Stirling Castle voted top tourist attraction

Stirling Castle has been named Scotland’s best visitor attraction at the inaugural 2016 Scottish and Outdoor Leisure Awards.
The castle, which attracts about 460,000 visitors per year, beat competitors including Edinburgh Zoo and Dynamic Earth.
Winners in 17 categories were announced at an awards ceremony in Glasgow.
The castle’s executive manager Liz Grant said winning the award was a “wonderful achievement”.
She said: “Scotland’s heritage attractions, such as Stirling Castle, form an important part of the country’s wider tourism and leisure offering and it’s great to see this recognised.
“This accolade is made doubly special as it is initially voted for by members of the public and our visitors.”

View our 360 photo of Stirling Castle . Stirling Castle gifts including greeting cards, t-shirts, mugs , posters and phone cases , can be bought online at Redbubble .

Visit Stirling Castle with Airport taxi transfers Falkirk

New iPhone 7 may feature DSLR quality lenses

Apple’s innovation may be just about to take a new twist . This year’s iPhone 7 is expected to feature a twin lens system with a standard of performance normally reserved for DSLR cameras. Apple has almost single handed transformed amateur and social photography with the top quality camera featured in successive iPhones . Now it goes one step further with a 12 megapixel camera

With the company predicting its first revenue decline in 13 years, the pressure is on to succeed with this development . The rumour goes that the new iPhone 7 will have a dual-camera system based on LinX Imaging technology. LinX cameras are 12-megapixel dual-camera system that takes two photos at the same time using each lens, then merges the images together using a proprietary algorithm.

In a unique configuration , one lens will have image stabilisation and the other will have 2x to 3x optical zoom.  After purchasing the Israeli company for approximately US $20 million dollars last year .  The iPhone 7 camera system will be able to perform 3D mapping, reduce noise and improve quality of shots in indoor or low light.

It’s odds on only the most expensive iPhone 7 Plus will contain this camera system. Normally new iPhones are announced in September.

Brexit images

Eilean Donan Castle pictures , January 2016

On Wednesday I drove up to Eilean Donan Castle to take some new pictures of the castle and try some new ideas .  I got there about half past twelve , just in time to catch some shots of the castle before the sun disappeared behind the clouds .
Eilean Donan Castle , edc16133






I also took a picture using the miniature effect as you can get quite interesting results with this effect .

Eilean Donan Castle , edc16136







The sky looks a bit more interesting and there seems to be a bit of HDR going on .

My plan was to get some pictures of the castle at night which meant I had a few hours to kill before darkness fell . I went up to Kyle of Lochalsh to have a look around for anything interesting to photograph but I had no luck. Usually there are some fishing boats in the harbour but there weren’t any there .

At night the character of the castle changes . It is floodlit and takes on an orange glow .

Eilean donan castle pictures , edc17680







Eilean donan castle poster
Eilean Donan Castle poster , Giant A3 size , 16 by 11 inches , just £5.50 including free UK delivery .
[wp_paypal_payment]This image is also available in a larger size as a poster to US and UK customers on RedbubblePictures of the castle have been published in hundreds of calendars , books and websites. Castle has ńow published its own castle poster. The Scottish castles collection features pictures of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland by photographer David Rankin.Our original image of Eilean Donan Castle is now available as a poster .Eilean Donan Castle means Island of Donan (a religious figure from the 12th century). Eilean Donan was Clan MacKenzie’s most important stronghold from the 13th Century until it was destroyed in 1719. Robert the Bruce was given refuge in Eilean Donan Castle by John MacKenzie, Second of Kintail when he was being hunted by the English at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

Eilean Donan Castle gifts , posters and ornaments are for sale at Redbubble.


New Nikon D500 announced

Just when you thought Nikon had run out of ideas , up pops not one but 2 new powerful cameras with lip smacking specs .  If you can’t afford £5000 for the new D5 camera , the D500 is an extremely capable alternative . The D500 has got some superb features . The 21-megapixel APS-C sensor DSLR is the successor to the D300s with a whole lot more to offer .


Nikon D500

1) 10 FPS Burst with 79 Raw Image Buffer Depth

A 10 frames-per-second continous burst  with a 79 raw image buffer depth should keep most action photographers happy .

