Many people in the UK are considering ’staycations’ this year, instead of jetting off for sun drenched holidays in the Canaries or the Costa del Sol. Staying at home and taking advantage of the many interesting destinations that are within easy reach is becoming increasingly appealing as people try to save money and lessen their carbon footprints.
One destination that is proving increasingly popular is Scotland. And one of the reasons that many people like to visit Scotland is its history.
Scotland has a wealth of ancient and often bloody history. There have been many battles on Scottish soil and the country is littered with ancient castles and grand homes. During the second world war many stately homes and castles were used for troops and hospitals. Some became damaged and run down leading to their demolition. During the 1960’s it was sad to see around one large house demolished somewhere in Scotland every week.
Luckily this practice came to an end but property owners were faced with huge maintenance and repair costs. Many have now been restored into functioning homes and hotels like the magnificent Glenapp Castle hotel which was acquired by hoteliers in 1994. Lengthy and expensive restoration has turned this Victorian castle into a popular luxurious hotel.
Many Scottish castles are nothing more than ruins, which isn’t surprising when you consider their age and history. Castle Sween is one such ancient castle. Originally built in the 11th or 12th century it is said to named after an 11the century Dane, Sueno. The famous Robert the Bruce is reputed to have captured the castle in 1315.
To make the most of any visit to a Scottish castle it is useful to have some knowledge of the castle history. This can really bring your visit to life as you imagine the lives of the people who had lived, worked and died in the castle.
An eerie image of a figure in period costume has spooked experts investigating apparent photographic evidence of ghosts.
The picture, taken in May 2008, appears to show a man or woman in a ruff peering out of a barred window at Tantallon Castle. No mannequins or costumed guides are employed at the castle, and three photographic experts have confirmed that no digital trickery was used on the photo. Even confirmed ghost sceptic Professor Richard Wiseman, who led the study, admitted being puzzled.
“It is certainly very curious,” he said. “We ran it by three photographic experts and they said it hadn’t been Photoshopped at all. The figure appears to be in period costume, but we know 100% that Tantallon Castle is not the sort of place that has dummies or costumed guides – they just don’t go in for that sort of thing.”
The culture minister said there was potential for more castle restoration
Owners of castles and tower homes across Scotland have been encouraged to apply for refurbishment funding in a bid to boost tourism.
Culture Minister Mike Russell said by restoring Scotland’s historical houses tourism could be boosted in the economic downturn.
Mr Russell said the buildings could be used as hotels, rented accommodation or in some other business capacity.
Historic Scotland has begun an audit of possible sites.
Source: BBC News