View from High Street down along Bridge Street. This is a busy shopping street. The building on the left with decorative towers on the roof is the Town House. It is Victorian Gothic in style and was completed in 1882. It houses the Inverness area Highland Council offices and Town Hall.
A decorative red sandstone tower at one corner of Inverness Castle. The present structure was built in 1836 by architect William Burn. A succession of earlier defensive structures have stood on the site dating back to the 11th century. The castle stands on a cliff overlooking the River Ness. Today it houses Inverness Sheriff Court.
View down to Castle Street from the grounds of Inverness Castle.
Another view from Inverness Castle. Looking west along Castle Street towards High Street.
Looking along High Street towards a Victorian building with decorative turrets on its roof. The upper floors house the Highlander Backpackers Hostel.
More buildings at the intersection between Castle Street and High Street. ‘The Caledonian’ building on the left with Corinthian columns was originally a bank, now a pub.
View across the River Ness from near Ness Bridge. The Palace Hotel on the opposite bank.
Another view over the River Ness. St Andrew’s Cathedral on the other side. Construction of the cathedral was completed in 1869. This is the northernmost cathedral in mainland Britain.
Looking up at Inverness Castle from Castle Road by the River Ness.
View over the Ness Bridge and up along Bridge Street. At the junction of Bridge Street and Church Street is a clock tower topped with a spire. This is known as The Steeple (or Tollbooth Steeple) and dates from 1791. It is 45 metres (148 feet) high with three bronze bells in its spire. It formerly adjoined the Old Court House and jail.
Tony and Tatiana in Falcon Square. They are at the foot of the Mercat Cross. A granite and sandstone plinth topped with a bronze unicorn. It is 12 metres (40 feet) high. There are also four bronze Peregrine Falcons attached to the sides. This mercat (or market) cross was erected in 2003.
Tatiana and Tony at the foot of the Mercat Cross. A metal sundial can be seen embedded into the stone behind.
The bronze unicorn at the top of the Mercat Cross. The Peregrine Falcons depicted making a kill can also be seen below.
Eilean Donan, Loch Duich in the western Highlands
Tony and Tatiana on the path leading over a bridge to the island and castle of Eilean Donan. The island is located in Loch Duich in the western Highlands. The first fortified structure was built on the island in the early 13th century to protect against Viking raids. A later castle was destroyed in 1719 during the Jacobite risings. It was then abandoned for two hundred years before being rebuilt between 1919 and 1932 based on the surviving ground plan. It is in a picturesque location and today is a popular visitor attraction.
Tony next to a fireplace inside the castle holding a large sword (claymore).
Tony and Tatiana standing in a doorway through a thick stone wall in the castle grounds. The spikes of the bottom of a portcullis can be seen above.
Tony and Tatiana by a stone wall in the castle grounds. A picturesque view of Loch Duich behind.
Looking the other way over the loch towards a road bridge located north of the island at the mouth of Loch Long.
A path with picnic tables. Wooded scenery at the side of the loch.
Portree, Isle of Skye
The Granary café in Somerled Square, Portree. Portree is the largest town on Skye in the Inner Hebrides.
Small boats moored in the harbour at Portree.
Looking from Portree harbour to a row of houses in the town above.
Kyle of Lochalsh
The railway station at Kyle of Lochalsh with the tracks stopping almost at the water’s edge. The channel of water in front separates mainland Scotland from the Isle of Skye. A good view of the mountains rising up on the Isle of Skye in front. Ferries used to run from here to the Isle of Skye, but these stopped when the Skye Bridge opened in 1995.
Thurso and John O’Groats
View out to sea from the beach at Thurso on the north coast of Scotland. The land in the distance is the southern part of the Orkney Islands, approximately 15 miles (24 kilometres) away.
At the junction of Olring Street and Princes Street in Thurso town. This is the northernmost town on the British mainland.
Looking towards an off licence at a road junction in Castletown. This village is located five miles (eight kilometres) from Thurso.
The small harbour at John O’Groats. A man fishing from the harbour wall. John O’Groats is on the north-eastern tip of Scotland. It is popular with tourists. It is not the most northerly settlement on mainland Britain as is sometimes thought, but it is the inhabited settlement the furthest distance from Land’s End – 876 miles (1409 kilometres) away.
