Welcome to the Gael Holiday Homes Blog

Posts Tagged ‘scotland’

Homecoming Scotland 2014…a Wee Reminder

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Homecoming Scotland 20142014 is set to be an amazing one for Scotland, not only do we play host to the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games but it is also the Year of Homecoming, giving Scotland the chance to show off!

Whether you are already a resident of Scotland or want to visit us you will get to experience outdoor activities, taste some exquisite food, sample some amazing drinks, visit and explore ancestral, arts and cultural heritage…I am getting dizzy trying to write it all down! There will be so much to see and do all through the year, all over the country, you really need come and join in.

A beautiful sight to see is The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry which is a project that involves communities in Scotland, as well as around the world, and is a celebration of Scottish heritage and culture.  The tapestry is made by 25 communities and its panels depict the impact that Scots have made in the places they made their homes. The tapestry will be exhibited throughout Scotland in 2014, making stops at Inverness and Wick in September and October.

For those that wish to find out more about their Scottish roots then there will be many events and festivals, from finding out your Clan name, attending Highland Games and Castle Trails. There is also the Highland Homecoming which is a celebration of contemporary Highland culture. Held in Inverness over two months from 1st September to 31st October the Highland Homecoming opens with the World Sheepdog Trials and concludes with The Royal National Mod.

With so much to see and do in Scotland this year, start planning now for what you want to see and when, it will be the chance of a lifetime so come and join us and gie it laldy! 

Let’s Celebrate, it’s St Andrews Day!

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

StAndrewWith St Andrews Day fast approaching, how much do you know about our patron saint?

The information about his life and why he is the patron saint of Scotland are sketchy, to say the least. What we do know is that Andrew was a fisherman at the time of Jesus and became one of his first Apostles and was sentenced to death in Greece by the Romans. Andrew did not feel worthy to be crucified on a cross of the same shape to the one Jesus died on, so he asked for it to be a diagonal cross. 

According to legend, in the 4th century a Greek monk named St Regulus or St Rule had a vision and was ordered to take some of the relics of Andrew to the ends of the earth for safe keeping. He set off at sea and following his shipwrecking off the east coast of Scotland, ended up in Kinrymont in Fife.  The church at Kinrymont consequently became St Andrews Cathedral and became the centre for medieval pilgrimages.

In another tale of lore, there was a Pictish King called Angus mac Fergus who was about to go into battle at Athelstaneford and saw a saltire in the sky, he then rose to victory at the battle and afterwards adopted St Andrew as our patron.

We are not the only country to lay claim to Andrew, Russia, Greece, Barbados and Romania have him as their patron saint also.

What are your plans for St Andrews Day this year? With the 30th November falling on a Saturday this year why not enquire if there are any local celebrations taking place? The past few years have seen many more events pop up all over the country with many of Scotland’s historic attractions letting people in for free that day.

Before the rush of Christmas shopping in December, it could be the last chance to grab a break away. Spending St Andrews Day in the Scottish Highlands, raising a dram to the man and recharging the batteries…sounds like a plan to me!

Get Set for a Summer of Highland Games!

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Perhaps most famous for its breath-taking scenery and relaxed country pursuits, the Highlands of course is also known around the world for the Highland Games. Undoubtedly one of Scotland’s most successful exports with games taking place in many different countries, for the real deal there’s no other place but the Highlands to come and watch this spectacle! 
tossing the caberTaking place during the summer months, the games, or gatherings as they are known, are traditionally a mix of sports and cultural events, and are a great opportunity for visitors to embed themselves into Scotland’s rich cultural heritage. Traditionally associated with bagpipes, kilts and of course the famous caber toss, Highland Games attract visitors and competitors from around the world and a large gathering is an event that’s simply not to be missed!
One of the gatherings kicking off the summer season of games is the Gordon Castle Highland Games & Country Fair, taking place at Gordon Castle, Fochabers, on May 19. Originating in the early 20th Century, this famous event was presided over by the Duke and Duchess of Richmond and Gordon, and in its heyday used to attract crowds of over 30,000 people.
These days the games are just the main part of a large and exciting festival of culture, with attractions to suit any visitor. This year’s programme includes Highland dancing, country sports, a 10km race and many children’s activities and events. With family tickets available for just £20, it certainly provides a lot of bang for your buck.
If you’re visiting later in the year, then the governing body of the games, the Scottish Highland Games Association, has a packed calendar for the summer with events taking place right up until September. All gatherings vary in size and scale and the specific events taking place, however from Inverness to the Isle of Skye, each has its own unique experience!
highland gamesAugust sees the biggest event in the Highland Games calendar, with the Cowal Highland Gathering. Taking place in the town of Dunoon each year, this fantastic event has over 20,000 visitors annually and features over 3,000 competitors, doubling the population of the town.
So what are you waiting for! Highland Games are not just about strongmen throwing cabers, they’re family events that let you experience the best of Scotland’s cultural traditions!

Fore! Golfing in the Highlands of Scotland

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Whether you are a golfer aiming to be the next Adam Scott or Stacy Lewis or a golf widow who would like to stay in beautiful surroundings then why not take a look at what the golf courses in the Scottish Highlands have to offer.

Getting away from the hustle and bustle and taking in some magnificently scenic and remote courses would be the ideal way to work on that golf swing and get the handicap down.

A name synonymous with golf is Castle Stuart, the home of the 2013 Scottish Open. With stunning views across the Moray Firth this championship links course truly showcases why golf in the Highlands is so special. There are not many courses that overlook a lighthouse!  

Nairn Golf Club is a traditional Scottish links course and is created from gorse and heather and will test the playing abilities of both professionals and amateurs. Nairn Golf Club has two courses; the 18 hole Championship and the 9 hole Cameron. Having hosted the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup it is a course worth visiting.

Courses with names such as Royal Dornoch, Traigh, and Newtonmore will get you in to the mood to grab your bag and trolley and head off now! There are 46 fabulous courses to choose from in the Highlands with some of the world’s greatest links courses in the north of Scotland. So start planning your golfing holiday now and come and pay us a visit.

Oh, by the way, if you want some more information on golfing in Scotland why not have a look at the golfing page on our website.  


Wildlife Watch in the Highlands

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

red deerThe Highlands of Scotland offer a wonderful opportunity to see many types of animals, and you don’t need to go to an animal park or zoo!

Before you have even reached a destination, a drive along the A9 should showcase the majestic red deer. Scotland’s most commonly associated animal, there are around 300,000 in Scotland so you are never too far away from a potential spotting.  The red deer is the largest land mammal in Britain and their hide is a dark red or brown colour during the summer and it changes to a darker brown or grey during the winter.

Taking a stop in the Cairngorms National Park could lead to you seeing two very different creatures. Believe it or not, there is a bird that migrates to Scotland each spring from western Africa and this amazing black and white bird is the osprey. There are now around 200 pairs in Scotland and it returns each April to lay its eggs where it stays through until September.  For some great osprey birdwatching why not visit RSPB Loch Garten Osprey Centre.

You may also be treated to the site of a red squirrel. Now endangered in much of the UK, three quarters of the remaining population can be found in Scotland. With its lovely red coat, bushy tail and tufted ears it really is a charming animal.

Bottlenose_dolphinThese are just a few on the animals that can be seen while visiting the Highlands of Scotland. There is also the chance to view dolphins, seals, salmon, otters and puffins, amongst others.

There is something amazing about seeing animals in their natural habitat and you don’t need to go too far to see some wonderful sights. Look at our accommodation and book a holiday where you can watch our Scottish Wildlife at its best.