Book review: ‘Scotland’s Merlin’ by Tim Clarkson

“And in the battle of Arfderydd my torc was of gold…” From ‘Yr Afallennau’ (‘The Apples’), a poem in the Black Book of Carmarthen I don’t know about you, but when somebody mentions the name ‘Merlin’, an image of a bearded sorcerer pops straight into my mind, quickly followed by King Arthur and several valiant […]

St Adamnan’s Cross in Glen Lyon

Who lived in this extraordinary glen, 1300 years ago? One man who did was St Adamnan, and this simple cross remembers his kindness…

Carnbane Castle and a banquet for a bard

On top of a little wooded knoll in Glen Lyon, I felt as if I’d stepped straight into a legend…

Ossian’s Cave in Glen Coe

Was a legendary warrior born in this dark and inaccessible cave? Age-old stories woven into our landscape often hold the most magic…

Glen More and the headless horseman

After nearly 500 years, is this phantom rider still trapped in the tragedy of a bitter family feud?

Bluebell enchantment

As our woods start to shimmer with a heavenly blue haze, I’m looking at some of the folklore attached to these beautiful flowers

A wand of hazel

For their valuable source of food and their versatile building material, hazel trees have been prized since the dawn of time. But hazel nuts are believed to contain wisdom, and a little bit of magic as well…

For the love of mistletoe

Fascinating in so many ways, the white berries of mistletoe have a long connection with Christmas. But the truth goes back still further, as any Druid would tell you…

The darkness of the yew

Evergreen, toxic, and able to live for thousands of years… it’s no wonder the yew tree was revered in ancient times.

Ghosts of St Andrews

A spooky tour of St Andrews, where it seems that every street and every building has its own spectral inhabitant. Would you wander around here after dark? I’m not sure I would!