Category Archives: Scotland

What to do in Scotland; attractions in Scotland and the best places to visit in Scotland.

Review of the Station Hotel Perth, Scotland

I stayed at the Station Hotel In Perth on a Thursday night in November. It cost £40 for the night for a double room including breakfast, booked through the ebookers travel website.

The Station Hotel is a grand Victorian building. There is free parking for guests at the rear of the hotel. You need to get a permit from reception when you check in.

The dark wood staircase from the lobby up to the bedrooms had beautiful flower shaped carvings.

There were also lovely stained glass windows by the staircase.

I had a fair degree of difficulty unlocking the door of my room. My first floor room was pretty large for a standard room. I was happy that it was at the side of hotel. Although that meant that the view was over the railway station roof, it was nice and quiet. I reckoned that you might hear some road noise when staying in the superior rooms located nearer the front of the hotel.

The desk had plenty of space, I could have my Chromebook, both mobile phones charging and paperwork laid out and still have space to boil the kettle. It was also great to have a light directly above the desk.

The shower room was a bit tight. I could hardly wash my face in the sink due to the shelf above the sink.

Initially I thought that the firm bed was really comfortable, but I woke up in a sweat, to discover that there was a plastic backed mattress cover on the bed. I appreciate that hotels want to prolong the life of their mattresses, but I can’t sleep on a bed with plastic underneath me.

The restaurant was nicely done, with grey wooden tables and chairs, and fresh flowers on every table.

The buffet breakfast was really good, with a wide selection of fresh fruit.

In summary, I thought that the Station Hotel offered good value for money at £40 a night for two guests, including breakfast. The room was large and quiet. The only real negative was the plastic mattress cover.

Review of the Fisherman’s Tavern in Broughty Ferry

I stayed at the Fisherman’s Tavern in Broughty Ferry, a suburb of Dundee, in Scotland on a Monday night in November 2017. I paid £34 for the night, including breakfast, booked through the Expedia website during their sale.

I’d been keen to stay the night in Broughty Ferry for a few months, but I was waiting for the combination a cheap room and dry, bright weather.

The Firsherman’s Tavern is located in Fort Street, a one minute walk from the seafront. There is free parking in Fort Street and on the seafront, but it is hard to find a space during to park during the day.

Check in time at the Fisherman’s Tavern was 2pm. As I wanted to make the most of the day light, with a long walk along the seafront towards Monfieth, I checked in around 3pm.

The Fisherman’s Tavern stretches across three adjacent buildings.

My twin room was located in the middle part, on the second (top) floor, facing the garden and storeroom at the rear.

There was view of the Tay Estuary over the roofs when I stood right next to one of the windows.

I liked the fact that the desk area was situated at the back corner of the room. next to one of the two windows. The downside was that the desk area was up a step, which I forgot about a couple of times. There were plenty of teabags and coffee sachets. Some hotels, Travelodge and Premier Inn spring to mind, only leave two teabags and two coffee sachets per roon.

The bed was comfortable. The WiFi in the Fisherman’s Tavern was supplied by The Cloud. As I had a good 4G signal and plenty data for tethering on the Three Mobile plan, I used that.

I felt that the room would have been a bit on the small side if there had been two guests staying there.

My main beef with the room was the state of the grouting in the shower cubicle. It really needed to be redone. One of the bedside lights wasn’t working. I did report this on my departure.

Breakfast on a weekday was served between 7am – 9am. I went down around 8.15am. There was a lovely real fire burning in the breakfast area. There was self service fruit juice, cereal  and fresh fruit.

The cooked part of the breakfast was prepared to order. It was very good with tasty bacon.

I wasn’t sure of the check-out time. On my Expedia itinerary it said 11am, but on the back of the door in my room it said 10.15am. I didn’t bother asking for clarification about this, as I intended to leave by around 10am.

In summary, I thought that the Fisherman’s Tavern in Broughty Ferry offered good value for money for £34 for the night. It’s in a good location near the seafront, convenient for a stroll along the waterfront, either towards Broughty Ferry Castle and Monfieith, or towards Dundee. If you came to Broughty Ferry by train, it would only take you a few minutes to walk down from the railway station. The staff were all friendly, the room comfortable and the breakfast was good. The main negative was the poor condition of the shower cubicle in my twin room.

Click here to check price and availability at the Fisherman’s Tavern on the HotelsCombined price comparison website.

Now Three at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Edinburgh

The third instalment of the Now contemporary art exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh runs until 16 September 2018.

Jenny Saville’s paintings dominate the exhibition. Not just because of their large than life human subjects, but the gallery space given over to Saville’s work.

I was less keen on Saville’s most recent paintings. They had lots of what looked like scribbles all over them.

I loved Catherine Street’s work, which isn’t that surprising, given that I am a fan of collage.

I also liked Sara Barker’s fusion of painting and metal sculpture.

Catherine Borland’s foam sculptures weren’t my cup of tea.

I liked Robin Rhode’s colourful pieces, which adorned the walls of the corridor.

If you’re a fan of contemporary art, I recommend a visit to the Now Three exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Art. Its’ free to enter and the gallery is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.

High Tea at the Royal George Hotel Perth

I’d been wanting to have High Tea at the Royal George Hotel in Perth for ages. High Tea is a Scottish meal, usually eaten between 4-7pm, which consists of a hot main course, followed by a selection of scones and cakes, served with either tea or coffee.

