Thursday, April 12, 2007

Whisky Tours in Scotland : West Coast Whisky Trail

I just came across this website promoting "The WhiskyCoast".

According to the BBC, sixteen whisky brands have joined forces to form a new company to promote the produce of coastal distilleries under this banner. They have been joined by three tour companies, 18 hotels, restaurants, golf courses and attractions.

The area being promoted goes from Campbelltown in the south to Fort William and the Isle of Skye in the north. The Whisky Coast is intended to encourage tourists to spend more time in and around the west of Scotland.

In addition to the website, a 30 page brochure has been created.

On the website you can find information about Islay/Jura/Campbeltown, Arran, Oban/Mull and Fort William/Isle of Skye, including details of how to get there.

Under "News & Events" you can sign up to their (e)mailing list and get a "whisky feed" (RSS of course, what were you thinking of....;-) ).

It says you can book a tour, though I couldn't find where (except to fill out the contact form perhaps), I also couldn't find where to order the brochure, but perhaps that is all coming, as of writing this the site - and the initiative - has just launched.

There is also an interactive tour map showing the 16 distilleries, each with its own brief description - check it out!

Check out my site Scotland Secrets too for other useful information about Scotland.

Whisky Tours in Scotland : West Coast Whisky Trail

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Complete Guide To: Book towns - Independent Online Edition > UK

I found this item on Book Towns after clicking on a news link on my own blog! Try it, you never know what you might find. Further down the article it had this to say about Scotland's National Book Town, but I suggest you go and read the article in its entirety, it's very interesting (at least if you're into books and small country towns...). Anyway, here's the extract about Wigtown:


Wigtown, in Galloway, became Scotland's National Book Town in 1998 ( The sign as you arrive says, "Wigtown. Welcome. Bide A While", and that is easy to do - it is a charming town, with pretty public gardens, colour-washed houses and the Galloway Inn. There is a fine County Hall, with a viewing room to observe the local celebrities: a pair of nesting ospreys. When they return to the nest, or when an egg is laid, a bell is rung.
Wigtown also has one of the biggest selections of sci-fi books in Scotland in a range of shops, including Transformer (01988 403 455). It has around 20 other bookshops, such as the children's-books specialist Box of Frogs (01988 402 255). The oldest bookshop in Wigtown - and the biggest second-hand bookshop in Scotland - is called simply The Bookshop (01988 402 499; Reading Lasses (01988 403 266) has the biggest women's-studies collection outside London. It also has a highly rated café with home-made soups, locally smoked salmon and Galloway cheeses - it even got a mention in the recent book by Alex Kapranos, lead singer of Franz Ferdinand.
Authors attending Wigtown's spring and autumn literary festivals tend to stay at the Kirroughtree, outside nearby Newton Stewart (01671 402 141; In town, there's Lochancroft, a self-catering cottage, owned by a bookshop owner (01988 402 499; Another good option is the Galloway House Estate in nearby Garlieston (01988 600 694; the organic farm there are three properties: Stables Bothy, Stable Cottage and High Lodge, a restored 18th-century gamekeeper's cottage (powered by a small windmill and solar panels).The Bladnoch Inn (01988 402 200;, opposite the distillery where festival events are held, serves home-cooked food.<

Actually there is also the Wigtown Ploughman in Wigtown for eating out or having a drink, The Grapes, and between Wigtown and Bladnoch is the Fordbank Country House Hotel, specialised in hunters and anglers. The town also has a couple of other cafés.

Go here for the rest of the article:

The Complete Guide To: Book towns - Independent Online Edition > UK