The Kilt Rock Of Skye

Sep 23, 2014 by


Located on the Trotternish Peninsula of the Isle of Skye, Kilt Rock is an impressive 200 foot high sea cliff in the Scottish Highlands.

The cliff gets its name from the vertical basalt columns (the pleats) and horizontal dolorite rock strata (the pattern) which combine to give the appearance of a traditional Scottish tartan kilt.

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Kilt Rock, on the Isle of Skye, Scotland    Image:Nicolas Valentin

 

Fed by the waters of Loch Mealt, the Mealt Waterfall freefalls over Kilt Rock into the Sound of Raasay below.   The winds around the cliff are often incredibly strong, sometimes turning the waterfall to mist before it can even reach the sea below.

 

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Mealt waterfall over Kilt Rock in Scotland. Image: TuVeuxMaPhoto

 

Kilt Rock’s location on the beautiful Isle of Skye in Scotland makes it a popular tourist destination. There is ample parking nearby, as well as an observation platform that allows good views of Kilt Rock and the waterfall.  Rock climbers challenge Kilt Rock on a regular basis, so don’t be surprised to see people moving up and down the rock face.

 

 

As is true with real kilts, spectators should approach Kilt Rock with extreme caution, as trying to get too close of a view can prove hazardous to your health.

 

 

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The Ghosts of Duntulm Castle

Apr 20, 2014 by

Atop a rocky seaside cliff on the Trotternish peninsula of Skye sits the ruins of Duntulm Castle, former seat of the Clan MacDonald of Sleat.  It is thought that an Iron age broch or dun, known as Dun Dhaibhidh, perhaps used by Viking raiders along the coast, once stood on the site, but there is no conclusive evidence.   The castle was built in the 14th or 15th century, most likely by the MacLeod clan, but by the 17th century the area was in the control of the MacDonalds, led by Sir Donald MacDonald of Sleat, “Donald Gorm Og”, the 9th chief of the clan.   The MacDonalds maintained Duntulm until 1732, when Sir Alexander MacDonald built a new residence, Monkstadt House, about 5 miles away  and abandoned the castle.   Duntulm has lain in ruins ever since, an empty shell of its former self, and peopled only by the ghosts said to haunt the castle.

Locals say there are several ghosts at Duntulm, including the specter of Hugh MacDonald (a cousin of the laird, Donald Gorm) who was starved to death in the castle’s dungeon, allegedly for coveting the lands of the clan. The gruesome tale contends Hugh went mad from lack of food and water and tried to eat his own hands before he died. His screaming ghost now walks the castle, howling his pain to whoever can hear it.

 

Panoramic view from Duntulm Castle. Photo by John Lees

Panoramic view from Duntulm Castle. Photo by John Lees

 

Another ghost story says the castle is haunted by Donald Gorm, the laird who starved Hugh MacDonald; legend has it that Donald fights with the other ghosts, perhaps just to keep things lively in the spectral realm.

 

 

The saddest ghost story involves the nursemaid to the chieftain’s son, who apparently dropped the poor babe out of a castle window onto the rocks below, killing the child. The chieftain (the story isn’t clear as to which laird was the father) was so enraged, he had the nursemaid put into a small boat and set adrift in the cold Atlantic. This woman, along with another whose husband shunned her after she was disfigured, weep as they walk the former halls of Duntulm.

Local lore says it was the combined activities of all the restless ghosts that drove the MacDonald clan to abandon the castle forever in 1732. The clan laird did scavenge stones from the castle to build the new home, an admirable bit of recycling, but one that might give Duntulm’s lively spirits a free ride to the new place. Personally, if I had to flee my home because it was so haunted, I don’t think I’d take ANY of the stones with me, no matter how much money or time it saved.

Night falls on Duntulm Castle

Night falls on Duntulm Castle Photo by Bruce Stokes

 

Duntulm, perched high atop  basalt cliffs beside the turbulent waves of the Atlantic,  is almost constantly buffeted by strong winds. It could be that all those spooky sounds are merely wind whistling through the stones of the castle. This is Scotland, however, a land filled with myth, mystery and the lasting echoes of its own turbulent and deadly history.   Who can say for sure that the sad, mad and angry spirits of Duntulm aren’t still walking the ruins of their former lives?

 

SOURCES:

Duntulm Site Record, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

Duntulm castle, by David Ross, Britain Express

Medieval-Castle.com

Duntulm Castle, Wikipedia

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Can’t Stop Looking At Scotland

Apr 16, 2014 by

Do you have a favorite image of Scotland?  Matador Network, an online community of travel writers, journalists and photographers, recently posted a list of 30 Images of Scotland We Can’t Stop looking At, and a quick glance through the pictures shows why these shots are so compelling.  From outrageously beautiful landscapes to ancient castles and architecture, the images chosen are clear examples of why Scotland is a major tourist destination and a photographer’s dream.

It’s hard to limit myself when it comes to views of Scotland, but here are a few of my favorite images from the Matador list.

 

 

The Great Highland Bagpipe (GHB) is one of the most iconic symbols of Scotland, and is often used by civilian and military bands, as well as by soloists. Widely used in Europe for centuries, the GHB came into use in Scotland many centuries ago as war pipes played before and during battles.

