Monthly Archives: May 2016

Delta has just launched ALL YEAR ROUND SERVICE from New York JFK to Edinburgh.

Delta has just launched ALL YEAR ROUND SERVICE from New York JFK to Edinburgh.

images_deltaheroimageFirst announced last Fall, anticipation has been growing for the new direct Delta flight – and the great connections it offers from around the States.

All flights from New York to Edinburgh will have Wi-Fi, we will be able to stay connected at 30,000 feet, with free on-demand in-flight entertainment in all cabins. Movies and TV shows can also be downloaded to tablet and laptop devices.

Tickets for Delta’s New York Edinburgh service are available directly through Delta Air Lines. Flights are operated in conjunction with joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic

AND to learn more of where to go and what to do visit VisitScotland for help on planning your next trip.

Time to discover Scotland’s great new Gins and Vodkas from Arbikie

When you are next ordering a Vodka or Gin in Britain ask if they have the Award winning Arbikie Gin or Vodka. Arbikie is not yet available in the US but it soon will be available – and we can’t wait.

Arbikie-Distillery-900x600And who – what – is the Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery?

The Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery was launched in October 2014 from the family farm of the Stirling Brothers in Arbroath, ScotlandStirling Brothers

Since its launch only 18 months ago Arbike has introduced Gin and Vodka products that have roared onto the spirits scene winning such accolades as:
- Best UK Varietal Vodka and Best UK Traditional Gin by the prestigious World Drink Awards and
- Gold for Kirsty Gin at San Francisco World Spirits Competition

All the elements used in the production of Arbikie Highland Estates range use home grown ingredients, sown, grown & harvested – and then distilled and bottled at Arkikie.

Arbikie VodkaArbikie Gin, called “Kirsty’s Gin,” is named for the Arbikie Master Distiller, Kirsty Black, who oversees all areas of development and production – and YES Arbikie Whisky is on the horizon.

Arbike Gins and Vodkas is not yet available in the USA BUT if you are in the UK it can be ordered directly from Arbikie http://www.arbikie.com/product-list/ and is now widely available throughout the UK.

Now you can become an American Friend of Scottish Canals and Waterways.

The American Friends of Scottish Canals and Waterway now allows you a way to help support, and become involved in the preservation of Scotland’s waterways and canals.

The American-Scottish Foundation® is working with the Scottish Waterways Trust’s on innovative, outdoors projects – caring for the canals and creating brighter futures for people living along their banks.  

American diaspora, and those who just have a love of Scotland, will now be able to donate or take up membership packages through the Trust’s new American Friends of Scotland’s Canals & Waterways [AFSC&W] initiative.

By becoming a Member or donating to a particular project of AFSC&W, the American Friends will help ensure a brighter future for Scotland’s two hundred year old historic canals by making possible a range of important repair and improvement projects.

Two pioneering waterways projects, Canal College 2® and Ironwork Canal Archaeologists are leading initiatives that the American Friends will focus on..Scotland’s first ever Canal College, the Trust’s most successful project to date, helped 116 young people across Scotland into work, further education or training between 2013 and 2015. The charity is now fundraising for the $1.9 million needed to open canal college 2 in North Glasgow, Falkirk and the Highlands and run it for a further three years.

Ironwork Canal Archaeologists is an innovative project designed by Scottish Waterways Trust to uncover the fascinating history of a lost canal-side Ironworks on the Forth & Clyde Canal in Glasgow, with a series of archaeological and heritage events for the local community and general public.

Scottish Waterways Trust uses innovative waterways projects like these to engage those suffering from poor physical and mental health, social isolation and unemployment and help them gain the confidence and skills they need to turn their lives around.

Now donors in America can help make these projects possible and ensure Scottish Waterways Trust can reach and help even more people across the country.

Learn more by visiting our The American Friends of Scottish Canals and Waterways donation page – you can become a Friend or support a student for Canal College.

If you have questions email ASF Office at americanscottishfoundation@gmail.com

Meet George, Scotland’s Official ‘Ambassadog’

Adventure-loving George, a one-year-old golden retriever from Glasgow, has been officially crowned ‘Ambassadog’ for Scotland.

George, who resides in the West End of Glasgow, has been named VisitScotland‘s official Ambassadog, after standing out in the pool of over 200 applicants.

George is owned by 22-year-old twin sisters Emma and Victoria Rae, who entered their dog in the competition in March. The sisters knew that George could represent Scotland with his adventurous nature and spirit.

George was among seven other finalists who were judged at an interview event at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh. Now that George has the official title of Ambassadog, he and his owners will promote Scotland through social media, attend high-profile events, and enjoy the status of VID: Very Important Dog.

