The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

This is VisitScotlands year of ‘History, Heritage and Archaeology’ and for anybody interested in these topics I’ll do a monthly post on a belter of a day out from Lochend.

First Up:

Rough Castle Fort on Antonies Wall.

I was driving my Mum and Dad to a 90th birthday celebration at a venue near Kilsyth so they could enjoy a dram! That in itself is a history story!! From Lochend its a journey of about 45 minutes. I then had a few hours to spare so went ‘car wandering’…you know…turning up single track roads that you have often passed and never been up….’nosey’ some may say, I prefer to wrap it up in ‘curiosity’!

I had seen a brown tourist sign and a road sign to Bonnybridge and knew that there were ample remains of Antoine’s Wall, a lesser know wall the Romans built 18 years after Hadrian’s Wall, that runs across the central belt, but really didn’t know this area at all. So I followed said brown tourist signs which took me through a housing scheme, past a small industrial estate then onto a farm type track and suddenly found myself driving alongside the ditches and ramparts.

It’s such a curious feeling ‘tripping’ over something so incredibly intact from 138AD! Flanked by the 19th century Caledonian railway and the Forth and Clyde canal and carving through the  space, huge pylons the Iron Giant would have munch for breakfast, it was an assault on my, fairly spartan (no pun intended) engineering senses. It all added, however to the sense of wonder but what unfolded, at the end of the farm track (where there is space for half a dozen cars or so to park) was so impressive. I followed the ramparts, ditches and pylons for several hundred meters, didn’t have the correct gear on…a frock and wedges! crossed the burn and then climbed up to Rough Castle Fort…it’s huge. There are plenty of signs to help you plot who lived where and when and this kind of archaeology, where the work has been done and filled over, means you’re free to mount your imaginary steed and don the helmet of whichever warrior, hairy heathen Celt or refined Roman centurion, and just play and wonder for hours!

Its also part of the John Muir Way (section 4 Kilsyth to Falkirk, 13 miles, 5 hours walk, 2.5 miles cycle) so to make the day out of it if walking and history combined appeals!

After that I’d have had a wee dram, were it not for my chauffeurs badge!


What’s On Locally in March

Hand-picked events by the Lochend team for the month of February, based on things we love 😍


2/3/17 @ 8PM

‘McGoldrick, McCusker, Doyle’.

Three of the finest Celtic musicians, flute fiddle and guitar, have a very amiable get together and you get to watch the magic!

Tolbooth Theatre, Stirling



Until the 19/3/17 @ 10.30AM-5PM
Black and White-Forth Valley College Group’

Young college students from Forth Valley college sharing their portfolio work. Come and see emerging talent, pictures in the cafe so grabb a cuppa when your there. And also on until the 19th is the Saturday Sketch group exhibits in gallery 1.

Smith Gallery and Museum, Stirling



10/3/17 @ 8PM

‘Tony Law – A Law Undo His-Elf What Welcome’.

Gone is the Biggles moustache and beard but still as wickedly funny if you like your humour on the surreal side.

Tolbooth Theatre, Stirling



11 & 12/3/17 @ 9AM-5PM

‘MCN Scottish Motorcycle Show’

The Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh.

Scotland’s biggest and best motorcycle show returns with all the latest models, major manufacturers, and breathe taking live action. Topher will be there!

£13/under 12’s free, per day


18/3/17 @ 9.30/10AM

‘Opening Day on the Lake’

The opening Day of the Lake of Menteith Fisheries, the main industry that keeps our water peaceful and tranquil, it’s an impressive sight, the boats all leave, a piper pipes and a speech or song is made by a local lady.

Lake Of Menteith Fisheries, North Shore of the Lake.



19.3.16 @ 6.30/7PM-9.30/10PM

‘Ostra Firewalk – Spring Equinox’

We have a colleague working with us who has been firewalking for a number of years and can heartily recommend this event for focusing the mind. No doubt you’ll meet the lovely Laura there!

£50 if 2 booking together/60 per adult.

What’s On Locally in February

Hand-picked events by the Lochend team for the month of February, based on things we love 😍


4/02/2017 @ 8PM

Traditional scots fiddle playing and some amazing harmonious singing. 4 girls from Orkney

Tolbooth Theatre, Stirling

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4/02/2017 @ 10am to 4pm

‘Introduction to greenwood working’

Workshop day learning about green wood and making something to take away.

