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Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
II. Edinburgh to Glasgow and Ayr and the Land of Burns, the Coasts of Galloway and Dumfries

22. We have been led to linger so long over the Tweed, the Clyde, and the Border land, that we can but very cursorily notice the other objects in the Lowlands, to which we purpose to direct the tourist's attention.

The railway station in Edinburgh, of the Edinburgh and Glasgow, as of the North British Railway, is at a central point between the New and OId Towns, and near the east end of Princes Street. Along the line to Glasgow, the most striking portions of the route, in point of scenery, are the wooded Corstorphine Hills, near Edinburgh, studded with •numerous villas, and a favourite resort from Edinburgh—the very beautiful wide valley of the Almond between nine or ten miles from the city—the view from the Avon Valley Viaduct, about the nineteenth mile, where the Forth, with Stirling Castle, the Ochils, and Grampians come in sight—and that beyond Falkirk, where the eye commands the battle-fields of Falkirk and Bannockburn, the town of Falkirk, Stirling Rock and Castle, a large seetion of the fertile valley of the Forth, with the high mountain screens beyond.

The viaduct over the Almond is a most imposing work, consisting in all of forty-two arches, with very extensive and high embankments. Between Broxburn and Winchburgh Stations is Newliston House, built by the celebrated John Earl of Stair, and the ruins of Niddry Castle, Queen .Mary's first resting-place, on her flight from Loch Leven, under the escort of the then owner of Niddry, the gallant Seton Earl of Wintoun.

23. But far the most interesting object to the antiquarian is the ruins of Linlithgow Palace, 174 miles from Edinburgh. The shell of the building—a large quadrangular pile, enclosing a spacious court—is entire, and with the old church—founded, with so many other of our ecclesiastical structures, by David I.-still used as a place of worship, present an extensive and impressive mass of architecture, as seen from the railway. But the tourist ought not to content himself with the transient views thus obtained; he will be highly gratified by a closer inspection. This was the finest of the palaces, and a favourite retreat of our Scottish kings, and the birth-place of Mary Queen of Scots. Her father being told, on his deathbed at Falkland, of the birth of a princess, he uttered the expressions-6` 'Is it so? then God's will be done; it came with a lass, and it will go with a lass,' and turned his face and died." The room of her birth is shewn, and also Queen Margaret's bower, where she

"All lonely sat and wept the weary hour."

The internal elevations of each side differ one from the other. On one side is the Parliament Hall, a large and elegant apartment. In the centre of the court are the remains of a curious and elaborately-wrought fountain, erected by James V., one somewhat similar to which has been erected in the town. The castle overlooks a pretty sheet of water. It was on the streets of Linlithgow the Regent Murray was shot by Bothwellhaugh. The church forms the largest place of worship (182 by 100 feet, including the aisles), and one of the finest pieces of Gothic workmanship in Scotland; and in it are buried many of the Great of ages bygone. About three miles beyond Linlithgow, pass the ruins of Almond, formerly Haining Castle, at one time an important fortress.

24. Falkirk, 251 miles from Edinburgh, is distinguished for the great cattle trysts held there, and is of historical interest, from the action fought in its immediate vicinity, near the village of Grahamston, in 1298, when Wallace was worsted; and the more recent battle of Falkirk, in the Forty-five, when General Hawley suffered a signal defeat from the Highland army. In the churchyard are interred Sir John Graham, the friend of Wallace and his worthy compeer, and Sir John Stewart of Bon-kill, who both fell in the first, and Sir Robert Monro of Fowlis and his brother Doctor Monro, who were killed in the second of these national contests.

About two miles to the north are the Carron, the greatest iron-works in existence, and to which admission is now readily obtained.

Between Falkirk and Castlecary, which is 151 miles from Glasgow, passengers for Stirling and Perth diverge by the Scottish Central, and at Kirkintilloch, nearly nine miles on, the Monkland Railway branches off on the left to Airdrie, while a little way further on, another branch leads oil the right to the romantic glen of Campsie.


