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Castle St, Glasgow G4 0QZ, UK
While St. Kentigern (alternatively called St. Mungo)—Glasgow’s 7th-century patron saint—may well be mythical, early Roman Catholics venerated his memory and started a cult on the hillside site where they believe he worshipped. First a church was...
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Castle St, Glasgow G4 0QZ, UK
One of the most spectacular religious buildings in Europe, it is no surprise that Glasgow's main cathedral has been the muse for some of Scotland's greatest literary minds. The building was memorably described by Sir Walter Scott in Rob Roy while...
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12-14 Otago Ln, Glasgow G12 8PB, UK
If it is a nice orderly shopping experience you are after, Voltaire and Rousseau is not the place to go. However, this veritable Aladdin's Cave of curiosities is an endlessly fun place for committed browsers. It is difficult to find exactly what...
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Greendyke Street, Saltmarket, Glasgow G1 5DB, UK
Glasgow, some might be surprised to know, has more than its fair share of parks, but Glasgow Green, gifted to the city by King James II in the 15th century, is by far the oldest. Once upon a time, this is where the locals would graze their...
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Top of Byres Road, Glasgow G12 8QX, UK
Translating into ‘big song’ in Gaelic, Òran Mór is a linchpin of entertainment in Glasgow’s trendy west end. Located in the former Kelvinside Parish Church, this stunner of a venue is host to concerts (think FKA Twigs), plays (the irresistible...
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North St, Glasgow G3 7DN, UK
Distinguished by its green dome, the Mitchell Library is a true Glasgow icon. Not only that, but it is one of Europe's largest public libraries with over a million items in stock. The library includes a rare and specials collection and family and...
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119 Gorbals St, Glasgow G5 9DS, UK
One of the most famous literary depictions of Glasgow is the Gorbals in H. Kingsley Long's seminal No Mean City. The infamous tenement slums have long since been demolished, but out of their ashes have risen progressive ventures such as the...
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University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
With its dreamy spires, warren-like catacombs and elegant architecture providing a centrepiece in the city's West End, Glasgow University has proved an inspiring hothouse for numerous creative minds. These include James Kelman, William Boyd, Louse...
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Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1DZ, UK
This waterfront’s transforming big time. Gone are the industrial giants along the river banks. Once a bastion of steamship building and the port where thousands of emigrants left for greener pastures in America, now you’ll find interesting new...
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Back in the day, Glasgow was a hotspot for graffiti crews and b-boy culture. Today that legacy lives on in the city's richly talented street artists. Glasgow has now set up a dedicated City Centre Mural Trail, which takes you to some of the city's...
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350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD, UK
"If I’m out drinking, I’ll go to the bar at the CCA, which has a great vegan café as well.” -Stewart Laing This appeared in the January/February 2014. Read more about Stewart Laing's Glasgow neighborhood.
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Ashton Ln, Glasgow G12 8SJ, UK
This charming cobblestoned back street, lined with restaurants and bars, is the place for lively nightlife in Glasgow’s West End. When darkness falls, festive strings of lights twinkle overhead, and the sounds of live music and laughter drift from...
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2060 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow G43 1AT, UK
Two of Glasgow's top cultural draws -- Pollok House and The Burrell Collection -- are located in this huge expanse of greenery, a 10-minute train ride from the city's Central Station. On a hot summer day it is the park itself that is the main...
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17 Vinicombe St, Glasgow G12 8SJ, UK
This west end bar is an absolute must for lovers of good drink and architecture alike. Situated in a former cinema, the awe-inspiring space spills out over a number of levels, with the central atrium visible from all regions so you can always keep...
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27 Hyndland St, Glasgow G11 5QF, UK
Glasgow is widely regarded as a hub of creative energy and there are various outlets around the city for established and emerging talent to showcase their work. In the West End, the Rio Cafe and Inn Deep host renowned open mic evenings. Another...
