Dougie Baird’s final Scotlanders campaign
It’s been a brilliant time. I think just about every week I have been somewhere different – even if it’s just a walk through my beloved Kelvingrove park.
My first road trip was not too far from home. It was another sunny day for another great Scottish roadtrip between Lochs Lomond and Long.
We left around ten and headed for Loch Lomond just as the blue skies came out. Across the road from Luss is the single track road for Glen Douglas.
We were lucky and only saw one other car on the venture over the glen – though we did see the Northern Ireland Army on a 30-mile hike! They were training for a special march in Holland. Friendly bunch!
We stopped many times for photo stops on our circuit. The best views were from the top of the hill looking down to Loch Long.
Next we drove through Arrochar, with great views of the Cobbler and Loch Long. We drive east and back into Tarbet. Final stop the village of Luss – famed for starring in Take the High Road on STV!
Here we had lunch and take images of snow capped Ben Lomond. It’s an easy road trip, and hugely rewarding.
Since I last wrote for you I have had the pleasure of meeting former #NASA astronaut Mike Foale at 29studios in Glasgow.
It was a pleasure to meet up with someone that has travelled that wee bit further!
Michael Foale, is a British-American veteran of six space shuttle missions and extended stays on both Mir and the International Space Station.
What memories this guy must have.
The Scotlanders’ next campaign was our Battleathon social media tour across the battlefields of Scotland.
The plan was to visit three of Scotland`s most famous battlefields and photograph what we saw on route.
It was a joint Scotlanders/National Trust of Scotland project full of history, scenery and wonderful places.
The Battle of Bannockburn
First stop was Bannockburn – The most famous battle on the British mainland, and another great site preserved by the National Trust.
We arrived at the visitor centre around 09:30, but already other tourists had arrived. My wife Lorna had the pleasure of talking to a couple from Edmonton, Canada – where she was born! It really is a small world.
The Bannockburn Experience tells the story well through a new 3D interactive reenactment. Have a wander around the field, too, where Robert the Bruce sits on his horse and faces where the battle was won.
Well worth a visit.
The Battle of Killiecrankie
The Pass of Killiecrankie is well known for the Jacobite battle, and is as beautiful part of our country, too.
You’ll get a friendly welcome by the staff at the Visitor Centre. They very knowledgeable and a credit to the National Trust for Scotland.
The Battle of Killiecrankie was fought on July 27, 1689. It was really a battle of Scottish Clans – between clans supporting King James II and troops supporting King William of Orange. The Jacobites won, but it had very little impact on the full scale war.
Donald MacBean is said to have escaped the Jacobites by making a spectacular jump over the River Garry at the spot now known as Soldier’s Leap. It is a great looking gorge and well worth a visit. Perthshire is magical place.
We visited the famous Garry Bridge and the Queen’s View. It’s stunning in Autumn when the trees have their golden coat on. I hope to return in October to see them.
The Battle of Culloden
Next up was the last battle on mainland Britain.
Culloden battlefield and visitor centre is well worth a visit if it’s only to see the wonderful film.
Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army were well defeated at the battle, marking the end of the Jacobites and their attempts to rule Scotland. As the film depicts, the famous wars in Scotland were not as straight forward as Scotland v England, with clans and families divided across both sides.
On our way home we first stopped at Urquhart Castle. One of the most picturesque landmarks in Scotland. Stands on Loch Ness. Sadly no sign of Nessie. We did have a good look!
Well, that was my weekend visiting the Battlefields of Scotland! It was a long roadtrip, but well worth it.
On Livingstone’s Trail…
Last weekend I was in Blantyre to learn all about David Livingstone. He is one of my heroes.
David was born 18th of May 1813 in Blantyre, and died 1 May 1873 (aged 60) in Chief Chitambo’s Village (in modern-day Zambia).
For over 30 years he explored Africa, travelling 29,000 miles, and mapping out huge amounts of Central Africa showing people where these villages were. He also discovered the source of the River Nile and a huge waterfall which he named after Queen Victoria. I can’t remember its exact title…
That has been my travels the last few weeks. History was the main subject. With travel and learning you can’t go wrong.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my travels around Scotland. Sadly to say this will be my last as I am leaving the Scotlanders.
I’ve really enjoyed writing for you.