25. The Depot of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway is off George Square, and the Booking Offices of the Glasgow and Ayr, and Glasgow and Greenock lines, will be found at the south end of Glasgow Bridge. The tourist will, in all probability, experience unexpected disappointment in the aspect of the country on the route to Ayr, though it is generally well cultivated, and at Lochwinnoch and Loch Kilbirnie, between the sixteenth and twentieth miles, long shelving hill-sides rise in almost unbroken sheets of mingled corn and woodland, and with the fine grounds of Castle Sempil on the former; the glare of the iron furnaces near Beith, adding a peculiar feature of their own. Indeed, great part of the country traversed by the line, and by the branch from Dalry to Kilmarnock, is a very rich mineral field; but the portion of Ayrshire through which the railway passes is generally flat and tame, particularly when it deflects along the coast, without the redeeming richness which the dairy fame of Ayrshire would lead one to anticipate, and quite different from the fine hilly coast of the Firth of Clyde, and the bold and beautiful features of the Carrick shores to the south of Ayr.

Between Glasgow and Paisley are the ruins of Crookston Castle, where Mary and Darnley sojourned for a time.

Paisley contains upwards of 60,000 inhabitants, and is celebrated for its manufactories in shawls, silks, and velvets. The chancel of its fine abbey is still used as the parish church. Beyond Paisley are "the Newton Wuds" and "Braes o' Gleniffer," sung by Tannahill, and the lands of Elilerslie, the patrimony and birth-place of Wallace.

At Dalry, 23 miles from Glasgow, a branch, 10,1 miles long, leads to Kilmarnock. To the eastward lies the proper district of the celebrated Ayrshire cows.

Kilwinning is the seat of the first Freemason Lodge established in Scotland, which it was by a party of free masons, from the continent, who came to assist in building the abbey. It is also distinguished by the favour in which archery has been held here for nearly four centuries; and the custom of shooting for the popiujay, described in Old Mortality, is still kept up.
Here, 26 miles from Glasgow, a branch leads to Saltcoats and Ardrossan, the latter 5- miles distant—a favourite watering-place, and a point of departure and arrival of steamers, especially for Fleetwood, in connection with the Glasgow Railway.

Between Kilwinning and Irvine appear the towers of Eglinton Castle, the seat of the Earl of Eglinton, a spacious, modern castellated mansion, surrounded by extensive plantations and very large old trees. Other towns—Irvine (the birth-place of James Montgomery the poet, and of Galt the novelist) and Troon—are passed on the way to Ayr, where the towering mountains of Arran, which had been in sight for some time, continue to attract the eye, and Ailsa Craig shows itself in the distance.

26. Ayr is a very pretty town, with a fine river running through it, navigable into the heart of the town, and having a suburb of fine villas to the south. It possesses several historical associations connected with Wallace and Bruce. Two statues commemorate the first, one by the self-taught sculptor Thom, ornamenting a building on the site of the tower where the hero had been confined. The Parliament which settled the succession was held by the latter in the Dominican monastery.

The principal localities connected with the name of Burns, about Ayr, are the banks of the Doon, within less than three miles to the south—and some spots adjoining, which we will specify—and the villages of Tarbolton and 31auchline, eight and eleven miles to the east. On the banks of the Doon, close by the "Auld Brig o' Doon," a beautiful monument, which cost upwards of 3000, has been erected to the memory of the great Peasant Bard. It is a temple, consisting of nine Corinthian pillars, resting on a rustic triangular base, surrounded by ornamental shrubbery, and set down in the midst of a beautiful country, and immediately overlooking those immortalized banks and braes, soft and lovely, "o' Bonnie Doon." Within an apartment on the ground floor are exhibited several interesting relics, and a full length statue of the poet by F]axman ; and in an adjoining grotto are two figures of Souter Jo/may and Tam o' Shanter by Thom.

Before reaching the monument, however, close by the roadside, and about two miles from Ayr, is the cottage—a clay bigging, a but and a ben —built by his father with his own hands, and where Burns was born on 25th January 1759. Between the town and the cottage will be pointed out—for we follow nearly in the track of

"—honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he frae Ayr as night did canter—"

"the ford,
Whar in the snaw the chapman smoor'd;"

" the kirks and meiklc stane,
Whar drucken Charlie brak's neck-bane

and, nearer the monument,

" the cairn
Whar hunters fand the murder'd bairn."