Green Aspirations Scotland, Tir Na Nog, Balfron

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16/02/2017 & 23.2.17  @ 2-4pm

‘The Stories of Art’

Lectures starting with Pop and Dada and how it influenced Scottish artists like Joan Eardley.
Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling

£6 per lecture

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February and March.

Scottish Snowdrop festival runs through February and March. This wonderful wee flower blankets swaths of ground and the closest place to visit them en masse is at Gargunnock House. They open their doors to let visitors appreciate them. It’s 25 mins from here and is free. And at Duntreath Castle, 30 mins from Lochend. But they are truly amazing up at Cambo Gardens in the East Neuk of Fife. You could make a day out, visit St Andrews and then work your way back along the East Neuk, a really well preserved coastline with Cambs Gardens 10 minutes from St Andrews.
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24/02/2017 @ 8pm

‘Rose Room’

Gypsy influenced jazz, fabulously funky, hugely talented Scottish group

Tolbooth Theatre, Stirling


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15th-26th February @ various times

‘Glasgow Film Festival’
Fabulous array of films in my favourite cinema in Scotland

Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow


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27th February @ 6pm

‘Kings of Leon’

Have loved them since the beginning! when they looked like Lynyrd Skynyrd!!

SSE Hydro, Glasgow


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Win £500 off your next stay at Lochend Chalets in our Video Diary competition. Never made a video before? Don’t worry! Use your phone, tablet, ipad or camera to experiment and put together a 2-minute movie of your Lochend Holiday (even better get the teens or kids to do it for you – they may end up as the next Spielberg…). It can be of any aspect of your holiday, be silly, serious, or both, but must include footage at Lochend.

Email us the mini-video or let us know where we can see it (for example, on YouTube). All entries to be in by the end of November 2017, please. We’ll pick out a winner in January 2018. The winner will receive a £500 Lochend Chalets holiday voucher, valid until the end of 2018. Videos should be sent to; click here for competition T&Cs.

What’s On Locally in January

Hand-picked events by the Lochend team for the month of January, based on things we love 😍


22/01/2017  @ 12-2pm
‘Revel with Rabbie’

Actors bringing to life Rabbie’s poetry in the magnificent grounds

Stirling Castle

Adults £14.50 Concession £11.60 Kids £8.70 performance included in the admission cost


22/01/2017 @ 10am-4pm

‘Hot Hatch Car Track Day’

Race your own car or a modified vehicle round the famous Knockhill race track.

Knockhill Race Circuit

£65 to race, Adults £6 Concession £4 to spectate


25/01/2017 @ 11am-12pm

‘Burns meets Tam O Shanter’
A spirited telling of one of Burns greatest works Tam O shanter, at full speed!

The Stirling Smith Gallery and Museum



25/01/2017 @ 7.30pm

‘Warren Miller: Here, There and Everywhere’

The MacRoberts Arts Centre, Bridge of Allan.

Documentary celebrating all things snowsports.



27/01/2017 @ 8pm

‘Popa Chubby’

Amazing blues musician full of character from the US of A.

The Tolbooth, Stirling.



27/01/2017 @ 10am-4.30pm

‘Nick’s French Love Affair’.

On our doorstep, the fabulous cook school’s classes are always enjoyed by our customers.

Nick Nairns Cook School at Port of Menteith.
£149 for the day.


28/01/2017 @ 11am to 2.30pm

‘Get Big Garden Birdwatch’.

RSPB Scotland Loch Lomond.

Make bird cakes, hanging feeders and get some hints and tips on garden bird identification.

Adult: £5, Child £2.50 (member’s discount: 20%)

Bunty’s Offerings

Not the best photos, but these are some of the things I’ve been making the last week. I’ve set up a wee workshop at home and starting to sell pieces on Etsy but if anyone’s interested, or if you’d like to commission something in particular, just let me know!  Hope you all like it x

Calling all Lavender Ducks

A few weeks ago we found a rather lovely looking pair of ducks who were jostling for food in amongst the Mallards, after a Facebook plea, the fabulously knowledgable Andrew MacGillivray (see you in a couple of weeks!) was able to tell us that they are Lavender Calling Ducks.