Who cares about the D5 when you have this?

Who needs the D5 when you can have this?

2)  4K Video

Not so long ago Nikon didn’t do video mode very well. The jury is out as to whether they can do it well with the D500, but  at least they are trying . Nikon was quiet in 2015 but now Nikon fanboys are exploding with joy at this double announcement . There is auto ISO smoothing to make ISO changes during recording smoother and a 3-axis electronic vibration reduction to create a smoother-looking video.

Yes, serious photographers do use tilty screens too.

The tilting screen is handy for those awkward shots when you can’t quite get the camera high or low enough and see the viewfinder .

3) 153-AF Points

The D500 has 153-AF Points, 99 of them being cross type.  It actually uses the same autofocusing system as the newly-announced D5.

4) Always On Wireless

It features ‘SnapBridge’ which allows the camera to always be connected wirelessly, doing away without the need to establish a connection everytime you need to use it. It uses Bluetooth to keep the camera connected to your smartphone constantly, which should in theory make transferring images quick and easy. Apparently, Nikon will be putting this into all future cameras that they release.

They all look the same, but here's another image of the D500.

They all look the same, but here’s another image of the D500.

Testing this out should / would be totally cool . Please Mr Nikon , I’ll be very careful with it. I promise I won’t drop it or throw it in the river to see if it floats .

Pricing is around £1700 .

