Borrowstoun ( Bo’ness)

Borrowstounness commonly known as Bo’ness is a coastal town and parish in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies on a hillside on the south bank of the Firth of Forth within the Falkirk council area. At the 2001 census, Bo’ness had a resident population of 13,961, but according to a 2008 estimate this has since risen to 14,490. Until the local government reforms of the late 20th century, it lay within the county of West Lothian.

Bo'ness Kinneil Railway

Bo’ness Kinneil Railway

Bo’ness was formerly a centre of heavy industry, coal mining and had a major port. However, the town is now primarily a commuter town. The name Borrowstoun refers to a hamlet a short way inland from Borrowstounness. The suffix ‘ness’ (Gaelic for ‘headland’) serves to differentiate the larger town from the hamlet. The name itself is derived from the Old English Beornweardstun meaning ‘Beornweard’s settlement’. “Beornweard” is itself an Old English name. This was later corrupted to Borrowstoun, Scots for ‘town with a charter’. The town’s full name is rarely used, and is nowadays almost always contracted to Bo’ness. Present-day attractions in the town include the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway and the Birkhill Fireclay Mine.

Steam train at the Bo'ness Kinneil Railway

Steam train at the Bo’ness Kinneil Railway

Kinneil House, built by the powerful Hamilton family in the 15th century, lies on the western edge of the town. In the grounds are a cottage whereJames Watt worked on his experimental steam engine and the steam cylinder of a Newcomen engine. The remains of an engine house are located in Kinningars Park, off Harbour Road. Bo’ness has a single secondary school, Bo’ness Academy, and five primary schools. There are a number of churches, including Bo’ness Old Kirk, Carriden Parish Church, St Andrew’s Parish Church, Craigmailen United Free Church, St. Catharine’s Episcopal Church, Bo’ness Apostolic Church, Bo’ness Baptist Church, The Bo’ness Salvation Army and St. Mary of the Assumption RC. Bo’ness is also home to the recently refurbished Hippodrome Cinema, which is the oldest picture house in Scotland. The building, along with many other buildings in Bo’ness, was designed by Matthew Steele, a local resident and architect. The Hippodrome was built in 1912.

Personally, what I like the most in Bo’ness is the old train station, the museum and old steam trains. I love everything vintage and last year I was there while a special event was taking place, trains were running and visitors could walk along the old train station, have a ride on the steam train and just go back in time to old days, which is wonderful. There are many events at the Railway to bring some joy to the visitors. According to the  BO’NESS STATION website :

 Family friendly heritage railway & museum – Passenger trains start and Museum opens 21 March 2015. 

Additionally, I love the museum, I just absolutely adore the old massive machines which are standing there in the museum, you can touch them, admire them and take photos. Check when the the museum is open so you will not go in vain, as once I traveled there in vain, and had only 10 minutes before they closed it.

Enjoy Scotland’s largest railway museum at Bo’ness

As the comment below says, there is nothing much to see in the town itself but if you are the old train lover, it is worth coming and spending a few hours there. People are lovely, smiling and friendly. I have been there a few times and am planning to go again.

If you want to see more photos of the station have a look at my website. 

Thank you for your visit 🙂

 

 

 

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Balloch

Balloch is a small town in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, at the foot of Loch Lomond.

Balloch, or Bealach, comes from the Gaelic word ‘bal’ (baile or ball) which means village or hamlet, so Balloch means village on the Loch – as in nearby Loch Lomond. The word can also mean “the pass”.

Balloch, Scotland

Balloch, Scotland

See more photos of Balloch

Balloch is at the north end of the Vale of Leven, straddling the River Levenitself. It connects to the larger town of Alexandria and to the smaller village of Jamestown, both of which are located to its south. It also borders the Kilpatrick Hills. To the east of the town lies the major local authority housing scheme in the area known as ‘The Haldane’ or ‘The Mill of Haldane’. At 56 degrees N, Balloch is at about the same latitude as Moscow.