Between the cottage and the monument still stands the shell of

"Alloway's said haunted kirk;"

and close by it,

" the well
Where Mungo's wither hang d hersel."

The original of Tam o' Shanter was a Douglas Grahame, tenant of Shanter, in Carrick, not far from Turnberry Castle, and a noted toper, with whom Burns made acquaintance when sojourning, in his nineteenth year, at Kirkoswald.

In 1766, William Burns removed from the cottage to the farm of .Yount Oliphant, about two miles to the south-east, and lived there for eight years. Obliged by ill fortune to leave Mount Oliphant, old Burns next resided with his family at Lochlea, on the banks of the Ayr, three miles from Tarbolton. The scene of "Death and Dr. Hornbook" is on the Faile, in the immediate vicinity; and at Coilsfield lived " Highland Mary," the theme of one of his finest ballads.

On his father's death, when Burns had attained the age of twenty-five, his brother Gilbert and he took the farm of Mossgiel, near Mauchline, which is about eleven miles from Ayr. It was here that greater part of his productions were penned, many of them in the stable-loft where he slept. Mauchline is the scene of the "Holy Fair" and "Holy Willie," and of "The Jolly Beggars." "Poor blailie," "The Mouse," "The Daisy," and other exquisite compositions were inspired by the objects around him at Mossgiel, and the Spence of the farm-house is described in the opening of " The Vision ;" and here he composed the "Cottar's Saturday Night," which of all his productions, perhaps, most enshrines him in the hearts of his countrymen. In Mauchline are pointed out "Auld Manse Tinnock's" house, and the cottage of "Poosie Nansie"—the scene of the "Jolly Beggars." John Dow, then landlord of the Whitefoord Arms Inn, was the subject of the amusing epitaph written on a pane of glass in the inn. In the house of his early friend Mr. Gavin Hamilton he penned the satirical poem, "The Calf," and in it, too, he was married; for Mauchline was the scene of his courtship of "Bonnie Jean," as it was also of his friendship with Lapraik and David Sillar, "ace o' hearts." "The Lass of Ballochmyle" was a tribute to Miss Wilhelmina AIexander, after having encountered her in the grounds of Ballochmyle House. These brief notices must suffice, and may at least serve to direct the curiosity of those whose admiration of Scotia's Bard may lead them to do homage to his memory by a visit to "The Land of Burns."

27. Should time permit, a drive along the Carrick shore, and into the parish of Maybole, before retracing his steps, will amply repay the tourist. The coast becomes bold and rocky, and is richly wooded, and lined with numerous fine ruins, as Greenan, Dunure, and Turnberry, the castle of the Bruce, while Colzean, the spacious and magnificent baronial seat of the Marquis of Ailsa—representative of the powerful race of the Kennedies Earls of Cassilis—overhanging the sea, presents a most picturesque and imposing appearance. The whole of the parish of Maybole is exceedingly rich, and highly wooded, and possesses a remarkable number of old feudal castles in various stages of decay. The extensive ruins of the Cluniac abbey of Crossraguel, also about two miles from Maybole, will be found full of interest.


28. Should the tourist incline to make himself acquainted with the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright., a district not yet much visited, he will find considerable variety of scenery. After reaching New Galloway, at the head of Loch Ken, by Dalmellington and Loch Doon, and after surveying the fine scenery about Loch Ken, he had better—in order to a complete range of the coast, which, and the banks of the rivers out of the beaten track are best worthy of notice—strike across through the Highlands of Galloway to Newton-Stewart, whence his course will be by Creenan to Gatehouse, and thence, by the west side of the Dee, to Kirkcudbright—from that passing through the wooded grounds of St. Mary's Isle (Earl of Selkirk), to the fine ruins of Dundrennan Abbey, where Queen Mary passed her last night in Scotland, and whence she embarked for England. From Dundrennan, we proceed along the bold line of coast to Balcarry Point, jutting out into bold and lofty headlands, and indented by numerous bays, and pierced with many fine caves, at no distant period the haunts of most determined smugglers. This district is the locality of Ellangowan in Guy Mannering. Progressing along the bay of that name to the very pretty village of Auchengairn, afterwards proceed to Orchard-ton, where there is much beautiful scenery. Thence to Palnackie, and, crossing the Urr, to Dalbeattie, or diverging first to visit Castle Douglas. The mouth of the Urr commands beautiful views, and the shore of Colvend is also much indented by deep caves. Passing through the fertile parish of Kirkbean, in which, near 4rbigland, is the cottage where the notorious Paul Jones was born, we advance along a range, terminating on the south in the hill of Crifjel, towards Dumfries by the village of New Abbey—with the beautiful ruin of Sweetheart Abbey, founded by Devorgilla, mother of John Baliol—and obtain views of Caerlaverock Castle, on the opposite side of the Nith. The views from Criffel, or other of the heights on the route we have traced, are very extensive, ranging over a great extent of the Scottish and English coast, and seaward embracing the Isle of Man.


