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Added: 09 Aug 2017
1 August 2017 – ongoing

As Scotland’s most popular modern art gallery and one of the country’s top ten visitor attractions, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Glasgow has opened a new display charting significant dates in the development of the site, together with important milestones in the cultural development of Glasgow.

Stones Steeped in History tells the story from 1777, when the original building was commissioned as a mansion for tobacco merchant, William Cunninghame, until the present day. The permanent show will inform visitors of the history of the building and is also part of the city’s ambition to aid a deeper understanding of the role slavery played in the narrative of Glasgow. Images of beautiful old photographs, watercolours and postcards complement nostalgic images of Glasgow throughout the years, which enhance the detailed timeline on display.

Stones Steeped in History begins with a brief account of the life of William Cunninghame and moves through times of great wealth, created by international trade. The building’s first commercial purpose was as a bank some forty years later, before becoming Glasgow’s Royal Exchange in 1827, where for over 100 years businessmen gathered to trade cotton, sugar, coal and iron. Many, like Exchange founder James Ewing of Strathleven, owned or profited from the labour of enslaved people on the sugar and tobacco plantations in the American colonies and West Indies. The display continues with innovations such as one of Glasgow’s first telephone exchanges, housed in the building from 1880 and records the iconic Duke of Wellington statue being erected outside in 1884. Glasgow Corporation purchased the building in 1954. Its first civic use was as a library, containing both the Stirling and Commercial Library collections. Stones Steeped in History then chronicles the building’s key role in Glasgow’s rise as a centre for art and culture, which began in the 1970’s.

Glasgow had a reputation as a tough city, but always running alongside this has been a history of innovation and creativity. In the 1970s, Glasgow City Council recognised how culture could be used to re-frame the city’s reputation. The first major project was the creation of a new museum to hold Sir William Burrell’s gift to the city – his collection of over 9,000 objects. The Burrell Collection opened in 1983, to international acclaim. The Garden Festival followed in 1988, attracting over 4 million visitors and in 1990 Glasgow won the title of European Capital of Culture, changing its cultural standing forever. Glasgow and the artists who have emerged from it are now acknowledged around the world and the city boasts one of the finest civic art collections in Europe.

Star Turn for Highland ChocolatierStar Turn for Highland Chocolatier
Added: 07 Aug 2017
This week Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier added yet another 7 stars to over 40 prestigious awards received for his renowned Velvet Truffles.

The Great Taste Awards judges have just announced that Master Chocolatier and truffle specialist Iain Burnett, from Grandtully in Highland Perthshire, has been awarded 4 new awards. Last year Iain Burnett’s Velvet Truffles were awarded Best Truffle in the World for the second time at the World Finals of the International Chocolate Awards. The Great Taste Awards judges include chefs, food critics, restaurateurs and buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. From thousands of entries, the judges said the Velvet Truffles were “Outstanding – above and beyond delicious”.

The judges’ comments underline Burnett’s approach to pure, natural ingredients and the refinement of highly skilled artisanal methods in his chocolate kitchen in Grandtully, Perthshire. Iain Burnett has been creating bespoke Velvet Truffles for Michelin star chefs, corporate clients and Master Distillers for over a decade and sells them online for delivery as gifts all over the world. Based in the picturesque village of Grandtully, between Aberfeldy and Pitlochry, his specialised chocolate kitchen can be seen in the Scottish Chocolate Centre which has become an award winning 4 star attraction for locals and visitors who travel far to enjoy the chocolate Exhibition, gourmet Chocolate Shop and new Chocolate Lounge. He has recently launched audio-guided Tours and Tastings of the Velvet Truffles.

The Great Taste Awards is one of the most respected food accreditation schemes for artisan and specialty food producers.
Added: 28 Jul 2017
The tigers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo enjoyed spectacular globe-shaped enrichment as part of the Zoo’s World Tiger Day celebrations. World Tiger Day on the 29 July helps highlight the plight of tigers in the wild and raises awareness of the vital conservation work being carried out to save them. RZSS’s most recent enclosure, Tiger Tracks, is home to two Sumatran tigers, which are classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Until 31 August, adults can get into the Zoo for child prices (one adult for every full paying child) by saying “big kids” at the admissions desk.

Images courtesy of Sian Addison/RZSS
Knock on History’s Door with the National Wallace Monument Knock on History’s Door with the National Wallace Monument
Added: 14 Jul 2017
Knock on History’s Door, a special evening event at The National Wallace Monument, in Stirling, will see the doors to the famous Scottish landmark opened after hours for an exclusive tour on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th August.
With only 25 tickets available for each night, this unique experience offers guests access to explore the exhibitions and see the breathtaking views in a new light.