Tony and Tatiana by the famous signpost at John O’Groats.
An old looking stone with an attached metal plaque that reads ‘Ye auld fish stane’. This stone stood in Thurso market place from the 1850s to the 1970s and marks the spot where fishwives traditionally gathered to sell their fish. It is now kept in Caithness Horizons museum in Thurso.
Thurso War Memorial located in Sir John’s Square. On top of the memorial is a bronze statue which depicts Victory, he is resting his hand on the head of a small boy, representing Peace. The names of locals who died during both world wars are engraved on metal plaques on the base.
A closer view of one of the plaques on the war memorial inscribed with the roll of honour.
Sir John’s Square, containing a small park, in front of the 19th century St Peter and St Andrew Church. The stone statue in front is of Sir John Sinclair (1754-1835), the First Baronet of Ulster, after whom the square is named.
Tatiana standing at one end of a road bridge over the Thurso River at the edge of the town.
View along the Thurso River from the bridge. The river level in quite low and lots of gravel can be seen on the exposed river bed.
Another view from the bridge to a lush looking meadow at one side.
Tony and Tatiana standing outside the front of St Peter and St Andrew Church. The main doorway behind them and the clock tower above.
Orkney (Orkney Islands)
Wednesday, 17th July – Monday, 22nd July 2013
An archipelago in northern Scotland (16 kilometres, 10 miles) north of the coast of Caithness on the Scottish mainland. The archipelago comprises approximately 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited. The largest island is known as “Mainland”.
Orkney consists of mainland and three island groups, the North and South Isles and the Pentland Skerries. Mainland Orkney has four islands attached by causeways, known as the Churchill Barriers. These islands are: South Ronaldsay, with St Margaret’s Hope Village on its north coast; Burray; Lambs Holm, with the World War II built Italian Chapel; and Lins Holm.
The largest settlement in the Orkney Islands and administrative centre is Kirkwall, on Mainland.
The Orkney Islands origins date to prehistory.
Second largest settlement, south-west Mainland, reached by ferry from Thurso on mainland Scotland. A clustered old town along the colourful winding Main Street with stone houses and winding alleys, many buildings made with local stone.
View down an alley between houses. Heading to Stromness Harbour.
Day trip to Hoy
On-board a ferry leaving Stromness for a day trip to Hoy. Looking towards a pair of large cranes on a nearby quay.
Passengers and a male crew member on the deck of the ferry. Stromness Harbour in view.
View across the sea, sunlight reflecting on the water. Hoy Lighthouse, located on Greensay, visible in the distance.
Looking along the side of the ferry from the deck. Greensay Island can be seen in front.
Approaching Hoy, the second largest of the Orkney Islands. Cliffs rising up in front. A few specks of sea birds high up in the air. The ferry is approaching the small harbour at Moaness.
View of grassy moorland from the window of a coach heading to Lyness, the island’s capital. Approaching a few cars and camper vans parked off the road.
Another view from the coach: exposed moorland with the sea visible away to the right. Heather with purple flowers growing by the road.
Passing by the Arctic Convoy Memorial at Lyness. A memorial to the men who perished in the Russian convoys during World War II. A Russian flag flying from a pole.
Tony and Tatiana at Scapa Flow Museum in Lyness. They are standing by a large rotating gun, probably originally mounted on a ship.
The Scapa Flow Visitor Centre at Lyness on Hoy can be accessed by daily ferries from Houton – a settlement five miles south-east of Stromness – and also connected by bus from the opposite end of Hoy.
Tatiana and Tony touching an old sea mine outside the museum.
In front of a large metal cylindrical building, originally an oil storage tank, now part of the museum.
Tony and Tatiana outside the museum. A single storey building to the side and the old oil storage tank behind. Various old pipes running from the buildings across the grass.
Inside the museum. Tony and Tatiana by the name plate for the HMS Royal Oak. An information board above. HMS Royal Oak was a battleship launched in 1914. She first saw action at the Battle of Jutland in World War I. By World War II she was still in service but no longer suited to front-line duty. On 14th October 1939, she was anchored at Scapa Flow when she was torpedoed by a German submarine. Of Royal Oak’s complement of 1,234 men and boys, 833 were killed that night or died later of their wounds. The wreck of the ship is now a war grave.
