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Issue 45 - In the news

Scotland Magazine Issue 45
June 2009


This article is 9 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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In the news

Burns fundraising steps up a gear The National Trust for Scotland has launched a number of initiatives to raise much needed funds for the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, due to open in 2010.

The Burns 250 Collection is a sponsorshop scheme calling for Burns fans across the world to help preserve some rare items. The Trust owns 5,000 items including priceless manuscripts and rare memorabilia belonging and relating to Robert Burns, including Jean Armour’s wedding ring, a manuscript of Tam o’Shanter and a precious Seal Matrix (pictured). There are varying levels of sponsorship for the conservation of each item, ranging from £250 for individual donors to over £50,000, for the most precious items in the collection.

To help with the fundraising, the University of the West of Scotland has gifted a statuette of ‘Coila’ to the Trust, the muse who appears in Robert Burns’s poem The Vision.

Museum reopens The Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Dunfermline, has reopened after a six-figure upgrade undertaken by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trustees.

Andrew Carnegie was a Scots-born philanthropist who forged the world’s greatest fortune in the steel furnaces of Pittsburgh, USA.

The revitalised museum has re-invented itself as a unique events centre, which elegantly showcases the living legacy of the man who became the richest man in the world. First opened in June 1928 the museum now retells the Carnegie story for the 2009 era with a freshly polished facade.

Admission is free to the visitor attraction which invites the public to take a journey through time, reliving Carnegie’s legacy.

Whilst retaining its original art deco architecture and panelling the refurbished venue incorporates state-of-the-art interactive AV units and digital wall graphics which depict his story.

The windows in the main exhibition hall are disguised with colourful transparent glass panes which rid the museum of its 19th century identity.

Return of T.rex Work on Edinburgh’s Royal Museum continues, marking one year since its partial closure.

Half the building remains open, but the full building will re-open in 2011. The project will see the creation of 16 new galleries, including an entire new floor and new exhibits – one of which will be Scotland’s first and only lifesize, anatomically correct cast of a T.rex.

In brief...

Scenes for a new Bollywood thriller have been shot in the Highlands.

Director Vishal Pandya filmed part of his Purple Lake movie, which features Indian star Nausheen Ali Sardar, in Urquhart Castle and Inverness. Hundreds of locals were drafted in as extras.

Purple Lake, which also stars Akshay Kapoor and Ashish Chowdhry, is scheduled for release in September.

The UK is said to have the largest audience for Bollywood movies outside of India.

British Waterways Scotland wants nature lovers of all ages to get out and about on Scotland’s canals this summer and record the bugs and beasties they spot there.

Water loving birds, mammals, fish, amphibians and insects thrive on Scotland’s canals, which act as green corridors and safe havens for many species.

It’s the sixth annual wildlife survey performed by British Waterways Scotland, and will be open throughout the year until October. The end results will give a clear picture of what lives where and how different species can be protected.

This year, the survey has an extra focus on endangered native species the bumblebee, with support from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust which aims to protect bumblebees and their habitats.

A new online adventure shedding light into the life of a 19th century soldier has been launched by The Heart of Hawick Project, a regeneration project in the Scottish Borders.

Voyage of the Vampire consists of some sea-faring diary entries, written by 19th century adventurer George Henry Scott Douglas, soldier with the 34th Regiment and crewmember of the ship the Vampire.

The project launched on 1st April with Scott’s diary entry from 1st April 1846. His adventures will unfold in real time as each subsequent day sees the publication of the next diary entry. Dinner and a show Aunique Celtic Cabaret is being offered to Edinburgh visitors again this summer, as the Taste of Scotland Show & Dinner returns to Prestonfield.

The event is hosted within the grounds of Prestonfield House, the luxurious five star hotel moments away from the Royal Mile.

The Stables is a circular pavilion with space for up to 400 diners, constructed within the original Georgian stable-block.

The Taste of Scotland Show is a celebration of Scottish food, song and dance, where guests can enjoy a four-course gourmet meal served by kilted waiters, followed by a lavish two hour show.

The show includes three Scottish tenors and, in celebration of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a tribute to Robert Burns, including address to the Haggis and Auld Lang Syne.

Tickets are priced at £51 per person including half a bottle of wine and dinner.

The evenings will run six nights a week until 9th October. Tel: +44 (0)131 225 7800 Edinburgh’s catch of the day Edinburgh’s latest restaurant, Café Fish, has opened its doors. Located on The Shore, Edinburgh’s well-known foodie quarter, Café Fish will be serving local produce from Scotland’s natural larder.

A two-course dinner starts from £19 and three-courses at £23, Café Fish’s menu will change daily and offer only the freshest selection of quality fish and seafood, as well as a meat or game and vegetarian options.

In brief...

Oor Tours is Edinburgh’s only musical walking tour. Led by Graeme E. Pearson, a native of the city, visitors are led on a unique musical journey through the rich history of Edinburgh’s old town.

Graeme performs live traditional and modern songs relating to real events and characters that shaped The Royal Mile.

Discover an Edinburgh vibrant with life, music and the occasional murder.

Tours cost £9 and last no more than one and a half hours.

Tel: +44 (0)7817 362 171 Velodays Cycling Holidays offers the UK’s first range of cycling holidays guided by satellite navigation. Using a pre-programmed ‘cycling sat-nav’ mounted on the handlebars, cyclists are kept on the right track and guided between four-star hotel destinations all around the country. Atholl Estates has announced the arrival of its latest range of accommodation. A new development of five Scandinavian-style woodland lodges is being created in the historic grounds of Blair Castle, conveniently close to the amenities of Blair Castle Caravan Park whilst remaining nestled in its own tranquil wooded area.

Scheduled to open in June 2009, the two and three bedroom lodges offer a wonderful opportunity for couples or families to relax and enjoy the spectacular surroundings. A new five star self catering island retreat has been unveiled. The owner, artist Diana Mackie, said: “We wanted to create something that was as dramatic as the scenery that surrounds.” Located at the end of a single track road alongside Loch Dunvegan, Number Ten has under floor heating throughout, wood burning stove and luxurious fittings.