A movie of a movie based on a novel based on a real event. But is the new Whisky Galore enjoyable? Well, it's a good story but you won't find the Hebrides in it.Read More
Blog - Is It Scotland?
A sporadic blog about Scotland and tourism that isn't grumpy all the time. Promise.
There are all kinds of guided tours in Scotland - but the Glasgow Central Station Tour offers something out of the ordinary. We went along to find out why it is so highly rated.Read More
Since digital photography has become the norm, the Northern Lights have become strangely brighter and worth a bit of marketing effort here in Scotland.Read More
St Columba is the main brand for promoting the Island of Iona. This is a quick canter through his life-story, told in a way that tourism marketing people will understand. Who needs information and product knowledge when you have marketing?Read More
Late November and the Christmas Market beside Edinburgh Waverley Station was getting under way. The sky was calm and clear. And we took the train to Galashiels on the Borders Railway.
While waiting for the clansmen to turn up so he could get on with the Jacobite rebellion, Bonnie Prince Charlie hears about the future from a local sooth-sayer.Read More
Some things stay the same in the way that Scotland is promoted. But some things change. Finding an old brochure prompts some musings. What were 'TICs'? Were Highland Games the mainstay of Scottish events and have the Waverley Novels been replaced by Harry Potter?Read More
I admit it now: I've been too easy on these Scottish midges. OK, they never killed anyone but the ones in the Cairngorms were the worst we'd ever experienced. And we've experienced a lot...Read More
Scotland is well interpreted for visitors. Sometimes though, the past is easily overlooked, its memorials too easily passed by.Read More
The Tap o Noth is one of Aberdeenshire's finest viewpoints - the Iron Age tribes who first fortified this hilltop lived in warlike times and needed commanding lookouts. But what was 'vitrification' all about? Melting stonework? Why?Read More
Scotland is sometimes promoted as the ideal destination for dog owners. But, it isn’t that simple. Find yourself on a wet day in the wrong destination and you may also find that lunch is definitely off.Read More
There are two sorts of areas in Scotland. With one you kind of know what you’ll get. With the other, well, it takes a bit more marketing effort...and sometimes, you just can’t argue with geography.
Ben Nevis is Scotland's highest mountain, but does it represent a typical day's hill-walking in Scotland ? Of course it doesn't - because it attracts all sorts of other people who want to use the mountain in a different way.Read More
Scotland has a great selection of accommodations at all price levels. Pay the premium and you can have a real luxury experience with first class service. But is that the way to get any insight into the real Scotland? Just a thought or two...Read More
Loch Ness and - especially - its monster, is perhaps the most famous icon of Scotland. Certainly, its fame has gone round the world, ever since the story broke way back in 1933 and grabbed the attention of the media. So it's a safe bet that marketing money spent on promoting the area will bring a return. But Scotland has got so much more than a mythical monster...Read More
Aberdeen, Scotland’s third city - or The Granite City, the giant market town in the north-east of Scotland that all the little towns of Aberdeenshire look towards and whose inhabitants flock there when it’s a local holiday. Because it’s got the nearest big shops. Folk from Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Huntly...you could meet them all if you strolled down the main thoroughfare, Union Street, of a holiday Monday. No, wait a minute...that was Aberdeen in 1969.Read More
One of the very best things to come out of the Scottish Borders is a Border terrier. No, wait a minute, let’s be strictly accurate: the Border terrier is actually of English origins, and was bred originally on the southern or Northumbrian side of the Border. But no matter. You do actually see plenty of Border terriers in the Borders.Read More
Otters - seen as cute and cuddly in all tourism literature - can affect people's lives - apparently. Here's a report of conversation I had on the Isle of Skye with someone who had moved there - and it was the otters that tipped the balance. Yes, really...Read More
Maybe I am being obtuse, but if we long ago banned dancing bears and chimps tea parties and other forms of animal exploitation, why are birds of prey shows still to be seen in Scotland? Some of the top hotels here positively encourage this form of performing animal 'entertainment'. What next? Bring back the monkey and the organ grinder?Read More
There are some Scottish expressions we use that we never think about. Here's what I think 'tatties ower the side' is all about. You've never heard of it? It's like 'Ba on the slates'. Wait, you've never heard that one either?Read More