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Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End

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  1. Last week
  2. I see Highland Council want to introduce a tourist tax which could see added costs to access the Highlands
  3. That was a long journey, Yonza, but sounds very worthwhile. Really enjoyed your article. I've never been to Campbeltown, as you say, it's a bit of a journey. But I do know how long Loch Long is and we've been to Colonsay when Jim played at the festival there. Some lovely beaches. Love the idea of the church architects vying for eccentricity.
  4. Campbeltown. You wonder why it exists. Hard to imagine a more remote town of comparable size (pop. 5,000) on the UK mainland. Its heyday was in the Victorian era, when it had a fishing fleet of over 600 boats, a shipbuilding industry, and so many distilleries, it earned itself the name 'Whiskyopolis'. Times have changed big time. No ships are built today, the fishing fleet has virtually ceased to exist, partly due to EU quotas, and just one distillery remains. It's a 4 hour 10 minutes drive from Glasgow. But, you have to go far to the north, up to Inverary, before you can turn south to the Mull of Kintyre. That's because the sea lochs, Fyne and Long have to be circumvented. They don't call it 'Loch Long' for nothing. It's a journey of discovery. So many 'hidden gems' of coastal villages, like Ardrishaig, for example. There were far fewer tourists than on my other trips. I think that's mostly because Campbeltown probably isn't on the 'to do' list of most tourists, but I also noticed fewer tourists on the more 'mainstream' part between Loch Lomond and Inverary. I think the tourist season has peaked. I expected that most of the passengers on the half full bus would be going to Campbeltown, like myself. So, I was very surprised when more than half of them got off the bus at Kennacraig ferry terminal. Kennacraig services Port Ellen and Port Askaig, on Islay, and also the small island of Colonsay. The ferry to Port Askaig continues to Colonsay, then on to Oban. Total journey time is six and a half hours. I've become something of a 'ferry bagger' and intend to do that trip some day. Campbeltown has some impressive architecture. It used to be said that the number of churches almost equaled the number of distilleries. Maybe it's a compensation thing. Many of the churches have eccentric architecture, as if they were trying to outdo each other in order to attract the faithful. One has a spire that completely dominates the church, and looks like a lighthouse. Most have other uses today. One is a heritage centre, but it's only open Mon-Thu. The museum is only open Mon-Fri, so I didn't get to see either of them. Behind the museum, there's a memorial garden to Linda McArtney, with a bronze statue of her sitting on a rock. It's out of the way, and easily overlooked if you're a casual visitor, but well worth the effort to find it. Next to the shut museum, there's a delightful looking art deco cinema house, which is believed to be the oldest (1913) purpose built cinema in Scotland still showing films. On the way back, the bus stopped for 10 minutes at Inveraray, and passengers got out to stretch their legs and do whatever else you can do in 10 minutes, like down a half and a half in a pub. I had a walk round and noticed the 'Vital Spark' berthed at the pier. I don't know if it's actually one of the ones used in the TV shows, or if it's just a replica for the tourists. It's a lot smaller than the impression you get from the television shows. Arrived back at Buchanan St bus station at 7.10 pm. It was a long time on a bus, but I liked this one enough to do it again some time.
  5. Earlier
  6. Came home from Rothesay on the bus couple of years back. I love Isle of Bute. Here's some more on Largs and Millport. http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk/a-trip-to-largs-and-millport/
  7. Nice pics. Heck, the last time I was in Millport, Yuri Gagarin had just become the first man in space and Harold MacMillan was Prime Minister. Can't decide on the next 'weather permitting' journey. The forecast for Saturday is looking decidedly dodgy. Campbelltown, Dunbar and North Berwick, or Rothesay to Dunoon through the Cowal peninsula are all possibilities. I knew tour buses went on ferries, but didn't realise service buses did likewise. But, there's a bus that travels from Rothesay to the north coast of Bute, then gets on the ferry to the Cowal peninsula, and then on to Dunoon. Sounds like an interesting trip.
