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Michelin Green Guide Scotland

By: Michelin
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This eBook version of the Green Guide Scotland by Michelin captures the spirit of the country, from the Lowlands of Strathmore to the Cairngorms in the heart of the Highlands. Sample a wee dram at the malt whisky capital, play golf at St. Andrews, visit Glasgow’s art museums, or explore the rugged northern lochs. You'll find walk-throughs of major museums, galleries, churches and attractions with illustrations and floor plans. Through its star-rating system, driving tours, lodging and dining for all budgets, colorful maps and suggested activities, this Michelin Green Guide helps you discover the quintessence of Scotland.

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HISTORY

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History

TIMELINE

PREHISTORIC PERIOD: EARLY MIGRATIONS

4000– — Neolithic settlers arrive

2500 BC by the Atlantic route

2000– — Bronze Age

1000 BC agriculturalists arrive from the continent

800 BC–AD 400 — Iron Age peoples from central Europe

THE ROMANS 1C AD–4C AD

The Roman conquest of Caledonia was never fully accomplished although there were two main periods of occupation. The initial one (c.80–c.100), which started with Julius Agricola’s push northwards, is notable for the victory at Mons Graupius. The second period followed the death in 138 of the Emperor Hadrian (builder of the wall in the 120s). His successor Antoninus Pius advanced the frontier to its earlier limits but by the mid-160s the Antonine Wall was definitively abandoned.

55, 54 BC — Caesar invades Britain; conquest begins AD 43

AD 71–84 — Romans push north into Caledonia ; Agricola establishes a line of forts between the Clyde and Forth

 

ARCHITECTURE

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Architecture

Shaped by Celtic beginnings, the early influence of invading Norsemen and the recurrent colonisation – peaceful or otherwise – by the English, the nation’s culture has developed into a fascinating hybrid that is impossible to pin down. Rugged and romantic, traditional and modern, it is always evolving, yet manages to remain true to its roots.

ECCLESIASTICAL

CELTIC FOUNDATIONS

Mainland Scotland retains two of the earliest buildings erected by the Celtic clergy, the round towers of Brechin and Abernethy. Dating from the late 10C to early 11C these refuges or belfries are outliers of an Irish tradition. Although tangible remains are few, the Christian faith was an important unifying factor in Dark Age Scotland.

ANGLO-NORMAN PERIOD

Scotland of the mid-11C with its Celtic and Norse influences was soon to undergo a new and gradual Anglo-Norman colonisation. It was the west and north, the strongholds of the old cultures, that resisted the new imprint.

 

ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND SCULPTURE

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Architecture

Shaped by Celtic beginnings, the early influence of invading Norsemen and the recurrent colonisation – peaceful or otherwise – by the English, the nation’s culture has developed into a fascinating hybrid that is impossible to pin down. Rugged and romantic, traditional and modern, it is always evolving, yet manages to remain true to its roots.

ECCLESIASTICAL

CELTIC FOUNDATIONS

Mainland Scotland retains two of the earliest buildings erected by the Celtic clergy, the round towers of Brechin and Abernethy. Dating from the late 10C to early 11C these refuges or belfries are outliers of an Irish tradition. Although tangible remains are few, the Christian faith was an important unifying factor in Dark Age Scotland.

ANGLO-NORMAN PERIOD

Scotland of the mid-11C with its Celtic and Norse influences was soon to undergo a new and gradual Anglo-Norman colonisation. It was the west and north, the strongholds of the old cultures, that resisted the new imprint.

 

PAINTING

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Architecture

Shaped by Celtic beginnings, the early influence of invading Norsemen and the recurrent colonisation – peaceful or otherwise – by the English, the nation’s culture has developed into a fascinating hybrid that is impossible to pin down. Rugged and romantic, traditional and modern, it is always evolving, yet manages to remain true to its roots.

ECCLESIASTICAL

CELTIC FOUNDATIONS

Mainland Scotland retains two of the earliest buildings erected by the Celtic clergy, the round towers of Brechin and Abernethy. Dating from the late 10C to early 11C these refuges or belfries are outliers of an Irish tradition. Although tangible remains are few, the Christian faith was an important unifying factor in Dark Age Scotland.