Visitors are invited to climb the 246 stairs to discover the life and legacy of William Wallace inside the Monument built in his honour, and to meet historical characters along the way with live actor performances.
Archaeologist and Honorary Research Fellow at Stirling University Dr. Murray Cook will also be participating each evening, providing expert insight into the city’s rich history and the Monument’s surrounding area of the Abbey Craig.
The visit to the National Wallace Monument after hours will also include the opportunity to enjoy the incredible panoramic views of Central Scotland from the Crown.

Speaking about this special tour Ken Thomson, Marketing Manager at Stirling District Tourism, the charity that operates the Monument, said: ’There are so many different ways of enjoying a visit to the Monument, with a packed programme of live entertainment available throughout the year - and now this special evening tour will allow visitors to see the building from a new perspective, and at a different time of day.’
Tickets are available online now
Seabird Centre appeals for public to keep their eyes peeled for pufflings Seabird Centre appeals for public to keep their eyes peeled for pufflings
Added: 14 Jul 2017
Conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre, is urging East Lothian residents to keep an eye out for young puffins, as puffling season is now in full swing.

The Seabird Centre was involved with its first rescue of the season on Tuesday 4 July out on the Isle of May. Boat Guide, James Leyden, found the young puffin and sought the assistance of Michael Duarte and his daughter Cece (age 16) who were on the boat trip. Michael said: “We traveled from California to Scotland with the goal of visiting the Isle of May so my daughter could see puffins in the wild. We could not have been more pleased by the experience, and my daughter was certainly thrilled to be able to release the puffling into the sea.”

Scottish Seabird Centre boat guide, James Leyden, said: “Puffins and their pufflings are now leaving their burrows not only on the Isle of May, but also Craigleith. After leaving their burrows some pufflings can become disorientated by lights from the mainland. Their first ever flight may see them flying into town and seeking somewhere dark to hide from predators often underneath cars and under plants in gardens.

“When we take the pufflings out to sea, we take them well away from the islands and especially the predator gulls. Both pufflings took to the water with vigour, enjoying their first dive almost immediately, which is a good sign. They then swam off into the North Sea where they will typically live for the next three years. We are appealing for people to be vigilant over the next 6 weeks. If you find a puffling please alert the Seabird Centre on 01620 890202 or the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999. Pufflings look completely different from their adult counterparts, so often people don’t realise what they can see is a puffling! They are shades of grey, white and black; their smaller beaks don’t have the characteristic bright colours that the adults have in summer.”

In 2016, North Berwick Wildlife Watch have created a video with award-winning photographer Barrie Williams. The video is a step-by-step guide about what do to if someone sees a puffling and wishes to help with its rescue. The video can be seen on the Centre’s website, YouTube channel and also in the Centre. It features Tammie Junior, a knitted puffling created by Seabird supporter, Hilary Smith.
Added: 10 Jul 2017
Blair Athol Distillery Visitor Centre recently celebrated the unveiling of a unique new whisky tasting bar which is set to become a magnet for whisky lovers and tourists.

Blair Athol is part of Diageo and the company is investing steadily to improve the distillery visitor experience, and the new Scotch whisky tasting bar there is one example of this. The stunning new addition to the distillery takes the concept of a whisky tasting bar to a whole new level, serving Diageo’s finest drams in a setting which is the embodiment of the art and craft of Scotch whisky-making.

In one of the most innovative examples of “up-cycling” seen in the Scotch whisky industry, coppersmiths from Diageo Abercrombie in Alloa, who are usually employed making copper potstills for whisky production, took a redundant mash tun – a massive cylindrical copper and cast-iron vessel used in whisky distilling – and transformed it into the bespoke whisky tasting bar which will now be the centre-piece of Blair Athol’s visitor centre.

To maintain authenticity as many of the original features of the mash tun were retained, from the copper top and cast iron walls to the ‘lauter’ arms and brass windows, all have been used as details which make this an exceptionally intricate, purpose-built Scotch whisky bar.

The mash tun which was used to create the bar was originally from Diageo’s Clynelish Distillery in Brora on the north east coast of Scotland. It had been replaced during a major refurbishment of the distillery and rather than scrap it, the decision was taken to transform it into the Blair Athol tasting bar.

