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Ballachulish, and Fort- William.

9. Killin to Kenmore and Aberfeldy.

10. Ballater to Braemar.

11. Callander to Trossachs, Loch Katrine, and Loch Lomond.

1 2. Selkirk to St. Mary's Loch on the way to Moffat.

13. Edinburgh to Roslin and Penicuik.

14. Dunkeld to Blairgowrie, Spital of Glenshee, and Braemar.

15. Kingussie to Fort- William, by Loch Laggan.

16. Garve Station to Ullapool. Mail Cart.

17. Achnasheen to Loch Maree and Gareloch,

1 8. Lairg to Loch Assynt (Inchnadamff), Loch Inver, and Scourie

1 9. Crieff to Comrie, St. Fillans, and Lochearnhead.

20. Beauly up Strathglass to Invercannich and Geusachan.

Some of these are mail carts, or open waggonettes, more parti-
cularly in Ross and Caithness shires, — very suitable excursion con-
veyances, which win be welcomed by many a tourist in those out-
of-the-way regions.



[14] I. TraveUinfj View: Inns. Introd.

Generally speaking, tlie coacli service is fairly performed ; but
the same unqualified x^raise cannot be given to all of it as to tbe
steamers ; and it is to be hoped that the proprietors of these ser-
vices which are exclusively tourist arrangements, will use their best
endeavours to bring them up to the same standard by land as Messrs.
Hutcheson have done by sea.

D. I7ins are abundant enough, and vary from the lofty and splen-
didly furnished hotel to the little wayside inn. In all the large
towns and the principal " trysting-places," particularly on the west
coast, the hotel acconmiodation is admirable, and if it is rather ex-
pensive, as it doubtless is in some places, it must be remembered
that for eight months in fche year the hotel, with all its outlay, is
practically tenantless ; and even the success during the other four
months depends on the good graces of the weather. In many places,
too, the cost of transit for necessaries and. provisions is a large item
in the hotel-keeper's expenses. It may be remarked that Scotch inns
though in the centre of grand scenery, are with rare exceptions
placed in the worst situations, just where no view is to be had. The
windows are small, and the walls thi'ck to resist the weather, but
there is general comfort.

As tourists in the height of the season are gregarious, and follow
the beaten track, the traveller, particularly if with a party, is recom-
mended to time his arrival at certain places as early as possible, and
to secure beds and rooms beforehand, as he will otherwise find that
even chairs and sofas are not always to be obtained.

This precaution applies still more to some of the more solitary
districts of Eoss and Sutherland shires, as the inns are limited in
size, and are frequently monopolised by sportsmen. Especially is
it necessary to look ahead to secure quarters for Sundmj, when tra-
velling, by whatsoever conve3^ance, is almost arrested in Scotland.
Eooms should be secured two or three days beforehand at a Sabbath
resting-place. The Telegraph wires have been carried everywhere
into the remote Highlands, even into the Island of Skye, and give
every facility for the conveyance of messages.

A pedestrian may travel and live cheaj^ly enough in the N. and
N.W. It is true he may frequently have to put up with a bowl
of Scotch broth, a fresh herring, and a jug of whiskey toddy to wash
it down with ; but if that is not a dinner fit for a prince, it certainly
is for a pedestrian tourist. In the smaller liostelries you are often
oppressed by a stifling odour of stale whiskey and dried haddocks.
Without enforcing upon Southerners and Cockneys the strictly na-
tional dishes of Haggis (? hachis) and singed sheep's head, cold, with
which Dr. Johnson was so disgusted that Sir Walter Scott found it



Scotland. I. TravdUlng View: Inns; Inn Charges. [15]

necessary to write in its defence,* a word may be said in favour of
hotchpotch, cock-a-leeky, collops of beef and minced, grouse occa-
sionally in the season, scones and oat cakes ; with such dishes in a
bill of fare, aided by fresh herring and salmon, no one ought to
complain. Even the saturnine Dr. Johnson "ate several platefuls
of broth, with barley and pease in it, and seemed very fond of the
dish, remarking, ' I don't care how soon I eat it again.' "

Although the chief inns in the Highlands are excellent, there is
a want of village inns, and in some districts on the skirts of the
Grampians and in Braemar the pedestrian may often have to walk
10 or 20 miles without reaching one. This depends on the will
or prejudice of the landowners, who have the power of opening and
closing an inn in their o\vn hands, and one would think that the
policy of encouraging travellers, as the Duke of Sutherland has done,
would be more profitable than that of exclusion.

