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

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Left: The Atholl Highlanders          Right: Gondola ski lifts on Ben Nevis

Nearby is Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl, dating back to 1269. It is also home to the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s only remaining private army. As well as looking around the Castle, there is extensive parkland including a deer park, making it a wonderful day out.
     From Pithlochry we made our way deeper into the Highlands to Aviemore which, although primarily a ski resort, also offers a wealth of other activities. The road is a dual carriage way, so excellent and fast, and distances can be covered in a surprisingly short time.
     Aviemore is based at the foot of the CairnGorm Mountain, with the whole of the area designated as a National Park, the largest in the UK, covering 1,400 square miles. We stayed at the Boat Hotel, just outside Aviemore, which is conveniently placed within walking distance of the Boat of Garten 18-hole golf and tennis club, and right on the doorstep of the Strathspey Steam Railway.
     The latter still runs, manned by volunteers, from May until the end of September. Food is served on board as well as a three-course Sunday lunch in the restaurant car. The area is used for the filming of the television series Monarch of the Glen, and Broomhill, the present terminal, also displays the sign Glenbogle, as used in the series.
     The CairnGorm has a funicular railway which takes you 3,600 feet up the mountain. As well as ski-ing, there is also a restaurant which, as well as providing nourishment, has ceiling- to-floor windows to provide the most spectacular views. The slopes are suitable for beginners as well as the more experienced skier.
     One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Highland Wildlife Park, where animals roam free. You are obliged to stay in your car in the main reserve, but are able to stop at certain points to listen to an audio guide. There are also areas where you can walk.
     The Rothiemurchus Estate is also not to be missed. Covering over 25,000 acres, you can take a Land Rover tour of the estate; walk – there are fifty miles of paths; or cycle – you can hire a mountain bike unless, of course, you have brought your own. Here you can enjoy the wildlife, as well as numerous outdoor activities such as clay shooting and fishing.
     From Aviemore we drove across country to stay in the lap of luxury at Inverlochy, a Victorian Castle and now a hotel at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis near Fort William. The Nevis Range offers the highest skiing in Scotland, as well as opportunities for a wide range of abilities. There is also a somewhat treacherous bike track down the mountain which is extremely popular.
     Our last night was spent at the Airds Hotel, originally an 18th century ferry inn, on Loch Linnhe at Port Appin. Owner-run, this intimate hotel is just a short ferry ride to Lismore Island. The location, as with the other places we visited, is wonderful for walking, cycling or just exploring the beautiful countryside, with hardly a person or car in sight. We had to tear ourselves away to go back to the hustle and bustle of city life. A holiday guaranteed to relax you.

Visit Scotland: T. 0845 2255121


Cringletie House Hotel is offering MQ readers the opportunity of enjoying two nights dinner, bed & breakfast for £145 pp based on twin occupancy. Included in the package, the hotel has negotiated special golf rates for readers at the 18-hole West Linton course from £27.50 pp as well as other local golf courses.
     There is also a special price for a day visit to Stobo Castle Health Spa at £99 pp midweek / £150 weekends.
     The offer is valid until 1 May 2005 excluding Christmas, Hogmanay, Valentine and Easter, and is subject to availability.

Bookings: T. 01721725750 and mention MQ offer.