The bar will be open to the public from Friday 7 July 2017, serving a selection of products from Diageo’s Special Release Range, including rare and exclusive bottlings.
Website: http://WWW.DIAGEO.COM
Added: 04 Jul 2017
The very popular RZSS Edinburgh Zoo Summer School is back for its 20th year, and to celebrate children will be taking part in activities themed around the continent of Africa, as the first Summer School participants did back in 1997.

The Zoo’s Summer School programme allows children to discover the amazing animals, habitats and cultures of different places around the world. Taking place in the grounds of RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, the classes allow children to take part in a range of fun activities such as getting hands on with flora and fauna, helping identify species in their own back garden, and learning how we care for the wonderful species in our collections during the themed classes. Since its inception, the programme has engaged with nearly 9,000 children.

Amy Cox, Education Programme Leader at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said:

“We are very excited to be hosting the 20th RZSS Summer School this year. To celebrate this amazing milestone, we have decided to use the theme of Africa for this year’s programme, which was the theme of the first ever Summer School in 1997.

“Summer School is about letting children enjoy themselves and have fun while learning about some of our amazing animals and their habitats. We hope that the programme helps inspire a lifelong affinity with wildlife, encouraging children to take action and protect the nature on their doorstep.”

Summer School runs for four weeks in July, with places for children aged five to 15. RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is a validated Children’s University Scotland learning destination, with Summer programmes recognised as validated learning activities, for which Children’s University members can gain credits in their Passports to Learning.

Added: 04 Jul 2017
Dynamic Earth is keeping it cool this summer
With experts forecasting a heatwave this summer, Edinburgh’s five star visitor attraction, Dynamic Earth will be keeping visitors cool with a host of polar themed events for the whole family to enjoy.

Throughout the summer holidays (1 July - 27 August) Dynamic Earth is inviting youngsters to become polar explorers and see if they have what it takes to withstand the harsh environments of the poles through a range of interactive demonstrations and activities.

With the help of Dynamic Earth’s much loved green screen photo booth, visitors can dress up in a genuine polar explorer kit and take a trip to Antarctica with some cuddly penguin pals. Photos from the booth will be uploaded to the Dynamic Earth Facebook page for visitors to share with friends.

As part of an admission ticket, visitors can also take part in the daily interactive family science shows which aims to entertain participants showing the difference between the Arctic and Antarctic. While drop-in activities, including polar themed arts and crafts tables, will help youngsters get creative and inspired by polar wildlife.

After a successful run over Easter, ‘Penguin Nights’ are back by popular demand with screenings of The Penguin Counters; a cinematic experience focusing on the research work of Ron Naveen and his team who count hundreds of thousands of penguins to track the impacts of climate change and ocean health on penguin populations, helping us understand our changing world. The Penguin Counters’ treacherous, heart-warming journey poses the ultimate question in the world’s fastest warming region: What can humans learn from penguins on the frontlines of climate change?

On top of the polar activities, regular Dynamic Earth features include Scotland’s only permanent 4D cinema, a real iceberg, a bone-shaking earthquake and the Deep Time Machine which takes visitors billions of years back in time.

The daytime half-term activities will run throughout the day between 1 July and 27 August and are free with admission to Dynamic Earth. Admission to Dynamic Earth costs £15 adult and £9.50 child

Added: 04 Jul 2017

Friday 21 July to Sunday 5 November 2017
National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh

Admission: FREE

Age of Oil, a new contemporary art display showcasing the work of visual artist Sue Jane Taylor will open on Friday 21 July at the National Museum of Scotland.

Featuring 17 pieces of original artwork, this display will examine the economic, social and political impact of Scotland’s oil, gas and renewable industries, with a focus on the current North Sea decommissioning programmes and their challenges.

Taylor, who has worked in some of the most remote and challenging industrial environments across Scotland, presents engineering in an intricate yet accessible way depicting the human stories behind the economic facts and figures which often surround these industries.

Complementing Taylor’s documentary style works of art will be diary extracts and film footage from the artist. These contrast the industrial artefacts collected by National Museums Scotland to represent the decommissioning of the North Sea’s Murchison platform, with personal survival equipment and objects from those whose stories are featured in the exhibition.

By using a multi-media approach to interpret this moment when energy industries are in a state of flux, Age of Oil will explore the daily realities for the people who build, operate and ultimately decommission Scotland’s energy infrastructure whilst offering reflections on the importance of the oil industry and its relation to the future of energy.