I’d previously had High Tea in Perth at both Summer’s restaurant (now closed) and Willow’s (how have now stopped serving High Tea in favour of a more expensive and less substantial Afternoon Tea).

The restaurant at the Royal George is located in the conservatory at the rear of the hotel, which overlooks the River Tay. However it was dark when I went for High Tea, so I couldn’t see the river, just the illuminated bridge,

I hadn’t booked a table. I was lucky to get a table as the restaurant was busy. Obviously their High Teas are very popular.

My Steak Pie main course was very good. The chips were some of the tastiest that I’ve ever eaten, the meat was tender with plenty of gravy. I would have liked to have had 2 or 3 different veg served with the main course, there were just a few sliced carrots.

I was rather disappointed with what followed. In other establishments serving High Tea there has been a selection of cakes. At the Royal George, there were only scones and a meringue. I wasn’t impressed by the scones. they were small, a bit hard and too sweet. The cream meringue was fantastic, crisp on the exterior and gooey in the interior.

Overall, my High Tea at the Royal George in Perth was a mixed bag. The main course was slightly let down by the paucity of vegetables. In my opinion, a wider selection of cakes should be served.

Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition 2018

The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) Annual Exhibition in Edinburgh runs until 6 June 2018.

There’s an admission charge of £6 for adults (£4 for concessionary tickets). This price includes a catalogue. However, you can get free entry on Mondays, but you have to pay £3 if you wish to have a catalogue.

Below are some of my favourite pieces from the RSA Annual Exhibition 2018.

I really enjoyed the RSA Annual Exhibition 2018.

Bird-land by Simon Ward at Patriothall Edinburgh

Simon Ward’s Bird-land ceramics exhibition runs until 20 May 2018 at the Patriothall Gallery in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh. Opening times are Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 5pm.

I was looking forward to seeing this exhibition, as I recently completed a ceramics course at the Stirling campus of Forth Valley College. I wasn’t disappointed. I loved Simon’s work.

Scenic Train Journey From Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh

I was keen to travel on the Kyle Line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh during the Scotrail Oneline 50 Club £17 flat fare promotion.

I have done this journey once before, around 15 years ago in the Summer I remember it as a very scenic rail journey, and seeing herds of deer from the train.

Near Beauly

Garve station

Wooden shelter at Garve station

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Between Garve and Achnasheen

Achnasheen station

Between Anchnasheen and Strathcarron

Between Anchnasheen and Strathcarron

Between Anchnasheen and Strathcarron

Between Anchnasheen and Strathcarron

Strathcarron station

Between Strathcarron and Stomeferry

Loch Carron

Between Strathcarron and Stromeferry

Between Strathcarron and Stromeferry

Between Stromeferry and Plockton

Between Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh

Between Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh

Between Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh

Between Plockton and Kyle of Lochalsh

Scotrail train at Kyle of Lochalsh station

Kyle of Lochalsh station

I am really glad that I travelled on the Kyle Line in Autumn to see the lovely colours. The weather was variable during the almost three hour journey, but that mix of sunshine, dark cloud and rain made the scenery all more wonderful.

Review of the Kyle Hotel in Kyle of Lochalsh

I stayed at the Kyle Hotel in Kyle of Lochalsh in the Scottish Highland in October 2017. It’s hard to find a cheap hotel in Kyle of Lochalsh, as it’s a small town and its proximity to the island of Skye makes it popular.

The cheapest single room which I could find was £50 a night, including breakfast, booked through Superbreak.

The Kyle hotel is located a couple of minutes walk from the railway station.

My single room was a reasonable size. I had a sea view from my bathroom. The room was lovely and warm, which was welcoming, as it was dreich, wet afternoon.

There wasn’t a proper chair in the room, just a stool at the desk. It wasn’t ideal for me working on my computer, The free WiFi was very good. It said on the hotel description that free WiFi was available in the public areas, I think that my room was above the public areas.

The main issue that I had was the very creaky floorboards in the corridor outside my room and in the room above. I was awakened by other guests moving around.

The bathroom was a spacious with a good sized bath. I really enjoyed a soak in the bath after my three hour delay on the journey from Stirling to Kyle of Lochalsh. The bathroom looked as though it had been recently refurbished.

There was a buffet selection of cereals, tinned fruit (they don’t seem to serve fresh fruit in many Scottish hotels), fruit juice, yoghurt and some very tasty croissants. A hot breakfast was cooked to order. I thought that giving me one rasher of bacon and one fried egg was a bit stingy. In keeping with local tradition, the tomato was tinned.

Check out time was 11.00. As my train didn’t depart until just after 12.00. I requested a later check out time of 11.45, which was granted.

I wouldn’t rave about the Kyle Hotel. The room, although it was rather dated, was comfortable and cosy. with good WiFi, You have to expect creaky floorboards in an old building.

Click here to check availability and price at the Kyle Hotel in Kyle of Lochalsh.

Glasgow Police Museum

Glasgow Police Museum tells the history of Britain’s first police force in Glasgow from 1779 to 1975. It is run by volunteer members of the Glasgow Police Heritage Society.

There’s an impressive display of medals.

There’s an International Police Exhibition showcasing uniforms from around the world.

The Glasgow Police Museum is located in Bell Street in the Merchant City district. It’s free to enter, although donations are welcome. The opening hours vary by season. From 1 November to 31 March, the Glasgow Police Museum is only open two days a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays. Whereas from 1 April to 31 October, it’s open seven days a week.