Re-creation of a 1940s living room. Fireplace, wooden chairs, table with a radio on it.
View across grassland towards a cottage. Further away, Rackwick Bay, with very high towering cliffs of its far side.
A weathered-looking door to a house.
Stromness harbour. Cranes and a mechanical digger (possibly for dredging) on the opposite side.
On Ferry Road, in Stromness, near the harbour, and in front of a RNLI Lifeboat Station.
Fishing boats anchored in the harbour.
View from a quay in the harbour. A pair of small fishing boats moored in front. Larger boats visible further away.
Brough of Birsay, off north-west coast of mainland Orkney
Tony and Tatiana on a causeway leading to the Brough of Birsay: a tidal island with ancient ruins, located off the north-west coast of mainland Orkney.
Tatiana, Tony and Jan, in front of a pole flying the Scottish flag on Brough of Birsay. Jan is Scottish, Tony and Tatiana met her and her husband, Ian, when walking to the causeway.
Tony and Tatiana by a ‘Welcome to Brough of Birsay’ board. Ruins of stone buildings in the background. In the 7th century, this site was a Pictish fortress. By the 9th century, the Picts had been displaced by Norsemen (Vikings).
View back to the mainland. The tide is out leaving shingle and rock exposed.
A stone slab carved with Pictish symbols. The symbols include an eagle.
Remains of stone walls, part of the Norse settlement.
More stone ruins and a view of the coastal scenery in the distance.
Ruined walls of a church dating back to circa 1100.
Remains of more stone walls, possibly again part of the church.
Tony and Tatiana with stone walls behind. Also, beyond, the exposed grassy landscape of the island.
Tatiana and Tony on the causeway having crossed back from Brough of Birsay, which is in view behind.
Another shot of the Brough of Birsay from the mainland.
A deep, long, very narrow inlet, cut by the sea into the cliff. Located east of the Brough of Birsay car park, along the north shore. Around here there is also apparently a fisherman’s hut and a natural spring down a stone stairway.
Tony and Tatiana touching a whale bone. Again located east of the Brough of Birsay car park.
Kirkwall, administrative centre of Orkney
Inside St Magnus’ Cathedral. Stone columns. Rows of seats. The cathedral is Romanesque in style. Construction commenced in 1137 and it was added to over the next three hundred years. It is the most northerly cathedral in the British Isles.
Near the altar inside St Magnus’ Cathedral. Bible on a lectern.
Tony and Tatiana outside the weathered red sandstone doorway of St Magnus’ Cathedral.
Palace Road and Broad Street looking away from the cathedral.
At the side of the harbour at Stromness.
A small old fashioned bus with open sides. A woman, the conductor, standing on the back.
Tony and Tatiana inside a rebuilt stone house at Skara Brae. The site is the best preserved prehistoric village in western Europe, near the white beach of the Bay of Skaill, a collection of 10 stone houses, 19 miles (31 km) north-west of Kirkwall. There’s a visitor centre. Access to sites: 01856 841 815.
At the entrance to a rebuilt stone house. The roof covered with earth and grass.
View across part of Skara Brae. Pitted grassy landscape containing the remains of Neolithic houses.
Tony and Tatiana at Skara Brae. Another glimpse of the site behind them.
Again Tony and Tatiana. View of the Bay of Skaill in the background.
Ring of Brodgar, a stone circle with henge ditch. 10 miles (16 km) west of Kirkwall and about 5 miles (8 km) north-east of Stromness.
Tatiana and Tony in front of a tall standing stone at the Ring of Brodgar. The ring originally comprised 60 stones, of which only 27 remain today.
Aberdeen, north-east Scotland
Aberdeen is Scotland’s third largest city and is known as “Granite City” due to its plethora of 18th and 19th century granite buildings.
Looking uphill along Shiprow. Ibis Hotel to the right. Located near to the harbour.
Tony and Tatiana at the foot of a large statue of Robert the Bruce on horseback. The inscription on the base reads: “Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, 1306-1329”. Located outside Marischal College on Broad Street. Marischal College, built in Gothic Revival style, is the world’s second largest granite building. It houses Aberdeen City Council’s headquarters, but is owned by Aberdeen University.
