Welcome to Tour Guide Tales, an exciting new podcast where you'll hear Scotland's amazing stories from the people who know them best - the country's captivating tour guides.
Join our host Grant Stott to hear expert guides and born storytellers recount their enthralling tales and personal experiences. In each podcast, a tour guide from a different region will share their stories, bringing out the eclectic and often incredibly rich history found only in Scotland from those who know and tell it best.
The first podcast covers Edinburgh and The Lothians, with Mary's Meanders tours, revealing some of the incredible real-life tales behind locations used in the Outlander series. Future episodes explore the secrets of Glasgow Central Station, Orkney's Neolithic sites and our incredible coasts and waters with the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine.
Episode 1 - Outlander Filming Locations with Mary's Meanders
Ever wanted to know the real history behind Outlander's iconic filming locations? In our first episode of Tour Guide Tales, Grant speaks to Emma Chalmers and Anne Daly from Mary's Meanders. Their tour takes fans of the hit TV show, Outlander to some of the show's most famous places. Tune in to hear about the real Scottish history of these incredible sites, and the amazing stories connected to them.
Read Episode 1 transcript.
Episode 2 - Wallace Monument
In our second edition of Tour Guide Tales, we hear the tale of the Guardian of Scotland, Sir William Wallace. Speaking to Ken Thomson of the National Wallace Monument, Grant finds out the story behind one of Scotland's most iconic attractions, as well as the national heroes, both old and new, it seeks to commemorate.
Read Episode 2 transcript.
Episode 3 - Blair Castle
In this episode, Grant speaks to Mo Tracey from Blair Castle. From royal kidnappings and Queen Victoria's private army to Scotland's final siege, we hear all about how this fairytale castle has been a fascinating place of interest over the last eight hundred years, and why its history is such a draw for people from all over the world - including some rather famous names.
Read Episode 3 transcript.
Episode 4 - A Short History of the Hard Hat
This week, in celebration of Scotland's Year of Coasts & Waters, Grant speaks to Stuart Rich of the Scottish Maritime Museum. With two sites at Irvine and Dumbarton, the Scottish Maritime Museum helps preserve the rich story of a cornerstone of Scotland's industrial past, it's maritime and ship building history. We'll hear what life was like for families working in the often-unforgiving shipyards, the impact of the industry to 20th century Scotland, and some amazing stories behind just some of the boats in the Museum's care.
Read Episode 4 transcript.
Episode 5 - Mercat Tours
Want to know more about the gory and ghostly past of Edinburgh? In this edition of Tour Guide Tales, Grant speaks to Tania Dron, just one of the tour guides for Mercat Tours in Scotland's capital. From jealousy-fuelled murder and dismembered ghosts, to witch trials and cheating death at the gallows, you'll never feel the same when walking through Edinburgh's streets again.
*Please be aware that this episode will occasionally feature more macabre themes of torture and death and listener discretion is advised.
Read Episode 5 transcript.
Episode 6 - Kilmartin Glen
Scotland is rich with history. History that goes back a very long way. In this episode, we'll be going back 6000 years with Alan Steele, tour guide at Kilmartin Glen - a site of great archaeological importance in the West of Scotland. We'll discuss the prehistoric civilisations that once lived there and what remains of them today. There's a lot to discuss as Kilmartin Glen has over 800 points of interest within an area of just 6 miles. So let's head back in time with presenter Grant Stott as we hear some more incredible Tour Guide Tales from Kilmartin Glen.
Read Episode 6 transcript.
Episode 7 - Outer Hebrides
This week Grant speaks to tour guide Magaidh Smith from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. With six generations of her family calling the Hebrides home, her unrivalled knowledge of the rich cultural history, traditions and communities of the Outer Hebrides makes for a fascinating listen. From Moon Gods and stone circles, to Neolithic history, clan battles and the Gaelic language - discover a wealth of incredible stories.
Read Episode 7 Transcript.
Episode 8 - Skaill House
In this episode Grant speaks to Cormac Grogan, Manager of Skaill House on Orkney. Homely, historic and haunted, this mansion houses a treasure trove of stories and artefacts that have been passed down through 12 generations of the same family for over 400 years. Skaill House and its idyllic location is certainly unique with the site of Skara Brae right on its doorstep. In this podcast we hear all about how this ancient Neolithic site was discovered, as well as the House's many global connections, with stories behind an incredible variety of objects from a WW1 Bolshevik Russian flag and Captain Cook's dinner set!
Read Episode 8 Transcript.
Episode 9 - Shetland
Joining Grant in this episode, the penultimate of the series, is Lara Thomason. Lara has lived on Shetland all her life, and now takes great pride in taking tourists around the beautiful and rugged islands. With a diverse range of things to see and learn about, from the amazing wildlife, to the wild nights of the Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival, Lara shares with us the very best of Shetland's tour guide tales.
Read Episode 9 transcript.
Episode 10 - Summerlee Museum
In our last episode of the series, Grant is joined by Gerry Durkin from the Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life. Based in Lanarkshire, the museum commemorates Scotland's industrial and social history, with a particular focus on the mining industry and its role in shaping the people and places of Scotland. With some surprising stories, including the history behind unique tattoos and sandwich eating techniques, and an insight into the history and hardships of Scotland's mining families, this final episode doesn't disappoint!
Read Episode 10 transcript.
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