Last Updated on
Lindisfarne Castle was built as a defensive fort in the mid-16th century, using stone from the dissolved priory. In 1901, it was bought by Edward Hudson, the owner of Country Life magazine. He had it completely refurbished by Sir Edwin Lutyens as a holiday home. The garden was designed by Lutyens' friend, Gertrude Jekyll. Views and shoreline walks on this sometimes bleak island.
NB Holy Island is only accessible at certain times via a causeway across the sea that is covered twice a day. The tides come in very quickly; check carefully before setting out and be sure you have time to cross.
Image - Pixabay.
Hundreds of open garden events take place in Britain every year, mainly during the summer and mostly, though not exclusively, in rural villages. The gardens belong to private homes and are often quite modest. The open garden event normally involves 10 gardens or so, sometimes more, sometimes less, and can either be a local event in its own right, or part of a larger village show of some kind. If you enjoy looking at gardens, a local open gardens can be an enjoyable way of spending an hour or three. Entry fees are usually just a few pounds. Check the UK National Directory for events near you.
Balmoral is a 50,000 acre estate and the private Scottish home of the British Royal Family. It was purchased by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1852, close to the Highlands they both loved. The current castle is new - Victoria and Albert had it constructed between 1853 and 1856; the old castle was then demolished. There is limited public access to the grounds, gardens and exhibitions (including access to the castle ballroom only) between spring and early summer, when the Royal Family is not in residence. Apart from the ballroom, the castle is not open to the public. Cottages in the grounds can also be hired.
Drum Castle was seat of the Clan Irvine and in the Irvine family for 650 years, from 1325, when it was granted to William de Irvine by Robert the Bruce, until 1975. It has a rich history, 17th and 19th century additions and alterations, and is surrounded by gardens and an arboretum.
The evocative ruins of Dunnottar Castle occupy a large, rocky, headland jutting into the North Sea, accessed by a narrow strip from the mainland. Though the current ruins date largely from the 15th and 16th centuries, its history goes back to the early medieval period, at least. Dunnottar was attacked by the Vikings, captured from the English by William Wallace, was famously where the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish Crown Jewels) were hidden from Oliver Cromwell's forces, and played its part in the Jacobite Rebellions of the 18th century.
NOTE: The castle can be closed to visitors in bad weather - essential that you check their website before visiting. There is also limited car parking - the castle is not in Stonehaven itself - it's about a 20 minute walk along the coast.
Ruined renaissance castle built by the 7th Laird of Tolquhon between 1584 and 1589. It has a particularly interesting gatehouse.
Clachan Bridge, popularly known as Atlantic Bridge, or the Bridge over the Atlantic, was built in 1792 and joins the Island of Seil with the mainland on the B844, about 10 miles south of Oban. Nearby is the Tigh an Truish Inn - the house of trousers. Seil is the most northerly of the slate isles.
Glencoe is renowned for its beauty, walking, wildlife and as the scene of the infamous Glencoe Massacre. On 13 February 1692, 38 men, women and children of the MacDonald clan were murdered by a regiment of soldiers whom they had welcomed into their homes. More died on the freezing mountainside.
Glencoe is an evocative place, made more so by various legends. It is also a well-known film location. The NTS Visitor Centre is a good place to start, provides a good general view, includes an exhibition and there are various walking trails nearby. The Visitor Centre is just off the A82, south of Glencoe village.
Located in traditional 18th century thatched cottages, Glencoe Folk Museum holds an eclectic collection of objects and memorabilia, ranging from Jacobite artefacts to toys and domestic utensils. There is a particular exhibit that tells the story of the Glencoe Massacre. The museum is small, highly personal - and fascinating.