Posts Tagged “Scotland”

A New Year’s Eve to Remember

Take a superbreak and make it a memorable New Year's EveEvery year it’s the same. You vow that 31st December will be a night to remember and pledge to make fantastically exciting plans. You look forward to a sparkling evening as everyone delights in each other’s company in the spirit of the season.

But, let’s face it, more often than not, the reality is a world away from the hype. The last night of the year can end up a crashing, anti-climactic disappointment, whether that’s because you have forgotten the astronomical price of cabs, babysitters and restaurants, or because you end up having to kiss and hug strangers as you wish them a happy new year. Or because you just feel forced to ‘have fun’.

All too often you end up drinking warm white wine or cheap champagne out of a plastic cup before pumping the sweaty hands of people you’ve known for three hours in a teary, tipsy rendition of Auld Land Syne as the midnight chimes of Big Ben ring out another year.

The real shame, of course, is that it shouldn’t be this way. After all, the occasion is a time to celebrate having lived through another year, and to welcome the 12 months to come. A night for seeing out the end of the festive season in style.

The trouble is, it can be hard to break the cycle of annual disappointment. As the saying goes: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

So vow to do something genuinely and completely different this year – and plan your celebration early to avoid the eternal let-down.

If you’re more of a party pooper than a party popper, you feel out of place at a nightclub or you just can‘t face the thought of another disappointing suburban gathering, it’s time to give your New Year’s Eve a thorough makeover.

Superbreak, established for more than a quarter of a century, has a range of great ideas for New Year breaks, from hotel stays in the UK’s most gorgeous cities to south coast beach breaks.

There are no credit card or booking fees or taxes to pay on top of quoted prices, and many breaks include entertainment, a gala New Year’s Eve dinner and a late check-out and brunch the morning after.

Or perhaps a theatre trip, mini-cruise or European capital visit would be more to your liking? Whatever you choose, as 2012 becomes 2013, fall in love with New Year’s all over again.

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What is there to do in Glasgow?

Culture in Glasgow

Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art

If you’re heading to Scotland’s biggest city for a weekend away, there are certain things you won’t want to miss. Follow this guide to the best things to see and do in Glasgow:


Named the European City of Culture in 1990, Glasgow has since strived to maintain its status as one of the most culturally rich cities in the world. It attracts over three million tourists a year from the UK as well as the rest of the world.

Most of Scotland’s national arts organisations are based in Glasgow, including the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and the National Theatre of Scotland. These organisations offer world-class events and performances at local venues such as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, the Theatre Royal and the Scottish Exhibition and Concert Centre.

Glasgow also has its own Poet Laureate, a prestigious title in the literary world, which was first held by Edwin Morgan and now belongs to acclaimed writer Liz Lochead.

Museums and Galleries

Museums and galleries in Glasgow

Cupola at Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art

The most famous of Glasgow’s museums is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which houses one of Europe’s great civic art collections. Located in the West End of the city, it has one of the largest collections of arms and armory in the world and a vast collection of natural history.

The gallery is home to European masterpieces by the French Impressionists, Dutch Renaissance and Scottish Colourists, as well as the world-famous ‘Christ of St. John of the Cross’ by the Spanish Surrealist, Salvador Dali.

Other galleries to visit include the Gallery of Modern Art and the Burrell Collection, a purpose-built gallery that opened in 1984 to house a collection donated to Glasgow by Sir William Burrell.


Glasgow is home to many incredible eating establishments, from Michelin-starred restaurants to cosy cafes. Most serve fresh local produce and elegant brasseries to their hungry guests.

Chardon d’Or is run by Brian Maule, who is the former head chef at Le Gavroche, a Michelin star London restaurant. Maule opened his delightful French bistro in the heart of Glasgow with the full backing of the Roux dynasty, and fuses traditional techniques with Scottish ingredients.

The French Mediterranean dishes of La Bonne Auberge are an excellent way to round up a night out in the theatre district. Light and airy, La Bonne Auberge offers views over the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, alongside excellent service and menus created by head chef, Maurice Taylor.

For a more traditional feel, Maggie Mays offers a contemporary Scottish menu, combined with an elegant wine bar. In the evenings the place transforms in to a theatre and music venue, with bustling entertainment all year around.

