Saturday, 25 January 2014

Burns' Night Blog Hop

January is a cold dreich month in Scotland. The strains of Auld Lang Syne have long since drifted over the heather. We need to keep ourselves cheerful somehow. So on the 25th of January we celebrate the poetry of our bard, Robert Burns.

Welcome to the Burns' Night Blog hop! Some fabulous authors have joined together to celebrate this unique Scottish tradition and bring a bit of cheer to all the readers. Be sure to enter the rafflecopter as you can win $100 worth of Amazon gift cards and be sure to hop from blog to blog to be in with a chance of winning individual prizes. I'm giving away an ecopy of To Steal a Highlander's Heart so be sure to comment with your email address!

I thought I'd share with you today my top 5 castles in Scotland. Most people know of Eilean Donan but there are some other amazing castles that if you are ever in Scotland, you must visit!

1. Hermitage Castle
There's something about this castle that fills me with awe. Maybe it's the barren setting or how imposing it is. Maybe it's the castle's gruesome history. Many murders and plots took place here...

2. Caerlaverock Castle

Still surrounded by a moat, it's gatehouse strikes an imposing sight. It's proximity to the border between England and Scotland ensured it saw plenty of strife during the time it was inhabited.

3. Dunnottar Castle
The setting for this castle is breathtaking. A castle has been on this site since the 12th Century and was involved in the civil war as well as once being used as a prison for Scottish Presbyterians.

4. Loch Leven Castle

The only way to get to this castle is by boat. It is most famous for being the prison of Mary, Queen of Scots.

5. St Andrews Castle

Surrounded by the sea on two sides, St Andrews is quite the fortress. With an inescapable bottle dungeon, this castle has seen many events include murder and a siege.

I hope you enjoyed a little taste of Scotland and it's history. Which is your favourite? Or is there one you feel should have been included?

Don't forget to check out the blogs below to be in with a chance of winning more prizes!

1.Love, Lust and Lipstick Stains9.Inner Goddess17.Nina Mason
2.Samantha Holt10.Hunter S. Jones18.Kate Robbins
3.A Dirty Book Affair11.Christina Phillips19.Scenes from a Chaotic Mind
4.Anne Conley12.Andrea Bellmont20.Sarah Bella
5.Em Taylor13.Isobelle Cate21.Joanne Wadsworth
6.Kirsten S. Blacketer14.Storm Chase22.Anne Stenhouse
7.Willa Blair15.Ceci Giltenan23.BJ Scott
8.Nicole Hurley- Moore16.Tarah Scott

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I think it's bad that I live in Scotland and have only ever been to one of these castles. Great post BTW

  2. I so love castles they are just so romantic.

  3. Cold and dreich day in Canada today too. Woke up to a blizzard and sticking close to home. Perfect day for a blog hop. Someday hope to visit Scotland and see the castles for myself. Top of my bucket list

  4. Dunnottar Castle is the one I like the most! love them all, though. Where i grew up near, there is a castle, Chateau Laroche; and every brick was hand made by Harry Delos Andrews to build the castle. I always loved visiting it.

  5. Wow! I love castles and I love the photo 2. Caerlaverock Castle - I can just imagine living there. I've been across seas once - went to Canterbury England for 6 weeks to study Freud when in college but while there I did some sight seeing at some castles and boy what an experience. I wish I would of had some extra funds to travel more north so I could of visited Scottland, For now though, I can see it described within the books. even though they had hard times, with war and survival, their lives were still much simpler than what we live in today, I'd give anything to go back in time to live there.

  6. I think I like 5. St Andrews Castle the best it's next to the sea, imagine waking up to that view every morning.


  7. I loved your photo tour of historic castles, Samantha, and have started my own Pinterest board entitled "Castles." Thanks so much for your participation on this wonderful blog hop tour of Scottish stories!

    1. I forgot to mention my favorite: The first one, Hermitage. You're right, it is freaky awesome! I visited the British Isles in 1986 and so knew that most castles were drafty and dreary--very imposing structures. It is hard for me to imagine living in one. Going up all those narrow, winding stairways with water, food, laundry, etc. A tough life I believe.

  8. I visited some a few castles while visiting the Highlands! there is so much history behind each of them, and they are so romantic!

  9. How did I go to St Andrews and miss a castle?? Course I was on a college trip but still. Least now I have something else to look forward to whenever I go back to St Andrews besides their fabulous beach (and getting my dad more St Andrews gold swag).

    -Megan Moffat from Books A to Z

  10. They all look beautiful and awe-inspiring. I'd like to boat out to Loch Leven.

  11. Can't wait to read these books. They look so yummy. Thanks. Hugs :)

  12. I know Stirling Castle best as I went to Uni there and I think it's one of the prettiest as it's perched on a cliff but Edinburgh is my fave because of the history. Great post! Now I want to go home again - despite the dreadful weather!

  13. I love castles! I used to volunteer to go on the kids' school trips when they were younger to I could have another look around them :-) I miss them now I'm in Australia.

  14. I love all the castles! But Lock Leven Castle would be my favorite :)

  15. Caerlaverock Castle is the most awesome

  16. I like Stirling Castle and Edinburgh is very imposing the way it towers over the city. Hermitage Castle has lovely square angles. I hadn't heard of this one before.

  17. We visited Cawdor Castle this summer and I was taken with the back gardens

  18. All done, thanks for the chance xx


  20. I would enter this comp but i won the last one in december and never received my prize.

  21. I live in Moray close to Cawdor Castle....and visit any castles we come across......and there are plenty