With its accessible location at the southern end of Loch Lomond and just off the main road from Glasgow to the West Highlands, it is an important centre of tourism, especially from Glasgow and Dumbarton. The town has a number of hotels, inns and pubs, and there are cruises from Balloch up Loch Lomond, and other services, including to nearby locations like Luss, and the Renfrew Ferry service. The largest number of boats cruising on Loch Lomond leave from Balloch. It contains Balloch Country Park and Balloch Castle, and is at the southern end of the first Scottish national park, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

There is a Sea Life Centre located in the town. The Loch Lomond Youth Soccer Festival used to take place in the town. “Lochfoot” in the Jean Robertson novels of Jane Duncan is partly based on the town. The PS Maid of the Loch is currently being restored at Balloch pier.

The A811 road (based on an eighteenth-century military road) goes from Balloch to Stirling, and the A813 goes from Dumbarton to Balloch. The Glasgow to Loch Lomond cycle path (part of National Cycle Route 7) ends at Balloch. The West Loch Lomond Cycle Path also runs from Balloch.
The town was formerly served by two railway stations on the
Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Junction Railway: Balloch Central, and Balloch Pier, which closed in 1988 and 1986, respectively. The town now has one railway station, which is a terminus of the North Clyde electric train service from Glasgow.

Helensburgh

Helensburgh is a town in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It lies on the north shore of the Firth of Clydeand the eastern shore of the entrance to the GarelochHelensburgh was formerly in Dumbarton District, but was re-allocated under local government reorganisation in 1996. Prior to 1975 it was part of the former Dunbartonshire.

Helensburgh, Scotland

Streets of  Helensburgh on a sunny beautiful day in July, Scotland, United Kingdom 

Helensburgh was founded in 1776 when Sir James Colquhoun of Luss built spa baths on the site of Ardencaple Castle, which dated back to about 1600. He then had the seaside resort town constructed to the east of the spa on a formal layout in the style of Edinburgh New Town, and named it after his wife Helen. A ferry service he arranged across the Firth of Clyde to Greenock was successful in attracting residents who could commute from jobs there to attractive homes in the new town. Helensburgh became a favourite place of residence for shipping tycoons and tobacco merchants from Glasgow. At one point the small town had one quarter of Britain’s millionaires living there.

Helensburgh born coal miner Charles Harper emigrated to New South Wales (now a state of Australia) and became the first manager of the Metropolitan Coal Company before being killed in a mine accident in 1887. In that year, the company took over the mining lease on an area south of Sydney known as Camp Creek. When the coal mine opened the following year, the town was named Helensburgh, possibly named after his birthplace or after his daughter Helen. The two Helensburghs are now sister cities.

Helensburgh today acts as a commuter town for nearby Glasgow, with a population at the 2001 census of 14,626, and also serves as a main shopping centre for the area and for tourists attracted to the seaside resort. Helensburgh is also influenced by the presence of theClyde Naval Base at Faslane on the Gare Loch, a major local employer. The town is a popular destination for day trippers.

The seafront has an indoor swimming pool, an esplanade walk, a range of shops, cafes and pubs, and sailing facilities including Helensburgh Sailing Club. At Rhu, just beyond the town boundary, there is a marina.

The streets are built on a gentle slope rising to the north east, and at the brow of the hill a golf club has views looking south out over the town to the Clyde, and to the north across nearby Loch Lomond to the Trossachs hills.

Helensburgh is home to a number of annual events, with the local branch of Round Table running an annual fireworks display on Guy Fawkes Night and hosting a Real Ale Festival at the Sailing Club.

See more images of Helensburgh 

 

Dunbar

Dunbar is a town in East Lothian on the southeast coast of Scotland.

Due to its geographical location, Dunbar receives less rain and more hours of direct sunshine per year than anywhere else in Scotland (according to the Met Office). The town has begun to be referred to by locals as ‘Sunny Dunny’, after a local radio host popularised the term.

Dunbar is a former Royal Burgh and gave its name to an ecclesiastical and civil parish. The parish contains the villages of West Barns, Belhaven, East Barns (abandoned) and several hamlets and farms.

Its strategic position gave rise to a history full of incident and strife but Dunbar has become a quiet dormitory town popular with workers in nearby Edinburgh, who find it an affordable alternative to the capital itself. 