Alison Taubman, Principal Curator of Communications at National Museums Scotland said:

“Age of Oil builds on topics examined in our Science and Technology galleries, which opened last summer, raising very topical questions about the relationships between art, environment and industry. The scope of the exhibits on display will bring a human aspect to what is an alien working environment to most people.”

Sue Jane Taylor said:

“I have spent most of my artistic life focusing on the North Sea. I was born and brought up in the Black Isle and whilst growing up there in the 1970s, the oil boom hit the Highlands of Scotland; it became part of contemporary Highland Culture. As a young graduate I sailed on a cargo supply vessel out in high seas. This journey became a life changing artistic experience for me.

“Since North Sea oil was discovered fifty years ago, this industry’s public identity has been predominantly portrayed in cold, hard economic terms and its corporate image has been very tightly censored through photography and film. My own focus as a fine artist is to emphasise the importance of the workers and their working environment.”

Age of Oil will be accompanied by a book published by NMS Enterprises Ltd price £14.99.

Copyright: Sue Jane Taylor
Photographer: Ewen Weatherspoon

We need your help to save the Galloway Hoard, but there isn’t much time. Donate now at to secure the Hoard and unlock its secrets or text HOARD to 70660 to donate £5.
Two new red panda kits at Highland Wildlife ParkTwo new red panda kits at Highland Wildlife Park
Added: 27 Jun 2017
RZSS Highland Wildlife Park staff are happy to announce that female red panda Kitty has given birth to two kits!

The new arrivals were born on 14 June. Currently around the same size as a hamster, the twins will not be visible to visitors until around September, when they will start to venture out of the den.

Douglas Richardson, Head of Living Collections at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, said:

“This is our third litter of red pandas from Kevyn and Kitty, the previous kits being born in 2013 and 2014.

“Our red pandas are part of the global captive breeding programme that is managed out of Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands. The primary roles of the zoo pandas are to act as a safety net population should the species become extinct in the wild and to potentially provide animals for reintroduction.”

The red panda is actually more at risk in the wild than its namesake the giant panda, with conservation efforts (including those of RZSS) helping the giant panda move from endangered to vulnerable on the IUCN Red List last year. It is hoped that similar efforts with the red panda will see the species’ decline reversed.

Red pandas are native to the Nepal, Bhutan, north east India, Myanmar and south-central China. The name "panda" comes from the Nepalese word "nigalya panya", which means "bamboo eater".

Listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, their global population is estimated to be lower than 10,000 individuals and continues to decline as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as poaching and accidental trapping.

Red panda facts:
Red pandas are slightly larger than your average domestic cat, with a bear-like body
Although they are called red pandas, they are actually not related to their famous black and white counterpart, the giant panda
Red pandas are the only living member of the Ailuridae family and their taxonomic position has been highly debated amongst scientists
Red pandas are found in the mountains and high-altitude forests of Nepal, northern Myanmar and central China
Red pandas are genetically classed as carnivores, but they eat very little meat. Instead they prefer mostly bamboo, fruits, eggs and flowers
Like giant pandas, red pandas have a false thumb or extended wrist bone which allows them to grasp bamboo.

Image: Kitty and Kevyn, credit Alex Riddell,RZSS
Added: 22 Jun 2017
Beyond Caravaggio at the Scottish National Gallery. The exhibition runs from Saturday 17 June to 24 September 2017.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 – 1610) was a radical and revolutionary artist whose work had a transformative impact on art in Italy and beyond during his lifetime and in the decades following his premature death. Brilliant, challenging, argumentative and violent, our image of his work is inseparable from his tumultuous personal life, which combined support from several of the most discriminating patrons of the day, with repeated appearances in the Roman law courts. In 1606 he murdered a man after a quarrel over a game of tennis and spent the last four years of his life as a fugitive, although he also produced his most profound and moving works during this time.

This is the first exhibition of works by Caravaggio and his followers – the so-called Caravaggesque painters – ever to be shown in Scotland. Caravaggio’s dramatic lighting and compositions, and his radically new approach to subject matter exerted a huge influence on a host of contemporary artists from all over Europe, many of them painters of the very highest calibre, such as Gentileschi, Ribera, Valentin and Ter Brugghen.

This exhibition is a collaboration between the National Gallery, London, the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Galleries of Scotland.

Part of the Edinburgh Art Festival 2017.