ANGLO-NORMAN PERIOD

Scotland of the mid-11C with its Celtic and Norse influences was soon to undergo a new and gradual Anglo-Norman colonisation. It was the west and north, the strongholds of the old cultures, that resisted the new imprint.

 

LITERATURE

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PORTRAITURE

In the 17C the Aberdonian George Jamesone (1588–1644) was the leading portraitist. His sensitive works are reminiscent of Van Dyck.

The 18C is marked by the portraitist Allan Ramsay (1713–1784), responsible for the founding of Edinburgh’s first important art academy and painter to George III. His delicate portraits of women are notable. Henry Raeburn (1756–1823), George IV’s Limner for Scotland, also has a well-deserved reputation as a portrait painter (The Reverend Robert Walker skating, Sir Walter Scott, Mrs Lumsden, Mrs Liddell). These two artists painted the gentry and leading personalities of the period and are well represented in the major art galleries and country houses.

NATURAL AND HISTORICAL THEMES

Alexander Nasmyth (1785–1859), Ramsay’s assistant, became a successful landscape artist (Robert Burns, The Windings of the Forth, Distant Views of Stirling). The idealised treatment of nature is illustrated in The Falls of Clyde by the Neoclassical master Jacob More. Gavin Hamilton (1723–1798) painted vast historical compositions (illustrations of Homer’s Illiad, The Abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots) and became very successful in Rome. In the 19C Walter Scott’s novels brought about renewed interest in Scottish landscape: Glencoe, Loch Katrine, Inverlochy Castle by Horatio McCullough (1805–1867), who is famous for his Highland scenes. David Wilkie’s (1785–1841) artistry is evident in his realistic popular scenes (Pitlessie Fair, Distraining for Rent) and portraits (George IV), which show Raeburn’s influence. The Gentle Shepherd illustrates Ramsay’s pastoral poem.

 

MUSIC

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PORTRAITURE

In the 17C the Aberdonian George Jamesone (1588–1644) was the leading portraitist. His sensitive works are reminiscent of Van Dyck.

The 18C is marked by the portraitist Allan Ramsay (1713–1784), responsible for the founding of Edinburgh’s first important art academy and painter to George III. His delicate portraits of women are notable. Henry Raeburn (1756–1823), George IV’s Limner for Scotland, also has a well-deserved reputation as a portrait painter (The Reverend Robert Walker skating, Sir Walter Scott, Mrs Lumsden, Mrs Liddell). These two artists painted the gentry and leading personalities of the period and are well represented in the major art galleries and country houses.

NATURAL AND HISTORICAL THEMES

Alexander Nasmyth (1785–1859), Ramsay’s assistant, became a successful landscape artist (Robert Burns, The Windings of the Forth, Distant Views of Stirling). The idealised treatment of nature is illustrated in The Falls of Clyde by the Neoclassical master Jacob More. Gavin Hamilton (1723–1798) painted vast historical compositions (illustrations of Homer’s Illiad, The Abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots) and became very successful in Rome. In the 19C Walter Scott’s novels brought about renewed interest in Scottish landscape: Glencoe, Loch Katrine, Inverlochy Castle by Horatio McCullough (1805–1867), who is famous for his Highland scenes. David Wilkie’s (1785–1841) artistry is evident in his realistic popular scenes (Pitlessie Fair, Distraining for Rent) and portraits (George IV), which show Raeburn’s influence. The Gentle Shepherd illustrates Ramsay’s pastoral poem.

 

NATURE

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Nature

Scotland is renowned for its unspoiled natural state and the attractions of the great outdoors; from a majestic stag in Monarch of the Glen pose, or endearing shaggy Highland Cattle, to the humble thistle and purple heather, all are powerful icons of a land which has remained close to its roots.

TOPOGRAPHY

A FEW FACTS

The mainland of Scotland and the numerous fringing islands cover a vast area of 30,414sq mi/78,793sq km. The coastline is deeply penetrated by the Atlantic on the west and by the North Sea on the east; most places are within 60mi/96km of the sea.

