It was reported in the weekend papers that David Beckham is filming a whisky advert in Scotland and various grainy images of him in a green velvet smoking jacket at a lodge in the Highlands were on display. This came as no surprise to Scotts Castle Holidays as a few months ago we were involved in assisting with the search for the suitable location.
With the explosion of the final firework from the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games heralding the start of the Edinburgh Festival, wherever you are in Scotland there are shows and games to be found everywhere you look. Highland Games are held through August and September in most major towns and areas, with the most well known being the Braemar Gathering, which is held on the first Saturday in September each year. The agricultural shows are also held in the summer months, from June to August and are one of the undiscovered events of what makes Scotland tick and if you have not been to one, now is the time to see what you are missing.
The Keith Show is being held over the dates of 10th and 11th August 2014 and has a longstanding history and reputation, renowned for being one of Scotland’s best and friendliest shows. This year’s show features top class horses, sheep, cattle and the ever popular vintage car section, trucks, highland Dancing, industrial/flower show, sheep shearing, show-jumping, massed pipe bands, foot races and the ever popular children’s farm are just a few of the attractions. Suffice to say that there is something here for everyone in a family to enjoy and if that was not enough, you can always try your hand at “haggis hurling”. Perhaps you can beat the world record throw of 217 feet?
This Arts and Crafts House, built in 1916, is situated in a rural location, yet it is only 20 minutes away from Elgin and 22 miles away from Keith. Inside, it has a feel of a traditional sporting lodge, with lots of deer trophies and chamois heads adorning the walls. It sleeps 17 people in 9 bedrooms, with 10 bathrooms and is available to rent on a self-catering basis as a large holiday house. Ideal for a family holiday in Scotland, so why not contact Scotts Castle Holidays to discover more.
After a world-record 171,000 fans packed into Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow for two days of Commonwealth Games rugby sevens action, the crucial medal matches have provided more thrilling entertainment. South Africa ended New Zealand’s dominance, winning the gold medal match in an enthralling final at a sold-out Ibrox Stadium 17-12. It is a testament to the popularity of rugby in this shorter version, for seven men compared to fifteen, and the amazing fitness and prowess shown on the pitch. It bodes well for the future of the sport and many congratulations to South Africa for winning the gold medal and for Glasgow for being such a superb host.
The first Rugby Sevens tournament was played in Melrose in 1883 and on the 11th of April 2015, it will be the 125th playing of the Melrose Sevens with guest teams coming from around the world. Whilst the teams have still to be confirmed, in the past teams such as Randwick and Manly from Australia, Bay of Plenty from New Zealand, University of Free State and Stellenbosch from South Africa have all played in Scotland at Melrose.
It is always a carnival atmosphere and is considered a prime social date in the sporting calendar in Scotland. For those wishing to attend the famous Melrose Sevens event in 2015, then why not travel as a group and stay in a large holiday house in Scotland. This Large Georgian Mansion is 4 miles away from Melrose, and can sleep 24 adults and 4 children on a self-catering basis, and would be ideal for a long weekend, for the rugby or for just enjoying the natural beauty that the Borders region of Scotland has to offer. Contact Scotts Castle Holidays today to check availability.
Firstly, many congratulations to Rory McIlroy, the young golfer from Northern Ireland, who won the 2014 British Open, held last week at Hoylake, near Liverpool. At the age of 25, to be a 3-time major winner, is very impressive and even more so, when you discover that only 2 men have done this before in the modern era, and they are Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. With the Ryder Cup being held at Gleneagles in September, we will all get the chance to see Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Ricky Fowler again on the golf course, but this time in Scotland.
In the next few years, Scotland will host the British Open three times out of the next four years that have already been decided. The venues for the Open have been decided up until 2018. In 2015, the dates are 12-19 July, and the venue is St Andrews in Fife. In 2016, the dates are 10-17 July, and the venue is Royal Troon, Ayrshire. In 2017, the dates are 20-23 July, and the venue is Royal Birkdale, Merseyside. In 2018, the dates are 19-22 July, and the venue is Carnoustie, Angus. So Scotland seems to be cementing its reputation as the “Home of Golf”.
For those looking for a holiday house in Scotland that will sleep up to 14 people on a self-catering basis, in a region where there are a lot of golf courses, then the stand-out property is Hayston House. This fabulous farmhouse is to be found in Fife, only 8 miles from St Andrews, and is perfect for a golfing group or for a family holiday. This large holiday house has 6 bedrooms with zip-and-link beds for twin or double use, with en-suite facilities and 1 bedroom with its own private bathroom. Each bedroom has a TV in it. To the rear of the house is a section of ground which is ideal for playing football or practising your golf shots. For more information contact Scotts Castle Holidays today.
The biggest family history show is coming to Scotland to the Scottish Exhibition Conference Centre in Glasgow on the 29th – 31st August 2014. The “who do you think you are” live show will include workshops from the Society of Genealogists and will offer a chance to discuss and chat to experts about tracing your family history. If you wish to attend, then it is recommended that you bring the following: any relevant old photographs; small family heirlooms; any family tree you may have; any additional relevant document, which may be military or work related.
