by Lucy J. Massaar Hunter-Weston
Following another successful Zoom meeting on Sunday 7th February 2021 with our Clan Chief, Madam Pauline, I thought it prudent to mention the highlights of the Scotland guided tour that travel agent Lois Wallace (Lois@wemaketraveleasy.com) and Carol Hunter Sullivan (https://www.facebook.com/groups/288553188291060/) have put together for our Clan Hunter International Gathering on 3rd-5th September 2021.
Health and Safety – Although cautiously optimistic, we are fully aware of the health and safety measures that will be in place during this Scotland guided tour. Apart from facemasks and sanitizer, travel organisations worldwide are talking about an international vaccination passport that verifies your immunisation. At the time of writing this is as yet unconfirmed but we are keeping our ears and eyes open for any more news on this. Vaccination programmes worldwide are ongoing at this time and we hope that all of you will soon be notified of a date and time for your jab.
Organised group guided tours such as this one to Scotland will have to be booked well in advance and there will, most likely, be timed visits for each attraction. The sooner our group is complete, the sooner we can book our time slots. Having said that, it is probably sensible to start booking your travel to Scotland in March/April. Lois Wallace will be able to advise you about this. Despite all of this, we are very much looking forward to seeing you at the Clan Hunter International Gathering in September and will do all we can to make your visit enjoyable and comfortable!
About our tour operator and our tour guide – For those of you who were unable to attend our Zoom meeting, Carol and Lois gave a full account of a very attractive itinerary for the Clan Hunter Scotland guided tour, not only visiting Hunterston Castle but also other attractions in the area, including a couple of days in historic Glasgow. Whether you are travelling by plane, train or coming up to join the tour with another mode of transport, you will be given clear instruction on how to join the tour by Lois Wallace. If you are making a grand tour of the UK and/or want to travel onwards to other parts of the country after the Clan Gathering, Lois will advise and help you plan your trip.
Carol Hunter Sullivan has worked as a travel agent and has made many trips to Scotland. More recently, she has made an extensive study of collecting genealogical data pertaining to the name Hunter. Her studies have led her to extraordinary histories of different Hunters over time, many of them with strong connections to the Hunters of Hunterston. Could you be a descendent? Connect with Carol on her Facebook page and connect too with our own Hunter Genealogy Facebook page which is run by Madam Pauline’s elder brother Charles Hunter (https://www.facebook.com/groups/huntergenealogy) . Both these pages will advise you and help you to dig deep into your ancestry.
Carol has been to Hunterston many times and knows the surrounding area well. She will join you on this Scotland guided tour and is a source of copious information.
Where will the Scotland guided tour take you? Here are the highlights:
- George Square is named after George III and was laid in 1781. It is home to the impressive Glasgow City Council buildings built in 1882 and showcases many important statues and monuments.
- The People’s Palace: another impressive building (1898) in Glasgow Green. At the time, this was a squalid area of the town and the People’s Palace was built as a cultural centre for the people. Now it houses a museum and at the rear of the building there is a glasshouse – the winter garden.
- Glasgow Cathedral: Possibly the ‘jewel in the crown’ of your visit to Glasgow. People have worshipped under its very roof for over 800 years. The first stone was laid in 1136 in the presence of King David I. Amongst other interests, the cathedral has a fine collection of post-war stained glass windows.
- Glasgow University Hunterian Library and museum: the museum was built in 1807 with the legacy of anatomist and obstetrician William Hunter (1718-1783). The museum houses amongst other items a comprehensive collection of Hunter’s manuscripts, books, shells, coins and much more.
- River Clyde: The 8th largest river in the UK and the 2nd largest river in Scotland, the Clyde The first settlers along the Clyde were probably paleolithic – millions of years ago! More recently, during the industrial revolution (1760 – 1840) shipbuilding (e.g. The Queen Mary) and transatlantic trade turned Glasgow into a prosperous city. Now the Clyde wharves have undergone refurbishment for tourism and housing. Some shipbuilding still takes place. The Clyde flows into the Firth of Clyde, the banks upon which reside our own Hunterston Castle.
- Hunterston Castle : During the gathering Madam Pauline will be showing groups around the castle and there will be activities on the lawn in front of the Pele Tower. How are your archery skills? There will be ample opportunity to show off your prowess to your Hunter cousins! Included in the Scotland guided tour is a supper held either in the Masonic Hall in West Kilbride or at a restaurant in Largs.
- Largs Viking Festival : Madam Pauline is the patron of the Largs Viking Festival which is held each year in the small town of Largs just down the road from Hunterston. There is a Viking museum on the quay. Each year this festival commemorates the Battle of Largs of 1263, the last mainland battle between the Scots and the Norse. For sure our Hunter ancestors played a role in this battle – the 5th laird, Ardneil Huntar fought for King Alexander III of Scotland at the Battle of Largs, 6 miles from Hunterston.
- Dumfries House : This exquisite Ayrshire estate cannot be left out of the Scotland guided tour. It has been restored in the original Rococo style including many pieces of original Chippendale furniture, offers attractions for young and old. Both the interior and the extensive gardens are well worth a visit. The Prince’s Trust (A charitable organisation set up in 1976 by HRH The Prince of Wales to help disadvantaged young people improve their lives), houses educational workshops and courses here.
If you have any questions about the Scotland guided tour, please contact Lois Wallace and Carol Hunter Sullivan. The Clan Hunter team is also available to answer any other questions you may have. Visit our website for more about Clan Hunter.
- www.visitscotland.com › info › george-square-p1976921