Image: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ, 1602
On indefinite loan to the National Gallery of Ireland from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St., Dublin who acknowledge the kind generosity of the late Dr Marie Lea-Wilson. Photo © The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.
Added: 16 Jun 2017
Bright has worked with the Peatlands Partnership since 2015 providing interpretation across the Flow Country landscape including within visitor centres at Forsinard, Thurso, and Strathnaver; and most recently to create a touring exhibition.

Starting with a launch event at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on 14th June; the ‘Flow Country Touring Exhibition’ will travel throughout Scotland and England over the next two years, introducing and connecting people with all that The Flow Country has to offer, including some of the finest peatlands on the planet. The exhibition also highlights the special wildlife, people stories and ongoing restoration work. The design of the exhibition is drawn from the landscape of the Flow Country itself using the undulating flowing landforms and unique pool shapes, which are represented in the visual design style and stunning photography and film footage used across the project for the Visitor Centres and external interpretation. Dynamic and flexible the touring exhibition is both informative and impactful, the key to engaging with audiences remote from the Flow Country, particularly those who do not live close enough to visit.

James Simpson, Senior 3D Designer, from Bright says ‘the landscape of the Flow Country is breath-taking, it is vast and unique and the more you look at it the more it reveals its outstanding beauty. We have worked collaboratively with the team at The Peatlands Partnership not only to interpret the landscape but to highlight how important the restoration of the blanket bog is to climate change. With the Touring Exhibition, we want to connect people with the amazing landscape, introducing them to the stories and the people of the place encouraging them to support, however remotely, the restoration project. We have designed the exhibition in such a way that it can be easily moved from location to location, and into different sized venues without impacting the importance of the story.’

Caroline Eccles, Flows to the Future Project Manager says ‘with their understanding of how visitors interact with places and spaces Bright has been key in helping us to develop the interpretation for the whole site. The touring exhibition which is part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Flows to the Future Project is a fun, dynamic and interactive way to connect people remotely with the precious habitat, and we are delighted to have worked so collaboratively with Bright on the project.’ Further information on the journey of the touring exhibition is available on the Flow Country website
Edinburgh’s Royal Yacht Britannia in TripAdvisor’s UK Top 10Edinburgh’s Royal Yacht Britannia in TripAdvisor’s UK Top 10
Added: 16 Jun 2017
The Royal Yacht Britannia, in Edinburgh, has held its position TripAdvisor’s Top 10 UK Travellers’ Choice Landmark attractions awards for the fifth year running.

Coming in at No.8 Britannia once again has the highest percentage of ‘Excellent’ reviews (72.4%) in TripAdvisor’s UK Top 10 (see list below), which also includes Edinburgh Castle at No.4.

Delighted with the news, Britannia’s Chief Executive Bob Downie said: “Being included in TripAdvisor’s Top 10 for five years in a row is a real testament to our excellent staff, who consistently provide great customer experiences that lead to such positive feedback from our visitors. There is a significant difference in the quality standards required to gain a 5 star Excellent review than a 4 star Very Good review – the former crucial in convincing new customers to invest their time in visiting your attraction.”

Tripadvisor’s Top 10 UK Travellers Choice Landmarks Awards:

1. Big Ben, London (69% Excellent)

2. Tower of London, London (65% Excellent)

3. Tower Bridge, London (62% Excellent)

4. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh (58% Excellent)

5. Westminster Abbey, London (66% Excellent)

6. Buckingham Palace, London (53% Excellent)

7. The Roman Baths, Bath (70% Excellent)

8. The Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh (72% Excellent)

9. The Cavern Club, Liverpool (71% Excellent)

10. St Paul’s Cathedral, London (63% Excellent)

Travellers’ Choice Landmarks awards honour top landmarks worldwide based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers. Award winners were determined using an algorithm that takes into account the quantity and quality of reviews for landmarks worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.

This success for Britannia, follows on from the iconic attraction reporting 2016 as its most successful year since opening 18 years ago, with 348,272 visitors in 2016 and this year, 22% up on all previous records. The iconic yacht has also been rated by national tourism agency, VisitScotland’s quality assessors, as Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction for the 11th successive year.
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the JacobitesBonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites
Added: 05 Jun 2017
This summer National Museums Scotland will present the largest exhibition about the Jacobites to be held in over 70 years, opening 23rd June.

As well as drawing on National Museums Scotland’s own collections, the exhibition will feature spectacular loans from the United Kingdom and Europe. More than 300 paintings, costumes, documents, weapons, books and many unique objects owned by the exiled Jacobite kings will help tell the wider story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites.

