10 Informative Scottish Borders Facts

Informative Scottish Borders Facts

Scottish Borders Facts

  • The term Scottish Borders is also used to designate the areas of southern Scotland and northern England that bound the Anglo-Scottish border.
  • The Borders boasts four magnificent ruined Medieval abbeys which date back to the 12th century: Jedburgh, Melrose, Kelso, and Dryburgh.
  • The Scottish Borders is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, Midlothian, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian, and, to the south-west, south, and east, the English counties of Cumbria and Northumberland.
  • The famous Rugby Sevens game was invented in the Borders town of Melrose in the 1880s.
  • The largest towns near the borders of the Anglo-Scottish border: Galashiels, Hawick, Peebles, Selkirk & Kelso.
  • The term Borders also has a wider meaning, referring to all of the counties adjoining the English border, also including Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire – as well as Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland in England.
  • Every year the region plays host to the world’s oldest and largest equestrian festival: The Common Ridings.
  • The Scottish Borders also have some fabulous Roman remains which date back to their failed attempt to conquer Scotland.
  • The region also has no commercial airports; the nearest is Edinburgh, Scotland, and Newcastle, England both of which are international airports.
  • The Siege of Roxburgh Castle, in 1313, was the first major conflict in the First War of Scottish Independence.
Informative Scottish Borders Facts
Informative Scottish Borders Facts

Everything You Need to Know Before Travelling to United Kingdom

Everything You Need to Know Before Travelling to United Kingdom

The country might be small but it holds a lot of history, fame and culture, don’t be surprised that the British accent changes every 16 miles. People who come over to the United Kingdom can find it hard to learn the quirks and idiosyncrasies and pronunciations, road rules and the drinking culture can be strange but its a lovely nation with lots of history to explore.

The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England is also the site of Neolithic Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman spa and centuries-old universities at Oxford and Cambridge and birthplace of Shakespeare and The Beatles.

Entry Requirements

Your passport or identity card will be checked when you arrive at a UK port or airport to make sure you’re allowed to come into the country. It must be valid for the whole of your stay. More Information can be found at the UK Government website.

Passport Required Return Ticket Required Visa Required
The United States of America Yes No No
Canada Yes No No
British No No No
EU Yes No No
Other Countries Yes Yes Yes

Check if you need VISA to enter the United Kingdom

Safety and Security

Visiting the United Kingdom is fairly safe and really nothing to worry about. The United Kingdom benefits from low crime rates and very effective emergency services.

Visiting any public spaces, you will find a lot of CCTV cameras overlooking the public and if any crime did happen, you could easily report it to the police with no hassle and health care is free so no need to worry about injuring yourself.

Just use your common sense when visiting any country and respect the cultural and keep your belonging to yourself.

Best Time to visit the United Kingdom

London is most heavily touristed in the late spring and summer months when the weather is warm and kids are off school and during the December rush of shopping and seasonal activities. London can be visited at any time of year, as it has a mild climate and extreme weather is rare.

Northern Ireland has relatively warm temperatures, but wet and windy conditions. In the summer months expect the weather to be between 10°- 18°C. Temperatures are highest between June and August and pleasant in April and September.

England boasts the warmest temperatures in the United Kingdom with July and August being the hottest months. summers rarely get very hot and the winters don’t get very cold, expect the weather to be between 11°-20° degrees on average.

Wales weather is similar to Northern Ireland, In the summer months expect the weather to be between 10°C-17°C and 2°C-6°C during winter.

Scotland weather during June and August in the south of Scotland average between 11°-19°C and in the winter it’s between 1°C-7°C.

Language

The United Kingdom has a number of languages, English is woken everywhere as the main language, however, some parts of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland Speak their own language: Welsh, Scottish and Irish. But don’t worry about learning the languages, English is spoken everywhere.

There are 11 indigenous languages spoken across the British Isles: 5 Celtic, 3 Germanic, and 3 Romance. Over 300 languages are currently spoken in London.

Travelling around the country

Travelling around the United Kingdom is fairly simple, just rent a car and you can go just about anywhere using the motorway to visit different cities and towns, London and Birmingham are only 2 and a half hours away, driving from the second city Birmingham to Scottish Capital Edinburgh will take you around 5 hours.

Britain’s National Rail network is one of the largest in the world and over 2,500 passenger railway stations on the National Rail Network not including the London underground, you can travel just about in the United Kingdom using the rail system. The Map below shows how far you can travel using the rail network.

Britain's National Rail network
Britain’s National Rail network ©Official National Rail Maps

Money

The currency in the United Kingdom is the Pound sterling (£) which can be withdrawn from all ATMs. The United Kingdom is a safe place when it comes to fraud, so don’t worry about using ATM’s that are not installed inside a bank, however, we would still highly recommend using the ATMs at banks.