Sony A77ii lens kit and vertical grip for sale


sony A77ii camera and 16-55mm lens sony24 sony25 sony26










  • SONY A77 II M2 DSLR Camera Body ILCA-77M2 Multi (Black)
    Battery Charger Rechargable Battery Shoulder Strap
  • AF Illuminator
  • Built-into flash, Range: approx. 3.3′ to 16.4′ (1m-5m)
  • AF Modes
  • Single-shot AF(AF-S), Continuous AF(AF-C), Automatic AF(AF-A) selectable, Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual Focus
  • Anti Dust
  • Charge protection coating on image sensor and image sensor shift mechanism
  • Auto Exposure Lock
  • Yes with AE Lock buttonAE is also locked when focus is locked in multi-segment metering mode. (AEL w/ shutter(Auto/On/Off) is supported)
  • Auto High Dynamic Range
  • Yes, ((Auto/Level(1-5), Auto High Dynamic Range(Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1-6EV, 1.0EV step)), off)
  • Burst Buffer
  • Continuous Advance Priority AE mode:- Extra fine: 53 images- Fine: 60 images- Standard: 64 images- RAW & JPEG: 25 images- RAW: 26 imagesContinuous shooting- Extra fine: 56 images- Fine: 75 images- Standard: 93 images- RAW & JPEG: 26 images- RAW: 28 images
  • Camera Type
  • Sony A-mount interchangeable lens digital camera
  • Color Filter System
  • RGB primary color filters
  • Color Temperature
  • 2500 to 9900K & Color Filter (G7 to M7: 15-steps, A7 to B7: 15-steps)
  • Continuous Shooting Speed
  • Continuous Priority AE (12fps),Continuous (Hi: up to 8fps,Low: up to 3fps)
  • Creative Style
  • Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait , Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia (Contrast (-3 to +3steps), Saturation(-3 to +3steps), Sharpness(-3 to +3steps))
  • D-Range Optimizer
  • Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level (1-5)), Auto High Dynamic Range (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure Difference Level (1-6 EV, 1.0 EV step))
  • Drive Mode
  • Single Shot, Continuous shooting (Hi or Lo selectable), Self-timer (10 or 2 sec delay selectable), Self-timer (Cont.) (with 10 sec delay 3 or 5 exposures selectable), Bracket: Cont. Bracket: Single, White Balance bracket, DRO bracket
  • Effective Picture Resolution
  • Approx. 24.3 megapixels
  • Exposure Bracketing
  • Bracket: Cont./Bracket: Single, 3/5 frames selectable
  • Exposure Compensation
  • +/-5.0 EV (1/3EV,1/2EV steps selectable)
  • Exposure Settings
  • iAUTO, Superior Auto, Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter priority (S), Manual (M), Memory Recall (MR1/2/3)), Sweep Panorama, Scene Selection, Movie (P/A/S/M), Continuous Advanced Priority (AE)
  • Face Detection
  • On/On (Regist. Faces)/Off
  • Flash Bracketing
  • 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 EV steps, 3/5 frames selectable
  • Flash Compensation
  • ±3.0 EV (switchable between 1/3 and 1/2 EV steps)
  • Flash Coverage
  • 16mm (focal length printed on lens body)
  • Flash Metering System
  • ADI flash / Pre-flash TTL / Manual flash
  • Flash Modes
  • Flash off, Auto flash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync, Wireless, Hi-speed sync, Red-eye reduction (On/Off)
  • Flash Sync Speed
  • 1/250 sec.
  • Flash Type
  • Built-in, Pop-up Auto
  • Focal Length Conversion Factor
  • 1.5x
  • Focus Area
  • Wide/ Zone/ Center/ Flexible Spot/ Expanded Flexible Spot,Lock-On AF: Wide/ Zone/ Center/ Flexible Spot/ Expanded Flexible Spot)
  • Focus Features
  • Eye-start AF, Lock-on AF, Eye Focus, Predictive control (AF-A, AF-C), Focus lock, AF On, Eye-start AF
  • Focus Points
  • 79 points (15 points cross type, with center F2.8 sensor)
  • Focus Sensitivity
  • EV -2 to 18 (at ISO100 equivalent)
  • Focus System
  • TTL phase detection AF (CCD line sensors)
  • Guide Number
  • 12 (in meters at ISO100)
  • Image Stabilization
  • SteadyShot INSIDE™ in-body image stabilization
  • Imaging Sensor
  • Exmor™ APS-C HD CMOS sensor (23.5 X 15.6mm)
  • ISO
  • Stills: ISO 100-25,600 selectable in 1/3 EV steps, Still Auto: ISO 100-25,600 selectable upper and lower limit,Movies: ISO 100-12,800 selectable in 1/3 EV steps, Movie Auto: ISO 100-12,800 selectable upper and lower limit
  • Lens Compatibility
  • Sony A-mount lens
  • Metering
  • Advanced 1200-zone evaluative metering
  • Metering Modes
  • Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
  • Metering Sensitivity
  • -2EV to 17EV (at ISO 100 equivalent w/ f/1.4 lens)
  • NFC
  • Yes (NFC Forum Type 3 Tag compatible, One-touch remote, One-touch sharing)
  • Noise Reduction
  • Long Exposure NR: (On/Off, available at shutter speeds longer than 1 second) High ISO NR: (High/Normal/Low/Off selectable)
  • Operating System Compatibility
  • Windows XP SP3 (32-bit), Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1; Mac OS X (v10.3-v10.6), PMB is not compatible with Mac OS. Camera (via USB), Image Data Converter, and Image Data Lightbox software are compatible with Mac OS.
  • Picture Effect(s)
  • 13 modes: Posterization (Color, B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R, G, B, Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, Illustration
  • Pixel Gross
  • Approx. 24.7 megapixels
  • Processor
  • BIONZ® X image processor
  • Recycling Time
  • Approx. 3 sec.
  • Scene Mode(s)
  • Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports action, Sunset, Night portrait, Night Scene, Handheld Twilight
  • Self-timer
  • 2-sec. or 10-sec. delay (3-5exposure selectable)
  • Shutter Speeds
  • Still images: 1/8000 to 30 seconds, bulb; Movies: 1/8000 to 1/4 (1/3 step), up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto slow shutter mode)
  • Shutter Type
  • Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
  • Smile Shutter technology
  • Smile shutter (selectable from 3 steps)
  • Supplied Software
  • PMB (Picture Motion Browser) v5.2; Image Data Converter SR v3.2; Image Data Lightbox SR v2.2
  • Sweep Panorama
  • Horizontal (Wide/Standard), Vertical, and 3D Panorama
  • White Balance Mode
  • Auto WB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight), Flash, Color Temperature (2500 to 9900K), Color Temp. Filter (G7 to M7, A7 to B7), Custom (1/2/3), Custom SetAWB micro adjustment; G7 to M7 (15-steps), A7 to B7 (15-steps)Bracketing; 3 frames, H/L selectable


Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle is the jewel in the crown of Scottish castles with its fairytale setting and a long and colourful history stretching back many centuries .
Eilean donan castle poster
Eilean Donan Castle poster , Giant A3 size , 16 by 11 inches , just £3.95 including free UK delivery .
This image is also available in a larger size as a poster to US and UK customers on RedbubblePictures of the castle have been published in hundreds of calendars , books and websites. Castle has ńow published its own castle poster. The Scottish castles collection features pictures of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland by photographer David Rankin.Our original image of Eilean Donan Castle is now available as a poster .

