Monday, 30 April 2012

Urquhart Castle, Grand Tournament of Foote for Loch Lomond and Trossachs Guests

Historic Scotland

Come along to Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness and cheer on your favourite knight at the Grand Tournament of Foote.

The grand tournament is taking place on Sunday, 6th May and Monday, 7th May from 11:00 am to 4.30 pm.

Gillian Urquhart, Historic Scotland’s Event Manager said: “Our fully armoured foot knights will collide in a series of colourful and bone-jarring bouts.

“Come along and shout for your champion – will you support Sir James Robertson whose heraldry is red with a white wolf’s head, Sir John Fraser in blue with three Cinquefoils in white, or will you cheer on Alan MacDonald in yellow with a Black galley?

“You can also visit the living history camp and discover how squires would prepare their knights for battle and see how armour was made.”

The magnificently situated castle remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state. Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart’s remains include a tower house that commands splendid views of the famous loch and the Great Glen.

The event is included in the normal admission price:

Adult £7.40, Concession £5.90, Child £4.50.

Admission free to HS members

A free park and ride shuttle service will be running each day from the car park at Glen Urquhart High School in Drumnadrochit to the visitor centre at Urquhart Castle from 10 am until 5 pm.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Scotland’s five World Heritage Sites - Loch Lomond and Trossachs Cottages

Join in the fun at The Antonine Wall on 18 April to mark
World Heritage Day 2012!

On World
Heritage Day, Historic Scotland’s ‘Shadows of Our Ancestors’ project will be
celebrating Scotland’s five World Heritage Sites – The Antonine Wall, The Old
and New Towns of Edinburgh, The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, New Lanark and St

Redfield Arts
will be bringing together artworks and performances from each of these
locations in a unique celebration of the diversity and cultural significance of
Scotland’s World Heritage Sites.

This free
event will be held at the Croy Miners’ Welfare Charitable Society, at the foot
of Croy Hill, a key site on The Antonine Wall.

The event
will run from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm, and will include physical theatre
performances, guided walks along The Antonine Wall, and a special exhibition
showcasing artworks from each of Scotland’s World Heritage Sites.

There may
also be one or two surprises on the night, so don’t miss out - come along and
be a part of this special celebration!


parking will be available at the Croy Miners’ Welfare. A free Park and Ride
service will also be operating between Croy station and the Miners’ Welfare
every 20 minutes. The first departure is from 7 pm

Please note
that if taking part in the guided tours to the Antonine Wall, we recommend that
you come prepared for the Scottish weather.

For more
information about the ‘Shadows of Our Ancestors’ World Heritage Day 2012 Project,
please visit the website

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

WALKHIGHLANDS NEWS LETTER for Loch Lomond and Trossachs Cottage Visitors


Last month's early sunshine and hot temperatures meant the end to daily
Scottish avalanche forecasts and talk of sunburn and midges amongst the
flurry of fantastic walk reports published on Walkhighlands. For a brief
moment Walkhighlands HQ in Cromdale was officially the warmest place ever
recorded in March in Scotland at 23.5 degrees, and it was hard to believe
that snow on the hills was to rapidly follow.
1,500 route milestone reached
March also saw the number of route descriptions on Walkhighlands pip the
1,500 marker. A quick trip to Lewis in glorious sunshine resulted in another
9 routes on the site and more for the Outer Hebrides will follow very
Webtogs Walk
Reports of the Month
Chosen by Gareth from Webtogs who writes:
"So what happened to Winter eh? While we mention it, did someone
decide to bypass Spring as well going straight to summer? It's been nigh on
two weeks of beautiful weather and it seems incredible that just 6 weeks ago
we were sledging on our local hills. The weather might be inconsistent, but
one thing that has been steady is the quality of reports coming from you

At the risk of trotting out a cliche that is nonetheless accurate, it's been
a tough month to choose from yet again. In particular there have been some
total stunners, Beinn Eighe - when fortune favours the brave,
- Rawson Lake - Beautiful & lethal in equal measure
, Quinag
- the stuff my dreams are made of
all stood out for me.

A winner and a runner up there has to be though so here we go. Runner up was
a cracker, the trip of a lifetime - Nepal by cliverif. As an end to end report of what
you can expect from a trip out to Nepal, this is one of the best I've read.
Each section of the trip got a warm narration with some amazing photos, but
it's clivegrif's positivity that shines through. He was determined to have a
good time and as a result the focus was on the moments that made his trip. A
great report and if you haven't read it yet, off you pop and come back for the second half of my post refreshed.

All finished? See I told you it was good! Top of the pops though has to go to
the Inaccessible Pinnacle is accessed by Ranger. No prizes for what this is
about, it's the In Pinn and Mhic Choinnich. I really liked Rangers honesty,
doubts about his skills and his beautiful comparison of starting to climb the
In Pin with the Godfather! As a trip report, that told me we were in for
something bit different. Some stunning photos and no-nonsense narrative of
climbing the pinnacle has me thinking that even I can do it, and that's what
I love about this report, it's encouraged me to think a little bigger on my
plans for my next adventure.

So do you think these folks are worthy winners? Who would you have picked if
you had the chance?

PS we've still got a few rather tasty bargains with North Face fleeces at £20, and if you are still short of gear for Easter, we're offering FREE express delivery to get your goodies in time."