Scotland and Nothern Ireland Have their own currency “Scottish Pound” and ” Northern Ireland Pound” you can spend Scottish & Irish money anywhere in the UK as it is a legal tender denominated and backed by sterling, the currency of bank of England.

Places to avoid

Lewisham in South-East London has the highest murder rate in the country, so I would highly recommend not going there at night.

West Yorkshire is the most dangerous place to live in England and Wales.

 

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Everything You Need to Know Before Travelling to United Kingdom
Everything You Need to Know Before Travelling to United Kingdom

Aberdeen Coat of arms and Flag

Aberdeen Coat of arms and flag

Aberdeen Coat of Arms

Aberdeen coat of arms

The coat of arms consists of three towers within a border, which are decorated with Fleur-de-lis, the three castle represent the three buildings that stood on the three hills of medieval Aberdeen, known as the Aberdeen Castle on the Castle Hill, the City gates on the Port Hill and a Chapel on St Catherine’s Hill. However only the Aberdeen Castle stands today and St Catherine’s Hill was levelled out.

There are two supporter leopards, one on each side, with their faces, facing towards the viewer, According to the Legends, the two beasts were granted by James I as a gesture of thanks to the burgh for underwriting his expenses while he was help captive in England.

The Motto on the coat of arms “Bon Accord”, means “Good Agreement” In French, It is said that its use dates back to the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th Century, When Robert the Bruce and his Soldiers laid siege to Aberdeen Castle and before destroying the castle in 1308 and taking back Aberdeen from the English.

The Coat of arms were granted on July 29th, 1996 however the city seals were about before the 15th century.

 

Flag of Aberdeen 

Aberdeen City Flag

The Flag of Aberdeen dates back to the 15th century if not before, with three towers represting the three hill tops of Aberdeen and decorated with fleurs-de-lis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Amazing Facts about Inverness

St Andrew's Cathedral Inverness

FUN & INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT INVERNESS

  1. The very First British Cabinet meeting held outside of London, took place in Inverness.

  2. The city was only given a city status in 2001 however unlike other cities, it wasn’t given any defined boundaries.

  3. Helen Mirren got married in Ardersier.

  4. The first Inverness Castle was built out of wood and was burnt down by King Robert I, also known as Robert the Bruce.

  5. Inverness holds an annual cattle and wool market.

  6. Inverness is known as the “Capital of the Highlands”.

  7. Inverness Airport was ranked the third top United Kingdom Airport Category of the Wanderlust Travel Awards, it was the highest ranking Scottish Airport.

  8. Craig Phadrig was once Pictish King’s stronghold, situated above the city, it now offers interesting forest walks and beautiful views of the Moray Firth.

  9. Abertarff House is the oldest complete building in Inverness it was built in 1593 and now owned by the National Trust of Scotland.

  10. The loch holds more fresh water than all the lochs and lakes in England and Wales combined. It is 23 miles long and about a mile wide.

  11. Loch Ness is part of the Caledonian Canal, which connects Inverness to Fort William.

  12. Inverness means “mouth of the river Ness” and is the United Kingdoms most Northerly City.

 

 

Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle is situated on view Pl and Castle road overlooking the River Ness, its known as the red sandstone castle, built in 1836 by Architect William Burn, the castle is currently still in use as a court house and no public access is allowed e.g. tourists however the Drum Tower houses an exhibition of the castle history and history of Inverness.

The first Inverness Castle was built in the 11th century however it was partially destroyed by King Robert I of Scotland and was later replaced in the 1548 castle with a tower which was built by George Gordon, who was the 4th Earl of Huntly and was later taken over by the Clan Munro and clan Fraser, who were supported by Mary Queen of Scots in 1562.

In 1725 General George Wade extended and reinforced the castle after the initial early Jacobite Uprisings, In 1745 second major Jacobite Uprising began, and Clan Ross defended the castle against Jacobite’s, Clan Ross was supported by the British Government however the castle fell to the Jacobite troops under Bonnie Price Charlie, who destroyed the castle with explosives. The current Red stone fortress can be dated back to the 11th century, which was designed by architect William Burn however the castle is still surrounded by parts of its original bastion wall.

Brief History of Inverness Castle

One of the first major wars the Inverness castle was a part of was the wars of Scottish Independence, In 1296, the first war of Scottish Independence started when King John Balliol defied Edwards I’s demands for homage and the first battle was won by the English in Dunbar and the English garrison was built at Inverness Castle. A number of different Scottish Faction tried to overthrow the English prompting renewed hostilities and in 1308, Robert the Bruce retook the castle under the Scottish rule.

In 1410 the town was attached by Donald, Lord of the Isles and gave permissions to Alexander Steward, the Earl of Mar to rebuild the castle in 1412, As James the first wanted to stamp his authority on his northern magnates, specificity Alexander MacDonald, who was the Successor of Donald, Lord of the Isles. Alexander was arrested and imprisoned with a number of other lords and later released in 1429, Alexander, Lord of the Isles returned to Inverness with a big army and burnt the town to the ground however only a few months later Alexander submitted to James in 1429 and was imprisoned once again and James IV in 1493 ended the power of the MacDonalds In Inverness.

