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Author Topic:   Castle Open Days
posted 04-15-2000 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Levan   Click Here to Email Levan     Edit/Delete Message
Hey - we missed it!

Historic Scotland opened up all their properties today for FREE!

This year only, quite a few castles (and other historic buildings) not normally open to the public are holding special open days as part of the millennium celebrations.

We went to see Hunterston Castle, just a little further around the coast from us - superb too. Hunterston is the family seat of the Hunter clan who still reside in the adjacent manor house. Hunterston as a result has been saved most of the ravages of modernisation through the centuries (save turning the basement into a garage).

Let's keep an eye open for other open days eh?


posted 04-15-2000 10:09 AM           Edit/Delete Message
You haven't entirely missed out, the offer is open tomorrow too!!
I went to Craigmillar today, an excellent site with superb machicolations, gunloops, flagstone roof (albeit reconstructed in modern aggregate slabs). Didn't have time to go further afield since had also been to Holyrood, but a good day out could be planned by those with a car who live not too far away, Edinburgh, Craigmillar,Crichton, Dirleton, Tantallon .... Good for a quick raid over to the east coast, or over the border if you come up via Berwick. Beware though Edinburgh is extremely busy, you can save the best part of 20 + by getting a family of four in for free. As usual they notified very late of this superb offer, notice released to the press yesterday.

'Give me the groves that lofty brave,
The storms, by Castle Gordon'.
Visit my web-site at


posted 04-15-2000 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Levan   Click Here to Email Levan     Edit/Delete Message
Craigmillar, hmm. One of my earliest recollections of visiting a castle.

I remember the 'secret' passages running in the thickness of the walls, and running in and out of all the many windows and doors shooting arrows at my brothers!

When we finished looking around we returned to our over-crowded camp site to find that someone with a VW camper-van had taken our spot. The site was so over full that adjacent tents shared pegs for their guy-lines. In the end, we drove out of Edinburgh to find a lay-by in which we could sleep in the back of my father's estate car. We were en-route to our annual pilgrimage (gathering of the clan, if you prefer) to the Edinbugh tattoo - everywhere around Edinburgh was like this - no room at the inn, so to speak. Still, it didn't put me off castles.

The following evening we went along to the tattoo to see my grandfather parade with the Black Watch. Mind you, we had to contend with my grandmother singing along to the highland songs - not quite so splendid!


posted 04-15-2000 04:14 PM           Edit/Delete Message
The City by-pass has made a big difference, go in from the Leith/Portobello turn off, and you shouldn't have too many problems. I note though that from the 17th there will be major road works on the road, so it could end up like the M8 in Glasgow. Always worth avoiding at the rush hour. Must admit though that the parking facilities are a bit scarce at C/Millar. Know what you mean about the passages, and it gets a bit cold up there in an easterly wind, but well worth the visit, especially when it's free. The Stewards there have won awards consistently for giving the friendliest reception in HS sites, and the poor woman on today did her best with many a visitor. Thouroughly enjoyed it.
My childhood memories of castle visits pre going exploring myself, are of Pitsligo (our annual family pilgramages to Rosehearty), though in those days it was used as a cow shed, and a bit of a filthy visit. Slains was an inspiring sillouette on later journeys to Peterhead (cultural capital of Buchan) to visit a cousin, and eventually got to explore it in my own time.

'Give me the groves that lofty brave,
The storms, by Castle Gordon'.
Visit my web-site at


[This message has been edited by wurdsmiff (edited 04-15-2000).]

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