is a well built town, beautifully situated on the east bank of the Nith, distant 71 miles from Edinburgh, 33 from Carlisle, and 60 from Ayr, distinguished by the general opulence of its inhabitants—the spaciousness of some of its streets—the number and style of its public buildings—its excellent academy—its libraries—the variety of its literary and other institutions, and the rather gay propensities of the upper classes. Its cemetery is remarkable for the extraordinary number of fine monumental works, but its chief ornament, and a much visited shrine, is the beautiful and far seen mausoleum over the mortal remains of Burns. "it contains in the interior a fine emblematical marble structure, designed by Peter Turnerelli, which represents the Genius of Scotland investing Burns in his rustic dress and employment with her poetic mantle." The best known historical incident in connection with the town is the assassination by Robert Bruce of "the Red Comyn" in the chapel of the monastery of Grey Friars in 1305. Dumfries carries on considerable manufactures in hats, lambs' wool hosiery, and wooden soled shoes, and its cattle, horse, and pig markets are very important. The chief objects around Dumfries are the ruins of Lincluden Abbey, originally a nunnery, remarkable for the large scale of its details, and of which the few remains testify to the very rich style of decoration. It was a favourite haunt of Burns, whose last farm was Ellisland, seven miles above the town. About an equal distance to the south are the ruins of Caerlarerock Castle—of triangular form—a very strong fortress of the Earls of Nithsdale. At one angle are two round towers, with the entrance between, and at each of the remaining angles there was another round tower. Its strength of position depended upon the waters of the firth and of the Lochar Moss, by which it was hemmed in. It sustained a memorable siege from Edward I. The old Castle of Tordiorwald is also a picturesque ruin.


There is also, about eight miles from Dumfries, the very peculiar district of Lochmaben, with the ruins of its castle, the strongest fortress on the border. Eight different lochs lie contiguous in a plain of singular fertility. Amidst these, to appearance in an island, is the old mean looking burgh of Lochmaben. The fortress on one of the lochs, with its outworks, designed with great jealousy of approach, occupied sixteen acres, and was the paternal castle of Robert the Bruce as Lord of Annandale. The possession of this stronghold was an object of much solicitude to the monarchs of both kingdoms. The fine ashlar casings of the walls have been almost all demolished by the Vandal burghers of Lochmaben, of which several houses are wholly built from the stones. The lochs abound with a great variety of trout, severals rare in Scotland, among others vendace, a small delicious fish, almost peculiar to this locality. Besides Lochmaben, there are four small villages, "the Four Towns," among the inhabitants of which, called "the King's kindly tenants or rentallers of Lochmaben," an extensive, very rich haugh is parcelled out on a tenure, resembling the udal tenure in Orkney—exempted from all the feudal forms and casualties of the rest, o our landed system in Scotland. There are about 250 such proprietors here, whose ancestors have occupied the same lands for half a-dozen centuries! forming quite a rural aristocracy.


Dumfriesshire rises on the north into mountain ranges of very considerable elevation, some as high as 3300 feet. From these it subsides into lesser central hills, intersected by three nearly parallel rivers, the Kith, Annan, and Esk—the courses of which, as they descend, become wide valleys or basins, which latterly subside into extensive plains, separated by eminences of moderate height. The face of the country thus exhibits a very great variety of scenery, the inland portion in particular being highly diversified.

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