David Forsyth, the exhibition’s lead curator, said:

“The story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites has had an enduring and generally romantic fascination for subsequent generations, from Sir Walter Scott to the current Outlander TV programme, along with many other representations in literature, TV and film. This exhibition will enable us to use the best material there is – real objects and contemporary accounts and depictions – to present the truth of a story more layered, complex and dramatic than even these fictional imaginings”

The Jacobites (from Jacobus - the Latin for James) were supporters of a movement to reinstate the Roman Catholic Stuart king, James VII & II and his heirs to the throne after his exile to France in 1688. Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites presents a detailed and dynamic, multi-faceted re-examination of this familiar yet much-contested story, showing how the Jacobite challenge for the three kingdoms was a complex civil war, which even pitched Scot against Scot. Support for the cause was drawn from Scotland, England, Ireland and Continental Europe; it was part of the broader dynastic and political rivalries of Europe’s great powers.

Friday 23 June to Sunday 12 November 2017
National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh
Cutting-edge technology takes medieval Rosslyn Chapel around the worldCutting-edge technology takes medieval Rosslyn Chapel around the world
Added: 17 May 2017
Rosslyn Chapel’s renowned stonework can now be appreciated more easily all over the world thanks to a new app launched at the Chapel.
The app has been developed for Rosslyn Chapel Trust by The Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV), a partnership between specialists at Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and experts in 3D visualisation at The School of Simulation and Visualisation at the GSA. Since 2008, the interior and exterior of the Chapel and its grounds have been digitally documented using laser scanning technology and the results have been used to create unique features in the app such as animations showing how the medieval Chapel was constructed, a virtual tour and a 360-degree panoramic tour.
Ian Gardner, Director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust said: ‘Rosslyn Chapel is known throughout the world for its unique architecture and ornate stonework and we hope that this app will introduce the Chapel to new audiences in an innovative way and inspire future generations of visitors.’
Alastair Rawlinson, Head of Data Acquisition in the School of Simulation and Visualisation at the GSA and Project Manager at CDDV said: ‘We have undertaken 3D laser scanning at Rosslyn Chapel over the course of several years, and our skilled team has been able to apply cutting-edge digital gaming technologies to transform these laser scans and other 3D data into a rich interactive and explorable experience.’
Dr Lyn Wilson, Digital Documentation Manager at HES and Project Manager at CDDV said: ‘This is an exciting day for us as we launch our dynamic and innovative app. It cements our longstanding relationship with Rosslyn Chapel Trust, which has been a great template for collaborative working with other partners across the country. The app is a fantastic way of giving digital access to this beautiful site, which is something we’re looking to do a lot more of at HES in the future – and of course we hope this digital glimpse of Rosslyn Chapel will encourage even more visits to the Chapel itself.’
The new app can be downloaded from the App Store for £1.99.
Kelvingrove Museum begins final preparations for Mackintosh Exhibition in 2018Kelvingrove Museum begins final preparations for Mackintosh Exhibition in 2018
Added: 08 May 2017
Glasgow Museums will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Glasgow born architect, designer and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh with an extensive programme of events throughout 2018. One highlight will be a significant temporary exhibition, hosted at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

It will showcase works by and relating to Mackintosh and his Glasgow Style contemporaries, many of which come from Glasgow Museums’ internationally important collection and will be on display for the first time in a generation, with others making their debut public appearance.

While the exhibition will span the lifetime of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), it will feature work by many of his contemporaries including some works by The Four: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, his future wife Margaret Macdonald, her younger sister Frances Macdonald and her future husband James Herbert McNair.

Head of Glasgow Museums, Duncan Dornan, added: “Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural powerhouse, a position that is as relative today as it was over 100 years ago when Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his contemporaries created Glasgow Style, which remains instantly recognisable and continues to permeate the designs of many different things we see today. His contribution to cultural life in Scotland cannot be understated. It is fitting therefore that we are planning to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth with an exhibition at Kelvingrove Museum.”

A Museums Galleries Scotland grant has enabled Glasgow Museums to recruit an Assistant Curator to assist in the development and delivery of the exhibition and in conjunction with the wider Charles Rennie Mackintosh programme.

Further details of the exhibition and wider programme will be released later this year.
“Scotland sends a huge welcome to China!”“Scotland sends a huge welcome to China!”
Added: 05 May 2017
Edinburgh is Scotland’s first City to be ‘China ready’ with its new fully translated ‘Welcome to Edinburgh’ Guide.

Scotland’s capital is the most visited destination outside London for Chinese visitors. Last year 160,000 Chinese travellers visited Edinburgh. This figure is expected to double by 2020.

