Luss

Luss is a village in Argyll & Bute, Scotland, on the west bank of Loch LomondHistorically in the County of Dunbarton, its original name is Clachan dubh, or ‘dark village’. Ben Lomond, the most southerly Munro, dominates the view north over the loch, and the Luss Hills rise to the west of the village.

Saint Kessog brought Christianity to Luss at some uncertain date in the ‘Dark Ages’. A number of early medieval and medieval monuments survive in the present churchyard, including simple cross-slabs which may date to as early as the 7th century AD, and a hogback grave-cover of the 11th century. A well-preserved late medieval effigy of abishop is preserved within the modern church.

Old Parish Church, Luss, Scotland

Old Parish Church, Luss, Scotland

The present Church of Scotland place of worship was built in 1875 bySir James Colquhoun, in memory of his father who had drowned in the loch in December 1873. The church is noted for its online services as well as for holding over one hundred weddings per year, most from outside the parish. Luss is the ancestral home of Clan Colquhoun.

Nowadays Luss is a conservation village, with a bypass carrying the busy A82 trunk road. Many of Luss’ cottages have been described as picturesque. The village has a kiltmaker and a bagpipe works. In recent years, Luss became famous as a result of being the main outdoor location for the Scottish Television drama series Take the High Road. Although the programme is no longer made, some in Luss remain proud of the connection: its fictional name, ‘Glendarroch,’ is used for some buildings.

Loch Lomond and Luss , Scotland

Loch Lomond and Luss , Scotland

About a mile south of the village, in a cove at Aldochlay, is a small figure on a stone plinth. A contemporary legendevolved that it is a memorial to a child drowned in the loch, but it was in fact erected in 1890 by a local stonemason, who found the statue in a London scrapyard. ‘Wee Peter’, as he is locally known, was moved to the site after a brief spell near the railway, and has remained there ever since.

The village hosts a water taxi service to Balloch, at the south of the loch, allowing visitors to transfer onwards to Glasgow by train or visit its shopping centre, Lomond Shores. Luss Pier is a popular starting point for boat trips on the loch.
The Loch Lomond Golf Club, which was for a number of years the site of the Barclays Scottish Open, is within the village’s borders.

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Aberdour

Aberdour is a scenic and historic village on the south coast of Fife, Scotland. It is on the north shore of the Firth of Forth, looking south to the island of Inchcolm and its Abbey, and to Leith and Edinburgh beyond. According to the 2006 population estimate, the village has a population of 1,680.

Aberdour, Black Sands, Scotland

Aberdour, Black Sands, Scotland

The village’s winding High Street lies a little inland from the coast. Narrow lanes run off it, providing access to the more hidden parts of the village and the shoreline itself. The village nestles between the bigger coastal towns of Burntisland to the east and Dalgety Bay to the west. 

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The origins of the village lie with its harbour, where the Dour Burn enters the River Forth. The place-name itself is Pictish, implying an origin in the Dark Ages: ‘aber‘ confluence’. The -dour element, referring to the Burn, means simply ‘water’ and is unconnected to the Scots/English ‘dour’. For much of its history Aberdour was two villages, Wester Aberdour and Easter Aberdour, on either side of the Dour Burn. Although this distinction was blurred by the 19th century arrival of the railway.

In the 18th century Aberdour’s harbour was improved by the addition of a stone pier to help handle the coal traffic from nearby collieries. However, in the 1850s the traffic changed dramatically, and Aberdour Harbour became a popular destination for pleasure steamers from Leith. This in turn led to the building of a deeper water pier a little around the bay at Hawkcraig, and to the development of hotels and many of the other services still on view today in the village.

The railway came to Aberdour in 1890, with the building of the line east from the newly opened Forth Bridge. The station has won many “best kept station” awards. The half an hour journey to the centre of Edinburgh helped build on the existing popularity of the village, though it put the steamers out of business. The main result was a growth in the building of large and attractive houses, especially down the hill from Wester Aberdour to the West Sands. Ticket inspectors on the train line through Aberdour were known for their sing song refrain: “Half an hour, Half an hour, Half an hour to Aberdour – tickets please.”

Aberdour has a very popular yearly festival, which runs from late July to early August and features musical events, shows, sporting events and children’s events. It is now in its 27th year and is most notable for its marquee on the silver sands playing fields. The festival hosts a number of children’s,cultural and local events.

Aberdour was a 2005 finalist in the prestigious “Beautiful Scotland in Bloom” awards. It was nominated for “Best Coastal Resort” in Scotland along with St Andrewsin Fife, North Berwick in East Lothian, and Rothesay in Argyll and Bute.

