John Harbour, from www.exclusivescottishvisits.co.uk, is your trusted, expert guide on the Unique Scotland podcast.
These carefully crafted, impeccably researched programmes connect you with this small but beautiful land.
You’ll be introduced to the land itself, the people, and discover what makes them tick.
John then takes you on virtual tours of every part of Scotland, from the Borders, to the Lowlands and then onto the Highlands and Islands. The craggy mountains as well as the beautiful white sandy beaches.
Along the way, John covers the customs, traditions and culture, including the Clans - perhaps yours - and the part they played in the bloody Clan Wars.
New episodes are regularly added so please ‘Subscribe’ and visit www.exclusivescottishvisits.co.uk to find out more.
Scotland’s North Coast 500 (Part 4) – Castle Varich, the Mackay stronghold, amazing beaches, John Lennon and much more….
Scotland’s North Coast 500 was opened in 2015 and this 516 mile route has become a popular travel destination. This, Part 4, of our tour will take us from Bettyhill in Caithness to Durness on the north western corner of Scotland. This is Mackay Country. At Bettyhill we will hear of the renovation of the Strathnaver Museum and the Clan Mackay artefacts held within.
We will pass through the town of Tongue and take a walk up to the old Castle Varich, the Mackay stronghold for hundreds of years. We will cross the Kyle of Tongue and drive around loch Eriboll which, for centuries, has been used as a safe anchorage from the often stormy seas of the North Atlantic Ocean. Tales of Viking massacres and German U-Boats will be told.
We then head west to Durness, dropping into Smoo Cave on the way, a wonder to behold. At Durness we will find out why there is a memorial garden to John Lennon, one of the famous Beatles and why is one of his songs dedicated to this area? The north coast is a really beautiful rugged coastline with fabulous sandy beaches and spectacular views to the far north.
Come and join me on another Unique Scotland adventure!
Scotland’s North Coast 500 (Part 3) – Viking towns, Royal Castles, fabulous beaches and World War 2 installations, all par of this superb tour of Scotland's NC500
Scotland’s North Coast 500 was opened in 2015 and this 516 mile route has become a popular travel destination. This, Part 3, of our tour will take us from Wick on the east coast of northern Scotland to Bettyhill in Caithness. We will pass through the ancient Viking town of Wick and onto John ‘O Groats, one end of the longest distances between two inhabited points on the mainland of Britain. Enjoy the view over the Pentland Firth to the Orkney islands beyond.
We will then head West along the top of Scotland and call in to see the fabulous Castle of Mey, the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother’s home. We will stop for a picnic at Dunnett Head, the most northerly point on the British Mainland and walk the 300 feet cliffs to see the nesting birdlife among the rocks. We then pass through the town of Thurso whilst also enjoying the fabulous white sandy beaches of the North Coast before arriving at Bettyhill where we find the Strathnaver Museum and home to the Mackay Clan display.
Scotland’s North Coast 500 (Part 2) - 2000 year old Brochs, fabulous beaches, a Royal Scandal..
Scotland’s North Coast 500 was opened in 2015 and this 516 mile route has become a popular travel destination. This, Part 2, of our tour will take us from Dornoch to Wick on the east coast of northern Scotland. You will cross Loch Fleet and see an old Thomas Telford bridge (early 1800s) which has an incredible sluice gate system to allow the river to exit but stops the sea water from entering the river Fleet. You will visit the attractive seaside town of Golspie and, as lovely as it is, the Golspie Inn was witness to the iniquities of the Highland Clearances. Soon after Golspie you will see the ‘Mannie’, a monument to the 1st Duke of Sutherland and why some would like to see it knocked down. The Mannie stands on a hill overlooking the fabulous caste Dunrobin which we will visit on our travels.
We will pass through Brora with its wonderful sandy beach and links golf course before going on to see a 2000 year old Broch at Ousdale. Soon afterwards we will visit Dunbeath which holds the secrets of King George VI’s younger brother, the Duke of Kent, who died in mysterious circumstances when his plane crashed into a hill some 3 miles from the town. Of course, George VI was the king who replaced Edward VII when he abdicated to marry Wallace Simpson. We’ll retire for the evening in the Wick area and enjoy a sumptuous dinner in an exquisite Victorian Villa. So exciting…..
Scotland’s North Coast 500 (Part 1) Craggy cliffs, spectacular beaches and fabulous 700 year old castles – join the virtual tour!
Scotland’s North Coast 500 was opened in 2015 and has been a great success. This, Part 1, of a virtual tour will take us from Inverness to Dornoch on the east coast of northern Scotland. We will cross the Kessock bridge and the Black Isle to Tain, the oldest Royal Burgh in Scotland. A visit to Glenmorangie distillery may tempt some before crossing the Cromarty Firth with its wonderful wildlife and superb views. On our way north there is another Firth to cross at Dornoch and we will be passing a fabulous Indian inspired monument built in the late 18th century before arriving at Invergordon. You will be told the extraordinary tale of a Royal Naval mutiny that still reverberates down the decades. Dornoch is a lovely village with a castle and a famous Cathedral at its centre. Why were witches being burned here in the 18th Century and what was Madonna doing here in 2000. Join me on this wonderful tour to find out.
LETTER FROM SCOTLAND – Travel and Tourism to restart with COVID breakthrough – A new vaccine breaks the deadlock.
It is a mixed bag this week and this newsletter starts off with reports on the COVID situation in the UK and Scotland in particular, including the political ramifications on the different priorities of the Devolved Governments that make up the UK. Exciting news as this Newsletter was being recorded that a working Vaccine has been found with 90% efficacy. Fantastic news for the travel industry and for those who have been locked down for too long. This Newsletter also mentions the Outlander series and the possibility of fans to work alongside Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe (Jamie and Claire). Shock, Horror! Could it be possible that Meghan Markle could become the next President of the United States of America (after Biden or Trump – Mr Trump hasn’t conceded as this goes online) and that her Royal husband Harry becomes the First Gentleman? All this and a few other stories from the Scottish Media.
Final part Inverness to Gairloch – fabulous beaches, Botanical gardens, Russian convoys… Scotland’s west coast has seen it all.
In this episode, you will travel from Gruinard House and Gardens and follow the coastal road hugging the sea loch Ewe and loch Gairloch before returning to Inverness, via Loch Maree, on this last leg of our journey. The Island of Gruinard on Loch Ewe has a dark secret to unlock while the loch itself has an amazing past connection with the ill fated PQ Russian convoys. The glorious INVEREWE Gardens returns some semblance of peace and normality to the area.
As you arrive in Altbea, there is a hidden scandal to discover and a local girl tells of the shenanigans of an absentee hotelier.
You will stroll along the wonderful Gairloch beach, miles of golden sand with views to die for. The return to Inverness also has much to offer and you will be returned to your starting point of 3 Podcasts before. Enjoy!
Informative and illuminating
Wanting to learn more about Scottish heritage, the culture and history of Scotland I was recommended The Unique Scotland Podcast series. I was not disappointed. The series is very factual in terms of content and relevance, but delivered with a relaxed, cool manner complimented with a little splash of comedy to lighten the mood. After listening to Podcast 1 , it easy to listen to, intriguing and found myself listening to all 4. With the dulcet tones of John Harbour I defy anyone to not want to listen to the full series.
Interesting and fun!
I started listening to Unique Scotland last week and it’s brilliant. John has a great voice for sharing the beauty of Scotland. Extremely informative and fun to listen to - can’t wait to hear more episodes!