‘Grand Tournament of Foote’ at Urquhart Castle this weekend

2 May

5th & 6th May 2013 | Time: 11am – 4:30pm | Price: included in admission price

The picturesque Urquhart Castle, which is located in the banks of Loch Ness, will provide a spectacular background for a celebration of military skill this bank holiday weekend.

Photo by @NaaxaNatalia

Photo by @NaaxaNatalia

The ‘Grand Tournament of Foote’ event is taking place this Sunday 5th and Monday 6th May, as part of the Year of Natural Scotland, a government initiative aimed at inspiring local people and visitors to celebrate Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes and biodiversity a Scotland prepares to welcome the world in 2014 and beyond.

Apart from enjoying an exciting day out with a difference, visitors will be rewarded with splendid views of the famous loch and Great Glen from a magnificent location! Once one of Scotland’s largest castles, Urquhart’s one still remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state.

The event will bring to life a medieval foote tournament, which involves a series of military combats fought as a contest between noble knights to demonstrate agility and expertise. The tournament will be in five parts, commencing with the knights battle and culminating in the general mêlée to leave the last man standing to be crowned champion!

According to Gillian Urquhart, Events Manager for Historic Scotland, “this event is a great opportunity to step back in time and get a flavour of how a medieval foote tournament would have been held”.

© Historic Scotland

© Historic Scotland

She explains: “Fully armoured foot soldiers will once again be at the castle, putting on a spectacular show of skill in a series of colourful and lively bouts, in a bid to be crowned overall champion.

“Visitors can also see a living history camp and discover how squires would prepare their knights for battle, or test their own skills with a bow and arrow”.

The event will run each day from 11:00am – 4.30pm. Tickets for the event can be bought online or on the day. Ticket prices are included in the normal admission price: Adult: £7.90, Concession: £6.40, Child: £4.80, Child under 5: free. Admission free to HS members

A free park and ride shuttle service will be running each day from the car park at Glen Urquhart High School -in Drumnadrochit- to the visitor centre at Urquhart Castle from 10 am until 5 pm.

For further details about the event, click here.

Keep up to date with Historic Scotland regular Year of Natural Scotland blog by visiting: http://yearofnatural.historic-scotland.gov.uk/

Article originally written for The Edinburgh Reporter and first published on 1 May 2013. Link

Celebrate Mother’s Day 2013 in Edinburgh!

3 Mar
© Paha_l | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Paha_l | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

It’s almost springtime and Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Edinburgh has many wonderful plans to choose from and, once again, I am here to help you brighten up your mum’s most special day of the year!

Most mums have spent a lot of their time looking after their families. Unfortunately, as we grow older, getting to spend some quality time with our mothers turns to be, for most of us, a challenging task to accomplish. I’ve come up with a list of suggestions you can use as a starting point to share some extra time with your mother on Sunday 10th March 2013.

Continue reading

Celebrate the Day of Romance in the heart of Scotland!

10 Feb
© Atanasija1 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Atanasija1 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is on its way. What better way to celebrate such a remarkable day than spending some quality time with your partner doing the things that you both love doing!

Few UK’s cities could be more enigmatic and romantic than Edinburgh and with so many Valentine’s plans to choose from,  it can get a bit hard for you to decide what to do. Whether you are planning a romantic day out with your loved one or perhaps hoping to meet someone special on the day, I am here to help you with this guide to the best deals and romantic events to be held at several venues across Edinburgh on Valentine’s Day! Continue reading

Release your inner Bard in Edinburgh!

20 Jan

Burns Night is celebrated annually in Scotland on or around 25th January. It is a feast of entertainment that commemorates the life and work of Robert Burns, the national Bard who was born on 25th January 1759. The day also celebrates Burns’ contribution to Scottish culture. If Edinburgh is your chosen city to get a full-flavoured experience while enjoying this day, keep on reading to find out about the different events and celebratory suppers which will be held at a number of venues across the city!

Continue reading

Five must-watch TV shows for the festive season

22 Dec

After overindulging on homemade Christmas pudding, turkey and mince pies, there is no better way to get your family in the festive spirit, than snuggling down on the sofa to watch TV  to the glow of your Christmas tree lights. To make life easier and help you choose what to pick, we have compiled a list of the top five TV shows to watch this Christmas season…

– Downton Abbey Christmas Special (25 December, 20:45,  ITV1)

ITV 1 ©

ITV 1 ©

ITV’s Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama returns with a special episode in which the Crawleys are off to the Scottish Highlands for their annual summer holiday. With the family away, Carson will try to retain some form of order ensuring that the servants behave as one would expect… Continue reading

Top Five Films to See in Edinburgh this Christmas

16 Dec

The Christmas season in Edinburgh is a time to have fun and enjoy the attractions and traditional markets but also a time to sit back and chill out with those you care about. Scotland’s capital offers a wide variety of options to delight cinema lovers, from well-known cinema chains to art-house film venues. Do you need help deciding what to watch? Here you are our top five recommendations! Please be aware that most of them are not typical Christmas-themed films per se, but some of the best-reviewed films of the year.

THE-HOBBIT-AN-UNEXPECTED-JOURNEY-Poster– The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey (2D & 3D)

Release date: 13 December 2012 (Odeon Lothian Road 2D & 3D / CineWorld / Cameo 2D & 3D / Vue 2D, 3D & 3D HFR)

Rating: 12A / Peter Jackson / 2012 / 169 min / Adventure, Fantasy

Peter Jackson’s highly expected prequel to the successful ‘Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy is now playing in theatres worldwide and promises to delight the imagination of J.R.R Tolkien’s tales followers. Set in the familiar fantasy world of Middle-earth, the film follows the adventures of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) who is hired by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to accompany a group of 13 dwarves on their quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug, the dragon. Continue reading

Detoxify Yourself

20 Oct

By Natalia Rodríguez Domínguez

Do you want to cleanse your body of toxins and feel lighter, radiant and rejuvenated? Just follow these simple detox tips and get yourself ready for the summer days ahead!

