"Scotland - Are you one of those people it 'just won't let go'?"
Look, if you're anything like me, then at some stage Scotland just "got a hold of you", and since then you've been hooked!
Does that sound like you?
Or maybe you're looking at my website because you are passionate about something else – such as golf, fly fishing, hiking / walking, mountain biking, cycling, camping or bird watching – and Scotland is a really good place to fulfil that passion! Then this is for you too, so please read on.
Before you go any further though: Don't forget to ask for your FREE special report: "How To Avoid The 7 Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes On Their First Visit To Scotland". Just click here!
Hi, my name is Paul Chilvers-Grierson. For me the fascination with Scotland started as an 8 year old in New Zealand, when I learned Highland dancing (you should have seen me in my kilt...), and tried to master the bagpipes – but at that age I just couldn't get my little fingers over all those holes on the Scottish bagpipe chanter, no matter how I tried. I was fascinated by the idea of clans and tartans and clan badges - and lochs and glens and Rob Roy MacGregor fired my imagination.
"Braveheart", John Paul Jones and Peter Pan
I'd never heard of William Wallace back then, but neither had most of the rest of the world, until the Braveheart movie came along. Robert the Bruce and his spider (which, it would seem, actually originates from a novel by Sir Walter Scott 500 years later, another little secret I found recently) on the other hand conjured up visions of heroic struggles, mighty Scottish castles and all the other trappings of medieval times.
Who would have thought that "the Bruce" (AKA de Brus) started his path to kingship in the same town where 600 years later Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie would dream up the "boy who never grew up"? And where I now do my shopping.... Incidentally, it's just a few miles from the birthplace of the founder of the American navy, John Paul Jones. (He also had a lot to do with the Russian navy, did you know that?)
Scotland to me is a feeling as much as anything else. Or an idea. A global idea, as there are so many people around the world with a Scottish connection, people like you and me. People of Scottish ancestry or just with a strong affinity for this unique country.
Some more Scottish than the Scots themselves, when you look at all the Caledonian clubs and highland games in places as diverse as Grandfather Mountain in the USA and Dunedin in New Zealand. (Dunedin, by the way, is the old name for Edinburgh; a relative of Robert Burns helped to settle it and is honoured by a statue there to this day.)
So why another Scotland website...?
Now, meanwhile there are of course loads of websites about Scotland, many of them well done, some of them so so, and still others just stuffed with links and ads designed to make money, but with little or no actual information themselves. Believe me, I've spent some time reviewing them, looking for ever more information about my favourite subject.
So why yet another Scotland website, you may be asking. Well, I have always gotten a kick out of helping people get information they didn't have already, or couldn't find – "You always seem to be gathering information for other people", someone once said to me.
And when I find something I am passionate about I like to tell everyone who is interested, like you in this case, everything I know or can find out about it! Especially stuff they never heard anywhere else. Among other things that led me into a career in communications, including public relations as well as publishing and editing a magazine back when I lived in Germany (as you may have gathered by now, yes, I've been around). But that's another story.
Insider secrets to make your visit more enjoyable ... or feed your passion for Scotland
Anyway, the long and the short of it is, I decided to create a website that didn't just regurgitate all the typical stuff you'd expect to find about the country in any good or even any bad guide book. As the name says, I want to let you in on all the Scotland secrets I can find, little tidbits of information here and there that can help make your visit that more enjoyable (if you're planning a visit that is), give you something to brag about back home maybe, or if you are just interested in learning everything you can about the land of Burns and The Bruce, add to your knowledge and provide you with resources to find even more information by following up topics that catch your interest.
While the blog directly on this site will keep you up to date about additions to the site, I recently set up a new, "external" Scotland Secrets blog at Blogger.com, with snippets of up to date news I find on the net and elsewhere here in Scotland. Of course it also links back here, as well as to my other sites. To view it (it will open in another window, so you won't lose this page), simply click here!
I will let you in on all sorts of secrets from and about the country, and also show you how to find more information on the secrets that particularly excite you. Whether your interest is a virtual Scotland tour or a real Scotland vacation, planning Scotland travel or just finding out absolutely everything you can about your and my favourite country, or if you are looking for the best places to go camping, cycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, on a fly fishing trip or sea angling, if you're planning a Scotland golf vacation or want to know who has the best smoked salmon recipe, if wildlife viewing or a bird watching vacation is your thing, medieval castles or medieval re-enactments, stone circles or early Christian settlements... well, you get the idea, I guess.