The general Inn charges are on the whole moderate. In the
cities and mammoth hotels, the handsome sitting-rooms, command-
ing the best view, cost 10s. a day, and the lower bedrooms 5s.
Dinner in private 6s. to 8s. ; but in the country districts the fol-
lowing are the average charges : —

Bed, 2s. to 2s. 6d. and 3s,

Breakfast, with meat, 2s. to 2s. 6d.

Dinner : — Table d'hote 4s. to 5s. ; apart, 6s.

Tea, without meat, Is. to Is. 6d. ; with meat, 2s. to 2s. 6d.

Attendance, Is. 6d. a-day for each person.

E. Posting. — On all the high roads, travellers not availing them-
selves of public coaches, may travel as comfortably and as cheaply
(or dearly) as in England, with post-horses.

The charges are Is. a mile for 1 horse, 3d. a mile for driver.
For 2 horses Is. 6d. a mile, 4d. a mile for driver, but for a whole
day's work the driver ought not to get more than 5 s.

In some parts turnpikes are both numerous and expensive, seldom
less than Is. for 2 horses.

The carriages for hire are tolerable ; the more common, a car, or
waggonette, is called a machine (only a bathing machine is known as
a " coach " in Scotland), — some of large size, holding 8 or 1 persons.
On by-roads the number of horses kept is limited ; and even on the
more frequented lines, during " the tourist season," there is such a
run on conveyances that the supply of horses often falls short. It
is not always worth the innkeepers' while to increase the number for
the short season of two to four months, when this large demand

* See Croker's " Boswell."



[16] J. Travelling Tiew : Useful EequisUes. Introd.

exists. The traveller, therefore, must take care to bespeak horses and
vehicles beforehand. If he orders by telegram, which he may now
do in all parts of the Highlands, he should pay for an answer. Even
with this precaution he must be prepared for detention now and then.

F. Pedestrians. — Alpine climbers need not disdain to mount
many of the Scotch mountains. There is work enough in many of
them, together with a spice of excitement, although rarely any danger,
except for those who are foolhardy. The greatest risk for pedes-
trians arises not so much from inaccessible scrambles, as the mis-
taking their way, and being overtaken by mist, in which case it is
as perilous to fall over a low rock as a tremendous precipice. The
distances, moreover, across the moors are so long, and the straths
are so similar one to another, that it has happened before now that
a party have had unwillingly to bivouac on the heather, and endure the
pangs of hunger, thirst, and fatigue, before reaching their destination.

The usual provision for hill districts are specially required
in Scotland, viz., good thick boots, a reliable stick, a flask of whiskey,
a light waterproof, or, what is better than all, a good Scotch plaid,
resjDecting the excellence of which hear an enthusiast — of course a
Scotchman ! After remarking that a lady's riding-habit is " one
of the many uses to which a plaid can be turned, and of which no
other garment is susceptible," he continues — " With the help of a
belt it can in a few minutes be made into a full dress for a man ;
it is the best and lightest of wraps by day, and serves for bedclothes
at night ; it can be used as a bag ; it will serve as a sail for a boat ;
it is valuable as a rope in rock scrambling ; it can be turned into a
curtain, an awning, a carpet, a cushion, a hammock. Its uses, in
fact, are endless, and as a garment it has this superiority over every
other, that there's room in't for twa !" — N. The wanderer should
secure a correct Majj ; or, failing that, the fullest directions previous
to starting, and the most rigorous observations as to the way of the
wind, the direction of the streams, all which make up the educa-
tion of an experienced traveller. A good field-glass adds much
enjoyment to the excursion, and is often of more practical value in
detecting a distant path, and thus saving the pedestrian much loss
of time. A compass is indispensable for the pedestrian.

Black's large J/a;; of Scotland, in 12 sheets (each sheet sold
separately for 2s. 6d.), will be found of the greatest use to travellers,
especially pedestrians. It is very clear and very accurate. The Ord-
nance Ma}) is admirable, but unfortunately is completed only for
part of Scotland.

G. It is almost needless to say that the less luggage the tourist



Scotla:nd. II. Antiquities. [17]

takes with him the more independent will he be, but a moderate-
sized portmanteau will contain ample supplies for a considerable
tour. Even in the middle of summer warm clothing should not be
neglected, the nights among the hills, or on the East Coast, when an
" easterly haar " (as a damp m'ist and east wind is called in Scot-
land) comes driving up from the sea, being cold enough to render
additional garments by no means unacceptable. Take a dark coat
for better wear, and remember that it is not quite comme il faut to
walk about large towns like Edinburgh and Glasgow in a costume
w^hich w^ould be suitable enough for a hillside or a moor.