The BBC programme, which started 10 years ago in 2004, will reach its 100th edition during the next series, which starts on 26th July 2014. Included within the latest line-up is the Scottish comedian and actor, Billy Connolly. The genealogy market has always been strong with the US market, especially those researching their ancestral roots in Scotland, but now it has become much more mainstream. So take your chance to go to this show and find out more about your ancestral past.
Alternatively, you could wait until later in the year and go to a Billy Connolly show instead. He starts his “High Horse” tour within Scotland in September and October 2014 which includes Aberdeen, Perth, Edinburgh and the SECC in Glasgow. If you have never seen Billy Connolly live – where better to see him but in Glasgow. If you require accommodation in Scotland during these times – then why not stay at the “Castle with History” near Kilmarnock, which sleeps 12 people on a self-catering basis. For more information contact Scotts Castle Holidays today.
Hard to believe, but it is the 20th anniversary of the filming of Braveheart this year. Mel Gibson’s film about William Wallace, which went on to win five Oscars, including best picture, was filmed in 1994 and released in 1995. Whilst there is great pride in Scotland about the film, with its heroic deeds and stirring action, it became to mean so much more. Shouting the word “freedom” in Scotland and it brings out the inner warrior. Whilst historically, there were a number of inaccuracies, as a story it is a great tale and one that is part of the DNA of Scotland.
Scotland was used for various scenes for Braveheart and shooting took place around Loch Leven, Glen Coe, Glen Nevis and in the streets of Edinburgh. The shots of Glen Nevis are particularly memorable and this scenic area is well used to filming, with many outside scenes for the Harry Potter films shot here as well. A public road runs for 10 km up the glen, becoming a single track after 7 km. Glen Nevis has the highest mountains in the British Isles, with Ben Nevis, Càrn Mor Dearg, Aonach Mòr, and Aonach Beag. At its foot is the town of Fort William.
This amazing holiday house, the Victorian Fishing Lodge can be found nestled in a quiet glen in the shadow of Ben Nevis. Built in 1870, this is a lovely large holiday house which is ideal for groups of 14 adults, who want a self-catering holiday house in an area known for a wide range of activities. In fact, the location is excellent for all ages, with the Fort William area known as the “outdoor capital of Scotland”. Why not be a braveheart and walk in the footsteps of Mel Gibson and find out more today about booking your holiday at Scotts Castle Holidays?
Fenton Tower, a 16th century tower house, has now made itself available to accept self-catering bookings throughout the year for the first time. This amazing castle is the height of luxury and is a 5 star Visit Scotland graded “exclusive use” venue and should prove to be very popular for those who want to stay in a luxury style castle. Being only 24 miles from Edinburgh should also make it a very attractive proposition, making travelling by air or train a short easy option.
Whilst the castle looks great from the outside, it is even better on the inside. The vaulted dining room has all the character and atmosphere you would expect from a dining hall that goes back to 1587, and the long table decked out in candles will be a treat, even if it is not a Medieval banquet on offer. The Great Hall is a wonderful large sitting room with huge open fire and ideal for entertaining. As for the bedrooms, they are all a range of luxurious rooms, some with four poster beds and all unique in style. However, it could be argued that the bathrooms are even better. How often do you come across a large copper bath. Even better when you are stylishly attired in the big fluffy dressing gown with the Fenton Tower logo, provided as part of the booking. Anyone staying here, to use the clichés, will live like a lord and be the king or queen of the castle, in style and luxury.
This is all great for the adults who can also find out more for about the history. But what about for the children, what is the story? Well, to children Fenton Tower will be better known as the pink castle, Archie the inventor’s house from the BBC show Balamory. So it should be perfect for both adults and children on so many levels, either for weekly or weekend rentals. Contact Scotts Castle Holidays today to find out more about staying in a castle in Scotland.
Continuing the theme of promoting some of the lesser known festivals that take place in Scotland, then one of the more jolly events is the Borders Book Festival. It will be held in Harmony Garden in Melrose from the 12th – 15th June 2014 and will feature a mixed array of adult and children authors. Comedian Jennifer Saunders, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and journalist Kate Adie are among the headline speakers. Crime writer Lynda La Plante, former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown and wildlife presenter Steve Backshall are among those speaking on the opening day of the festival. Others appearing include Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, broadcaster Kirsty Wark, satirist Rory Bremner and wildlife cameraman Doug Allan, who has worked on David Attenborough BBC series such as Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet.
So here is a chance to wander the sleepy market town of Melrose and have the chance to bump into Jennifer Saunders. How incredible is that. The festival is very small in festival terms with a couple of marquees in the garden of a national trust building, with the backdrop of Melrose Abbey. If you are looking for a chance to see various authors in the flesh and not be stuck in crowds, this is definitely for you.
So start planning your break in Scotland today. Self-catering options at Scotts Castle Holidays comes in all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to the large holiday house selection, there is a good choice to choose from. For example, the Large Georgian Mansion, is only a few miles from Melrose, and sleeps up to 28 people, making this is an ideal self-catering holiday venue for all the family. To find out more, check with the office at Scotts Castle Holidays.