Eilean Donan Castle means Island of Donan (a religious figure from the 12th century). Eilean Donan was Clan MacKenzie’s most important stronghold from the 13th Century until it was destroyed in 1719. Robert the Bruce was given refuge in Eilean Donan Castle by John MacKenzie, Second of Kintail when he was being hunted by the English at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

Eilean Donan Castle HDR Christmas print

Above the entrance to the castle there is a Gaelic inscription which translates as: As long as there is a MacRae inside, there will never be a Fraser outside. Inside the courtyard is the famous Murchison Stone with an inscription about John Murchison of Auchtertyre who was killed in the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715. In the upper floor inside the castle there are six bedrooms named Loch Alsh,Loch Long, Eilean Donan, Ballimore, Loch Duich and Conchra. There is also a panel with the names of the constables ( guardians ) of the castle carved on it.

Eilean Donan Castle was originally built in 1220 and owned by the MacKenzies of Kintail. The MacRae Clan who settled in the area came from the Beauly Firth where they had protected the Clan Fraser.They acted as bodyguards to the MacKenzie chiefs. Although there was a number of disputes, the MacKenzies held Eilean Donan right up until until the 16th century. The MacRaes first became Constables of the Castle in 1511 with a lot of control over the surrounding area. A feud between the MacKenzies and the McLeods of Dunvegan, over the disputed claims of Donald Gorm MacDonald to the title of Lord of the Isles, came to a head when he attacked the Castle with 50 galleys. He was shot and killed by Duncan MacRae with a single arrow. The Castle was garrisoned by Government troops but later retaken by the Jacobites before the Battle of Sheriffmuir.

In 1719 it was held by Spanish Jacobites. Three English frigates sailed into Loch Duich and bombarded the castle with cannon fire until it was in ruins. The castle them lay in ruins for nearly 200 years. In 1911 John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the castle and start work to restore the castle over a period of twenty years at a total cost of a quarter of a million pounds. Local materials were used wherever possible.

More recently the castle featured in the film Highlander and a James Bond movie.

Eilean Donan Castle is on an island in the middle of 3 lochs – Loch Alsh, Loch Long and Loch Duich – and surrounded by the mountains of the Highlands. If you climb the hill overlooking the castle you can see the Isle of Skye. The castle is next to the village of Dornie and about 10 miles from the Kyle of Lochalsh and the bridge to the Isle of Skye to the North. The castle is on the west coast of Scotland, about 90 miles north of Glencoe and about 180 miles from Edinburgh. You can take the train from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh and take a taxi to the castle. There is a bus route from Glasgow past the castle once a day. There are many bus tours from Edinburgh to the castle.

Due to a change in Scots law it is now possible to get married in a Scottish castle. Wedding receptions can be held inside the castle . The castle is open most of the year and it is run by the Conchra Charitable Trust.

Eilean Donan Castle poster , Giant A3 size , 16 by 11 inches , just £3.95 including free UK delivery .


Eilean Donan Castle gifts are  available in a variety of sizes as a poster, postcard, ornament and tie to US and UK customers on Redbubble


The DIY globe that takes you on a pictorial tour of the world

For seasoned travellers and anyone trying to decide where to go to next , finding somewhere that ticks all the boxes is becoming more difficult . Internet information overload can dull the enthusiasm and make you wonder if it’s all worthwhile .

Step up  Caroline Buttet’s do-it-yourself solution which might offer a bit of help. OK  ,  looking at pictures of someone else enjoying themselves just reminds you of how long it is since you took a holiday yourself — but it at least makes the experience a bit more fun for the viewer.