A couple of hints more perhaps may not be out of place : one is
to remember that the Scotch Sabbath is excessively rigorous, and that
nothing whatever is allowed to be done which may in the slightest
degree seem to contravene the laws of the kirk. It is not always
possible to get a conveyance, except in Glasgow, Edinburgh, or at
the seaside watering-places. The other hint is to recollect that
the Scotch middle and lower classes are not, as a rule, given to
joking, except with their own dry, sententious humour, and that
they very rarely understand w^hat is commonly called " chaff." It
is better to bear this in mind, as it may account for many an
apparently surly manner or gruff reply.

Finally, every tourist should visit Scotch scenery prepared for
every kind of weather, and gifted with a considerable stock of
patience. The very day, the very hour, on which he may turn
back, disheartened at the w^eather, it clears up, and reveals views
unparalleled for atmospheric effects.

The traveller in the west of Scotland, among the lochs and
rivers, is subjected to an intolerable insect plague of " midges," — small
gnats, scarcely A^isible, but covering the face with painful and endur-
ing punctures. Prince Charles, in his year of hiding, 1746, was
nearly driven distracted by them. Turpentine is said to be an
antidote, but the cure is almost as bad as the disease.

II. Antiquities.

Scotland has a large field open to antiquarian exploration, and
the wonder is how few attempts have been made to examine and
describe it systematically. It may not be amiss to give a short list
of the principal works in this branch, so that the tourist who is
interested in the subject may consult them. They include Pennant's
" Tour in Scotland ; " the publications of the Bannatyne and Spald-
ing Clubs (the latter of which is particularly full on inscribed stones) ;
Transactions of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Scotland ;
the " Cambridge Camden Society's Papers/' which contain a learned



[18] 11. Antiquities. Introd.

series on the Argyllshire Ecclesiastical Antiquities bv Mr, Howson ;
Grose's " Antiquities ; " Billings' " Baronial and Ecclesiastical Anti-
quities," a magnificent and exhaustive work ; " Pre-Historic Annals
of Scotland," b}^ Daniel Wilson ; " The Sculptured Stones of Scot-
land," b}^ John Stuart, 2 vols. 4to (Spalding Club), 1856 and 1867.
The works of the late Cosmo Innes — "Scotland in the Middle
Ages : its History and Social Progress (I860)," and " History of
the Northern Parts of Britain," — abound in valuable and trustworthy
information. P^eeves' " Life of Adamnan " contains the best account
of lona and St. Columba. These, together with Burton's valuable
" History of Scotland," are perhaps the most important and the
most accessible sources of information.

Of late years much attention has been directed to 1. The Earkj or
Pre-historic Remains, which, in the districts on the coast, and more
especially towards the north, appear to be unusually abundant.
Operations for draining revealed in the bed of the Loch of Dowalton
(Wigtownshire) traces of the lake dwellings so common in Switzer-
land ; and researches in Caithness have discovered large numbers
of mounds containing kists and relics of inhumation. Of these Mr.
Laing says — " The rocky coasts and commanding heights are not
more thickly studded with the strongholds of Scandinavian pirates
and mediaeval barons, than are the shores and straths with large
conical mounds, showing traces of concentric walls, which are in all
probability the ruins of burghs or circular towers. In addition
there are numerous chambered cairns and Picts' houses, and barrows
or sej)ulchral tumuli of various forms and dimensions. There are
also many traces of hut-circles, and other pre-historic dwellings, of a
humbler class than the circular burgh ; and numerous shell-middens,
or refuse-heaps of the food of the ancient inhabitants, are found in
connection with their dwellings."