Another view of Tatiana and Tony in front of the Robert the Bruce statue. The main entrance gateway into Marischal College visible behind.
Again on Broad Street looking at the Marischal College façade and entrance gate archway.
Tatiana standing in a doorway at the Marischal College entrance.
View through railings looking towards Aberdeen Harbour. Ducks sitting on the ledge in front and in the water down below.
View across the harbour. Cargo ships moored. ‘Aberdeen Oil’ storage tanks over on the opposite side.
Marine Operations Centre building looking out over the harbour.
Front of King’s College Chapel, built in the late 15th century. This is the main chapel used by the University of Aberdeen.
Another part of the historic King’s College building attached to the chapel alongside. Looking towards an entrance into the College Quadrangle.
Tony and Tatiana standing in front of a mercat cross (head late medieval, shaft more recent). The building behind is the Old Town House dating from the late 18th century. Located at the top of the High Street.
Tony and Tatiana inside the Cathedral Church of St Machar. They are standing in a side aisle next to rows of wooden pews. St Machar’s is part of the Church of Scotland, and despite its name, isn’t technically a cathedral any more, as it has not been the seat of a bishop since 1690. The church dates back to the 12th century, although rebuilding took place beginning in the late 14th century. An even older church dating back to circa 580 AD may have stood on the site.
A stone altar inside the church. A stained-glass window to the left.
Tony and Tatiana outside the entrance to the Cathedral Church of St Machar.
Outside the front of the 19th century St Mark’s church with a columned portico. There is a dome in the centre.
Union Terrace Gardens: a public park and gardens.
Next to a bronze statue of William Wallace on Union Terrace. Only the stone base is in shot.
Good view looking across Union Terrace Gardens from the top of a slope on the north-west side.
The upper front façade of His Majesty’s Theatre. Located opposite the William Wallace statue on Rosemount Viaduct. It opened in 1906.
View from Union Terrace over Union Terrace Gardens to the 19th century former St Nicholas Congregational Church with tall narrow towers on its corners. It is now used as a bar and nightclub.
Tatiana sitting in front of a bronze statue of Scotland’s most famous poet and lyrist Robert Burns on Union Terrace.
A man playing bagpipes next to a statue of King Edward VII on the corner of Union Street and Union Terrace.
Capital of Scotland, in the south-east.
Tony and Tatiana on Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is the name given to a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of the old town of the city of Edinburgh. The route is lined with shops, restaurants, pubs, and visitor attractions.
Close up of Tatiana and Tony on the Royal Mile. The steeple of St Giles’ Cathedral can be seen behind them.
Tony and Tatiana touching a wooden carved object, possibly part of a tomb, inside St Giles’ Cathedral. The present church dates from the late 14th century, though it was extensively restored in the 19th century.
Tatiana and Tony touching a large tomb. The tomb is of James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose (1612–1650). A white marble carving of James Graham lies on top of the tomb, he is clad in armour, holding his sword flat against his chest.
Tony and Tatiana outside the doorway to St Giles’ Cathedral.
Again Tony and Tatiana outside the cathedral. Showing stone carving above the main doorway.
On the Golden Mile, near Edinburgh Castle. There are many people, mostly tourists. To the right, the former Highland Tolbooth St John’s Church, now The Hub, the headquarters of the Edinburgh International Festival society. To the left, another church, St Columba’s (Free Church of Scotland).
A man playing the bagpipes in traditional Scottish piper’s uniform, including a feather bonnet and kilt.
Tony and Tatiana at the Esplanade, a forecourt to Edinburgh Castle. It is used for concerts and other events. Raised rows of seating can be seen.
Close to the Gatehouse and ticket office at Edinburgh Castle.
Tatiana and Tony in front of the Gatehouse, standing on a wooden bridge over a ditch. Statues in alcoves on either side: William Wallace (right) and Robert the Bruce (left). The gatehouse was built in 1886-8 for aesthetic rather than defensive reasons.
Scott Monument. This Victorian Gothic monument is dedicated to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). The monument tower is 200 feet (61 metres) high. It was opened in 1844.
Tony and Tatiana sitting on a bench in Princes Street Gardens close to the Scott Monument.
Tatiana and Tony sitting on the grass in another part of Princes Street Gardens. Lots of other people also relaxing on the grass.