Buttet has created an intuitive solution –  a touch-sensitive globe that displays the photos belonging to whichever country you tap. “Globe Trotter is a tangible picture viewer, especially designed to make vacation picture viewing more enjoyable,” she comments.

“It consists of an interactive globe that is linked to a computer via an Arduino, which interacts with a webpage. It allows the user to browse pictures ordered by country, by physically touching any country on the globe. The user can then spin the globe back and forth to view the images, like in a slideshow.”

Building a capacitive globe sounds like hard work. In fact, Buttet achieved the effect using a (relatively) simple hack: She stuck a thumbtack in each country, with the sharp end inside the globe connecting to a wire that links to the Arduino.

“Globe Trotter is just a proof of concept, and therefore there is still a lot of improvements that can be made,” she continued. “These include things like integration of geotags, automatic sorting of photos, and finding a way to make it wireless. I made the prototype just for fun, with no thought of commercializing it or anything like that. But lately I’ve started to get requests from people over the internet. If enough people are interested, maybe I’ll publish the code and go open source at some point.”

800Ws High Speed Super Fast duration Studio Strobe Flash Kit for sale

800Ws High Speed Super Fast duration Studio Strobe Flash Kit  includes 2 flash heads plus softboxes , mains leads and stands . One year old, very good condition , hardly used . For sale at £500 .

The PIXAPRO STORM 400 is a High-Speed Studio Flash that uses Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology to achieve extremely short flash durations, as well as ultra-fast recycle times, which allows you to capture motion such as dancing, jumping and even water splashes with ease.

The IGBT Technology used in the STORM 400, allows it to behave in a similar manor to most speedlites, where the flash durations become progressively shorter and shorter, as the flash power is decreased. The PIXAPRO® STORM 400 can achieve flash durations in excess of 1/5000 second. The IGBT technology also allows for super-fast recycling times. At full, power, the recycle times are similar to that of a regular flash head of its type at 1.2 seconds. As you start to reduce the power however, the recycle-times become faster and faster, with recycle times as fast as 0.05 seconds, which is fast enough to keep up with the Multi-Bust mode on the vast majority of DSLR cameras currently on the market. This feature allows you to capture a series of images in quick succession, giving you a higher chance of capturing the perfect shot. Great capturing subjects in motion, such as Dancers, Athletes and Martial Artists etc.

The PIXAPRO® STORM 400 features a built-in wireless control port, which allows it to be used in conjunction with the optional PIXAPRO® 16 Channel AC Trigger set. This allows you to control your flash heads remotely, removing the need to go up and individually adjust each and every light in your set up, saving you precious time. It also features an intelligent slave cell that can be set to ignore a Pre-Flash allowing it to be used in conjunction with your TTL flashes with no problems, opening up a whole new world of lighting possibilities.

The PIXAPRO STORM 400 uses an S-Type accessory mount, making it compatible with a wide range of accessories and modifiers. This compact and lightweight flash is perfect for people who shoot weddings, portraits, fashion, and for advertising. It is especially good for shooting children.

The PIXAPRO® STORM 400 Twin head kit comes with a 16 Channel Wireless Trigger set, which allows you to control your flash heads remotely, removing the need to go up and individually adjust each and every light in your set up saving you precious time. It also features an intelligent slave cell that can be set to ignore a Pre-Flash allowing it to be used in conjunction with your TTL flashes with no problems, opening up a whole new world of lighting possibilities.


  • Ultra short flash durations of between 1/800s and 1/5000s
  • Up to Ten Flashes Per Second
  • Fan Cooled
  • Standard and Intelligent Slave Mode
  • 7 f-stop Power Range (1/1 – 1/64 power)
  • 5600±100K between flashes over the entire power range
  • Wireless Flash Trigger system Available (Pixapro Pro AC Trigger Set)
  • Ideal for
    • Baby photo and school portrait,
    • Beauty and fashion photography eg. make up and hair shoot
    • Still life shooting and product photography,
    • Event and wedding shooting eg. prom


This product is provided with a UK 3-Pin Power cable

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 55-300mm F/4.5-5.6 VR DX G ED used lens for sale

This lens is in excellent condition , little used , 4 years old . £150 , free delivery in the UK. The wide range of this zoom lens makes it perfect for sports and wildlife photography.