The new guide with a print run of 100,000 is an initiative of Landmark Press who are already heavily involved in Edinburgh tourism. They publish 1.5 million copies annually of an Edinburgh Guide with editions in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.Landmark Press general manager, Andrew Murphie said: ‘A recent survey showed that a translated guide is the 3rd most common request by Chinese hotel guests, behind free WiFi and a kettle!’

‘The Chinese edition of the Edinburgh Guide is a natural extension of the service we offer. We have been working in Edinburgh for over 30 years and have a very good distribution system with 600 attractive display stands in key locations across the City including Edinburgh Castle.’ ‘We are really proud’ he continued ‘that some of the largest and some of the smallest tourism businesses across Scotland are our customers. These include:

VisitScotland; the National Trust for Scotland; Historic Environment Scotland; the Scottish Parliament; and the Royal Botanic Gardens’.

The Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) have been heavily involved in the production of the new guide and have contributed a special four page ‘survival guide’ welcoming Chinese visitors to the City.

Rob Lang, Head of Marketing at Edinburgh Airport and Chair of Edinburgh Tourism Action Group’s China Ready Initiative said: “The continued growth of the Chinese visitor market to Edinburgh presents a great opportunity for the city’s tourism sector. The city’s first-ever Mandarin “Welcome to Edinburgh” Guide from Landmark Press is packed with information from businesses offering a warm welcome to Chinese visitors. The guide is another welcome addition to the range of media being provided to our Chinese guests as we strive to become a “must see, must visit” destination for this influential market.”

Landmark Press, managing director, Danny Fullerton said ‘It is our ongoing aim to provide an excellent national tourism information service. Our ‘Welcome’ bedroom folders are on display in 95% of the hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, and self-catering properties across Scotland.’

‘In addition to the Welcome to Edinburgh Guide we also publish and distribute a ‘Welcome to Scotland’ Guide, with 800,000
copies and editions in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.’

‘On the digital front our ‘Welcome to Scotland’ website is the country’s most comprehensive tourism gateway and the UK’s only national tourism site to be fully translated into French and German.’

‘We also operate the only national app for Scotland’s tourism industry’ he continued. ‘The app is fully translated into French and German. If the numbers of visitors from China continues to grow as expected, we may soon have to translate our website and app into Chinese a prospect we would welcome hugely!

To advertise in the Welcome to Edinburgh Guide, contact
Download file: click to download attached file
 “The Father of Blending” honoured in Edinburgh “The Father of Blending” honoured in Edinburgh
Added: 01 May 2017
From the start of May, The Scotch Whisky Experience will be playing host to a new display honouring “The Father of Blending” and one of Edinburgh’s most famous sons, Andrew Usher of Andrew Usher and Co.

Brought together as part of the upcoming Edinburgh 101 project, the new display will comprise examples of Usher’s OVG and Green Stripe whiskies – two of Usher’s most famous creations.

It will also feature samples of the brand’s retro advertising from the early 1900s and nineteenth century photography featuring the people behind the whisky’s production.

Andrew Usher and Co, the great Scotch whisky blending house of Edinburgh, was founded in 1813, and was one of the foremost whisky companies of its time. Andrew Usher (1785-1855) was a prominent Scottish brewer who experimented with blending whiskies in the 1840s, but it was his son Andrew Usher II who perfected this skill and became known as “The Father of Blending”.

Andrew Usher II went on to found North British Distillery and, just a few years prior to his death in 1898, he donated £100,000 to the city of Edinburgh to fund the construction of the Usher Hall, which today hosts orchestras, concerts and stage productions from all over the world.

Susan Morrison, director and general manager of The Scotch Whisky Experience, said: “Andrew Usher II was instrumental in bringing Scotch whisky to the world and putting Edinburgh on the map. Bringing together this unique set of artefacts will show our visitors the important part Usher and his blending house played in the development of the Scotch whisky industry in the latter half of the 19th century.

“Our upgraded Sense of Scotland tour has also seen us recreate a 19th century Blender’s Sample Room, which allows us to bring the art and history of blending to life for all our visitors.”

The collection has been brought together by Diageo head archivist, Christine McCafferty, with supporting materials coming from the Diageo Global Archive in Clackmannanshire. The bottles themselves form part of The Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection which has been on permanent display at The Scotch Whisky Experience since 2009.

It has been brought together at part of Edinburgh 101 – a year-long project which aims to tell the history of the city in one hundred and one individual objects.

