A Scottish History Lover’s Guide to Valentine’s Day
Say ‘I love you’ with a coffin trail, stargazing, or a stay in a ‘haunted’ hotel in Scotland
Scotland is a land of contradictions: from the bright sunshine hitting a Highland hillside in the spring; to the dark and gruesome history of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Romantic Scotland is hardly a new concept in the 21st century… but it could get decidedly darker. Glasgow is reputedly the final resting place of St Valentine; as well as some blood-thirsty vampires. And many people love a Scottish ceilidh wedding; as well as a spooky story.
This 14 February, just make sure you have an arm to cling to in the dark…
Romance most foul
A Valentine’s Special - Sin in the City, Mercat Tours, Edinburgh
Friday, 11 February 2017
Price: £15 (£13 conc)
This Valentine’s Day join an expert guide and learn about the salacious side of Edinburgh’s (often forgotten) history. On the most romantic day of the year learn all about love gone wrong, treacherous deeds and unspeakable perversions. This unique tour celebrates the great St Valentine’s Day but don’t expect love hearts and flowers. Learn about the popularity of the shellfish in shady illicit drinking dens and many acts of betrayal that occurred within them.
For more information and to book go to: www.mercattours.com
Starry, starry night
Stargazing weekend, Knockinam Lodge, Dumfries & Galloway
Friday, 10 – Saturday, 11 February 2017
Dumfries and Galloway, home to the UK’s first Dark Sky Park, is known for its dark nights and starry skies. Visitors are welcomed to a stargazing spectacular at Knockinaam Lodge, which sits exclusively by its own beach and a dedicated Dark Sky Ranger will present an informative evening of ethereal delight.
Guests will learn about the positioning of Mars, representing the Roman God of War, and Venus, representing the Roman God of love, both parents of Cupid – the God of Desire. The Special Break is available on Friday, 10 and Saturday, 11 February offering guests two nights’ stay inclusive of a five course dinner and full Scottish breakfast.
For more information visit: www.knockinaamlodge.com
Tulloch Castle Hotel, Dingwall, Highlands
Tulloch Castle dates way back to the 12th century and it has had a long and colourful history. Now, the Castle welcomes travellers into its luxurious period surroundings – and, like many period properties dating back to this time, Tulloch Castle is rumoured to have a resident ghost known as the ‘Green Lady’.
To check availability on and around Valentine’s Day, go to: http://www.bespokehotels.com/tullochcastlehotel
It might not be everyone’s idea of a romantic day out, but coffin trails are a thing. And Scotland has its fair share. Glasgow’s Necropolis graveyard once played host to a group of vampire hunters. St Valentine is allegedly buried in Gorbals near Glasgow. The body of Robert the Bruce is buried at Dunfermline Abbey. In addition, author JK Rowling was inspired by some of the graves at Greyfriar’s Kirkyard: The gravestone of poet William 'Topaz' McGonagall is also said to have offered inspiration for the name of Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter books.
Glasgow Film Festival
15 – 26 February 2017
Film lovers can snuggle up to some cinematic delights, including 1980s classic Dirty Dancing, to be shown at the historic Òran Mór, a former parish church which dates back to the 19th century.
For more information visit: http://glasgowfilm.org
Legends and lore
Legends and Lore at Castle Loch, Mostly Ghostly Investigations, Dumfries and Galloway
14 February 2017
Price: from £8; age 12+
Instead of being snuggled up by the fire with something warm on 14 February, what about a tonic to chill the spine? Mostly Ghostly invites guests to experience an unforgettable evening featuring ghosts, legends, curses and vampires. Join the team at picturesque Castle Loch, Lochmaben and discover the origins of an infamous vampire legend, hear of a fearsome curse laid on the Bruce family and learn of the team's own gripping experiences at the castle, entwined with a spooky collection of local ghost stories.
To top off this enchanting experience, guests are invited to try their hand at rod and crystal dowsing in the shadows of a haunting woodland copse...
For more information, see: www.mostlyghostly.org
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2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
- 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
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