A telephoto zoom lens can dramatically broaden your creative and compositional potential. With the high-powered, super-telephoto reach of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens from Nikon, you can capture a wide array of subjects in ways few lenses can. By adhering to strict test conditions, Nikon has created technologies to control camera shake and deliver super-fast autofocusing, so you can expect sharper shots from this DX lens even with its broad range of focal length.

The compact dimensions and weather sealed, lightweight construction of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR make this practical lens an ideal choice for the compact D-SLR customer.

Capture sharp shots even in low light. Nikon’s VR II allows you to use shutter speeds up to 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible.
Dynamic Zoom Coverage

Choosing the lens that best suits your skill level and creative pursuits is a vital part of your photographic journey. Designed for use with Nikon’s DX-format SLRs, the 5.5x zoom and versatile 55-300mm focal length[1] enables photographers to get up-close and personal with distant subjects. Perfect for travel, sunsets, or sporting shots, the shallow depth of field and dramatic telephoto compression effects achievable also make for a beautiful portrait shot creating a soft background and attractively flattening facial features.

Crystal Clear Imagery

Nikon’s exclusive second generation Vibration Reduction system (VR II) enables steady hand-held shooting at all focal lengths. Delivering sharp photos and video, VR II allows you to use shutter speeds that are up to 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible. Also, being an optical system means that the viewfinder image is also stabilised, enabling more accurate autofocus acquisition and framing. Leave your tripod at home and shoot with confidence, safe in the knowledge that the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens will produce photos of outstanding sharpness and colour even in low light.

Supreme Optics

The inclusion of two ED and one HRI element helps eliminate aberrations and distortion for superior picture quality.
Providing outstanding optical performance, the lens comprises 17 elements in 11 groups, in a design with two ED and one HRI (High Refractive Index) glass lens element. With a refractive index of more than 2.0, the HRI element offers effects equivalent to those obtained with several normal glass elements and can compensate for both field curvature and spherical aberrations. Working together, the HRI and ED elements deliver crisp images even under harsh lighting conditions while the rounded nine-blade diaphragm creates a soft rendering effect, producing high-quality natural backgrounds. This highly efficient optics system achieves clear, high contrast images at every aperture and focal length and contributes to the compact dimensions, making the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR conveniently portable.

Silent Precision

Nikon’s AF-S technology is yet another reason why professional photographers like NIKKOR lenses. Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM) converts travelling waves into rotational energy to focus the optics. This enables high-speed autofocusing that’s extremely accurate and super quiet. So for discrete shooting you can set up the shot in an instant and camera focusing won’t disturb sensitive subjects like wildlife.

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR from Nikon is an exceptionally affordable, VR super-telephoto zoom lens which delivers a level of clarity and reliability that every passionate photographer can appreciate.

Almond Castle

Just over 300 metres north of Muiravonside Church are the remains of Almond Castle. This was once the principal seat of the Barony of Manuel and, anciently, the castle and its immediate lands were known as Haining. William de Crawfurde de Manuel is on record in 1417. It remained with the Crawford family until the middle of the sixteenth century. William Crawford, the last of the male line, died in or around 1542. He was married to Margaret Livingston and he was survived by their two daughters, Agnes and Margaret. Agnes was married to Thomas Livingston, third son of Alexander, Lord Livingston of Callendar and, Margaret once she came of age, sold her half to Agnes in 1551. The estate was held by this branch of the Livingstons until the middle of the seventeenth century. Sir James Livingston, the younger son of Alexander, Lord of Callendar and Earl of Linlithgow acquired the lordship of the castle and lands sometime around 1640. He had been honoured with the title of Lord Almond by King Charles I in 1633 for his past services and, as was not uncommon, his title became attached to the property. A writ of 1694 has ‘Hayning now called Almond’. After the forfeiture of the Livingstons of Callendar in 1716 the castle and lands were held by the York Buildings Company until they were purchased by William Forbes in 1783.

The castle appears to have been first built as a tower-house in the fifteenth century by the Crawford family; the surviving part is that earliest structure. Major additions were made in the sixteenth century superficially transforming it into a mansion house. By the time it came into the hands of Forbes it was uninhabited and ruinous. In recent decades the ruin has survived within the work premises of Stein’s of Manuel.  The recent closure of the works and the planned redevelopment of the area offers hope for repair and stabilisation of the castle in the future.