2. The Burghs, or Picts^ Houses, as some call them, are involved
in very much the same obscurity as to date as the last-named antiqui-
ties, some archpeologists attributing them to Celts, others to Scandi-
navians. The probability is that they were anterior to either
of them, although used by the different races of inhabitants, who
found them ready to hand, for dwelling, storing, or burying pur-
poses. But it appears more likely that they were of earlier date, not-
withstanding the smoothness and regularity of the buildings them-
selves, which would seem to point to the work of a more civilised people.
Scandinavian authorities declare that nothing like them was ever
found in those countries. Wilson, in his "Pre-historic Scotland,"
considers them to be long prior to the earliest recorded Scandinavian
invasion ; and ]\Ir. Geo. Petre discovered in a burgh in the parish of



Scotland. II. Antiquities. [19]

Birsay, in Orkney, contents of a similar character to those in the
mounds. To the same date we may assign — •

3. Circles, which, altliough not very abundant, show more or less
evidences of size and importance, and were most likely the great
centres of religious and (probably) legislative ceremonies. A curious
feature in connection witli these remains is, that the largest circles
are usually found in the islands, such as Stennis in Orkney, and
Tormore in Arran, which seems to point to the conclusion that these
" trysting-places " were generally established where they could over-
look large bodies of water. It is worth noticing that the cromlech
in Wales and Ireland is almost always placed in a similar position.

II. Early Historic Remains. — 1. Amongst the very earliest of these
we should be disj)osed to class the Round Totvers, which, though
common enough in Ireland, are represented by two examples only
in Scotland — Brechin and Abernethy. Their uses, as described by
the late Dr. Petrie in his erudite work on " Irish Round Towers,"
seem to have been those of providing places of safety and defence
for the ecclesiastical buildings and treasures in their neighbourhood,
as well as of the population gathered around. Their date varies
from the 8th to the 12th centuries, and it seems probable that
those of Scotland are of the later class.

2. Memorial Stones are of two sorts — the plain slab used to
commemorate some interment or some event, and generally known
as a " stele." Sometimes, however, they are used for purposes of
demarcation, as in the AVelsh " maenhir." The inscribed stone varies
very much in its character, from the simple name which it was
intended to commemorate, to the most elaborate ornamentation and
device of sculpture. Of the latter, Sweno's Stone, near Forres, is a
good example.

3. Crosses likewise exhibit a great diversity of character, from
the plain cross to the sculptured. But very few are now left in
Scotland, and these cannot vie in comparison with those of Ireland.
The most perfect are those of lona, Campbeltown, and Inveraray.

4. Of Dykes and Roads there are likewise very few remains, what
there are being, limited to the south. They include the Catrail or
Picts' Dyke across the Cheviots, and the Devil's Dyke in Dumfries-
shire, both early British works. Of a later date is the Roman wall
of Antoninus, extending from the Forth to the Clyde, also the Roman
road from Nithsdale to Elvanfoot.

5. The Cami^s are nearly all Roman. The number of Roman
camps is very great, greater it is said than in all the rest of Europe,
and denotes the arduous nature of the struggle with the natives, and
its long duration. They stretch as far N. as Aberdeen and Inver-



[20] 11. AntiqidUes. Inteod.

ness-sliire, but are most numerous in the comparatively flat districts,
at the foot of the Grampians, Strathearn, Strathmore, and Strathallan,
The arrangements of most of them are decidedly Koman, as are also
their names, such as Caerlee, Chesters, etc. Ardoch camp is the
most perfect, not only in Scotland but in the British isles.

While on the subject of defences we must not omit mention of
those singular vitrified forts which are ascribed to the Danes. Dun-
jardil, in Glen Nevis (easily accessible) ; Ivnockfarril, near Dingwall ;
Craig Phadrick, near Inverness ; and Dmiskeig, in Cantyre, are the
best preserved and most interesting examples. It will not escape
notice that they generally occupy projecting and isolated heights,
suited for beacons or bale-fires, which in ancient times served the
purpose of telegrams to give notice of foreign invasion. The action
of fire on the stone heaps upon which the fires were lighted may in
course of ages have caused the vitrification of these stone heaps.
Some antiquaries believe these so-called forts to have been merely
enclosures for cattle.

III. Ecclesiastical Remains in Scotland cannot well be judged by
the same rules that apj^ly to similar remains in England. " Though
so near a neighbour, and so mixed up with England in all the
relations of war and peace, the Scotch never borrowed willingly
from the English, but, owing probably to the Celtic element in the
population, all their affinities and predilections were for continental
nations, and especially for France. So completely is this the case,
that there is scarcely a single building in the country that would
not look anomalous and out of place in England ; and though it is
true that the edifices are not entirely French in design, the whole
taste and character of them is continental, though wrought out in a
bolder and generally in a simpler and ruder fashion than the corre-
sponding examples in other countries." — Fergusson. The consequence
is, that, in addition to the foreign admixture of style, the very date
of the various styles in Scotland is long subsequent to the pre-
valence of the same style farther south.

