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The ruins of Caerlaverock Castle, by Glencaple on a beautiful stretch of the Solway coast, are among the loveliest in Britain. Surrounded by a moat, lawns and stands of trees, the unusual pink-stoned triangular castle looks impregnable – in fact, it fell several times. The...

This tiny island, surrounded by a salt lake and cut off from the sea by a sand bar, has been a place of pilgrimage since pre-Christian times. It was St Ibar who absorbed it into the Christian Church and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary....

Skye’s most famous historic building is Dunvegan Castle, seat of the chief of Clan MacLeod. It has played host to Samuel Johnston, Sir Walter Scott and, most famously, Flora MacDonald. The oldest parts are the 14th century keep and dungeon, but most of it dates...

One a strongly fortified harbour town, Youghal (pronounced ‘yawl’) is now a popular seaside resort with wide sandy beaches. Its Irish name means ‘yew wood’, from the forests that once covered the hinterland. Youghal is strategically placed at the mouth of the River Blackwater. It may...

Why not visit the West Cork Chamber Music Festival from 26 June - 04 July 2015 at St Brendan's Church & Bantry House, Bantry, Co. Cork The West Cork Chamber Music Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary by programming some of the great landmarks in the chamber...

If you think Scotland has no decent beaches, wait till you see the west coast of South Harris. The blinding white sands and turquoise waters of Luskentyre and Scarasta would be major holiday resorts if they were transported to somewhere with a warm climate; as...

County Clare is a peninsula on the grand scale, cut off on three of its four sides by Lough Derg, the Shannon estuary, and the Atlantic. It is linked with the rest of Munster by only half a dozen bridges, all of which are in...

The granite ridge that forms the lovely Wicklow and Blackstairs Mountains across the south-east corner of Ireland has given this region a distinctive character and history. For centuries it formed a barrier against invaders from the west. As a result, the inhabitants who settled on...

From the rasping spout of a minke whale as it breaks he surface of the sea off the coast of Islay, to the mysterious ‘krek-krek-krek’ of a corncake hiding amid the long summer grass of Coll, the coast and islands of southwest Scotland are filled...

The 3 mile wide lake, which is nearly circular, is the star attraction of the Lough Key Forest Park. Writers have chronicled the history of Lough Key for nearly 1000 years, starting with the year 1041 in the Annals of Lough Key.   The Annals were compiled...