Showing posts from February, 2018

Dynamic Earth

City of Edinburgh | Old Town | Museum | ★★★★ [Dynamic Earth] Underneath the great volcanic prow of Salisbury Crags in central Edinburgh , the striking white tent forming the shell of Dynamic Earth is in a fitting location for an all-age attraction explaining the processes which shaped our planet Earth. It's certainly not a stuffy old museum: this was a venue developed for the new millennium as an interactive, multi-sensory experience. You start by travelling back to the Big Bang in a Deep Time Machine, after which a series of partly guided, high-tech zones take the visitor forward through time and space, up to the different world biomes of the present day. A 360° cinema show completes the offering. The ticket price isn't cheap and it's not somewhere you can spend a whole day - the different zones have to be explored in order, so you can't easily re-visit sections once you've moved on to the next room - but it certainly merits a visit if you have children or

The Edinburgh Dungeon

City of Edinburgh | Old Town | Underground attraction | ★★★★ [Calm your nerves with a cocktail after the dungeon experience!] People flock to Edinburgh for many reasons. Some come to visit its famous castle . Some come to take in the city's astonishing depth of history, sunrise from Arthur's Seat , or the Edinburgh Festival. But what if you're looking to be scared out of your wits? The Edinburgh Dungeon offers a fun and nerve-wracking glimpse into the dark world of Scotland's past criminals - through a pulse-quickening barrage of live actors, special effects and underground rides - inside an unassuming building next to Edinburgh Waverley rail station. Witch hunting, torture, body-snatching, the plague and Scottish cannibal Sawney Bean are just a handful of the scary scenes, climaxing in your own hanging! Not all of the scenes hit the spot, but most do, and those with a nervous disposition might do well to stay away. But if you think you can handle all of the a

Walk: Ben Cleuch & the long arm of The Law

Clackmannanshire | Ochil Hills | Half day walk | ★★★ [Ben Cleuch summit] Ben Cleuch's shelter cairn and trig pillar mark the highest point of the Ochil Hills: a chain of grassy summits stretching east from Stirling towards eastern Fife. Only a few wind turbines spoil magnificent views north into the Central Highlands - oh, and the thick haze on our visit! The most direct (and probably most scenic) ascent is from the south, up a long ridge to the minor summit of The Law, preceded by the eyebrow-raising drama of Mill Glen. Returning over Ben Ever forms a satisfying horseshoe route around Daiglen Burn, with a network of paths and tracks taking you back into Mill Glen. From here, you could follow the gorge back down for the quickest way back, but we suggest a slightly messy figure-of-8 loop for a bit more variety - see the route map below. [Fantastic views over southern Clackmannanshire from the descent] Location & info 📌 Walk: Ben Cleuch & the long arm of Th

Walk: No run-of-the-Mill Glen

Clackmannanshire | Ochil Hills | Short walk | ★★★★ [Mill Glen] Mill Glen is probably the most dramatic of the many steep-sided gorges draining water south from the Ochil Hill summits towards the Hillfoots Villages. This is no ordinary glen: long stretches of ladder staircases and boardwalks scale increasingly craggy valley sides, with sturdy bridges high above small waterfalls. It must be an even more exciting place when the burn's in spate, but look out for rockfalls - the whole of the path through the glen was closed for years until major stabilisation works were completed by the council in 2017. A path traversing the hillside further east was the diversion route during the closure, and forms the return leg of the circuit detailed here, with sweeping views over the sudden flatness of the Clackmannanshire plains. The base of the gorge is a photographer's nightmare at most times of day, with near-vertical walls and narrow confines leading to big contrasts in sun and sha