Thus, in the 12th century (reign of David I.), when the pointed
arch was in use in the South, we find the round arch in full vigour
in the North ; and when the Scotch adopted the E. E. lanc&t window,
they were so pleased with it that they did not give it up, but
continued to use it long after tlie Dec. and even the Perp. styles
prevailed in England. Of all the architectural styles the one most
prevalent is that of the Eomanesque, sometimes of the simple round-
arched character, but more frequently combined with the richest
and most extravagant ornamentation. The styles of the several
periods are not so definitely marked off from each other in Scotland



Scotland. ^ III. Geology. [21]

as in England, a great mixture of styles being often observable, e.g.
the round-headed arch is often found in early pointed buildings with
mouldings of that date.

The real Decorated features are very scarce, and what does
remain of it is associated with the Flamboyant character prevalent
on the Continent.

Of Perp. churches, Melrose is almost the only example ; and
even this, Mr. Fergusson observes, is more of a foreign than of
English type. Eoslin, which is of the date of the 15th century, is
apparently foreign in conception and execution, and there is little
doubt that the architects and builders came from Portugal or Spain.
Remarkable features in many of the ecclesiastical buildings in Scotland
are the bold and perfect vaults or crypts, which often retain beauti-
ful specimens of moulding, although the vaulting itself, as comj)ared
with those in England, is poor and weak.

IV. Castles and Towers. — Of the latter there are numerous
examples, almost all of the same rude and simple type of Border or
Peel towers, in which strength, and the greatest capability of defence,
with a small number in garrison, seem to have been the desideratum.
A chain of these towers runs along the Borders. Of the former
many are very fine and extensive, and show that they were not
merely limited to purposes of warfare but served also as places of
residence. " Scotland is, generally speaking, very deficient in objects
of civil or domestic architecture belonging to the middle ages. Of
her palaces, Holyrood has been almost rebuilt in the reign of
Charles I., and Edinburgh Castle entirely remodelled. Stirling still
retains some fragments of ancient art, and Falkland passes into rich
and fantastic Renaissance." But of

Mansions, many of them still inhabited, there are many noble
examples, presenting a singular style which is very peculiar to
Scotland, and strongly indicates the French tendency. As the
architectural features are described under each example, it will not
be necessary to enter here into greater detail.

III. Geology.

On a subject, such as the Geology of Scotland, on which volumes
have been written, it is obvious that only the merest outline can be
furnished in a handbook, but as there is a growing tendency amongst
tourists to combine the picturesque and the scientific, we cannot do
better than recommend Geikie's " Scenery of Scotland " as a travel-
ling companion, together with the geological sketch map compiled by
him and Sir R. Murchison.

Commencing at the most superficial and modern deposits, are



[22] III. Geology. Introd.

A. Recent, in which we may include — 1. Peat mosses and Pre-lustorlc
Forests. — Peat mosses are generally thonght to have been of compara-
tively modern date, on account of the frequent discovery of remains
proved to be Roman, though they are believed with some probability
to belong to the earlier period known as the Bronze. The mosses,
physically speaking, are interesting from their rapid formation and
the consequent alteration of the face of the country, and because
they mark the site of lochs and tarns, as w^ell as of ancient and
pre-historic forests. Many of the mosses, which were so dreary, and
characteristic of the district, have been drained and recovered by the
husbandman, while others have died out, so to speak, and finished
growing, covering the rugged and treacherous-looking surface with
the appearances known as " moss-hags." 2. Post-Glacial Traces, by
which we mean those evidences of upheaval which took place subse-
Cjuent to the submergence of the glacial epoch. Eaised beaches are
the practical result of this upheaval, and the observer may find ample
proofs of tliis all round the E. and W. coast of Scotland, at a height
of 20 to 25 feet above the present sea margin, and varying in breadth
from a few feet to several miles. " This old or upraised beach runs
as a terrace along the margin of the Firth of Forth ; it forms the
broad carse of Falkirk and of Gowrie, it is visible in sheltered bays
along the exposed coasts of Forfar, Perth, Kincardine, Aberdeen, and
westwards along the Moray Firth. On the Atlantic side of the island
its low green platform borders both sides of the Firth of Clyde,
fringes the islands, runs up the river beyond Glasgow, and wdnds
southwards along the coast of Ayrshire and Wigtown into the Irish



Online LibraryJohn Murray (Firm)Handbook for travellers in Scotland → online text (page 2 of 73)