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Issue 84 - Hogmanay and Beyond

Scotland Magazine Issue 84
December 2015

 

This article is 25 months 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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Hogmanay and Beyond

Roddy Martine marvels at the beauty of Argyll

In this edition of Scotland Magazine, we explore Argyll, ancient Dál Riata, where the story of our united northern nation began. From here among the inlets of this ragged and rugged coastline, the Celts and the Norse of the west spilled into the rich arable lands of the east, embracing the indigenous Picts and incoming Saxons and Normans of the south. Over a millennium years later, many of the characteristics which defined this spectacular landscape have remained unchanged.

Argyll stretches from the Mull of Kintyre north into Lochaber, a scattering of verdant peninsulas and sea lochs washed by the warmth of the passing Gulf Stream. Dominated by Clan Campbell, this territory formed the birthplace of MacDonald, Macdougall, MacArthur, Maclachlan and Lamont.

History comes alive when the physical locations of great, life-altering moments in time can be identified; not least the simple, rocky crag of Dunaad, near Kilmartin, where the long ago monarchs of Alba were crowned. It was from here that Fergus Mór Mac Eirc founded a dynasty in the 6th Century that would rule Scotland to this day.

For those of an equally nostalgic inclination, Susan Nickalls meets up with Virginia Heath, the producer of From Scotland with Love, an inspirational compilation of 20th Century documentary film footage. And while on the subjects of love and Scotland, the best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith defines the intimacy and connectivity of the romantic imagination.

In 1818, the great English artist J. M. W. Turner began a series of illustrations for the works of Sir Walter Scott. Having been inspired by these, the Borders artist Andrew Brown has re-visited and re-interpreted Turner's drawings in a contemporary manner. Combining his travels with his passion for Scottish traditional music, the accordionist Freeland Barbour talks to Shona McMillan about his latest venture –
The Music and The Land. Finally, as our magical and mystical place, we have chosen Soutra Aisle, where Augustinian monks of the 12th Century created the largest fever hospital in Europe.

As the old year passes into the new year,
Scotland Magazine has in addition put together a small selection of recommended seasonal gifts for your approval and you can see these on page 55. In so doing, we would like to extend our very best wishes for every happiness to each and every one of our readers throughout 2016 and we hope that you will continue to enjoy the magazine.