Dunbar, Scotland

Old Dunbar  harbour , Scotland

 

Dunbar and stormy sea

Dunbar and stormy sea

Have a look at more photos of Dunbar here

During 2003, archaeological excavations at Oxwell Mains (LafargeCement Works) near Dunbar revealed the site of a Mesolithic house believed to be circa 9th Millennium BC. The site suggests a domed building. Although considered extremely rare and a site of national importance this site is in the middle of an area planned for quarrying.

An archaeological excavation undertaken by Headland Archeology on a site previously occupied by the Captain’s Cabin (a local landmark) within the area of Castle Park identified a sequence of archaeological features reflecting around 2000 years of human activity. The earliest feature was a large ditch which may have formed part of the defences around a promontory fort previously identified during earlier excavations near the coast at Castle Park. The scale of the ditches indicated an impressive monument.

Much later a rectangular building was built over the top of the infilled ditch. Large quantities of burnt grain were recovered indicating that the building was a grain store that had been destroyed by fire. It was established that this was part of the Anglian settlement that had also been identified during earlier excavations.

 

Dunbar, Scotland

Victoria Harbour and Castle ruins

 

Dunbar Castle is the remnants of one of the most mighty fortresses in Scotland, situated over the harbour of the town of Dunbar, in East Lothian.

To read more about the castle check wikipedia article Dunbar Castle

There is an annual festival held in Dunbar and aimed at generating an interest in science and engineering through a varied programme of events including demonstrations, films and activities. The festival attracts event providers from industry, universities, national organisations and offers the chance for youngsters to engage with career scientists with the hope that they will be inspired to learn more about science, or to follow a scientific career path themselves.

The festival has been running since 2011 and growing in size since then. The long term objective is to grow Dunbar SciFest into a significant annual festival that will ensure that Dunbar becomes a major Scottish focus for public engagement with science. It is well on the way to achieving this having won the National Science and Engineering Week Best Community Event 2012 award.

Falkirk

Falkirk, town in the Central Lowlands of Scotland, historically within the county of Stirlingshire. It lies in the Forth Valley, almost midway between the two most populous cities of Scotland; north-west of Edinburgh and north-east of Glasgow.

Streets of Falkirk, Scotland

                                               Streets of Falkirk, Scotland

Falkirk had a resident population of 32,422 at the 2001 census. The population of the town had risen to 34,570 according to a 2008 estimate, making it the 20th most populous settlement in Scotland. Falkirk is the main town and administrative centre of theFalkirk council area, which has an overall population of 156,800 and inholds the nearby towns of Grangemouth,Bo’ness,Denny,Larbert and Stenhousemuir.

The town lies at the junction of the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal, a location which proved key to the growth of Falkirk as a centre of heavy industry during the Industrial Revolution. In the 18th and 19th centuries Falkirk was at the centre of the iron and steel industry, underpinned by the Carron Company in the nearby village of Carron. The company was responsible for making carronades for the Royal Navy and also later many pillar boxes. In the last 50 years heavy industry has waned, and the economy of the town relies increasingly on retail and tourism. Despite this, Falkirk remains the home of many international companies.

Falkirk Park

                                   Callendar House and Park in Falkirk

Attractions in and around Falkirk include the Falkirk Wheel, Callendar House and Park and remnants of the Antonine Wall. Soon to be a feature of the town is the Falkirk Helix, a new recreational area with walk and cycle paths with the main attraction being a new boat lift and extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal. In a 2011 poll conducted by STV, it was voted as Scotland’s most beautiful town, ahead of Perth and Stirling in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Architecture of Falkirk

Architecture of Falkirk

Falkirk hosted a national arts festival which ran in Callendar Park from 2000-2009 called Big In Falkirk. After its inception in 2000, the festival won Scottish Thistle Award for Events & Festivals in 2005. Consisting of a free weekend of events, the festival was one of the largest cultural events in Scotland, attracting over 100,000 people. Hosted in Falkirk’s historical Callendar Park, with Callendar House as the focal point, the entertainment featured a wide variety of outdoor theatre, pyrotechnic displays, arts, comedy and big name music acts, alongside activities for all ages.