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A 17th century residence (possibly the original Maxwell House?!), built inside a forbidding triangular medieval fortress, surrounded by a romantic moat, besieged by the English, ruined by religion. Plus a colony of Natterjack toads AND the site of an earlier castle.
What more could you ask?
It is about 6 miles south of Dumfries off the B725. Follow the A75 west from the M6/M74.
Named for the mountain Cairn Gorm, the Cairngorm National Park in North East Scotland is Britain’s largest - twice as big as the Lake District - and most remote. Though famed for its mountains, it is actually a diverse area of area of 1748 square miles which includes castles, distilleries and a whole lot more - as well as being home to some of Britain's rarest animals. And it is one of the few places in the UK that offers skiing on real snow.
The Callanish (or Calanais in Gaelic) Standing Stones is a complex of 50 stones in a cruciform arrangement roughly aligned north-south, with an inner circle of 13 stones and a small chambered cairn. They date from 3000BC and there are several other prehistoric sites nearby, including 3 additional circles. As with other stone circles in Britain, there is no satisfactory explanation for the purpose of these monuments - though, according to tradition they are petrified giants.
There is a modern visitor centre managed by Urras nan Tursachan (The Standing Stones Trust).
Calton Hill, at the east end of Edinburgh City, is a landmark that is included within the boundary of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. It is home to a number of monuments, not least the unfinished National Monument and the Dugald Stewart Monument and is used for casual strolling as well as celebratory events. There are panoramic views from the top.
This was the ancestral stronghold of the Menzies clan from the 16th - 19th centuries. It was occupied by Jacobite rebels in 1715 and 1745 and, in 1746, Charles Edward Stuart - Bonnie Prince Charlie - the Young Pretender - stayed at Castle Menzies on his way to defeat at Culloden. 4 days later, the Duke of Cumberland, commander of the Government forces in hot pursuit of the rebels, stopped by too.
In 1957, the castle was purchased as a ruin for just £300 by the Menzies Clan Society who have proceeded to, very gradually, restore it. It is somewhere between a mansion and a fortress. It has a walled garden too, though the website suggests this may not be particularly well kept. It is also possible to visit the Old Kirk of Weem - the Menzies Mausoleum - in the nearby village of Weem.
A stone marks the spot claimed to be the centre of Scotland. It is on the Glen Truim road, between the A889 and the A9, part of the 250 mile network of military roads built for the Government by General Wade after the Jacobite rising of 1715. This section was built in 1719 and is a section of the road between Fort Augustus and Ruthven Barracks at Kingussie. The stone replaces an earlier marker and was unveiled on 5th June 2015.
Post code is approximate.
There are actually two parts to the Clava Cairns prehistoric complex. At Balnuaran are three well-preserved burial chambers, two with entrance passages, each one surrounded by standing stones. The cairns are of a type found in the Moray/Inverness region. They were built c2000BC, almost certainly for high standing individuals, and appear to align with the midwinter sunset. The cemetery was reused about 1,000 years after it was built. At Milton of Clava, down the road, is the remains of a medieval chapel, the site of another cairn and, possibly, standing stones.
A memorial in a dramatic Highland setting, unveiled by the Queen Mother in 1952, to all the officers and men of the commandos who gave their lives in the Second World War, and who trained in the moors and mountains nearby. A garden of remembrance was subsequently added, where veterans' ashes could be scattered. It is also used for those who died in more recent conflicts, for example the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan. The main monument depicts three WW2 Commandos in battledress, looking over the Nevis mountain range. The memorial receives thousands of visitors and is situated about a mile to the north west of Spean Bridge, at the junction of the A82 and B8004. There is parking.