Image via dogsmonthly.co.uk

Image via dogsmonthly.co.uk

Owner Victoria explains how proud and excited she is for George, “My ambition for him in his new role as ambassadog is that he takes us on a lot more journeys – we plan to go to Harris and Lewis at the end of this month – and we can inspire others to plan their next exploration around the country”.

Later this year, the winning pup and his owners will be rewarded with a dog-friendly holiday in Scotland, courtesy of VisitScotland. To find itineraries for your own pet-friendly vacation in Scotland, visit the VisitScotland website here.

Find out more about the VisitScotland ‘Ambassadog’ competition here.

Siobhan Mackenzie: A Young Scots Entrepreneur

Siobhan Mackenzie is a multi award-winning Scottish Fashion Designer who started her own business right out of university. Through creativity and determination, the young Scot created a global brand that celebrates the heritage and fashion of Scotland.

Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

Siobhan Mackenzie Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

Siobhan Mackenzie was born in The Black Isle in the Highlands of Scotland. By the age of ten she was certain that her future was in the fashion industry, and at thirteen she bought her first sewing machine.

At seventeen Mackenzie moved to Glasgow, where she began her education in fashion. While she was still a student, she had an internship with one of Scotland’s master kilt-makers, Glenisla Kilts, where she learned the art of Scottish kilt-making.

After graduating with a First Class BA Honours degree in Fashion Design & Production from The Manchester Metropolitan University, Mackenzie decided to try her hand at bringing traditional Scottish dress into the 21st century.

Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

She self-funded a fashion brand in which she twisted the traditional rules of kilt-making to create innovative, Avant-garde bespoke and modern kilts.

In 2014, her designs began to take off. Her ‘Clan Mackenzie’ Graduate Collection was inspired by her Highland and roots. Although her designs are for modern-day wear, they are rich with heritage.

She was asked to design the national costume for Miss Scotland in the Miss World Competition in 2014, which gave her brand international exposure.

Miss Scotland 2014 Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

Miss Scotland 2014 Image via siobhanmackenzie.com

Today Siobhan Mackenzie’s designs are sold globally throughout the US, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. However, her company remains firmly planted in Scotland, using Scottish textiles, Scottish design and Scottish manufacturing so as to create new jobs in Scotland and help boost the Scottish economy.

To find out more about Siobhan Mackenzie, or purchase her designs, visit her website here.

Ken P 1

The story behind Ken Pattersons photographic exhibit, “In the Footsteps of John Muir”, currently on show at Federal Hall, Wall Street, New York – through July 8th, 2016.

Daily Record reporter, Paul English, recently spoke to Scottish photographer Ken Patterson of how his current photographic exhibit, “In the Footsteps of John Muir” came together and his journey to seeing it now a part of the Centennial Celebrations at Federal Hall, Wall Street, NYC

As Patterson notes … “All of America’s national park system came out of this determination by Roosevelt to preserve America’s wild places for future generations.

“John Muir had a very strong belief that by going outdoors, you actually went into something. He was quite spiritual, he referred to nature as God’s cathedral.”

_____________________________________

AT THE heart of world finance on Wall Street, Americans are lining up to pay tribute to the Scotsman they regard as a hero for changing their country for the better.

Yet back in his homeland, the name of the man they regard as the father of modern environmentalism remains in relative obscurity.

photography exhibition is being held in Federal Hall, a historic building in the centre of the financial zone, ­celebrating the life and legacy of a man who measured riches in nature’s bounty, not stocks and shares.

Muir was born in Dunbar, East Lothian , in 1838, crossing the Atlantic with his family 11 years later, landing in Wisconsin and growing up to become the father of the US National Park Service, who ­celebrate their ­centenary in August.

Fifer Ken ­Paterson’s exhibition in Manhattan is one among many events planned to mark it.

Ken’s show, In The ­Footsteps of John Muir, features the work of a ­Scottish ­photographer on whose life Muir had a profound and transformative impact many years after his death in 1914.

Ken has had a lifelong enthusiasm for outdoor activities, propelling him into the mountains around the world as a keen walker, rock and ice climber.

But it wasn’t until he was ­recuperating from a brain tumour in 2001 that he encountered the work of Muir, and grew to appreciate the ­restorative power of the Scot’s mantra.

Ken said: “Although I obviously had many difficulties, the experience of the brain tumour ultimately proved to be a positive one. When I got out of the hospital, I had to learn how to walk and obviously I couldn’t climb either.

“My thinking processes were fairly limited in those days. I went on the internet and typed in Yosemite, because it was a world centre of rock climbing, and every time I did that, I kept coming across the name of John Muir


Yosemite valley from tunnel view, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

 “I was staggered when I came to realise I had lived my whole life mainly in Edinburgh, had been passionate about climbing and the outdoors, and yet I hadn’t heard of this guy.