Aberdour has two beaches – the Silver Sands, and the Black Sands.
The Silver Sands are located on the East side of the village, and are one of Scotland’s seven “Blue flag” awarded beaches, which denotes an exemplary standard of cleanliness, facilities, safety, environmental education and management. New facilities are currently under construction by Fife Council, which will much improve the beach throughout the year.

Aberdour, Black Sands, Scotland

Aberdour, Black Sands, Scotland

The Black Sands, as the contrasting name would suggest, have a rockier and darker sand, and are also popular with visitors exploring the rock caves and fascinating sea life. During the summer months (April–September), dogs are banned from the Silver Sands but they are allowed all year round at the Black Sands. The two beaches are linked by part of the Fife Coastal Path which also takes you past the harbour and the Hawkcraig – a popular rock climbing location.

Culross

Culross is a village and former royal burgh in Fife, Scotland. According to the 2006 estimate, the village has a population of 395.
Originally Culross served as a port city on the Firth of Forthand is believed to have been founded by Saint Serf during the 6th century.

Culross village, Scotland

                                                      Culross village, Scotland

A legend states that when the British princess (and future saint) Teneu, daughter of the king of Lothian, became pregnant before marriage, her family threw her from a cliff. She survived the fall unharmed, and was soon met by an unmanned boat. She knew she had no home to go to, so she got into the boat; it sailed her across the Firth of Forth to land at Culross where she was cared for by Saint Serf; he became foster-father of her son, Saint Kentigern or Mungo (d. 612).

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the town was a centre of the coal mining industry. Sir George Bruce of Carnock, who built the splendid ‘Palace’ of Culross and whose elaborate family monument stands in the north transept of the Abbey church, established at Culross, the first coal mine in the world to extend under the sea, in 1575. The mine worked what is now known as the Upper Hirst coal seam, with ingenious contrivances to drain the constant leakage from above. This mine was considered one of the marvels of the British Isles in the early 17th century, until it was destroyed in a storm, in 1625.

Culross’ secondary industry was salt panning. There was a considerable export trade by sea in the produce of these industries and the prevalence of red roof tiles in Culross and other villages in Fife is thought to be a direct result of collier ships returning to Culross with Dutch roof tiles as ballast. The town was also known for its monopoly on the manufacture of ‘girdles‘, i.e. flat iron plates for baking over an open fire. The town’s role as a port declined from the 18th century, and by Victorian times it had become something of a ‘ghost town’. The harbour was filled in and the sea cut off by the coastal railway line in the second half of the 19th century (though the site of the harbour walls can to a large extent still be traced).

Culross Palace, Scotland

Culross Palace, Scotland

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During the 20th century, it became recognised that Culross contained many unique historical buildings and the National Trust for Scotland has been working on their preservation and restoration since the 1930s. Notable buildings in the burgh include Culross Town House, formerly used as a courthouse and prison, the 16th centuryCulross Palace, 17th century Study, and the remains of the Cistercian house of Culross Abbey, founded 1217. The tower, transepts and choir of the Abbey Church remain in use as the parish church, while the ruined claustral buildings are cared for by Historic Scotland. Just outside the town is the 18th-century Dunimarle Castle, built by the Erskine familyto supersede a medieval castle.


Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
spent much of his early life in Culross, where his family had an estate. There is now a bust in his honour outside the Culross Town House. He was the first Vice Admiral of Chile.

Glencoe

Glen Coe is a glen of volcanic origins, in the Highlands of Scotland. It lies in the southern part of the Lochaber committee area of Highland Council, and was formerly part of the county of Argyll. It is often considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland, and is a part of the designated National Scenic Area of en Nevis and Glen Coe. The narrow glen shows a grim grandeur. The glen, approaching from the east on the main A82 road, is surrounded by wild and precipitous mountains. Further west at Invercoe, the landscape has a softer beauty before the main entrance to the glen. The main settlement is the nearby village of Glencoe located at the foot of the valley.

Beautiful road in Glencoe in Autumn, Scotland. To see more images click on this photo or the link below

Beautiful road in Glencoe during Autumn.  To see more images click on this photo or the link below

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Glencoe or Glencoe Village is the main settlement in Glen Coe in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands. It lies at the north-west end of the glen, on the southern bank of the River Coe where it enters Loch Leven (a salt-water loch off Loch Linnhe).

The village falls within the Ross, Skye and Lochaber part of the Highland council area for local government purposes. It is part of the registration county of Argyll and the lieutenancy area of Inverness for ceremonial functions.

The use of the term ‘Glencoe Village’ is a modern one, to differentiate the settlement from the glen itself.

The village is surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery and is popular with serious hill-walkers, rock and ice climbers. It has been seen in numerous films, including Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as the home of Hagrid, and the 2012 James Bond movie Skyfall, also known from Ian Fleming‘s original novels as the birthplace of James Bond’s father Andrew Bond