Information about Almond Castle provided by the Falkirk Local Historical Society

unique Scottish art – Dancer In Emerald poster by Jack Vettriano

Dancer In Emerald poster  by Jack Vettriano ,  price £12 , free UK delivery by first class post .

  • Dancer in Emerald is a licensed reproduction
  • printed on Premium Heavy Stock Paper
  • paper size is 43 x 50 cm
  • perfect for hanging or framing
  • ideal addition to your home or office

Printed on 275 gsm white silk paper

 This print is produced in the UK to the very highest standards under the direct supervision of Jack Vettriano’s publishing company  , assuring its quality.

Image Copyright: Jack Vettriano.

All prints are carefully packed and sent out in heavy duty tubes to ensure their safe delivery.

iPhone 6S for sale , £400 , 1 year old

iphone 6S , Rose Gold 64 GbThe iPhone 6S is an excellent phone with a powerful camera . I have a 1 year old Rose Gold iPhone 6S for sale , locked to the Vodafone network .

Technology: GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE
2G bands: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G bands: HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
4G bands: LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 18(800), 19(800), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 29(700)

– Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified)

Type: LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Multitouch: Yes
Protection: Ion-strengthened glass, oleophobic coating
– Force Touch display
– Display Zoom

OS: Apple iOS
Chipset: Apple A9
CPU: Dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister
GPU: PowerVR GT7600 (six-core graphics)

Card slot: No
Internal: 2 GB RAM

Primary: 12 MP, f/2.2, 29mm, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, check quality
Features: 1/3″ sensor size, 1.22 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 8MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama)
Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps,1080p@120fps, 720p@240fps, check quality
Secondary: 5 MP, f/2.2, 31mm, 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps, face detection, HDR, panorama

Alert types: Vibration, proprietary ringtones
Loudspeaker: Yes
3.5mm jack: Yes

WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
Bluetooth: v4.2, A2DP, LE
NFC: Yes (Apple Pay only)
Radio: No
USB: v2.0, reversible connector

Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Messaging: iMessage, SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email
Browser: HTML5 (Safari)
Java: No
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– Siri natural language commands and dictation
– iCloud cloud service
– iCloud Keychain
– TV-out
– Maps
– Organizer
– Document editor
– Photo/video editor

In the Box
Apple iPhone
EarPhones with Mic
USB Cable
USB Charger

Unique Scottish domain name for sale –

Buy a unique Scottish domain name .
The domain is over 12 years old . For sale at £1000 . No content is being sold with this auction unless otherwise agreed .

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The Kelpies are glorious armoured giant horses

The Kelpies have become the most famous equine sculptures in the world . But now they have been given another name to make them more attractive to Chinese tourists.

VisitBritain, which markets the UK abroad, has dubbed them ‘Kai Po Ju Ma’ in promotional literature in China – which translates as “glorious armoured giant horses”.

Our Kelpies gift shop features 50 great Kelpies photo gifts including, posters, phone cases, prints , clocks and bags .

It follows the results of a £1.6 million ‘Great Names for Great Britain’ campaign, which builds on the existing trend of giving relatable Mandarin names to favourite celebrities, places and foods.

 “Kai Po Ju Ma” have set records with over 600,000 in their first year of opening . A new visitor centre is being built to help cope with the influx of visitors and improve their experience at the sculptures.

New Mandarin names for 23 iconic Scottish attractions have been announced in total, including Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and Glencoe.

The campaign reached nearly 300 million Chinese prospective visitors to the UK through VisitBritain’s influential Weibo and WeChat social media platforms across China. Over two million people visited the campaign pages and nearly 30 million Chinese people watched the launch video, with 13,000 new names suggested throughout the ten week-long voting period.

Andy Scott, the artist responsible for the Kelpies, said: “I’m delighted that The Kelpies have reached out to a new audience and that they have been recognised with such an evocative and dynamic Mandarin name.

“It’s a real accolade for me as the artist and the whole team involved in The Kelpies that they have been adopted for the VisitBritain campaign and been so well received in China. Download our free Kelpies screensaver