“It made me think, ‘What is wrong with Scotland? Why are we singing songs about Bonnie Prince Charlie rather than John Muir?”

As his rehabilitation progressed, former ­newspaper photographer Ken took a trip to the ­footsteps of the revered conservationist, heading to Yosemite, the vast national park in ­California, in which the seeds of Muir’s legacy were sewn

Enthused by the ­wilderness, Ken found a way to reconnect with nature, a passion represented in the photos of his trip.

And in a bid to draw a connection between the American luminary and his Scottish heritage, Ken approached the American Scottish Foundation, co-organisers of the annual New York Tartan Week celebrations.

The photographs became part of the program of events in the 2005 jamboree, being exhibited in Central Park’s Arsenal Gallery and twice since then, including during Muir’s centenary and again this year.

Dad-of-two Ken, 59, said: “The outdoors played such an important part in my life and, after illness, getting back to that was very important to me.

“It was looking at Muir, reading about what he had done, which ­rekindled my passion and ­determination to get back out there and do it.

“Muir talks about his childhood and the various things he did, climbing on to the roof of his house. I did that when I was young. He got himself stuck at the top of a mountain in a storm and the same thing happened to me in the Alps.”


Photographer Ken Patterson : his photography exhibition In The Footsteps of John Muir opens in New York this month.

Ken’s recovery affirmed a wider pondering on notions of Scottish identity, at home and abroad, and eventually led to him establishing a website, The Famous Scots Project, an ongoing study into the work of influential Scots.

He said: “After illness I became ­philosophical. I started to look at life in a slightly different way. I decided that the strength of the nation lies in its sense of community, the heart in its people and the soul in its history.

“Cicero said that not to know where you come from is to forever remain a child. Scotland needs to move on a wee bit and get a better sense of depth of its own history beyond Culloden and all that.

“We’ve lost sight of our history. We get caught up in stuff like Bonnie Prince Charlie, and yet there are these incredible stories about people like Muir, scientist James Clerk Maxwell, explorer David Livingstone, the list goes on and on.”

In 1903, Muir guided president ­Theodore Roosevelt through Yosemite, camping out for three nights during which Muir lobbied by the campfire, impressing upon him the need to set aside key areas for preservation and appreciation by future generations.


A natural rock arch in the Alabama Hills beside Lone Pine in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, John Muir’s ‘Range of Light’ in California.

 It worked. Roosevelt instigated five national parks in office. There are now 58.

Muir’s profile in Scotland has been bolstered in recent years, principally with the 2014 inception of the John Muir Way, a 130-mile east-west walk from Dunbar to Helensburgh, echoing a 211-mile trail named for the Scot through the American Sierra Nevada.

Schoolchildren also take part in the John Muir Award, an environmental education scheme encouraging young people to forge an appreciation of nature.

Ricky Ross weighed in on the legacy of the man described by ­Statesiders as a “wilderness prophet”, writing the tune For John Muir as a tribute on Deacon Blue’s 2014 album A New House.


The Bristlecone Pine can live for 3000 years making it one of the longest living organisms on the planet. Situated on one side of the Owens valley in California the Inyo mountain range have several sites of bristlecone forests.

 Ken said: “All of America’s national park system came out of this determination by Roosevelt to preserve America’s wild places for future generations.

“John Muir had a very strong belief that by going outdoors, you actually went into something. He was quite spiritual, he referred to nature as God’s cathedral.”

Read more at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/honouring-scots-king-wild-frontiers-7913745#297tBvPH6vAfwWZM.99

Dundonald Links

Calling All Golfers .. Win a Weeklong Golfing Trip for Two to Scotland departing May 28th…

A Week in Scotland playing some of the outstanding golf courses of Scotland.

This great trip could be yours if you enter today.  The competition is only open to US Residents – and it ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on 5/15/16 – Don’t delay – enter NOW!

May 28th – Winner and Guest Fly round trip to Glasgow arriving May 29th.

Stay at Gailes Hotel​, Ayrshire

Gailles Hotel, Ayr

Gailes Hotel, Ayr

The winner and guest will receive a full bag of TaylorMade Golf​ equipment and Adidas Golf​ clothing and footwear so they look the part striding along the fairways of the world’s most historic golf courses.

