Inverness was always there, but it took a scheme by the Highland Tourist Initiative, supported by Visit Scotland and the Highlands and islands Enterprise to br…
 
These days we hear a lot about branding – but what is a brand? Growing up in Texas my first understanding of the word was in association with cattle ranching, where cattle were branded – marked with a hot iron – to identify their ownership. In pure form a brand is the name given to a product or service from a specific source. Coca-Cola is a caramel…
 
Kimberlie Hamilton is an American writer now living in Scotland. Her first book, “Rebel Cats! Brave Tales of Feisty Felines” has been translated into a dozen languages worldwide. Her new book, “Scotland’s Animal Superstar” will be published this summer by Scotland’s Cranachan Publishing and will profile contemporary animals of fame living in Scotla…
 
Caribbean cruising with a Celtic touch; that might be how best to describe small ship cruising around Scotland's west coast and islands. The ships of The Majestic Line have been sailing the waters of Scotland's western Argyll coastline since 2005 after Ken Grant and Andy Thoms acquired two wooden hulled Irish fishing boats and converted them into "…
 
Buachille Etive Mor - copyright Dougie Cunningham/Leading Lines Photography What’s the one thing more people bring back from a holiday than anything else? Photographs. In 2017 it’s estimated that almost 1.3 Trillion photographs were taken and that number will increase this year. This hard-to-wrap-your-head-around number is spurred on by the develop…
 
There can be little question or debate that the internet has helped to shrink the world around us – has allowed us to meet, make friends, and do business with people from around the world who – without such technology would likely never have entered our lives. Combined with social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, this technology has all…
 
When you think of Scottish produce, especially fruit, apples may not be the first thing that comes to mind. After all, in 2009 70 percent of the apples sold in Britain were estimated to have been grown abroad and imported. In 2015 "The Sunday Herald" reported that 90 percent of the UK's orchards had been dug up for development or other agricultural…
 
Meet Paul McGuire, a 30-something resident of Glasgow, Scotland. Paula is a writer - a childhood dream come true. She is also a motivational speaker, and a radio host. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio. She has tried all 17 Olympic-style sports of the Commonwealth Games. She has flown aerobatics, gone wing-walking, and trained as an astrona…
 
Mention the words Scotland and Tattoo together and no one would blame you if your thoughts immediately turn to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo held annually in the month of August in the capital city as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, celebrating its 70th year in 2017. However many might be surprised to learn there is another, if …
 
The Golspie Inn - photo courtesy Colin Baird, www.cyclingscot.co.uk Scotland may be a wee country but it is a vast land when trying to take it all in as a tourist. Typically tourist have limited time in which to see as much as possible. Organized tours, where itineraries are set by established tour operators are one way to go. For those who like to…
 
Traveling across the Scottish Highlands and Islands today you'll find no shortage of welcoming hotels, inns, pubs, B&Bs, and other signs of Scotland's world famous hospitality. The kind of places where you can enjoy a hot meal, a wee dram, a bit of social interaction and, at the end of the day, a nice warm bed to sleep the night away. Indeed Scotla…
 
Tartan – a simple pattern of crisscrossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. While it did not originate there, few today associate tartan with anything other than Scotland. It is "the fabric of Scotland." There can be little question that tartan is a fabric of identity. When acknowledging one’s Scottish heritage the first question yo…
 
If ever there was a land sculpted for scenic touring it is Scotland. From gently rolling hills in the lowlands, to the craggy peaks of the Cairngorms, there are shimmering lochs and great expansive glens, thousands of miles of dramatic coastline dotted with sandy beaches that rival the tropics. Along the way are hectic modern cities, quaint wee fis…
 
Kilchurn Castle Scotland may not have the most castles of any country in the world, that honor allegedly falls to neighboring Wales – but depending on how you define "castle," Scotland has between 1500 and 4000 or so. Some, like Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, and Eilean Donan are among Scotland's top visitor attractions. Others perhaps are less…
 
"The Tartan Witch", a children's book written in English and Scots by Greta Yorke, illustrated by Maggie Bolton Scots is one of three indigenous languages in Scotland. It is the language of Robert Bruns and while a sister language to English it borrows many words from other languages, has words uniquely its own like glaikit, blether, mawkit, guid, …
 
Besides the famous TV show, "Monarch of the Glen," a bit of Scottish history played out at Ardverikie Estate when Queen Victoria considered buying it for the Royal residence in Scotland. If not for Scotland's infamous midges, who sent Victoria packing, Ardverikie might never have become known as "Glenbogle." Scotland is a land that has a rich, colo…
 
More than 18% of the population of the United States today is believed to be of Scottish or Scots-Irish descent. These are descendants of the tens of thousands of Scots and Scots-Irish who immigrated to the US. Some arrived as early as colonial times but the vast majority arrived here in the late 1700's following the Highland Clearances, and again …
 
Jed Marum is a New England born singer/songwriter and story teller whose music is deeply rooted in a mix of American Folk and Celtic styles. Marum has a strong love for historical song writing reflecting his keen interest in the passing of both history and culture from generation to generation through music. His parents were Irish on his father's s…
 
Scotland; the land of lochs. Its been estimated there are over 31,000 lochs and lochans – large and small enclosed bodies of water in Scotland. Largest of these by water volume is Loch Ness and only Loch Lomond, famous for its bonnie, bonnie, banks, is larger in land volume, 27 sq miles to Loch Ness’ 22. At over 700 feet deep, Loch Ness is also sec…
 
Scotland is a land of mountainous wilderness, accented by sweeping glacially formed glens and deep shimmering lochs. It is a bastion of clean, unspoilt beauty with a complex history and a diaspora of millions spread round the world. Scotland is a land that inspires a sense of wanderlust in almost everyone and because of this tourism has become a vi…
 
Dougie MacLean is Scotland’s preeminent singer songwriter. His song Caledonia, written over 30 years ago ago when he was a young musician just getting started, is so popular it is often considered the unofficial national anthem of Scotland. In the run up tp #indyref in 2014 there were many who were ready to vote Yes to independence, and Yes to maki…
 
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