|The A to Z of Scottish Places: Gazetteer E|
The A to Z of Scottish Places: E
E is for...
... East Kilbride
Designated a new town in 1947, East Kilbride has grown from being the 19th to 6th largest town in Scotland between 1961 and the latest census. The "village" is still intact but surrounded by new housing while the town centre now focuses on the shopping centre and municipal buildings. The shopping area has been revamped in recent years and while from the inside it now resembles malls anywhere in the world at least on the outside it is less run-down than before. Like its sister towns, East Kilbride is a place of roundabouts but some have interesting sculptures in their islands which make it more easy to recognise where you are.
... Loch Eck
Just north of the Holy Loch and Dunoon lies the little narrow Loch Eck, trapped on both sides by steep hills. The road on the eastern shore winds its way towards Loch Fyne and is a pleasant journey although in foul weather the twists and turns can be hazardous. There are a number of pleasant stopping places including Jubilee Point where a sheltered cove is a great place for kids to play. Beinn Mhor dominates the western shore. The hillsides are thick with forest giving the whole area a magical secluded feel.
As a Glaswegian it pains me to admit it, but Edinburgh fully deserves its status as a world-class city. The centre setting of Princes Street overlooking the gardens with the castle rising on its volcanic rock above is just one of the delights of Scotland's capital city (which it became in 1347 when it superceded Perth). The city dates back to settlements before Roman times and the Castle is at least a thousand years old. Although behind in terms of population to Glasgow, the recent re-instatement of a Scottish Parliament (with its home presently being built at Holyrood) may spawn a new influx of people to its ranks. Home to many galleries, museums, antique stores and bookshops, the city combines well the old with the new, with the prestigious developments in Lothian Road adding a modern gleam. The Royal Mile leading from the Castle to Holyrood House represents the ancient heart of the city, while Princes Street and beyond the "newer" Georgian period buildings. Education has always been a major force within Edinburgh, with many universities and colleges continuing that tradition into the modern age. Indeed the very first female doctors in the western world were trained there. The biggest arts festival in the world is held in Edinburgh in late summer, during which the main streets are so thronged with visitors and performers that you'd be hard pressed to find a local from whom to ask directions...
Eigg is the second largest of the Small Islands to the west of Mallaig and south of Skye and was recently bought by The Eigg Trust, set up by the islanders themselves with the help of the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Highland Council. The land is fertile although years of neglect by absentee owners have given the islanders a challenge to make the land economical again. Mostly low-lying, Eigg has a craggy, sugarloaf peak of pitchstone lava, An Sgurr, which towers above the landscape and gives the island its distinctive outline as viewed from Skye or the mainland. The main settlement is Cleadale. Two other natural features add to the story of the island - the singing sands in the Bay of Laig are reputed to make sounds like an Aeolian harp as you walk across them. Darker is the cave Uamh Fhraing where in 1577 the MacLeods of Skye trapped two hundred MacDonalds and massacred them by piling brushwood at the entrance and setting it on fire.