It is often considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland, it is a part of the designated National Scenic Area of Ben Nevis and Glen Coe.
Early in the morning of 13 February 1692, in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution and the Jacobite uprising of 1689 led by John Graham of Claverhouse, a massacre took place in Glen Coe, in the Highlands of Scotland. This incident is referred to as the Massacre of Glencoe, or in Scottish Gaelic Mort Ghlinne Comhann (murder of Glen Coe). The massacre began simultaneously in three settlements along the glen—Invercoe, Inverrigan, and Achnacon—although the killing took place all over the glen as fleeing MacDonalds were pursued. Thirty-eight MacDonalds from the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were killed by the guests who had accepted their hospitality, on the grounds that the MacDonalds had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new monarchs, William and Mary. Another forty women and children died of exposure after their homes were burned.
Linlithgow Palace, an important royal residence, is now a roofless ruin, but enough of it still stands for the visitor to be able to understand what life in such a vast palace must have been like.
Linlithgow Palace is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. As it turned out, the infant queen remained only seven months at Linlithgow before being taken by her mother to the greater security of Stirling Castle and then to France. It was another 20 years before she returned.
The Palace is built around a square central courtyard with an elaborate stone fountain. Despite being a ruin, visitors can walk through almost all of the rooms and corridors, of which there are many in this large building. There are boards explaining the function of most rooms. The great hall is impressive, as well as the basement kitchen. Great views from the top of the towers.
The National Wallace Monument is built on the spot where Wallace is believed to have waited before descending to attack the English army during the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
The Wallace Monument is divided into 3 main areas. The 1st floor is an exhibition about the life of William Wallace with a slightly spooky figure of William Wallace telling the story of his struggle for Scottish Independence. The exhibition also has information boards that tell the true story behind the “Braveheart” legend, and you can see the dauntingly large sword that William Wallace used in battle.
The 2nd floor houses a less exciting display of 16 marble busts of important Scots whose achievements are explained with the audio guides. The 3rd floor tells the story of how the monument came to be built in the 1870’s.
If you make it all the way up the 246 steps of the spiral stairs to the top of Wallace Monument, you will be rewarded with a fantastic view over the site of Wallace’s famous battle at Stirling Bridge.
Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical drama war film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England. The story is based on Blind Harry’s epic poem The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace and was adapted for the screen by Randall Wallace. It has been described as one of the most historically inaccurate modern films.
The Royal Yacht Britannia was the Royal family’s personal ship from 1953 to 1997. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh took a personal involvement in the design and furnishing of their floating home, so it is interesting to see how relatively modest the décor is.
Britannia was launched from the John Brown & Company shipyard in Clydebank on 16 April, 1953. For over 44 years she served the Royal Family, travelling over one million miles to become the most famous ship in the world. To Her Majesty The Queen, Britannia proved to be the perfect Royal residence for glittering state visits, official receptions, Royal honeymoons and relaxing family holidays. For Great Britain, she was a majestic symbol of the Commonwealth and a proud ambassador. For the Royal Family and dedicated crew of Royal Yachtsmen, she was home.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual series of Military tattoos performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International military bands and display teams on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. The event takes place annually throughout August, as part of the wider Edinburgh Festival (a collective name for many independent festivals and events held in Edinburgh during August).
Rosslyn Chapel is one of the most famous religious sites of Scotland, made even more famous in the past few years by the Da Vinci Code novel from Dan Brown and movie with Tom Hanks. Rosslyn Chapel is an architectural wonder: although it was never completely finished, it has impressive features such as a sculptured ceiling of stars, roses and a dove with an olive branch ( a symbol of the Knights Templar). The skill and art in the stone carvings is amazing and evidence of a tremendous craft that has now been lost.
Rosslyn chapel is actually quite modest in size, but so full of finely detailed stonework that you can easily spend an hour just enjoying the tour and admiring the intricate stonework.
Tours of the chapel are conducted in English and are entertaining. You will learn about how Rosslyn chapel was started in 1446, how it escaped the destruction of the Protestant reformation and you will be shown some of the curious carvings and masonic symbols around the chapel. The guides also explain a little about the use of the chapel in the filming of the Da Vinci Code, but the tours do not play too heavily on this connection.