Following in the footsteps of ancestors or famous people is what many people who come to Scotland are actually doing. Genealogy Tourism may be a recent phrase, but it has been part of the tourism business in Scotland for years.
When Samuel Johnson and James Boswell toured Scotland in 1773, which resulted in both publishing books of the tour which highlighted the beauty and wilderness of Scotland, even this was a result of an earlier book from 1703 which had stoked up their imagination. And so it continues from generation to generation. The history of an area in Scotland can be fascinating for the bloody battles and historic events, but sometimes it can be personal. I came across some old photographs in an album that belonged to my great grandfather, and he had photographed many Scottish scenes and places back in the early 20th century. One of the scenes was taken in Glen Alladale in 1918 (image above) and by chance I had been in the same spot nigh on 90 years later (image below). I now have many other places throughout Scotland in the album to match up over the years. This northern section of Scotland is different to the rest due to its closer proximity to Scandanavia having been ransacked and invaded by the Vikings and Norsemen years and years ago. Ancient history here involves the influence of Scandanavia between the 8th and 15th centuries, a period which is not covered much these days. Many Norse examples still exist in the language today. Sutherland was originally “Suder land”, the southern land; Dingwall is old Norse for a meeting place; Skibo – a steading; Brora – a bridge over a river; with the island of Jura, meaning deer island. History seems to start with Robert the Bruce and William Wallace – but Scotland was evolving much earlier than that. Pushing up to this period in the 14th century, Hugh (The Earl of Ross), who was the brother of Maud who married Robert the Bruce, commenced building a castle at Balnagown in Ross-shire. Today it is possible to stay nearby within a very fine holiday house which can sleep up to 10 people, this Highland Baronial Mansion. Whatever period of history you wish to discover or if you just wish to enjoy peace and tranquillity in a beautiful setting in Scotland, then follow in our ancestor’s footsteps with Scotts Castle Holidays.