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42 Otago Ln, Glasgow G12 8PB, UK
Any tea aficionado best sharpen their sleuthing abilities and set out to find Tchai-Ovna. Squirrelled away on a residential street in the Glasgow Uni ’hood, this cosy tea house is a welcome reprieve from the damp cold that seats itself into your...
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421 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3LG, UK
A Glasgow institution, "Sleazy's" as the locals call it, is your one stop shop for arts, music, and cheap White Russians. Check the calendar for live music shows and make it a dinner stop, too -- a menu of gourmet burgers, sandwiches and salads...
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34 Old Mill Rd, Uddingston, Glasgow G71 7HH, UK
Most companies evolve with the changing times to ensure success. In the case of Tunnock's, however, the rule has been turned on its head. Makers of legendary items (in Scotland at least) such as the tea cake, the caramel wafer and the snowball,...
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Glasgow Green, Templeton St, Glasgow G40 1AT, UK
Born in the 15th century and brimming with history, Glasgow Green is the oldest park in Glasgow. Set on the North Bank of the River Clyde, the park’s natural centerpiece is the People’s Palace & Winter Gardens, a museum and glasshouse which...
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George St, Glasgow G2 1DU, UK
Given the city's storied literary heritage it is only fitting that its main central square is scattered with telling reference points. The square is populated with statues of greats including Robert Burns, Thomas Campbell and Sir Walter Scott and...
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Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG, UK
The chance to browse through Europe’s largest collection of civic art, all under one lavishly vaulted roof, for free? Little wonder that the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Scotland. The...
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Loch Lomond, United Kingdom
The glittering waters of Loch Lomond—all 27 square miles of them—are on Glasgow’s doorstep less than 40 minutes away. Part of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, the largest inland expanse of water in Great Britain naturally attracts all...
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152 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4DY, UK
Rough and ready Dundee is emerging beautifully from its decades-long economic decline, spurred along by the opening of this contemporary arts center in 1999. Local and international artists both infamous and obscure show their work in the art...
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Fort William, UK
The Jacobite steam train runs from Fort William to Mallaig, part of the West Highland Railway Line — probably Britain’s most scenic railway line. The train departs close to Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain and passes over the 21 arches of...
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Fort William, UK
What was expected to be the low point of a two day getaway at the foot of Ben Nevis turned out to be one of the more beautiful experiences of my life so far. The four hour train ride between Glasgow and Fort William takes you between snow-capped...
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Just a few steps from the towering gravestone of Scottish heroine Flora McDonald lies a legend from another age: Alexander McQueen. Alexander (Lee) McQueen was fiercely proud of his Scottish heritage, which influenced several of his collections....
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Trumpan, Isle of Skye IV55 8GW, UK
Scotland is full of myths and legends, and, with its tales of fairies and even dinosaurs, the tales of Isle of Skye are some of the tallest. And, yet, it is the true stories that are the most remarkable. Located on Skye's Waternish peninsula,...
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Breakish, Isle of Skye IV42 8PY, UK
After days of rain that obscured the landscape of the Northern Highlands of Scotland, I drove across the bridge to the Isle of Skye as the sun broke through and lit the hills with a beauty that made it difficult to focus on steering. Breakish was...
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Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye IV47 8TA, UK
Hidden amongst the scenic mountains nestled below the staggering Cuillins, are magically enchanted waterfalls and crystal clear pools of water. Progressively more beautiful the further down you hike. The scenery itself will entice you to take a...
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Marwick Head, Orkney KW17 2NB, UK
After picking up a fantastic batch of fresh haggis to go with our fish and chips in Stromness we made our way north to Marwick Head. Upon reaching Marwick Head - a beautiful tower situated atop impressive cliffs - we walked along the cliff tops in...
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730 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 0UE, UK
The Gaelic translation of Glasgow, Glaschu, literally means “dear green place”—an appropriate name for a city which boasts over 90 parks and gardens within its city boundaries. A fantastic example of this is the sprawling Botanic...
