ISSUE 11, October 2004
Elias Ashmole: Masonic Icon
Travel: The magical beauty of Scotland
Honoured: By the Glovers' livery company
The Theatre: Strong links between Craft and stage
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Mauritius: Fascinating Masonic history
Rochester Cathedral: Kent Masons' magnificent fresco
Clerkenwell: 25 years of Masonry
  Bravery award: One Mason's heroism is honoured
Christmas shopping: What to buy in London's West End
High flight: Helping terminally ill children
Jewels of the Craft: An essential part of Masonry
Library & Museum: John Pine exhibition and Library & Museum Trust report
Masonic education: Events for Masons; Quatuor Coronati Lodge; Mentors for new Masons
Charities: Masons provide emergency aid for flood victims; Charity news; Demelza gives voice
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

 Previous Page 
 Next Page 


Having relaxed and in holiday mood, we felt we couldn’t travel up to the Highlands without visiting Edinburgh. We stayed at the Sheraton Grand, which is conveniently located near The Royal Mile and the Castle, which is built on the core of an extinct volcano and dominates the town.
     Almost opposite the hotel is also a stop for the ‘hop-on, hop-off’ city bus tour. Edinburgh is built on hills, so sensible walking shoes are advisable. Slightly away from the centre of town, but well worth the effort, is the Royal Yacht Britannia, moored at Leith docks. It is still furnished as it was when the Royal Family used it, with family photographs on the wall, and is a real eye opener.
     Robbie Burns, the 18th century poet, stayed on The Royal Mile, which is now the location of a Writer’s Museum dedicated to him, Scott and Stevenson. On display is Burns’ Masonic memorabilia. He was a member of the Canongate Lodge, which is affiliated with Kilwinning Lodge, the senior Masonic Lodge in Scotland.
     If you are fortunate enough to get a table, the intimate Witchery restaurant, taking its name from the witches burned at the stake during the 16th and 17th centuries, is housed in a 16th century building virtually at the gates of the Castle. Although this is very much a tourist destination, the food and service are excellent, but don’t expect much change from a £100 for a meal for two with wine!
     A bonus to staying at the Sheraton is their amazing health spa, One. Apart from the usual attractions you would expect to find, it also has lots of different things such as mint, and a tropical fruity scent in the showers. The various steam rooms also have different aromas. The pièce de resistance, however, is the outdoor, warm-water hydropool, cut into the rooftop of the building, which has a 35 degree temperature all year round.
     From Edinburgh, we made our way to Pithlochry to stay at the Easter Dunfallandy country house bed-and-breakfast. I had been assured that Scotland had some really excellent b&bs, and we were not disappointed. One of the perks of staying at a b&b is having a home-cooked breakfast. The house, which has wonderful views, is near the Blair Atholl distillery, which you can visit, but secluded up a gravel road.
     We wanted to eat somewhere typically Scottish, and were recommended to the Old Armoury restaurant. A real delight, as it is set in a woodland setting, although just off the high street. The chef is the owner, with his wife front-of-house. The tables are covered with tartan table clothes, with a small menu that includes traditional dishes such as haggis with neeps and tatties, but cooked with originality.
     After dinner, we walked down to their famous dam on the River Tummel, which has an artificial ladder so that the salmon can get up the river to spawn. We were able to look in the special viewing chamber at the fish working their way up the ladder. The area is wonderful for walking. Pithlochry is built on the Craigower Hills, and their 18-hole golf course presents a real challenge, as the first four holes are very steep. The town is well-known for its Festival Theatre season which runs from May to September.

Left: Inverlochy Castle Hotel in the shadow of Ben Nevis

Below: The beauty of the Rothiemurchus Estate