The display can be viewed by all visitors taking any of the tour experiences at The Scotch Whisky Experience from 1 May 2017, for 12 month duration.

For more information, log-on to or call 0131 220 0441.

Photo credit - Neil Hanna
Scottish Seabird Centre unveils proposed plans for a National Marine Centre Scottish Seabird Centre unveils proposed plans for a National Marine Centre
Added: 06 Apr 2017
Conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick, is sharing proposals to create a National Marine Centre for Scotland.

The project, which will cost in the region of £5.5million, focuses on delivering new and enhanced education and conservation programmes at the Centre and nationwide. It will transform the Seabird Centre to explore marine life above and below the waves, including seabirds. Working with partners throughout Scotland, it will provide a national hub to increase appreciation and understanding of Scotland’s amazing marine wildlife and communicate ground-breaking marine research taking place nationwide. The National Marine Centre is a working title.

Grace Martin, Project Director for the National Marine Centre, said: “The Scottish Seabird Centre currently offers visitors an opportunity to engage with nature in a sustainable way. As a conservation and education charity, we welcome 4,000 school children a year and lead projects such as SOS Puffin.

“But, as with all charities, we must move with the times to remain viable and to achieve our objectives of inspiring people to care for wildlife and the natural environment. We have more education requests that we can accommodate and visitor expectations are at an all-time-high. Our vision is to create a centre that is of national significance and one that the local community is proud of.”

The proposed plans will create a new education centre for visiting school groups as well as provide outreach and online educational resources. Within the new visitor attraction, a range of interactive exhibitions will take visitors on a fascinating journey, exploring the marine world that is often hidden and inaccessible. There will be a new welcome area as well as new retail and catering facilities, which provide valuable income to support the charity’s objectives. Plans also feature an observatory with 360° views which will allow visitors to view North Berwick’s stunning coastline.

The plans are being shared in North Berwick on 10, 13 and 19 April and people are invited to meet the project team and offer ideas and feedback. The plans will also be available online at and feedback can also be provided by emailing the Centre:

The Scottish Seabird Centre has been awarded development funding of £290,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to progress plans. HLF has also given its initial support for a £3.5million bid for the project. A further £2million must be secured through fundraising.

The new Centre is planned to open in 2020, timed for VisitScotland’s Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters.
Frank Quitely: the Art of Comics @ KelvingroveFrank Quitely: the Art of Comics @ Kelvingrove
Added: 03 Apr 2017
Responding to the recent global fascination with the comic book and superhero genre, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum will host Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics from 1st April to 1stOctober 2017.

The exhibition explores the work of Glasgow born artist Frank Quitely, who is one of the world’s top comic book artists, working on titles such as DC’s Superman, Batman and Marvel Comics X-Men. His book collaborations with Scottish writers Alan Grant, Mark Millar and Grant Morrison have sold millions. But like many of the superheroes he draws, he has a secret identity – his real name is Vincent Deighan. It will be the largest collection of his work ever displayed.

Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics will focus on Glaswegian and Scottish comic book industry heroes Frank Quitely, Mark Millar (of KickAss fame) and Grant Morrison (DC’s Batman and All Star Superman), revealing the amazing influence and contribution Scotland has had on the global industry of comics.

Bolstered by unique art work from titans of the genre, including Frank Miller and Neal Adams, the exhibition showcases an original Batman comic strip by the superhero’s creators Bob Kane with Bill Finger, alongside the comic strip that inspired Frank Quitely, featuring one of Scotland’s most legendary families, The Broons.

Visitors will see some of Quitely’s most visually stunning poster designs, including original artworks from major titles such as All Star Superman and Batman and Robin, including drawings from his first Batman Story, The Scottish Connection which was written by fellow Scot Alan Grant and is set in and around Edinburgh. This story imagines Batman / Bruce Wayne’s ancestors as Scottish and places him in Scottish landmarks such as Rosslyn Chapel, Glencoe, on the Forth Rail Bridge and at Edinburgh Castle. The public will get to see the intricate process from script through sketches to the meticulous final drawings then print and hear/ read interviews with Scottish giants of the comic book industry, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar and Alan Grant. Comic book aficionados of all ages will revel in the digital interactives that allow visitors to design their own comic page. There is an opportunity to create your own super hero costume and pose for a special-effects snap of you soaring through the air.

Born in 1968 in Glasgow, Vin Deighan still lives and works in the city. This year he will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow in recognition of his achievements.
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