Contest: A Moment in Scottish History

Scotland has a vast history spanning thousands of years, from the Neolithic village of Skara Brae to the return of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. The story of Scotland is a grand one, with countless pivotal moments marked by bravery, cunning, foresight, desperation, determination, and a deep value for freedom. Simply Scottish celebrates this colorful…

Touring Scotland: 5 Sights to Add to Your Next Visit

1. The Royal Yacht Britannia Spend a few hours or a full day touring Her Majesty’s Royal Britannia in Edinburgh. Built in 1953, this opulent vessel was the official touring ship of Queen Elizabeth II and her family. Guests may explore the grand quarters on the ship, take time out for refreshments in the Royal…

The Day When Two Become One

I was married on July 3rd, 2008 in Everett, Washington. My mother and father were married in Edinburgh on October 16th, 1977. Her mother and father on Dec. 18th, 1929 in Edinburgh. Her grandparents on April 27th, 1904 in Leith. Her great-grandparents on Dec. 7th, 1880 in Aberdeen and her great-great-grandparents on April 30th, 1853…

A New Season for SimplyScottish.com

A new decade, a new season. It’s time for a new SimplyScottish.com! I first launched SimplyScottish.com back in 1999 as a companion to my Scottish radio program Simply Scottish. My father and I produced and co-hosted the weekly radio show from 1999 to 2001. At its peak, it aired in South Texas, Northern Mexico, Ontario…

Isle of Skye, St. Andrew’s, & Reuniting with Family

Two weeks is not long enough to see Scotland. My wife and I knew this going into our trip, although it didn’t stop us from packing every day with as much as possible. The last few days of our week-long road trek around Scotland was no different. From the beauty of central Scotland’s west coast,…

Land & Sea: Isle of Arran and the City of Glasgow

Arran An hour in Kildonan is all it takes to know the peace the island brings. Seagulls glide on wind that’s full of salt and song, seals and dolphins hide between the crests, and locals puff and sip and blether. Beyond the lighthouse that no longer shows the way lies Holy Isle and the shores…

Scotland’s National Poet: Robert Burns

Edina! Scotia’s darling seat! All hail thy palaces and tow’rs; Where once, beneath a Monarch’s feet, Sat Legislation’s sovereign pow’rs: From marking wildly-scatt’red flow’rs, As on the banks of Ayr I stray’d, And singing, lone, the ling’ring hours, I shelter in thy honour’d shade. – Robert Burns, “Address to Edinburgh” As an immigrant myself, I know…

Refuge in the Ruins: Melrose Abbey & Dryburgh Abbey

The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever. The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. – Psalm 29: 10-11 The kind of peace and solitude offered at abbeys like the ones at Melrose and Dryburgh is one most of us can only dream about today….

In the Footsteps of Legends: St. Giles Cathedral & Stirling Castle

“No one else holds or has held the place in the heart of the world which Jesus holds. Other gods have been as devoutly worshipped; no other man has been so devoutly loved.” So says John Knox (1510-1572), Scottish clergyman and leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland. Influenced by early church reformers like George…

Part Native, Part Foreigner: Rediscovering Edinburgh

My city of Edinburgh has changed in many ways in a decade. Buildings have been updated, removed, or added, both in the city centre and in Moredun and Gilmerton, the neighborhoods in which I grew up. Almost everywhere I turn, a memory pops up as a new one is made. Walking around my old neighborhood…