Various dates April - Millionth Tree Talks - Trees for Life UK lecture tour. Details
13 - 15 April - Scottish Bike Show, SECC, Glasgow - includes mass bike rides. Details
14 - 20 April - Walk Islay - varied island walking festival. Details
21 - 22 April - Outdoor Pursuits Scotland, Edinburgh - outdoor show at Ingliston. Details
27 April - Simon Yates, Inverness - The Wild Within book tour, Eden Court Theatre. Details
and coming up ...
3 - 7 May - Spirit of Speyside - Whisky themed walks and plenty of drams. Details
11- 17 May - WalkFest, Newton Stewart - 10th year for this popular Galloway festival. Details
16 - 20 May - Keswick Mountain Festival - always loads on, top speakers and great walking.
18 - 21 May - Isle of Arran Mountain Festival - promises to be a good one. Details
19 - 25 May - Ballater Royal Deeside Walking Festival - now in its 15th year. Details
26 May - 5 June - Tweedlove Bike Festival - if you fancy a change from the walking boots. Details
31 May - 3 June - Angus Glens Walking Festival - 28 walks plus food and ceilidh nights. Details
Speyside Way and West Highland Way restrictions Ballindalloch footbridge on the Speyside Way will be closed for repair until at least June - a free taxi service is in place, details
. There will also be restrictions for walkers with dogs on a section of the West Highland Way near Conic Hill for a month from 15 April to protect lambing ewes - details here
Glen Strathfarr access for cars
The summer arrangements for taking cars into Glen Strathfarrar started on 31 March and are found here.
Last chance to fill in the Walkhighlands survey
We're currently running a user survey to assist us in improving Walkhighlands. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete - we'd really appreciate your help. Complete the survey now.
Planning your Scottish holiday?
Some special locations are telling us they are already full for the peak
summer months so book your holiday cottage now. We also list thousands of walker-friendly B&Bs, hotels, campsites, campervans for hire, and hostels. Please support our
advertisers - they enable us to keep Walkhighlands free for everyone.
Walk of the Month - Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis
This walk has it all; wonderful coastal scenery, white sandy beaches, hairy coos, inland lochans and a reconstructed iron age house. A fantastic half day ramble leaving plenty of time to visit the standing stones at Callanish or plan epic days in the mountains just to the south. For a full
route description including maps, photos and GPS download see Walkhighlands.
Order Walkhighlands badges/stickers Identify yourself to fellow Walkhighlands users with
these enamel badges and car stickers. Order here.

Keep in Touch Why not follow Walkhighlands on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, 2 April 2012

Stirling Castle Event near Loch Lomond and Trossachs Cottages


Stirling Castle without the crowds by coming to an exclusive Castle Magic event
on Saturday 7th April and be entertained by world-class magicians.

There will
be an exciting display of sophisticated magic tricks, dark stories from the
castle’s dramatic history and quick fire humour aimed at an adult audience. A
bar is available. Tickets are available for adults and children aged 12
and above.

The event
takes place from 8:00pm – 10:30 pm. Doors open at 7.30 pm.

Places are
limited, so don’t miss out, book online at

£15:00, Concession £10.00, Historic Scotland member £10.00



NEXIFIUS (Mark Fisken)
is an accomplished magician from the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland. He has
performed previously at Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, on board the Orient
Express and at the Royal Palace of Falkland. A proud member of the Magic
Circle, he has entertained throughout Scotland, England and Germany with his
mystical character, the 2000 year old Wizard, Kramus Nexifius. Kramus also
starred alongside side 16 International Magicians at the Magical 1 Malaysia
Festival in March 2012.

England comes one of the world's fastest rising Magic Stars. A multi-award
winner, he just finished a highly acclaimed run of shows at the Edinburgh
Festival and starred in the Magical 1 Malaysia Festival Kuala Lumpur. Paul
presents an eclectic mix of jaw-dropping sleight of hand, enchanting illusion
and quick-fire comedy, presented with an impish sense of mischief.

has been astounding audiences for over 25 years in both the UK and across in
the USA. Acclaimed by Davenports Magic (London) as “the best children’s
magician we have ever seen” Alex has performed to family and adult audiences in
Edinburgh Castle, Gleneagles Hotel, London’s Tower Bridge and alongside other
International Magicians in the Palace of Magic. Alex is much in demand, by
magic clubs, to lecture about his art in both the UK and the United States of
America. In 2005/6 Alex was elected to the prestigious office of President of
The Scottish Conjurers Association and is past president of The Scottish
Association of Magical Societies

you believe Mr. Punch is 350 years old this year and we're celebrating his
birthday? He is coming to the Enchanted Castle in his own inimitable style; not
forgetting Judy, the Crocodile, the Sausages, the Policeman, the Doctor, Joey
the Clown, Jack Ketch, The Ghost and The Devil. Get ready to shout 'That's the
way to do it' and experience all the magic of the tradition. Professor's Knight
and Ross of Maskot Puppet Theatre will entertain you from their very own Punch
and Judy Booth plus walkabout. This performance is a forerunner of The
Big Grin Heritage Trail that will be coming to Scotland this summer courtesy of
The Scottish Mask & Puppet Centre and PuppetLink supported by The Heritage
Lottery Fund."

is a World Class Close-Up Magician and proud winner of numerous national
conjuring awards. Lewis produces unforgettable reactions wherever he performs.
Combining astonishing magic with a relaxed manner, his unique skills have led
him to become one of the UK’s most sought after magicians. He is also magical
consultant to the BBC, past president of the Edinburgh Magic Circle and enjoyed
success with his one man show at the Fringe and as part of Magic Fest.