There are 787 islands (under one quarter are inhabited) and 6,214mi/10,000km of coastline. The resident population is slightly less than 5,100,000, giving an average density of 167 per sq mi (270 per sq km). Ninety eight percent of Scotland is classified as countryside.

Although Scotland is generally recognised as a mountainous country, the infinite variety of landscapes is one of its major tourist assets. The country is traditionally divided into three areas, the Southern Uplands, Central Lowlands or Midland Valley and the Highlands.

 

SCOTTISH BORDERS

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DISCOVERING SCOTLAND

Southern Scotland

■ Scottish Borders

■ Ayrshire and Arran

■ Dumfires and Galloway

■ Edinburghaaa

■ Lothians

■ Glasgowaaa

■ Renfrewshire & Lanarkshire

SCOTTISH BORDERS

For visitors crossing Hadrian’s Wall, the Borders is Scotland’s welcome mat. An undulating verdant introduction to the country, this land of shires and streams is dotted with romantic ruined abbeys, gracious oft-forgotten country houses and comfortable little towns and villages. It is unmistakeably Scotland, if not stereotypically Scottish. Visitors in search of wilder Borders countryside should head to the hills of the west, or to the northeast and the dramatic cliffs of St Abb’s Head.

Highlights

1 A day at the races at picturesque Kelso Racecourse

2 A picnic in the grounds of romantic Melrose Abbey

3 Discovering Sir Walter Scott’s heritage at Abbotsford

4 Hiking or cycling the Tweed Valley near Peebles

 

AYRSHIRE AND ARRAN

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Melrosea

Melrose Abbey and Eildon Hills

Grouped round its beautiful abbey ruins, in the middle reaches of the Tweed, Melrose is overshadowed by the triple peaks of the Eildons. This attractive town bustles with visitors in the summer and makes an ideal touring centre for exploring the surrounding countryside. The town’s Summer Festival and the day of the Melrose Sevens (7-a-side rugby football tournament) are lively occasions.

= Population: 2,143.

T Michelin Map: Local map, see Tweed Valley

i Info: Abbey House; t08706 080 404; www.scot-borders.co.uk.

Ñ Location: Melrose is in the heart of the Scottish Borders, 43mi/69km south of Edinburgh via the A68.

w Don’t Miss: Melrose Abbey decorative sculptures; the panoramas from Eildon Hill North.

> Timing: One hour for the abbey, an hour for the town.

MELROSE ABBEYaa

Scottish Borders. >Open daily year-round 9.30am–5.30pm. Oct–Mar 4.30pm. Last admission 30min before closing. >Closed 25–26 Dec, 1–2 Jan. |£5.20. t01896 822 562. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.

 

DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY

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DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY

If Scotland has an unknown – or at least unsung – corner, then it is probably the western borders region of Dumfries (“dum-frees”) and Galloway. It may be less polished than the tweedy country towns, rolling hills and romantic ruins of its better-known neighbour, the Borders region which lies directly east, but it has many of the same appealing ingredients, some truly wild areas, much fewer visitor numbers and a distinct lack of coach parties on the “Shortbread and Tartan” heritage trail.

Highlights

1 Visiting Drumlanrig Castle for its setting and treasures

2 Following the final years of Robbie Burns in Dumfries

3 A sunny day‘s drive along the Scottish Riviera

4 Discovering the charming arty delights of Kirkcudbright

5 A stroll around the gardens and castle at Threave

Dumfries town, East Dumfries and Galloway

Just across the border, Gretna Green may be the first taste of both Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway for travellers from the south, but those in the know keep on going and either head north to Moffat, which makes a good base for exploring the surrounding Southern Uplands, or divert a little way east to the lesser-known “Queen of the South” – Dumfries. This attractive town is second only to Ayr for its associations with Robert Burns, who lived the final years of his life here. Just out of town is the Ploughman Poet’s atmospheric Ellisland Farm, and, by contrast, the evocative medieval ruins of Caerlaverock Castle and Sweetheart Abbey.

 

EDINBURGH

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EDINBURGH aaa

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a beautiful open and green city, dramatically sited on a series of volcanic hills. Both natural and man-made landmarks offer spectacular vistas. The city boasts a rich historic past and two contrasting town centres – Old and New. A wealth of tourist sights, rich museum collections, its prestigious arts festivals in season and its vibrant cultural life at any time of year are just some of the many good reasons to pay a visit.

