Dark Sky Tourism Scotland
Scotland offers up some fantastic scenery by day. But for a growing number of tourists, it's the spectacular views by night that are attracting them to remote 'dark sky' parks. By Sam Roberts Where best in Scotland can you go to see clear night skies? If you said that Scotland has long and dark winter nights, it would be a colossal understatement....
Statue of Liberty Face
The Statue of Liberty is possibly the most famous landmark in the entire world and is a huge tourist attraction for people all around the world. The figure of a woman wearing a crown and holding a flaming torch is symbolic of America. However, not many people know the history of woman who posed for this world famous statue...
Soviet Calendar
For 11 long years, weekends did not exist in the Soviet Union. Like today’s dystopian novels, manufacturing ran, machines processed, and labour continued non-stop in order to create an industrial powerhouse. But what was the secret design behind this idea?  By Andrew Cook 29th September 1929. For many of the Soviet Union’s working class, it would be the last day...
Shebeen Scotland
Shebeens are a phenomena that have lasted centuries. These illegal, secretive places were kept under wraps. Knowledge passed on by word of mouth, friend to friend. Yet where did these Shebeens come from? And are they still around today? By Andrew Cook It’s typical of humanity. We created alcohol, we set restrictions around drinking alcohol, then we kept drinking anyway, regardless...
Scottish vodka
Scotland may be best known for whisky, gin and Irn Bru. But there is a new drink in town - Scottish vodka. Its popularity is rising and there is a surprising variety of flavours and brands to try. By James McKean With the craft beer market long since saturated, and the craft gin scene gradually abating, distilleries the world over have...
Hungry Duck Moscow
Sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll. Rock stars promote it, but only one bar truly epitomised the hedonistic lifestyle adored by so many. Bullets in the walls, hundreds of bar fights, and with a reputation for female customers dancing on bar tops, the Hungry Duck earned its infamous standing in history. But what brought the downfall of Moscow's most infamous bar? By...
Runrig Loch Lomond
The Runrig farming system was once common system of land tenure across Scotland, especially in the Highlands. It was a fair system that sustained large populations in an adverse climate. So why did it end? By James McKean Runrig, sometimes referred to as rig-a-rendal, was a form of rotational land tenure that once dominated farmlands in the Scottish Highlands and Islands,...
Visiting Fair Isle
Fair Isle is officially the most remote island in Britain – it can also be challenging to reach and is totally bereft of pubs and restaurants; and yet, tourists flood to this slight island, positioned between Orkney and Shetland, annually in their hundreds. So, what is it about the isle that draws globe trotters towards this seemingly insignificant island? By...
Akiya Ghost home Japan
Japan is currently facing a housing crisis, with one in seven homes in the country completely vacant. With thousands of empty properties situated across the country, Scotland finds itself following in Japan’s footsteps.  What can Scotland learn from the Japanese Akiya Crisis, and its numerous ‘ghost’ homes? By Andrew Cook In Japan there are approximately 60 million houses, however around eight...
Electric Brae
Electric Brae- It has attracted visitors from far and wide, including US presidents. Stop your car, release the handbrake and get the very odd sensation of starting to roll uphill. Over time, this oddity made Croy Brae hill famous, though under its more usually applied name of Electric Brae, a name first given by someone who presumably thought that...