Eilean Donan Castle is one of my favourite castles to photograph . One of the unique things about it is that it is in the middle of 3 lochs and totally surrounded by water . The only approach is by a bridge . The castle has featured in a number of famous films including Highlander and one of the James Bond films. I have just added a new picture gallery of new pictures of Eilean Donan Castle. All the pictures can be downloaded to your mobile
Scotland has hundreds of castles old and new , some in ruins , some refurbished and inhabited . I have compiled a list of my top ten castles , now available as free ecards . I have been taking pictures of castles for over 10 years and each one offers a unique challenge . I have published a new set of castle wallpapers which can be downloaded to your mobile . These castles are in no particular order
1 Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan is an old favourite . It in a spectacular setting in the middle of 3 lochs and surrounded by mountains . Eilean Donan Castle is one
of the most photographed castles in Scotland , if not the
world . It is on a small island in the middle of 3 lochs .
On a clear day you can see the Isle of Skye in the distance
. The original castle was built in 1220 . It was destroyed
by 3 English frigates in the 18th century and totally
rebuilt in the 1920s by the Macraes . Send a free Eilean Donan Castle ecard
2 Stirling Castle
Stirling is on a rocky crag overlooking the town with great views to the Wallace Monument and Ben Lomond . Stirling was a vital crossing point during the Wars of Independence . William Wallace , Braveheart , won the battle of Stirling Bridge at the foot of the castle.
Send a free Stirlng Castle ecard
3 Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle is perched on a spectacular rocky crag on the east coast of Scotland 4 miles from Stonehaven . In olden days the castle was impregnable because of the sheer cliffs on each side . Send a free Dunnotar Castle ecard
4 Urquhart Castle
Urquhart is on the shore of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland . The Grant Tower is the only part of the castle which is not completely in ruins . If you’re lucky you might see the Loch Ness monster as she swims up the loch for a snack around lunch time . Send a free Urquhart Castle ecard
5 Linlithgow Palace
Birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots . The fountain has been totally refurbished
6 Blackness Castle
Blackness Castle is long and narrow because of the shape of the rock on which it is situated and it is sometimes called ‘ the ship that never sailed ‘ . It guards the bay at Blackness and is only a few miles from Linlithgow Palace . Send a freeBlackness Castle ecard
7 Blair Castle
Blair Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Atholl and his own private army
8 Caerlaverock Castle
Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfriess is an unusual triangular shape
9 Castle Campbell
Castle Campbell is high on the hillside near Dollar and it has spectacular views over the Forth Valley
The castle wallpapers can be downloaded to your mobile
Loch Lomond is beautiful at this time of year . At the moment Ben Lomond is covered in snow and barely visible . I shot this video in HD yesterday . The video will be available as a mobile download . Loch Lomond National Park is the fourth largest national park in the British Isles, with a total area of 1,865 km² (720 mi²) and a boundary that is 350 km (220 miles) long. It includes 21 Munros (including Ben Lomond, Ben Lui, Beinn Challuim, Ben More and two peaks called Ben Vorlich), 20 Corbetts, two forest parks and 57 designated special nature conservation sites.
Starting from Balloch in the lowlands, this loch starts from remote lowland landscape, to mountainous, remote Highland landscape. Ben Lomond dominates the loch, at 3,191 ft (973 m). The West Highland Way starting from Milngavie in East Dunbartonshire goes up the eastern side of the loch all the way to Fort William. Green wooded islands stud the loch as the opening ones are the Highland Boundary Fault Line, where the Highlands meet the lowlands, that goes through Conic Hill near Balmaha. Luss and Tarbet (Loch Lomond) are two pleasure ride communities in Argyll.
The loch is the largest stretch of water in the UK. The loch is part of the Loch Lomond National Park
Historic Scotland’s flagship attraction Edinburgh Castle is celebrating after welcoming its one millionth visitor through the door this year. No , they haven’t had one million visitors since January 1 . This is their financial year which ends in March .
Edinburgh Castle attracts 1.2 million visitors per year and despite the credit crunch the castle continues to attract visitors from around the world.
A £2.7 million visitor reception project was completed last year to improve visitor services and ensure visitors continue to enjoy world class service at this attraction.
Edinburgh Castle now has its own dedicated website.New markets have also been opening up – reflected by the recent introduction of souvenir guide books to the castle in Russian and Chinese.The one millionth visitors to the castle were couple, Britta Springstrow and Rene Woffeh from Germany.
Britta said they were delighted to be chosen, adding: “Edinburgh is such a beautiful place and the castle is stunning. It was really exciting to be chosen as the millionth visitor today as we were certainly not expecting it.”
Barbara Smith, Executive Manager at Edinburgh Castle, said: “The arrival of the millionth visitor is always a milestone. This year, it is particularly pleasing in the economic climate.
“The combination of iconic status, memorable image, unique treasures and a world class welcome make this a truly must-see attraction.”
There is still time to catch the special off-peak seasonal admission charges at the castle until the 28 February 2009 with adult tickets under £10.
The castle’s top 10 highlights
1. The Crown Room and the Stone of Destiny – where the nations treasures are kept.
2. The Great Hall – which holds a fabulous display of arms and armour and the ‘key’ to the
3. Royal Palace – rooms created in 1617 in honour of James VI.
4. St Margaret’s Chapel – the oldest building in Edinburgh, built to commemorate the mother
of David 1.
5. The Prisons of War – an atmospheric recreation of the life of prisoners at the end of the
6. Mons Meg – one of Europe’s oldest siege guns that fired stones weighing 150kg over
7. The One O’Clock Gun – the famous time signal has been fired almost daily since 1861.
8. The Scottish National War Memorial – shrine to those who gave their lives in conflicts from World War 1 onwards.
9. A castle wedding . Wedding receptions can now be held in the castle
10. Panoramic views – across the capital, over the Firth of Forth and into Fife, which can be enjoyed from the castle’s walls.
A severe weather warning has been issued for eastern parts of Scotland as heavy snow moves across the country. Snow has been falling today , mainly in short showers just enough to disrupt traffic . There was traffic chaos in Falkirk as a 2 mile tailback developed from Laurieston to Brightons . The Met Office said that eastern Scotland, especially the Borders, Angus and Aberdeenshire would have up to 15cm (6in) of snow.Driving conditions in these areas will be hazardous on Tuesday morning. However
snow should be confined to higher ground and conditions would ease later.
The west of Scotland should escape the worst of the icy blast, with snow probably turning to sleet and snow.
Scottish Borders Council said that all 74 schools in the region would be closed on Tuesday as a precaution. Snow falls in Scotland did not cause the disruption seen in London and the south of England on Monday. snow pictures
The picture is of Buachaille Etive Mor 43 , 19 by 13 inch giclee print . Paper size 19 by 13 inches , image size 16 by 12 inches. Photograph by David Rankin. Printed on Velvet Fine art paper , 100% cotton rag