Armchair Travelling around Scotland

I must admit that I’ve watched a lot more TV this year than usual due to the various lockdowns, and it has been a good way to see some lovely scenery and note down places to visit in the future when we’re eventually able to get out and about. Or even to re-visit favourite places that we haven’t been allowed to travel to.

I always enjoy Paul Murton’s Scottish tours, the episode below is from Grand Tours of Scottish Islands. I hope you can see it and it isn’t blocked where you are.

Or you might prefer Tales from the Coast with Robson Green in the Outer Hebrides.

Or what about the classic Weir’s Way with Tom in the Orkneys? These films are really old now but still entertaining.

Tom Weir in Edinburgh.

And Tom Weir again at Dumbarton Rock, which is where I used to play when I was wee. This is now quite a historic wee film as the town of Dumbarton has changed so much. The Ballantine’s distillery which can be sen steaming away in the background at times is now long gone. It was the largest brick built building in Europe at one time.

I hope that wherever you are you can see these You Tube films and find them interesting. There are loads of them on You Tube and it’s good to be able to do some research this way before setting out on your own journeys.

Weir’s Way

Tom Weir, climber, writer and broadcaster was a bit of a local hero when I was growing up as he lived in a village not far from Dumbarton. There are loads of films on You Tube of Tom, mainly bits from the Weir’s Way programmes which were so popular on Scottish TV in the 1970s. If you fancy a bit of armchair travelling this is a good way to do it.

Since Tom’s death a few years ago folks have been gathering money to erect a statue of Tom and it seems that the target has almost been reached, so he’ll be visible on his beloved hills yet again.

Below is a film of the Tillicoultry area and Loch Leven, places well known to me.

There’s a film about Dumbarton Rock below, Dumbarton is the town which I grew up in. It’s an old film and the place has changed quite a lot since then. For one thing the big red brick building which is belching out steam is long gone. It was the Ballantine’s whisky distillery.
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And in the interest of balance there’s a short film about the east coast village of Anstruther in Fife.

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There are Tom Weir films of just about anywhere in Scotland you can name, accessible on You Tube.

BBC Radio 4 extra on the iPlayer

I was listening to Radio 4 Extra this afternoon whilst making a pot of lentil soup, as you do, well it has suddenly got really cold, I got caught in a hailstorm today and it’s going to be icy overnight apparently, so soup is a necessity!

Anyway, at the end of ahem Dick Barton Special Agent, the presenter mentioned some of the up and coming attractions in the shape of an Eric Ambler thriller, Sherlock Holmes and much more. I’ve just realised that I missed a Jill Paton Walsh thing so I’ll be listening to that via the iPlayer soon too. Have a look here if you haven’t already!

I also saw an episode of the Martin Clunes programme Islands of Britain on the telly last night and wondered if some of it might be on You Tube and sure enough it is. I thought it might be of interest to some people who can’t get it on their TV.

The other thing which I thought folks might like to see is good old Tom Weir. I think I saw that Peggy Ann was watching him. You might never have heard of him before, he died a couple of years ago but he was a good age and about 30 or 40 years ago his short TV programmes used to be on a lot. I was amazed when I looked in on my insomniac then teenage son some years ago to see that he was watching an ancient Weir’s Way at about 3 o’clock in the morning. Tom had a big following with the insomniacs I think.

Although Tom had climbed all over the world, even up the Himalayas, it was always the hills of home which were his favourites and they happened to be in the area which I grew up, he was a a bit of a local hero and could often be seen on the hills. If you’re interested in some Scottish scenery there are loads of clips of Tom. Here’s one for a starter!