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Stonehaven AB39 2TL, UK
Dunnottar Castle is a dramatic and evocative ruined cliff-top fortress in a truly stunning setting. And just a half hour's drive from Aberdeen, Europe's oil-capital. William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots graced the Castle with their presence....
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Isle of Islay, UK
The southernmost island of Scotland's Inner Hebrides, Islay is known for its whisky, specifically smoky, peaty whisky. It also has lovely beaches (worth checking out if the weather cooperates) and a mostly flat landscape ideal for cycling.
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MacLeod Estate, Dunvegan House, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye IV55 8WF, UK
Located near Loch Dunvegan, this castle and grounds has been ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years. Dunvegan Castle & Gardens is at the heart of the 42,000 acre MacLeod Estate on the Isle of Skye. A tour of the castle (no...
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28-36 Victoria St, Stromness KW16 3AA, UK
Most major Scottish island chains now feature a modern arts center but Orkney's Pier Arts Centre is a little different. It fills many roles—from gallery space to bookshop to events venue—in the town of Stromness, about 22 kilometers (14 miles)...
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Ireland Rd, Stennes, Stromness KW16 3LB, UK
The Orkneys have a piece of prehistoric engineering every bit as impressive as Stonehenge. A 7.3-meter-high (24-foot-high) burial mound, dating to about 2800 B.C.E., covers a chambered cairn constructed with gigantic stones. When Vikings arrived...
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Sandwick, Stromness KW16 3LR, UK
Skara Brae might trump all of Orkney's other Neolithic sites (which are grouped under one UNESCO World Heritage Site). Here you have a settlement that offers hints of how people lived five millennia ago. Stone hallways connect now roofless...
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B9055, Stromness KW16 3JZ, UK
Near the Maeshowe chambered tomb are standing stone circles first erected sometime between 2500 and 2000 B.C.E., possibly for use in Neolithic ceremonies. The stones at Stenness are a bit older (dating to 3400 B.C.E.) than those nearby at the Ring...
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Lawnmarket, Lady Stair's Close, Edinburgh EH1 2PA, UK
Just off the Royal Mile after you go under an archway is the Writers Museum in Scotland's capital city. The museum honors three of the nation's finest writers - Robbie Burns, Robert L. Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott. It is well worth a visit,...
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Viewfield Road, Portree, Portree, Highlands and Islands IV51 9EU, UK
Aros is a cultural hub for the residents of the Isle of Skye, housing everything from theater and films to a kilt rental service. There’s also an exhibit about the people of the St. Kilda archipelago (the most remote of the British Isles) whose...
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Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh IV40 8DX, UK
The prototypical Highland castle with its drawbridge, tower, spectacular ramparts and fantastic setting on a sea-loch near the Isle of Skye, Eilean Donan is probably the most photographed pile of stones and mortar in the country. Originally...
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Isle of Mull PA65 6BD, UK
It's stiff competition for the best island in Scotland, but Mull must come close to the top. Where else can you go in the height of summer and still find peace and quiet, views to melt the eyes and restaurants to capture your tastebuds? Not to...
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Aberdeen, UK
Aberdeen's alternative shopping scene is concentrated on either side of Union Street. Heading toward Aberdeen Art Gallery there's busy Belmont Street, while toward the harbor visit the quieter 14th century medieval quarter, The Green. Home to a...
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Union St, Aberdeen AB10, UK
In my year of living in Scotland, Scots had always told me to not go to Aberdeen. "There's nothing there. It's ugly. It's boring. It's dead depressing", they would say. But in my current trip to Scotland, I would have to say I really enjoy the...
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Peterhead AB42 0NS, UK
Anywhere else in the world, and the glorious sea cliffs at Bullers of Buchan would be surrounded by honking tour buses and touts hawking piles of plastic puffin merchandise. Instead, you'll likely have this craggy stretch of coast to yourself....
