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The supposed site of Scotland's first church, built by St Ninian in the late 4th or early 5th century and known as the 'Candida Casa' - or 'white house' - hence 'whithorn'. There are the modest remains of a 12th century Premonstratensian abbey church, a shrine to St Ninian, a 19th century parish church dedicated to St Ninian and a small museum which contains the Latinus Stone, Scotland's earliest Christian monument.
This place is for enthusiasts only. The museum has limited opening - check before making a special trip. Whithorn itself has limited facilities.
Evocative ruins on the western shore of Loch Ness. Urquhart Castle was involved in the Scottish Wars of Independence and the conflict between the King and the Lords of the Isles, until finally being partially destroyed by Government troops to prevent its use by rebel Jacobites.
A WW1 airfield was built in 1917 amidst a golf course that was laid out in 1902, with a luxury hotel being built in 1906. The airfield was initially an aerial gunnery school for the Royal Flying Corps, later the Royal Air Force. The RAF left after the war, but RAF Turnberry was reinstated for WW2, this time for coastal command and torpedo training. The hotel was used as a hospital during both wars. The memorial, standing lonely in the golf course, commemorates aircrew from the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. Park by the entrance to Turnberry Lighthouse and walk across the golf course toward the lighthouse - where you will also find the remains of Robert the Bruce's castle and fabulous views across to Ailsa Craig.
Ruined renaissance castle built by the 7th Laird of Tolquhon between 1584 and 1589. It has a particularly interesting gatehouse.
14th century stronghold of the Black Douglases, built by Archibald the Grim, Threave Castle stands on an island in the river Dee. Access is via a small boat, summoned by ringing a bell...fabulous! Not much to see, but worth it for the excitement.
Impressive ruins of the fortress of the Red Douglases, built in the 14th century. Besieged by James IV and V, it ultimately fell to Oliver Cromwell's forces under General Monck in 1651, and was destroyed. It is an unusual castle; situated on a headland, it has a single curtain wall blocking off the entire site, with defence on the remaining three sides relying on the sheer cliffs and the surrounding sea. Tantallon offers great views of the Bass Rock - and a grim pit prison. Ugh!
Sueno's Stone is a 23 feet (7 metre) high Pictish sandstone block, intricately carved with unique imagery, dating from the mid 9th or early 10th century. The carvings include an elaborate battle scene, which may be a record of a real event. Sueno's Stone is encased in glass and located near a residential estate off the A96, possibly in its original position overlooking the floodplain of the Mosset Burn and River Findhorn.
Stirling Castle is one of Scotland's premier fortresses and oozes history and legend. Built on an intrusive crag known as 'castle rock', it is in a strong defensive position and visible for miles. The castle changed hands several times during the medieval struggles between the Scots and the English and two major battles, Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314) were fought nearby and won by the Scots. Stirling became a royal castle, a residence of the Stuart dynasty. The last siege was by Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 18th century and the present buildings are mainly 15th/16th century. Meticulous restoration work enables us to see parts of the Royal Palace, Great Hall and Chapel as they would have been and there are fabulous views.
St Ninian, Scotland’s first Christian missionary, landed in 397AD on the Isle of Whithorn, at the south-east corner of the Machars Peninsula. A chapel was established for pilgrims nearby. Its ruined shell is 14th century, though there is evidence of an older building underneath – probably an earlier chapel.