= Population: 408,822.

õ Parking: Difficult and expensive; don’t drive in central Edinburgh.

w Don’t Miss: The Royal Mile; an underground tour; the Scottish Parliament Building; the views from the Nelson Monument and Arthur’s Seat; Charlotte Square; the Festival Fringe; Royal Museum and Museum of Scotland; Royal Yacht Brittania; Forth Bridges view from Queensferry.

> Timing: Allow at least three days, preferably longer. It is best to explore on foot, particularly in the Old Town.

 

LOTHIANS

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National Gallery of Scotlandaa

The National Gallery Complex comprises two buildings: the Gallery which hosts the permanent collections, and the Royal Scottish Academy which stages temporary exhibitions. They are connected by an underground space, the Weston Link, which includes a café, restaurant, shop and a conference room.

Ñ Location: The Mound.

i Info: t0131 624 6200; www.nationalgalleries.org.

> Timing: Open Fri–Wed 10am–5pm, Thu 10am– 7pm. Times change during festival. >Closed 25–26 Dec.

w Don’t Miss: The iconic Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch.

National Gallery of Scotland

National Galleries of Scotland

A BIT OF HISTORY

The nucleus of the Gallery was formed by the Royal Institution’s collection, later expanded by bequests and purchasing. Playfair designed (1850–57) the imposing Classical building to house the works.

VISIT

Ñ Start with Room 1 on the upper floor by taking the staircase opposite the main entrance.

 

GLASGOW

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GLASGOWaaa

Scotland’s most populous city, with its long-established industrial and port traditions, was named European City of Culture in 1990 and has not looked back since. Now home to many of the country’s most prestigious performing arts organisations, Glasgow is internationally acclaimed in the fields of contemporary art, design and music, and is a flourishing cultural centre.

= Population: 580,700.

i Info: Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, 11 George Square; t0141 204 4400; www.seeglasgow.com.

Ñ Location: Glasgow’s main sights are scattered, so it is best to use public transport including the underground railway (“The Clockwork Orange”). Hop-on hop-off tours in open-top buses leave from George Square. t0141 204 0444; www.scotguide.com.

w Don’t Miss: The Burrell Collection; Glasgow Cathedral; Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum; Museum of Transport; an excursion to the Trossachs.

> Timing: Allow at least three days in the city centre.

/ Kids: Museum of Transport; The Mini Museum (for under 5s) at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum; Glasgow Science Centre.

 

RENFREWSHIRE AND SOUTH LANARKSHIRE

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Cathedralaaa

This majestic church in the heart of the city is the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to have survived the Protestant Reformation of 1560 virtually intact.

i Info: t0141 552 6891; www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.

> Timing: HS. jOpen Apr–Sept Mon–Sat 9.30am– 6pm, Sun 2–5pm. Oct–Mar Mon–Sat 9.30am–4pm, Sun 2–4pm.

A BIT OF HISTORY

The imposing Gothic building we see today stands hemmed in by the Royal Infirmary with the Necropolis behind. The best viewa of the cathedral as a whole is from John Knox’s stance high up in the Necropolis where the verticality of the composition is best appreciated. This is the fourth church on the site beside the Molendinar Burn, where St Mungo built his original wooden church in the 7C. The main part of the cathedral was built in the 13C and 14C with construction progressing from the east end to the nave, and it was the 15C before the building took on its final appearance with the reconstruction of the chapter house and addition of the Blacader Aisle, central tower and stone spire, and the now demolished west front towers. Unusual features of the plan are the non-projecting transepts and two-storeyed east end.

 

ANGUS AND DUNDEE

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Central Scotland

■ Angus and Dundee

■Stirling and Argyll

■Kingdom of Fife

■Perthshire

ANGUS AND DUNDEE

Described in marketing parlance as Scotland’s Birthplace, after the Declaration of Independence at Arbroath in the 14C, the 21C visitor may sometimes wonder if anything much else has happened in Angus since then. Certainly anyone strolling in the more remote parts of the beautiful Angus Glens could quite happily imagine themselves many centuries in the past. And even the main city, Dundee, is associated more with comic book characters and rich fruit cake than with historical interest or modern day visitor attractions. It is nonetheless becoming a tourist centre in its own right, with some cutting-edge attractions and a lively social scene to match.

