1314 Battle of Bannockburn

Visiting Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn, Scotland

The fourteenth century archer's right hand pulls his bow string taut. Suddenly, his arrow is released, flying over my head. I turn to see another soldier, his heart pierced by the arrow, stumble and fall. The Interpretive Center at Bannockburn Read More

The Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Learning about Scotland’s History in the Edinburgh Castle

It started raining as soon as I entered the Edinburgh Castle, even though the sky had looked bright when I climbed up the hill. Tip for visitors: Bring an umbrella, the weather changes quickly in Scotland. The Edinburgh Castle has stood on a Read More

Abbotsford ( Ann Burnett )

Re-visiting Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford in the Scottish Borders

I had to read Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe at school and vowed never to open one of his books again. So what am I doing visiting Abbotsford, his house in the Scottish Borders? It’s re-opened to the public after a refurbishment (the Queen did the honors Read More

Stirling Castle sits high above the plain (photo credit: Ann Burnett c 2013)

Paying Homage to King James V at Stirling Castle, Scotland

It’s the color that strikes us at first. How could sixteenth century Scotland be so full of color? Even on this dull, rainy day (dreich as the Scots call it) the outside of the Great Hall of Stirling Castle is a luminous cream. One of the many guides Read More

Ruins of abandoned houses, St. Kilda (Copyright Stillman Rogers Photography)

Stepping into the Past on Scotland’s St. Kilda Archipelago, a UNESCO Site

The taste of salt was strong on the wind as we sailed past cliffs that dropped to a wave-dashed tumble of stones below. Beyond this cluster of cliff-bound islands known as St. Kilda, open Atlantic stretched to the gray line of the horizon. The Read More

Steep headlands in Scotland's Outer Hebrides

Cruising Scotland’s Islands on the Hebridean Princess

As we approached the ship, an opening skirl sounded from a piper on the upper deck, and he piped us aboard to the rousing strains of Scotland the Brave. So began our immersion into Scotland’s Western Isles, where more often than the highland Read More

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Concert-Going at Edinburgh’s International Arts Festival

The rippling notes of a Beethoven piano sonata pour into the auditorium. Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, filled to capacity, is under a spell. It’s world-famous virtuoso Alfred Brendel’s final performance at the Edinburgh International Festival and some 2200 Read More

Edinburgh-festival-Fringe on the Royal Mile

Embracing Chaos at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on the Royal Mile

“Do you want to see something dangerous?” the man shouts at the crowd of onlookers. They clearly aren’t impressed with what they've seen so far: they barely muster a mumble. He tries again. “Do you want to see something really dangerous?” When he Read More

Isle of Eriska Hotel Manor House (Stillman Rogers photo 2012)

“The Sweetness of Doing Nothing” on Scotland’s Isle of Eriska

A private island, a staff to indulge my every whim, a skilled chef to please my palate, a 19th-century Scottish manor house as a setting, and a day with absolutely nothing I needed to do. My goal was to spend a blissful day basking in something the Read More

Butresses at Rosslyn Chapel

Cracking the Da Vinci Code: a Visit to Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland

You surely know all about Rosslyn Chapel: you’ve read The Da Vinci Code and if you haven’t, you must have seen the film. So have I, but for some strange reason I don’t seem able to recall exactly where the chapel comes into it. Not that that’s a Read More

The old buildings of the Canongate, from the churchyard

Exploring the Canongate in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile

Right in the centre of Edinburgh, on its famous Royal Mile, I’m at the World’s End. Sounds like a riddle? It isn’t. I’m actually outside the World’s End pub, named because it was here that the security of the medieval city ended and the great Read More

Looking up Glen Nevis

Following a Geological Trail in Scotland’s Glen Nevis

I’ve chosen the wrong companion for my geological time travel adventure: Like most girls of her age, the only type of rocks my daughter is interested in are the ones you find sparkling on the fingers of the Real Housewives of Orange County. "Get Read More

Balmorl Castle, starting point for the tour

Land Rover Tours of the Queen’s Balmoral Estate, Scotland

I’ve never really had a lot of time for royalty. Perhaps it’s because the image of privilege (all at the taxpayers’ expense, of course) doesn’t go down so well with a commoner like me. But today something very strange has happened. I’ve had a Read More