Spread the word
And if you can't find what you are looking for right now, be sure to bookmark my home page and come back again and again, as I will be constantly adding new pages and new information on existing pages. This is a work in progress, as they say – that's the beauty of the internet! – and will probably never be finished. And please – if you like what you see here, spread the word, tell a friend and get them to tell ten more.... And of course, please feel free to contact me and let me know what secrets you would like to see on this website that you haven't been able to find yet, and I'll do my best to deliver them. Just go to the contact page and follow the guidelines you find there.
Don't miss out...
To make sure you don't miss out on any interesting new additions to the site, why not ask to be included when I update my regular visitors on the latest developments at ScotlandSecrets.com? From time to time I also include anything else I find about Scotland I think you might find interesting too, in particular any special deals I come across that you might not otherwise hear about.
I suggest you do it now in case you get distracted later (funny how that happens when you're on the internet, he said, speaking from experience....).
So what I want you to do now is to click on this link, which will take you to a special form I have prepared to allow you to opt in for the Scotland Secrets Updates Newsletter. (Don't worry, when you are done, with one more click you can come right back here and continue reading where you left off!)
I am also setting up a forum, so if you want you can contact others who are passionate about the subject too. You can use this forum to ask questions, help others with your own knowledge, or post anything you want about Scotland.
Online Guide and Resource Center
This site is designed to be an online guide and a resource centre that goes beyond the "typical" Scotland website you might have come across.
So if you're looking for first class travel or a last minute travel deal, I'll do my best to help you find it.
Do you want to go to a top travel destination and still find the kinds of things that the "insider" guide books don't tell you about because their authors don't know them either? Look no further.
Or does the idea of spending a night – or more – in a light house bed and breakfast, lighthouse hotel or lighthouse keeper's cottage let you hear the pounding of the sea on the rocks and the cry of the gulls overhead just when you think of it? I know of at least two within 50 miles of where I sit as I am writing this.
In August 2004 I finally realized a dream of many years: I "returned" to Scotland. Not just any part of it, but the little corner in the Southwest near the Gulf Stream that some people call the "Scottish Riviera" or "Scotland in Miniature", while others even go so far as to say it is "Scotland's best kept secret". I couldn't agree more!
And now I live with my family in "Scotland's National Book Town", Wigtown in the Machars area of Dumfries and Galloway.
Now this is not your typical Scotland at all.
In fact, in many ways it reminds me of New Zealand, where I was born and grew up. Actually, so does the rest of the country (the wilder parts in particular!), but here you even see native New Zealand plants such as the Cabbage Tree (a kind of palm tree) and New Zealand flax.
At Logan Botanic Garden – where I live there are so many gardens you can visit – they even have an area of New Zealand "bush" or native forest that smells like the bush in New Zealand – I recognized it immediately the first time I was there! And Australian eucalyptus trees or Tasmanian tree ferns and leatherwood trees, the ones they make that delicious honey from.
But I'm getting off track here.
Scotland secrets other websites don't ever mention
Nevertheless, this is just one of the many secrets that Scotland has to offer, that many people don't know about and other websites don't ever mention.
Heck, even the top Scottish adventure travel company's website has a map that looks as if the English border were on a line just south of Edinburgh and Glasgow!
So join me if you're interested in learning about more than just the "standard package tour" Scotland you can find just about anywhere – and if you've read this far, I'm sure you are!
Explore ScotlandSecrets.com and follow the many links you will find to even more information and resources.
But before you do, take a moment to grab your FREE special report: "How To Avoid The 7 Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes On Their First Visit To Scotland" and receive ongoing insights into Scotland Secrets. You can get it by clicking here!
Enjoy your visit – to my site and to Scotland!
Your Guide To Scotland Secrets
P.S. Don't forget to ask for your FREE special report: "How To Avoid The 7 Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes On Their First Visit To Scotland". Just clickhere!
P.P.S. Recently I set up a separate Scotland Secrets blog (distinct from the one on this site) where I frequently post snippets and news I come across all the time. Check it out here!