  8. We cheated a bit as we got a lift up and down to Largs. We had great fun doon the watter and used bus pass on bus when we went to Millport.
  9. 13 - 15 September. Glasgow Youth Film Festival returns. http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk/glasgow-youth-film-festival-2019/
  10. We didn't catch the parade but the atmosphere in Queens Park was super. Saw the First Minister chatting with people and very multicultural event. Govanhill Festial continues all week and over next weekend. Going to catch the exhibition at Govanhill Baths. Tremendous what the community have achieved there.
  11. I agree, Yonza. I like Arran but don't get the Scotland in miniature claim. Some parts of it are pretty and always nice to see the sea but there's nothing as atmospheric as Glencoe nor beautiful as Loch Lomond nor the Western Isles. Enjoying your journeys, thanks.
  12. First good weekend weather for a while, so decided to get out and do the 55 miles of coastal road around Arran. I'd only been in Arran once, for a few hours in the 80s, and I still don't know what I saw. I had expected Brodick, the 'capital', to be an actual town, instead of a row of detached houses punctuated by the odd hostelry and shop. It's much more developed today, but still not what I'd call a proper town. The 0945 ferry from Ardrossan took 55 minutes to make the crossing. It was late leaving because of the sheer number of tourists. I thought the Oban-Mull ferry was crammed, but this was really crammed. Oddly, most of the passengers seemed to be Brits, while most of the Mull ferry passengers seemed to be foreigners. The bus to Blackwaterfoot on the west coast going via Lochranza on the north coast was also crammed, with some passengers not able to get on. This created an additional delay, and the bus was half an hour late leaving. As a result, about 8 tourists who had intended getting the ferry from Lochranza to Claonaig on the Mull of Kintyre, had to watch the ferry sail away without them from the bus. They weren't best pleased. Total time for the round trip was two and a half hours. The south of the island was unimpressive - just rough pastureland that you can see anywhere in Scotland. The north was more scenic, but not in the same league as the Highlands. Overall, I felt slightly let down, but it was still a worthwhile day out. Whiting Bay looks like a nice place to retire to, but Lamlash has more pubs and shops.
  13. And that's with the dinosaur denying DUP support.
  14. Boris Johnson's government now has a majority of one. Definitely not strong nor stable.
  15. Carnival tomorrow. Saturday 3rd August.
  16. Great weather for the kick off today - Merchant City Festival is always great - runs from 25 - 29 July Great selection of events. http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk/merchant-city-festival-2019/
  17. Dear heavens, what a bunch in the cabinet and brilliant new Secretary of State for Scotland, multi-millioanire toff who enjoys hunting and talks with a posh English accent plus not a jot of experience.
  18. PMQs - Boris might as well just have sung Rule Brittania
  19. Essential requirements for Conservative politicians, never mind Cabinet members, definitely not integrity. Pile in the seriously flawed. Can only be good for Scottish Independence.
  20. 1 - 11 August, 2019 http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk/govanhill-international-festival-2019/
  21. Westminster is one huge farce. Difficult to have any faith in many politicians. Theresa May signing off saying how the lives of many have improved under her leadership. Obviously can't be referring to the low waged, the disabled, children living in poverty and so on.
  22. THE former Labour MP Jared O'Mara's communications chief has resigned live on social media branding his boss "the most disgustingly morally bankrupt person" he has ever worked with.Gareth Arnold, who describes himself as a "communications man", used the MP's own Twitter account to launch an attack on his boss, accusing him of not caring about his constituents.Comms Team signing off... forever: Jared, you are the most disgustingly morally bankrupt person I have ever had the displeasure of working with. You do not care about your constituents. You do not care about anyone but yourself.The broadsides continued, with Mr Arnold adding: "I cannot and will not defend you and your vile, inexcusable contempt for the people who voted you in."My fear is that now (as I quit) the rest of the staff will leave and once again you will close your office and stop helping anyone but still take your wages until you have the decency to call a byelection.
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