Booking a Trip

Glasgow is an excellent place to spend a weekend and there are regular flights to and from the city from major UK airports and abroad. Scotland is also accessible by car, train or coach if you’re travelling up from England.

Accommodation in the city centre can book up fast so reserve apartments for your recreation stay in Glasgow as far in advance as possible. Trying to book a hotel on the day can be expensive and stressful. Instead, why not go online and book holiday apartments via Wimdu who offer accommodation in Glasgow and many other worldwide cities.

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A delightful mix of Salsa & Celtic sounds!

I was recently introduced to this Scottish band by @JeanD99 He shared this particular song on Twitter and I fell in love with this new sound. It’s not what you would expect to come out of Scotland! I have since listened to more of their music via their website and You Tube. What do you think?

Salsa Celtica – el sol de la noche

Salsa Celtica – El Agua De La Vida

For More Information

  • Wikipedia
  • Salsa Celtica – Official Site
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    Where is Sandaig?

    Present Day Camusfearna

    Sandaig and the ‘Bay of Alder’ is a very remote destination found on the Isle of Tiree, off the west coast of Scotland. Here writer Gavin Maxwell lived with his beloved otters. Guest writer Jean from the Netherlands shares his dream, travel destination and fondness for the author with

    Some places are more special than others. The most special #dream #travel destination for me is Gavin Maxwell’s (1914-1969) ‘Bay of Alder’ in Scotland. It’s the remote place where Maxwell lived for almost 20 years. The place where he wrote his books, took care of his otters, planned his travels and licked his new wounds.

    Camusfearna during the 1950s

    Sandaig, Bay of Alder (in gaellic ‘Camusfearna’) in 1950 to the right and top photo, of present day Camusfearna.

    I have read all Gavin Maxwell’s books. I have also read all the books that talk about him and his life. His father and grandfather were also authors and I’ve read some of their books also! To be short, I’m very fond of Gavin Maxwell. Here is a quote by him (1959) that I would like to share:

    “It is October, and I have been for six unbroken months at Camusfearna. The stags are roaring on the slopes of Skye across the Sound, and yesterday the wild swans passed flying southwards low over a lead-grey sea. The ring of tide-wrack round the bay is piled with fallen leaves borne down the burn, and before a chill sea wind they are blown racing and scurrying up the sands. The summer, with its wild roses and smooth blue seas lapping white beaches, is over; the flower of the heather is dead and the scarlet rowan berries fallen. Beyond are the brief twilit days of winter, when the waterfall will thunder white over flat rocks whose surface was hot to bare feet under summer suns, and the cold, salt-wet wind will rattle the window and moan in the chimney. This year I shall not be there to see and hear these things; home is for me as yet a fortress from which to essay raid and foray, an embattled position behind whose walls one may retire to lick new wounds and plan fresh journeys to father horizons. Yet while there is time there is the certainty of return.”

    Edal the Otter's Grave

    My three favourite Gavin Maxwell books: G. Maxwell, ‘Ring of Bright Water’. G. Maxwell, ‘The House of Elrig’. Douglas Botting, ‘Gavin Maxwell, A Life’.

    One day in the month of May I will walk with a rucksack from Inverness to Sandaig. Accompanied with rain, wind and sun. At the end of the journey I’ll find Edal’s monument at Camusfearna. It’s the exact place where once Gavin’s writing table stood. The house was burnt to the ground in January 1968 and Otter ‘Edal’ perished in the fire.

    RING OF BRIGHT WATER – Gavin Maxwell


    TravelTipsPlus Google Map of Isle of Tiree

    One Great Reason to Visit Sandaig

    One great reason to visit this travel destination is for the very remote location accompanied with wild otters once in a while.

    Wings of Wild Swans

    Contemporary folk song. Inspired by the Scottish Highlands. Lyrics inspired by a line in Gavin Maxwell’s ‘Ring of Bright Water’. Photographed at Sandaig where, as Camusfearna, Gavin made his home.

    For More Information

  • Wikipedia – Isle of Tiree
  • Visit Sandaig
  • Wikipedia – Gavin Maxwell
  • Museum, Eilean Bàn dedicated to G. Maxwell
  • Gavin Maxwell. My fascination
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  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • York, England
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  • Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland
  • Marvao, Portugal
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