May 29th you could be arriving in Glasgow -
Stay at Gailes Hotel, Ayrshire

Monday May 30
18 holes Western gailes golf club

Western Gailes Golf Club

Western Gailes Golf Club

Tuesday May 31
18 holes Royal Troon Golf Club - (inc. 9 holes with Darren Clarke)
(Royal Troon is where later this year the 145th Open Championships will take place)

Royal Troon Golf Club

Royal Troon Golf Club

Wednesday June 1
18 holes Prestwick Golf Club
Whisky Tasting at The Jar, Troon

Prestwick Golf Club

Prestwick Golf Club

Thursday June 2
18 holes Dundonald Links, Ayrshire, Scotland

Dundonald Links

Dundonald Link

Friday June 3
Fly home

To enter to WIN follow this link http://madeforscotland.taylormadegolf.com/

Trip arranged by VisitScotlandTaylorMade Golf, and GolfWRX.com

Meet the Canine Competitors for VisitScotland’s Ambassadog

VisitScotland recently launched a search for Scotland’s own ‘Ambassadog,’ an international canine ambassador to promote Scotland as a destination that is as pet-friendly as it is beautiful. The tourist board, which is a partner organization of The American-Scottish Foundation, was looking for a well-behaved dog with an adventurous side and tons of #ScotSpirit.

VisitScotland received over 200 applications from all over Scotland, and the entries ranged from small city dogs to huge Highland hounds. Working with recruitment agency Denholm Associates, VisitScotland has narrowed the competition down to nine furry finalists. Meet them here:

1. Casper 

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.05.32Casper is a three year-old West Highland Terrier from Edinburgh. His owner, Samantha Grant, says that the Westie has travelled all across Scotland since his puppyhood, visiting destinations like the Isle of Mull, Onich, Portpatrick, and the West Highland Way.

Take a look at Casper’s own blog, ‘Scotland with the Wee White Dug.’

2. Sydney

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.04.53Sydney is a four year-old Pug from Edinburgh who enjoys walking up Arthur’s Seat, Blackford Hill and the Pentland Hills with her owner, Kristyn Lavery.

Kristyn calls the two of them “Scotland’s adventure couple,” as they love hopping in the car and speeding off to adventure.

3. Cassie

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.07.22Cassie, a three and a half year-old dog, is a Patterdale Terrier and Collie mix from East Lothian. Her owners, Andrew and Carol Duff, rescued Cassie from a stray-shelter in Romania.

Cassie loves adventures, and has been on walks everywhere from the Tyningham Beach to the Lammermuir Hills.

4. Manny

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.08.44Manny is a charming 11 month-old Border Collie puppy from Fife. She and her owner, Vicky Gorn, enjoy playing sports and embarking on adventures.

Manny and Vicky even attends occasional agility classes together.

Check out Manny’s outdoor adventures on her Facebook.

5. George

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.11.54George is a one year-old Golden Retriever from Glasgow. HIs owners, Emma and Victoria Rae, love to take him on adventures across Scotland.

One of his favorite travel destinations is Loch Lomond, where he loves to splash around.

George already has 15.2k followers on his Instagram page, @golden_george_.

6. Bertie

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.53.48Bertie, a six year-old Fox Terrier, lives in Aberdeen with his owner, Dr. Gail Riekie. Bertie’s official name is Granddach Beinn Allign, after the Torridon Munro.

The fox terrier has travelled all over Scotland, visiting dog-friendly cafes in cities like Aberdeen and exploring the likes of Glen Tanar and Morven on Deeside.

7. Blaze

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.55.56Blaze the four year-old Border Collie is from the Isle of Skye, where he is a local celebrity. His owner, Steve Millar, often takes Blaze up huge hills and Munros.

In 2014, the pair raised over £1,000 for the Glencoe Mountain Rescue through the sales of a calendar featuring the adventurous pup.

Check out Blaze’s adventures on his twitter.

8. Fenton

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.57.10Fenton is a four year-old Shetland Sheepdog who lives in Shetland with owner Kaylee Robertson. This adventurous little dog loves to explore, and is often found splashing through the crashing waves on the island shores, or else running round the rolling hills.

You can see Fenton’s Shetland adventures on Kaylee’s Instagram @Hobbitpaws.

9. Cluanie

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.58.50Cluanie the four year-old Jack Russell is a famous little dog from Inverness. Cluanie became famous after travelling up Ben Nevis in a kilt.

Cluanie’s owner, Micky Jones, has taken the tiny dog up 59 Munros in the last two years alone. Follow Cluanie’s adventures on his Facebook page.

VisitScotland and Denholm Associates will now work with TV personality Kaye Adams and the charity Dogs’ Trust to pick the winning finalist. The official Ambassadog will be announced later this month, after interviews with the finalists. Besides fame, the Ambassadog and their owner will win a unique dog-friendly holiday in Scotland.

Learn more about the Ambassadog finalists, and watch their nominee videos here.

Scotland is a wonderful travel destination for humans and animals alike. If you and your pet are interested in visiting Scotland, you will need proper documentation. Find out more about Scotland Pet Passports here.

Visit the VisitScotland website for more information on canine vacation fun. VisitScotland has a variety of pet-friendly holiday itineraries for those travelling to Scotland with a pet.

All images via the VisitScotland Ambassadog videos on Vimeo.com/butterflyfilms.