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Showing posts from January, 2016

Hunterian Museums

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Glasgow | West End | Museum | ★★★★

Scotland's oldest public museum, the Hunterian Museum, is housed in various buildings on the University of Glasgow's Gilmorehill campus, not far from Kelvingrove Park, gallery and museum. The impressive collection is built upon that once belonging to founder Dr William Hunter, with excellent exhibitions in the main museum ranging from the Antonine Wall to Glasgow Medicine. Close by is the Hunterian's Art Gallery, also incorporating nearly the whole, painstakingly reassembled interior of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow home. The Zoology Museum completes the trio of main museums, easily missed down narrow campus alleyways but also worth a visit if you can withstand its overenthusiastic heating system. There are a couple of other, minor museums: the rather grisly (and even hotter) Anatomy Museum, open by appointment, and the tiny Country Surgeon Micro Museum, dedicated to the life of a typical rural doctor in the 19th centu…

Scottish Maritime Museum (Dumbarton)

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West Dunbartonshire | Dumbarton | Museum | ★★

From the outside, the Dumbarton outpost of the Scottish Maritime Museum looks small and insignificant. In reality, it'd be difficult to overstate its importance in shipbuilding history. From the back of the building, the Denny Tank stretches for a hundred metres to the south. This was the world's first commercial ship testing tank, in which scaled-down versions of countless ships underwent testing here prior to construction. The tank's applications continued beyond conventional boats: hovercrafts and even helicopters both partially owe their existence to the Denny Brothers, who also built the Cutty Sark. The museum itself is reasonably small, reflected by the small admission charge compared to the main site in Irvine, and comprises mainly the various stages in constructing models wax models for testing. The photographs documenting the town's transformation as shipbuilding declined are also fascinating.


📌Scottish Maritime Mu…

Walk: Ardmore Point's birds & bays

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Argyll & Bute | Cardross | Short walk | ★★★

Just over the border into Argyll but within easy reach of Glasgow, Ardmore Point juts prominently into the Firth of Clyde. The Hill of Ardmore at its heart was once a tidal island, with falling sea levels now exposing large raised beaches on all sides. A handy footpath circumnavigates the headland, with superb views over the Clyde towards Helensburgh, Greenock and the Rosneath Peninsula. Winter is the best time to visit, when large numbers of waders and ducks overwinter on the tidal flats here. Obvious paths make navigation simple but wear decent boots or wellies: wooden pallets also haphazardly bridge several seriously muddy ruts between the car park and the northern shore, perfectly positioned to pivot the unwary walker into the depths.


📌 Walk: Ardmore Point's birds & bays ★★★
▶ 3 km / 2 miles | ▲ Negligible
Features: Ardmore Point
Start / finish: Minor road end, 2 miles west of Cardross, G.R.: NS 323787 ///migrate.excavate.timin…

Scottish Maritime Museum (Irvine)

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North Ayrshire | Irvine | Museum | ★★★

Scotland's "cathedral of engineering" forms the centrepiece to Irvine's attractive Harbourside, within easy walking distance of the town centre. This vast (unheated) building, the glass-roofed Linthouse Engine Shop, was salvaged from a Govan shipyard in 1991. Today it's home to an extensive array of boats, historic exhibits and modern displays about Scotland's maritime history. There's even more to the site however: the museum owns several vessels afloat on the nearby River Irvine, adjacent to its shop and café, and a restored shipyard worker's tenement flat. The whole area is extensive and impressive, even before you add in the museum's sister site at Dumbarton.


📌 Scottish Maritime Museum (Irvine)★★★
Location: Irvine Harbourside, G.R.: NS 314383 ///vast.raves.sums
Open (2019): Daily; check website for tour times
Cost (2019): £8.50 (adults), free for accompanied children