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Queen's Dr, Edinburgh EH8 8HG, UK
If you have an hour or two to spare in Edinburgh, Holyrood Park is a great outdoor activity. The park is so expansive and has many trails for a good walk, or if you're feeling particularly adventurous you can hike up the famous, and very steep,...
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21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN, UK
Heading off the Royal Mile to find Greyfriar's Bobby, we passed this cafe that, by its name, I assumed was an Indian restaurant. But a closer look at the bottom of the main window stated that this was where the hero of Hogwarts was created. The...
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Loch Lomond, United Kingdom
Loch Lomond is one of my favourite parts of Scotland. On a sunny day it is perfect for a drive around the water, stopping in at the villages and small towns along the way. Best of all is the climb of Ben Lomond. It may take up to 3 hours to climb...
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The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
Often called, "Scotland's Greatest Cathedral" the now-ruined medieval St. Andrews, overlooking the North Sea in its namesake town, is a splendid sight any time of day or night. However, in my several days of residence in the town made famous by...
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81-83 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HJ, UK
Where would the students of Edinburgh be without Armstrong's? Since 1870, Edinburgh residents have been coming to this vintage emporium, much larger inside than its exterior suggests, for cheap and unique items of clothing representing every era...
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Royal Mile, Edinburgh, UK
Linking Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse two kilometers to the east, the Royal Mile runs through the heart of the city's medieval Old Town. Off either side of the street—which goes by different names as it descends—ancient alleys...
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263 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BQ, UK
There are no bad souvenir options to be found in this independent gift shop on the Royal Mile. A few suggestions if you need help deciding: a picnic hamper stuffed with goodies such as smoked salmon and venison salami; a Scottish Borders tweed...
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Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3AH, UK
The neo-classical building that houses the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is its own piece of architectural artwork. The former home of one of Glasgow’s wealthy tobacco lords, it was also a center for business and commercial exchange for more than...
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1 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ, UK
by Gaynor Salisbury, As Told To Nick Draney The hub of the community! At the Church Hill Theatre, 33A Morningside Rd., 44/(0)131-447-3042. loopylornas.com This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s...
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Edinburgh, UK
by Gaynor Salisbury, As Told To Nick Draney Name: Gaynor Salisbury
Age:49
Neighborhood:Morningside, Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation:Owner of Loopy Lorna’s Tea House, named in honor of her late mother. The café, which serves a wide variety of teas...
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Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4DR, UK
by Gaynor Salisbury, As Told To Nick Draney A beautiful building that has lots of good amateur productions. 33A Morningside Rd. 44/(0) 131-447-7597 This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s...
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Countryside Ranger Service, 69 Hermitage of Braid, Edinburgh EH10 6JF, UK
by Gaynor Salisbury, As Told To Nick Draney A great escape from the city. The nature reserve is a 10-minute walk from Loopy’s. It’s a great to way to work off too much cake. South of Hermitage Dr. fohb.org This story appeared in the...
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Located on the north pier, this restaurant is a great choice for fresh daily caught seafood. Dinner over candlelight served with local Oban whisky.
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Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, UK
There is only one easy way up this crag in central Edinburgh, so it was the perfect location for the city's ancient fortifications and famous castle. Scholars say Castle Rock has been inhabited continually for more than 7,000 years and there has...
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Edinburgh, 42 Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2JW, UK
A self-described "melting pot" of affordable artwork, jewelry, housewares and accessories, the Red Door Gallery might just be the perfect place to find a distinctive souvenir from your visit to the Scottish capital. Key to the shop is a selection...
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Castle Esplanade, Stirling FK8 1EJ, UK
Scotland's Stuart monarchs spent more time here than in Edinburgh, and many scenes of high drama and intrigue played out at Stirling Castle. This is an A++ destination because so much of the sprawling site, from gardens to Great Hall to James V's...
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Dunoon, UK
After a short drive from Dunoon, Scotland we found Puck's Glen hike in the Argyll National Forest. Like hiking through a mystical fairyland, the trek was both engaging and just challenging enough for our kids.
