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Issue 97 - Editor's View

Scotland Magazine Issue 97
February 2018

 

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Editor's View

Christopher Coates on Scotland’s quieter corners

There are a number of areas of Scotland that seem to be forgotten about  when it comes to promoting all that is great about the country. Don’t   get me wrong, I don’t think that anything sinister is going on - there  is no plot to plug one area at the expense of another, at least as far as I  know! Nevertheless, when reading guidebooks or online listicles praising  the merits of Scotland’s varied landscape and heritage, there are a few  regions that seem to fall through the cracks. Two that come to mind in  particular are Clackmannanshire and Kinross.

Perhaps it’s because they’re so small. Tucked in between the mighty bulk  of Perthshire, to the north, the Kingdom of Fife, to the east, Stirlingshire,  to the west, and the mighty River Forth, to the south, these wee counties  just don’t seem to be able to compete when it comes to making it on to  travel itineraries. Looking through our back-issue catalogue, I saw that  we too were guilty of neglecting these regions, which always seem to be  left playing second fiddle to their neighbours.

In order to shed light on these paths less travelled, Charles Douglas has  gone on a tour of both Clackmannanshire and Kinross, with particular  focus on Castle Campbell, which once belonged to the Campbell earls  of Argyll. Not long ago, I visited this fortress myself and was blown away  by how impressive it is. Architecturally quite beautiful, its location at the  head of Dollar Glen surely makes it one of Scotland’s most picturesque  ruins. Though be warned - the walk up the glen is pretty steep, so be  prepared to do a bit of huffing and puffing. Though trust me, it’s worth it!

If I thought I was tired after walking up one hill, Keith Fergus must  truly be exhausted. In the first of a new series that will explore Scotland’s  long-distance heritage paths, he has walked the Rob Roy Way and shared  all that he learned along the route. Meanwhile, Nic Davies has been  getting up close and personal with some rather feisty eaglets, while John  Hannavy has continued to indulge his passion for industrial heritage in  his latest piece, which focusses on the life of Sir William Arrol.

Keen to challenge common misconceptions about Scotland and its  history, Dr Bruce Durie has penned a convincing piece that explains  why it is wrong to claim that the US Declaration of Independence was  based on the Declaration of Arbroath - the two are, in fact, quite at odds.

Meanwhile, James Irvine Robertson has been up in Aberdeenshire, investigating the history of Clan Mar. He has also mused upon some  of Scotland’s traditional folk tales. Further south, Roddy Martine has  interviewed another outstanding Scottish artist, while I’ve spent an  enjoyable few days exploring the Kingdom of Fife. Finally, if you’re a  budding photographer or know someone who is, please note that our 2018  Photographic Challenge is now open for entries (See: p39). Good luck! 

 

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