Highlights

1 Reliving Captain Scott’s voyage aboard RSS Discovery

2 Hiking far from the madding crowds in the Angus Glens

3 Smelling the roses in the gardens of Edzell Castle

 

STIRLING AND ARGYLL

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STIRLING AND ARGYLL

This is the most romanticised area of all Scotland, in both fact and fiction. Who hasn’t heard of “the bonnie bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond, Rob Roy, Scott’s “Lady of the Lake”, the Holy Isle of Iona, Bannockburn and – as recently as the late 20C – Mull of Kintyre, Balamory (Tobermory on Mull) and “Braveheart” William Wallace. The scenery is familiar from chocolate boxes and jigsaws: the hills and glens of the Trossachs and the many glorious lochs make for unmissable quintessential Scottish viewing.

Stirling and Around

With a glorious castle, once the residence of Scottish kings, perched atop a long-extinct volcano, and a charming Old Town lining the cobbled streets trailing down from the castle, it is hardly surprising that the centre of Stirling draws so many comparisons with Edinburgh. From the castle heights you can gaze out over centuries of tumultuous Scottish history, to the Wallace Monument, and in the direction of Bannockburn.

The magnificent cathedral at Dunblane, dramatically sited Castle Douglas and Doune Castle are very worthwhile short excursions from Stirling.

 

KINGDOM OF FIFE

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KINGDOM OF FIFE

Fife’s regal connections began with the 4C Kingdom of the Picts and ended with the Union of the Crowns in 1603. Ever since then the “Kingdom of Fife” has been a relative backwater. However, with St Andrews’ perennial golfing popularity, the stunning Forth Bridges, and the naval dockyard at Rosyth, it is hardly a forgotten corner. Where Fife resonates with visitors now is its well-kept memories of its halcyon royal and aristocratic days – at Dunfermline, Culross and Falkland Palace. Its quaint fishing villages are another big draw.

Highlights

1 Putting at St Andrews, right next to the Old Course

2 Tucking into a fishy feast by the harbour in Crail

3 Exploring Kellie Castle, an example of 16C architecture

4 Visiting the wonderfully preserved village of Culross

5 Exploring Falkland Palace, its gardens, and the village

South and West Fife

Linked as it is to Edinburgh and the Lothians by the two Forth Bridges, West Fife is most visitors’ first introduction to the “Kingdom”. Indeed the first settlement of any size across the Forth Bridge is Dunfermline, the Scottish capital from the mid-11C until 1603. Nowadays the quiet “auld, grey toun” is dominated by its impressive abbey and ruined palace but is largely a dormitory town for Edinburgh.

 

PERTHSHIRE

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Falklanda

The Dutch engraver, John Slezer’s description of Falkland in the 17C, “a pretty little Town ... a stately Palace”, sums up the town of today. Tucked away at the foot of the Lomond Hills, safe from the depredations of war and strife so endemic to Scottish history, Falkland has retained the peaceful charm of a royal burgh of yesteryear.

= Population: 960.

i Info: The Merchant’s House, 339 High Street, Kirkcaldy; t01592 267 775; www.standrews.co.uk.

Ñ Location: 11mi/18km north of Kirkcaldy.

> Timing: Allow at least 1hr 30min.

A BIT OF HISTORY

Fife, the Centre of the Royal Kingdom – The original castle belonged to the Macduffs, the Earls of Fife, and its early history was marked by the mysterious death in 1402 of David, Duke of Rothesay, heir to Robert III, while staying with his uncle, Robert, Duke of Albany. David’s brother, James I, on his release from imprisonment in England in 1424, set out to restore the power of the monarchy. His revenge was total and in the following year the Albanys were beheaded. Their property, including Falkland, passed to the Crown. James II gifted the castle to Mary of Gueldres in 1451 and followed this in 1458 by raising the town to a royal burgh and the castle to a palace.

 

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