Cut the caffeine intake

Giving up or cutting down on coffee, tea and energy drinks is one of the best ways to start your detoxification. Caffeine lowers the body’s ability to absorb certain essential nutrients.

Apart from increasing the risk of high blood pressure, caffeine presents many other threats to your health. In 2009, a study from Durham University found that high levels of caffeine consumption could be linked to an increased tendency to hallucinate. This is due to the fact that caffeine tends to exacerbate the physiological effects of stress. Continue reading

Meditation: The Panacea for Today’s Problems

10 Oct

By Natalia Rodríguez Domínguez.

There are some days when everything seems to go wrong. Stress piles up uncontrollably and leaves us feeling drained of energy and prone to negative emotions. When this happens, who hasn’t wished for some sort of method that could solve (or at least soothe) our problems, and help us get back our joie de vivre? Fortunately, this appears to be more of a reality than you might have thought.

Used for thousands of years, especially by Eastern civilizations, meditation has become increasingly popular as a method of general stress relief in Western societies. Contrary to many perceptions, meditation is much more than simple relaxation, and is suitable for a wide variety of people. Continue reading

Edinburgh International Festival tickets on sale from new venues across the city

26 Mar

Tickets to this year’s Edinburgh International Festival went on sale on Saturday 24thMarch from the Hub at Castlehill. From today, the public can also purchase them from five new venues across the city. Continue reading

Hard times for housing benefit claimants

26 Mar

By Natalia Rodríguez Domínguez.

£150m will be removed every year from the Scottish economy as a result of the UK Government’s new Housing Benefit law.  More than 95,000 households in the social rented sector will be affected by the reform and this will mean an average monthly loss of up to £65 for claimant tenants. Continue reading

Cineworld sees customer boost after price cuts

19 Mar

A few days after Cineworld announced the removal of all booking fees for its filmgoers nationwide; people seem to be happier than ever with this decision and most of them claim this will positively affect their attendance in the future. Continue reading

Tibet Protest March across Edinburgh

12 Mar

Activists from Edinburgh joined the worldwide commemorations of the Tibetan National Uprising Day on Saturday with a march through the Scottish capital.

This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising in the country’s capital, Lhasa. The Uprising erupted on 10 March 1952, a decade after the Chinese invasion of the country.

One of the organisers of Saturday’s march explained their motivation was to denounce China’s violent regime, “China’s repressive policies since it occupied Tibet 60 years ago have created a crisis in Tibet, provoking an unprecedented wave of self-immolations by Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople. So far, 21 Tibetans have set fire to themselves in eastern Tibet; eight since 6 January 2012. Marchers”.

Protesters departed from The Mound at 1.30pm and walked to the Chinese Consulate in Murrafyeld, where they left hundreds of flowers matching the colours of the Tibetan flag, alongside pictures of Tibetants who were killed or self-immolated since the Chinese occupation of the country.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Armed with placards, flags, flowers and megaphones, they peacefully marched over George IV Bridge, down Victoria Street, along Grassmarket, Lothian Road and Shandwick Place, calling for support to bring human rights back to Tibet. Some of the banners read: ‘Let Tibetan voices be heard’, ‘Tibet is Burning’ and called for freedom for Tibet.

Marchers also handed out leaflets holding the Chinese authorities responsible for neglecting the basic rights of the Tibetan people stating, “The Chinese authorities have engaged in wholesale abuse of human rights of native Tibetants, while embarking on a campaign to eradicate Tibetan language and culture”.

Edinburgh University Tibet society also encouraged people to gather in Bristo Square on Saturday. A spokesperson for the society expressed their support, “We need to let the world know that Scotland will always stand in Solidarity with Tibetants in Tibet and will not stop until Tibet is free”.


First published on 12th March 2012 (Edinburgh Napier News). Link

Cause of Morningside fire still unknown

12 Mar

40 firefighters were called to deal with a blaze at a church in Morningside, Edinburgh, on Friday 9 March. Three days later, the exact cause of the fire is still being investigated.

The alarm was raised at 19:07 at Rock Elim Church on Morningside Road. Upon arriving at the scene, fire crews discovered the blaze which had broken out in the roof space of the church building.

A spokesperson for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said: “The blaze was extinguished by two firefighters in breathing apparatus using a high pressure hose reel and small tools for cutting away”.  Continue reading

36 State-owned Remploy factories due to close by the end of this year.

9 Mar

Remploy is closing two-thirds of its 54 factories across the UK according to the Government’s package of reforms to maximise the number of disabled people supported into work.

Listen here:

First published on 9th March 2012 (Edinburgh Napier News). Link

One step closer to become a Fair Trade Nation

27 Feb

So far, almost two-thirds of higher education institutions have achieved the goal and there are only four more local authorities needed for Scotland to see its dream of being one of the world’s first Fair Trade Nations become true.

In order to meet the criteria, the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are also required to actively promote Fairtrade Fortnight each year since the campaign was launched in 2006.

With the theme “Take a step for Fairtrade” this year’s Fortnight runs from 27th February to the 11th March. Being a key year for the nation’s future to get the Fair Trade status, the Fairtrade Foundation is asking everyone to take a step for it.

A spokesperson for the Fairtrade foundation said “It can be a simple step, like swapping your tea to Fairtrade, or a bigger step, like asking everyone in your office to do it too.”.

For those willing to find out what events are taking place in Edinburgh as part of the Fairtrade Fortnight 2012, this link from the Edinburgh Council is a must.

First published on 27th February 2012 (Edinburgh Napier News). Link