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Old Man of Hoy, Stromness KW16 3NJ, UK
Since we saw the pictures of The Old Man of Hoy for the first time we were dreaming to go there. Towards to the end of your 3 miles hike from Rackwick suddenly you see the Old Man rising behind the cliffs far away. When you get closer the scene is...
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Dornoch IV25 3HN, UK
According to historical record, this Cathedral was erected in the 13th century under the guidance of St. Gilbert of Moray, the final Scot to be canonized prior to the Protestant Reformation—whose more zealous followers then razed the Cathedral in...
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Broad St, Kirkwall KW15 1NX, UK
It may not be surprising that one of the few medieval cathedrals to survive the enthusiastic cultural cleansing of the Reformation would be on a fairly remote island. Unfortunately, many of the relics did not survive as well as the architecture...
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Victoria St, Speyside AB38 9SR, UK
The Copper Dog is The Craigellachie's bar and eatery in the lower level of the hotel - but it's so much more. Where food has been sourced within a 40-mile radius from local handpicked suppliers, you'll experience the very best of local Scottish...
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Grantown on Spey PH26 3HG, UK
Over seven days, you’ll find the food, estate visits, and distillery tours and tastings just as spectacular as the daily hikes, which include Culloden Moor and Cairngorms National Park. From $4,095. This appeared in the March/April issue 2014...
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Northern Europe
Rarely have I felt as content as I did earlier this year, at a wonderful little retreat in Scotland called The Woodman’s Hut. Located inside popular Cairngorms National Park, it’s the choice accommodation at Lazy Duck Hostel, a farm and lodging...
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MacLeod Estate, Dunvegan House, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye IV55 8WF, UK
The English Lakeland Ramblers use local guides to lead the seven-day wander past such sites as Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, and, on Lewis Island, the prehistoric Standing Stones of Callanish. From $3,175. This appeared in the March/April issue...
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St John St, Stirling FK8 1ED, UK
The original church was built in 1129 by King David I but was destroyed in a fire in 1406. A new church was built in 1414 but wasn't big enough for the congregation so an addition was added from 1507-1546. Mary, Queen of Scots attended services...
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Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH1 3BJ, UK
Calton Hill is my favorite spot in Edinburgh. It has an excellent view of all the highlights of the city: the castle, Arthur's Seat, all the spire tops and domes, the Forth River, Holyrood Palace... If you haven't got much time in Edinburgh, you...
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The Helix, Falkirk, Grangemouth FK2 7ZT, UK
It was chance that brought us here to these magnificent structures. While boarding a plane to UK, saw a photo of the Kelpies in some FB/Twitter feed. During the journey, managed to find out where they were, and we made a stop at this lovely park...
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High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RE, UK
This beautiful cathedral, also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, is located on High Street in Edinburgh. It has beautiful stained glass windows and two memorials.
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29-35 Niddry St, Edinburgh EH1 1LG, UK
The Banshee is hands down the coolest pub I've ever been to. It's noted as "Scotland's most haunted pub", and boasts two bars, a billiards room, a stage, a cinema, and loads of space to sit down and enjoy a pint (or one of their drink specials,...
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Quay St, Portree IV51 9DE, UK
Lined with pretty pastel houses, this quaint harbor bustling with fishing boats is the perfect excursion for those who don’t want to venture far from the cruise port. Boats run day trips through Portree Bay during the summer; and numerous shops,...
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The Sailors Store Seafront House, Port Long Rd, Cullen AB56 4AG, UK
Take a scenic drive along the northern coast from Inverness to Cullen Bay and find pockets of charming beach towns like Cullen, the home Cullen Skink, a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions.
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Urquhart (pronounced irk-hart) Castle, now in glorious ruins, was once the most important fortification in the region, sacked by the English king Edward I in the 1290s and retaken by the Scottish king Robert I in 1308. Today the tower retains an...