- Free e-cards
- Mailing list
Work has now started on a new tapestry: The Scottish Diaspora, which will be completed and on display in 2014, as part of the Homecoming celebrations.
The Meadows is a large public park in Edinburgh. Just a short walk from the city’s High Street, it’s a favourite place for many locals to unwind on a summer day. The Meadows is bordered on the south and west sides by the residential areas of Marchmont, Bruntsfield and Tollcross. Newington lies to the east, and Edinburgh University and Royal Mile are to the north. It’s a park that’s regularly used as a route to get from one to the other.
The Meadows has open views to Arthurs Seat, and is crossed by several tree lined avenues. Its large expanse of flat grass make it a magnet for people who want to hang out in the open air. It’s regularly used for activities such as cricket games, football matches, and barbeques. It’s also a venue for a number of festival events, including the Meadows Festival takes over most of the area for the first weekend in June. The Meadows is also often used as a rally point for many marches and protests in the city.
And once autumn arrives, there’s plenty of scope for taking photos!
The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh was founded in the 1600s. It’s a world-renowned centre of education in plant sciences, although it was originally created to provide medicinal plants. Often referred to in Edinburgh as “the Botanics”, the garden is a popular tourist attraction, and is a wonderful city haven for a quiet walk. Entry to the gardens is free.
The Botanic Gardens hosts wide variety of events throughout the year, such as workshops, outdoor performances, tours and exhibitions. Across its 4 sites in Scotland, the Botanics is home to one of the largest plant collections in the world, second only to Kew Gardens in southwest London.
I went for a wander around the Botanics yesterday with my camera. It was a wonderful sunny autumnal day. The trees are in various stages of autumnal colours, and the light was creating some fantastic effects.
And it’s pretty inevitable in a space like this, that it’s got a large population of squirrels, which are often fairly inquisitive about the people who are wandering around the gardens. If you stop for a moment, it’s not unusual to find one or more squirrels will come scampering around to investigate you!
This weekend saw me out in Dumfries and Galloway, watching a fire display which was part of a family Halloween event run by the Forestry Commission’s Kirroughtree Visitor Centre. A good sized crowd turned out for the event, despite the warnings of storms, and some wet and windy weather in the afternoon.
And it was certainly well worth the journey!
Click on any photo to see them in a gallery
This week I’ve been working on a couple of calendars. My own Photography Scotland colour A4 wall calendars came back from the printers during the week, and are now on sale through the website. Last year’s calendars sold out within a few days of being available, so I’ve had plenty more printed this year.
Here’s a preview of the photos featured in the 2014 calendar:
I’ve also been asked to provide landscape photos for this year’s Age Scotland calendar. It will be sent out to all members on their mailing list.
When I came home tonight, I was caught in a traffic snarl up around the one-way system at West Maitland Street, near Haymarket station in Edinburgh. As I got off the bus, I found myself feeling an unexpected sense of freedom and space. I immediately realised what was missing…there were no fences!
It made such an impact that I nipped home to pick up my camera and tripod and came back out to record the occasion. In a few hours it won’t be so easy to take photos like these. The road outside Haymarket station is due to reopen to traffic on Saturday 12th October, after being fenced off for the tram works for over 4 years. In this time, local residents, commuters, and visitors to the city have had to navigate a scene of unsightly fencing around Haymarket Terrace and well beyond.
I for one won’t miss that feeling of being like a rat caught in a maze as I tried to navigate my way through the various blockages that have appeared on my route into town. The end of the tram works feels like a very welcome change.
There’s an incredible number of beautiful Scottish beaches – far too many to be able to visit them all! Scotland is well known for its stunning coastline, and with the number of islands around Scotland, you’re definitely spoilt for choice if you’re looking for a trip to the seaside.
At the weekend I was lucky to be taken to a wee beach I haven’t visited before – Seacliff in East Lothian. The beach is just to the East of North Berwick, and even though it’s not easy to find, it was still fairly busy for a warm September afternoon. As well as barbeques and kids playing in the rock pools and building sandcastles, there was a group of kayakers paddling around the bay. Some pony trekkers from the nearby farm also trotted by during the afternoon.
The beach is in an amazing location, being in full view of the Bass Rock, and also very close to Tantallon castle. The castle is visible from the very west end of the beach, where there’s also a tiny little hidden harbour carved out from the rocks. It’s a place that’s definitely worth a visit. I loved this colourful red kayak sitting at the water’s edge in front of the Bass Rock.
This photo is available to buy as a print from the Photography Scotland website shop
Buachaille Etive Mor (The Great Herdsman of Etive) is mountain ridge between the top of Glen Etive and Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. The peak of Stob Dearg rises from the western side of Rannoch Moor, making an imposing entrance to Glencoe for those driving on the A82 towards the Highland village of Ballachulish. It’s one of the best known Scottish munros (mountains over 3,000 feet).
Buachaille Etive Mor is made up of four hills which combine to create a ridge over four miles long. Stob Dearg is at the eastern end of the ridge, followed by Stob na Doire, Stob Coire Altrium and then the second Munro of the ridge, Stob na Bròige.
This photo is available to buy as a landscape print from the Photography Scotland website shop.
A ceilidh is a traditional Scottish night. Originally ceilidhs were informal social gatherings in people’s homes. Families, friends and neighbours gathered together and shared music, singing, dancing, poetry and storytelling.
More recently, the word is used to describe a night based on Scottish traditional dancing. In Scotland, ceilidhs can happen at festivals, or may be organised as fundraising events. Ceilidh dancing is also a common way to celebrate family events such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries etc. Ceilidhs occur across the country, form the smallest village hall, to large venues in the city. Ceilidhs are often family friendly events, with people of all ages able to either join in the dancing. It’s not uncommon to see several generations enjoying dancing together.
Generally there will be a live band playing for dancing. The band often also includes a ‘caller’ who will give the dancers instructions for the dances. Common dances include the Gay Gordons, Dashing White Sergeant, and Strip the Willow. Instructions for many of the dances can be found online.
There are many ceilidh dance bands in Scotland. Many have websites where you can listen to samples of the band’s music.
Other forms of traditional dance include Scottish country dancing, and Highland dancing. Both of these are much more formal than ceilidh dancing. They are often seen in competitions, and Highland games events etc.
I have a collection of Scottish traditional music, song, and dance photos that are available to buy as digital images, for the purposes of promoting Scotland and it’s culture.