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Issue 95 - Editor's View

Scotland Magazine Issue 95
October 2017

 

Copyright Scotland Magazine © 1999-2017. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.

Editor's View

Scotland is currently basking in the warm glow of international adoration. A reader survey carried out by the celebrated travel publication Rough Guides resulted in Scotland coming out on top as ‘the world’s most beautiful country’, with Canada in second place and New Zealand in third. To have bested two such beautiful countries at the polls (and many more besides) is a real testament to the affection felt for Scotland, in spite of (or perhaps partly because of) its reputation for changeable weather and the ever-threatening presence of the dreaded midge.

The result will come as no surprise to anyone who has travelled here extensively. Not only is Scotland's landscape beautiful but the sheer variety is staggering. There are rolling hills, like those in the Borders that so enchanted Sir Walter Scott, and dramatic cliffs encircling our coastline, many of which are home to some of the Europe’s rarest seabirds. There are the wild and empty spaces such as Rannoch Moor, home to a great variety of flora and fauna, and wooded glens like the ones in Perthshire that inspired Beatrix Potter. There are pristine silver beaches, photographs of which could easily be mistaken for the Caribbean or Thailand, and grand Neoclassical cities — the product of a prosperous, if troubling, past that has left us with an outstanding architectural legacy.

As always, we strive to bring you a taste of that variety. In this issue, our area of focus is around the Firth of Clyde: from Inverclyde down through Ayrshire, and over to the isles of Arran and Bute. It’s an area that has much to offer — whether it be impressive historic houses such as Mount Stuart on Bute or Culzean Castle in Ayshire, breathtaking mountains like Goatfell on Arran or world class golf courses like those found at Turnberry, the visitor to this area will never be at a loss for a new wonder to discover. Both Keith Fergus and Charles Douglas will lead us in an exploration of the region as together we go ‘doon the watter’.

Further north, I’ve travelled to Inverness and beyond on a journey that takes in distilleries, castles, dolphins and more, while James Irvine Robertson has tracked the history of the Clan MacAulay and a key figure in Scottish medicine. Looking for how the nation’s past may inform its future, John Hannavy has researched Scotland’s shipbuilding heritage and visited a historic yard that is now producing the ferries of tomorrow. Exploring the arts, Roddy Martine has met with another inspiring artist in residence, Andrew Crummy, and I had the pleasure of speaking with actor Ruth Connell, the Scottish star of the hit TV show
Supernatural. Finally, we have the pleasure of sharing the three winning entries from our ever-popular photographic challenge. As always, picking just a few entries from the many hundreds submitted was a challenge, but I trust you’ll agree that those we’ve chosen are spectacular.