In 1508, Inverness Castle was given to Alexander Gordon, Earl of Huntly, it was still in the Gordon’s Family in 1562, when George Gordon, earl of Huntly defied Mary queen of Scots entrance into the castle, which encouraged a large number of forces to storm the castle. In after this situation the family kept the castle under their control.

During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms Inverness castle was part of number of actions, In 1644 it was controlled by Covenanter troops, who were given the task to defend the area against the Royalist General James Graham, Marquis of Montrose. The troops were successful defending the castle against the royalist in 1644 to 1645 and after the Battle of Auldearn on May 1645, Inverness was close to being captured however the Garrison managed to withstand the forces and Montrose withdrew.

After the Charles the first execution in January 1649, The Forces of Prince Charles the second seized Inverness Castle In February 1649 however they withdrew from the siege as the Covenanter army, led by David Leslie left the castle, The defeat of Montrose at the battle of Carbisdale in 1650 and the betrayal at Ardvreck castle ended the Campaign.

Prince Charles Stuart had arrived at Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides, and had raised an army to invaded England in November 1745, using the same road network that was built by the English to suppress the Highlands, by the end of the year the Price reached Derby having manoeuvred around the Government armies but retreated back to the Scottish Highlands shortly after. During the Second Battle of Falkirk in 1747, he was victories over the Government forces who was tracking him.  Later in the Spring the Price renewed his campaign, the three assaults he launched was against the three forts of the Great Glen, fort George, known as Inverness Castle, which fell to the rebels and so did Fort Augustus, the Jacobie’s withdrew from Fort George and ignited a number of explosions around the site, which you can still damage done to the forts, The defeat of the Jacobite’s at the Battle of Culloden, ended the rebellion.

The Fort George, known as Inverness Castle today, was destroyed by the Jacobite’s however it was later rebuilt in  new location, at Ardersier, which was eleven miles north east of Inverness and was named Fort George, the previous Fort George was renamed to Inverness Castle and was in poor condition up-to the mid Nineteenth century, until it was rebuilt to be a sheriff courthouse and country hall, which was style in Neo-Norman Style.

Inverness Castle
Inverness Castle Photography by flickr user: Dave Conner

Telephone: 01463 237114 | TripAdvisor | Facebook |

How to get there

  • By Car: You can find a number of cheap car parking spaces in Inverness, which are next to Inverness Castle, closest car park is castle street car park and raining street car park, for me details visit: parkopedia
  • By Bus: any bus that goes into Inverness town centre then a few minutes walk.
  • By Train: Inverness Castle is only a 15 minute walk from Inverness Train Station

Opening Hours

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Monday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thursday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

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Closed on 25th December: Christmas Day and 1st of January: New Year’s Day.

 

Location

[su_button url=”https://www.isolatedtraveller.com/european-cities/inverness/” style=”flat” background=”#000000″ size=”6″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” radius=”0″ icon=”icon: arrow-circle-right”]Explore Inverness[/su_button]

Plodda Falls

Plodda Falls

Plodda Falls is beautiful waterfall situated inside Glen Affric National Nature Reserve, it’s about 151 feet high, during the 1880’s the waterfall was a popular tourist destination and a footbridge was built across the top of the water fall, by Lord Tweedmouth, who was the owner of the Guisachan estate however in 2005 the bridge was said to be dangerous and was closed by the Forestry Commission but in 2009 a new viewing platform was established to give visitor’s a beautiful view of the waterfall.

From the stunning view of the new platform you can enjoy the view but also see wild life, such as golden eagles, red deer and mountain hares.

If you enjoy a good hike and to be away from technology and just enjoy the spectacular view, taking a hike around the National Nature Reserve is perfect, there’s no signal,no GPS and not many people to help you, you wouldn’t even find a shop to stuck up on food and drinks, so make sure when you are going for a hike you bring everything you need with you, to enjoy this beautiful place.

Plodda Falls
Plodda Falls Photography by flickr user: philrmonic

Telephone: 0300 067 6100 | Official Website |

Plodda Falls
Plodda Falls Photography by flickr user: Steve McCaig

How to get there

Please not that the post code for this place, isn’t the best one for it, so best to take a map with you, just encase and plan ahead for your journey.

By Car: Travelling from Inverness or Fort William, we would suggest following the A82 along the Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit, turn on to the A831, after 10 miles take a right hand turn before the Cannich village and left towards Tomich. Then you have to follow a road for around 6.2 miles, going past Tomich village into the forest track, you can find a car park for Plodda Falls: PostCode; IV4 7LY

By Bus: Busses run from Inverness to Tomich throughout the year.

Open all year round

No Entrance Fee

Location

Address: Tower Rd, Smithton, Inverness IV2 7NL