 

Castle Stalker (Caisteal an Stalcaire, in Scots Gaelic, meaning castle of the hunter or falconer), is a 14th century keep in Argyll, set on a small island in Loch Laich.  This former home of the Clans MacDougall, Stewart and Campbell is one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses surviving in western Scotland.  You might remember seeing it in the 1975 film,  Monty Python and The Holy Grail–it is from the top of Castle Stalker that the French soldier (played by John Cleese) famously taunts the English as “English pig dogs” and “silly English K-nig-hts [pronounced kuuuh-nig-its].”

 

 

Who doesn’t love a brawny red haired Highlander? The Highland cow, affectionately known as the Hielan Coo, is certainly popular with most visitors to Scotland.  This hardy breed is native to Scotland and comes in red, black, brindle, dun and yellow coat colors.  Females have horns that generally curve upward (as in the above photo), while the horns of Highland bulls usually grow straight out and slightly forward from the head.

 

To see the rest of the Matador images of Scotland, click HERE.

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Valentine’s Day KILTED Eye Candy

Feb 3, 2014 by

 

Looking for an alternative to the same old Valentine’s Day gift of candy? Try some kilted eye candy!  Our 2014 Kilted Up calendar is loaded with kilted guys, and a portion of the proceeds goes to support the Wounded Warrior Project, so you’re actually giving two gifts.  Plus, we’re sharing the love by taking 14% off your total at check out!

Mr March: Kilted Celtic Hottie and Irish Wolfhounds

Mr March: Kilted Celtic Hottie and Irish Wolfhounds

As our March calendar model, Tim, clearly shows–KILTED eye candy is the BEST kind of candy to give a special someone.

Click HERE to order the 2014 KILTED UP calendar, just $14.99 at lulu.com–the perfect gift for a special someone, friends (especially ones who’ve never seen a kiltie!) or family.

SALE!! Take 14% off your total purchase by using code AMOR14 at checkout!

Support our Wounded Warriors AND show off your Scottish heritage by proudly displaying our Men in Kilts calendar!

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Get KILTED UP for Cupid!

Jan 26, 2014 by

Candy and flowers are the old standbys on Valentine’s Day, but this year give something with a real WOW factor–KILTS!   Our 2014 Kilted Up calendar is loaded with kilted guys, and a portion of the proceeds goes to support the Wounded Warrior Project, so you’re actually giving two gifts. Plus, we’re sharing the love by taking 14% off your total at check out!

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Click HERE to order the 2014 KILTED UP calendar,  just $14.99 at lulu.com–the perfect gift for a special someone, friends (especially ones who’ve never seen a kiltie!) or family. Preview the calendar HERE.

SALE!! Take 14% off your total purchase by using code AMOR14 at checkout!

Support our Wounded Warriors AND show off your Scottish heritage by proudly displaying our Men in Kilts calendar!

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Give a GIFT SLIP for the KILTED UP 2014 CALENDAR!

Dec 18, 2013 by

Need a gift but think it’s too late to ship? Give a GIFT SLIP for the KILTED UP 2014 CALENDAR!

Kilted Up 2014 Calendar on sale now
Kilted Up 2014 Calendar on sale now

Give the gift of our KILTED UP calendar this year!  Click here>> #BESTGIFTEVER to buy.  

Everyone loves men in kilts and our Kilted Up 2014 calendar features twelve REAL men, wearing real kilts, and looking pretty darn fine. Just $14.99 now at Lulu.com– this year’s calendar sales will go in part to support The Wounded Warrior Project, a well-known charity which benefits America’s wounded veterans.

 

If you need a stocking stuffer or gift, but think it’s too late to ship, CLICK HERE>> Lulu.com, buy our calendar and then click the “print a GIFT SLIP” option at checkout. Print the slip, then GIFT the SLIP in the stocking!

QUICK, EASY and no DRIVING involved!

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A Big Thank You To Atlanta’s King of Kilts

Dec 1, 2013 by

I’m a bit late on this–where does my time go?!– but I’d like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Brad Beaton, owner of AtlantaKilts.com for all of his help and support as we prepared the new Kilted Up 2014 calendar.  Not only did he pose for our calendar ( June’s handsome piper), he graciously loaned us several beautiful kilts and accessories for models who didn’t own one yet .

Brad is a skilled bagpiper, a member of the North Atlanta Pipes and Drums, and an expert in Scottish Highland dress–he KNOWS tartans!  If you need a kilt for the holiday season, Brad is the man who can get you nattily attired for your event.   He and his expert staff have an extensive selection of traditional tartans–heavenly–for you to choose from, whether you want to purchase or rent, along with all accessories.  If you have your own clan tartan or a unique design, AtlantaKilts.com can weave it for you, and can ship your kilt to any state in the US.

Click over to Brad’s FB page and give him a like–please let him know WESCelt sent you!
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FYI, Brad’s kilt in this pic is the lovely (and not often seen) Isle of Skye tartan.

Brad Beaton, AtlantaKilts.com

Brad Beaton, AtlantaKilts.com

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