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.
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.
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:
Casper 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.’
Kristyn calls the two of them “Scotland’s adventure couple,” as they love hopping in the car and speeding off to adventure.
Cassie loves adventures, and has been on walks everywhere from the Tyningham Beach to the Lammermuir Hills.
Manny and Vicky even attends occasional agility classes together.
Check out Manny’s outdoor adventures on her Facebook.
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_.
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.
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.
Fenton 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.
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.
VisitScotland, Scotland’s official tourism board and a partner organization of The American-Scottish Foundation, is already looking ahead to 2017. Next year will be the Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology in Scotland.
The year 2017 will showcase the rich history and archaeology of Scotland, celebrating its famous World Heritage Sites, ancient monuments, historic battlefields, castles, houses and more. Scotland’s heritage will be shared through its rich cultural traditions, ancient myths and classic tales.
The year of History, Heritage & Archaeology in Scotland will shine new light on the nation’s icons and hidden gems alike. Scotland’s gorgeous landscape, incredible architecture, and deep heritage make it a perfect holiday destination for the adventurous traveller.
VisitScotland has created inspiring itineraries to help visitors make the most of their trips to Scotland in 2017.
Click these links to view the following themed itineraries from VisitScotland:
- Edinburgh and South Scotland
- Glasgow and South West Scotland
- Scotland’s Northern Islands
- North of Scotland
To find out more about VisitScotland, visit the website here.
April 18th marks annual World Heritage Day across the globe. This special day serves to raise public awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage around the world, and the efforts that go into preserving this heritage.
Each year has a different theme, and the theme of World Heritage Day 2016 is “The Heritage of Sport,” to signify the upcoming Olympics in Brazil. You can find out more about World Heritage Day on the International Council of Monuments and Sites website.
‘The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation‘ recognizes World Heritage Sites as international locations of significant cultural or natural heritage which should be celebrated and preserved for generations to come. Scotland currently has six World Heritage Sites on the World Heritage List. Although World Heritage Day exists to celebrate all cultural sites and monuments, World Heritage Sites are especially honored.
Scotland’s six World Heritage Sites are as follows:
1. Forth Bridge
The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge that runs over the Firth of Forth. An iconic symbol of Scotland, the bridge was designed by English engineers Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker. The bridge was opened on March 4th, 1890 by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII.
The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is a group of surviving Neolithic monuments in Orkney, Scotland. The domestic and ritual monuments are not only amazing pieces of Neolithic design, but they also give us insights into the society and spiritual beliefs of the people who once inhabited Scotland.
3. New Lanark
New Lanark is a restored 18th century cotton mill village found in the narrow gorge of the River Clyde. The village became famous for its success under the leadership of Welsh social reformer Robert Owen, who turned New Lanark into a thriving business village run through utopian socialism.
The Antonine Wall once marked the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire. Running across central Scotland, it was built by Roman soldiers under the direction of Emperor Antoninus Pius around AD 142. The builders commemorated the construction and their struggles with the Caledonians in decorative slabs along the site. Twenty of these slabs still survive.
Together, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh form what is arguably the one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The medieval structure of the Old Town gives Edinburgh its fairytale essence, the 18th century New Town is a beautifully preserved example of Georgian town planning and architecture.
6. St Kilda
St Kilda is an is an isolated archipelago about 100 miles off of the west coast of Scotland. The group of remote islands is famous for hosting the largest colony of seabirds in all of Europe, as well as unique populations of sheep, field-mice and wrens. The human heritage of the islands includes various unique architectural features from the historic and prehistoric periods, as well as written records dating back to the Middle Ages.
Scotland’s six treasured historic sites were celebrated today with a day of free, fun activities at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The day brought the six World Heritage Sites to life with fun activities and informational presentations for the whole family.
Each of the six Scottish World Heritage Sites had its own stall to teach visitors more about the unique sites. Visitors were able to handle replica Neolithic and Roman artefacts, dress up as 19th century mill workers from New Lanark, and build their own Roman swords and St. Kilda Mailboats.
Find out more about celebrating World Heritage Day in Scotland here.
At the American-Scottish Foundation, we take great pride in being a founding member of the National Tartan Day New York Committee, together with the St Andrews Society of the State of New York, the New York Caledonian Club, and more recent member Clan Campbell.
We work together to coordinate joint and separate events and festivities during the annual New York City Tartan Week, including the annual Tartan Day Parade, which is now the biggest event of its kind in the United States.
We love hearing from fans of the Tartan Week festivities, so it was great to see the enthusiastic response of Outlander fans at the 18th annual New York Tartan Day parade.
Outlander is a time-travel television series based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon. It stars Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, a married World War II nurse in 1945 who is mysteriously transported back to Scotland in 1743, where she meets the handsome Highland warrior Jamie Fraser, played by Sam Heughan. Heughan was the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade.
With Sam Heughan leading this year’s Tartan Day Parade, Outlander fans flocked to New York this year in even greater numbers than were with us last year when Graham McTavish, another great actor from the series, was Grand Marshal. It was no surprise that many Outlander fans came and participated in the parade from all over the Unites States Britain and Europe.
Over 450 members of the fan group Outlander United marched in the parade, while thousands lined the streets just hoping to catch a glimpse of Heughan. Scotland Now calls the Outlander effect in New York the nearest thing to “Beatle-Mania.” All the American-Scottish Foundation can say is that it was wonderful to see so many enjoying the Parade.
To hear first hand-accounts of the Tartan Day Parade from members of the Outlander United group, read this fantastic article by TiBS blogger and Outlander United member, Erin Conrad. It includes a slideshow of more fabulous photos from the parade.
We hope to see the members of Outlander United at next year’s parade. Mark your calendar now for Saturday, April 8th, 2017!
To learn more about the annual New York City Tartan Day Parade, visit the website, here.
In 1998, April 6th was declared National Tartan Day. Since then celebrations of scottish heritage and pride have taken place throughout the United States, and nowhere more than New York who top off a week long celebration of events throughout the City, with the annual New York Tartan Day Parade.
This years celebrations took on an added dimension as the hugely popular series Outlander, premiered their second season on the evening of the Parade – and the chosen Grand Marshal for the Parade was non other than the shows leading actor, Sam Hueghan. Heughan plays the dashing Highlander, Jamie Fraser in the series.
Outlander fans were planning for months to come together in New York for the Parade and on hearing that Heughan was Grand Marshal the excitment grew. Many of the fans have visited Scotland or plan to, and so the Scotland’s national tourism agency VisitScotland wrapped a double decker bus for the Parade with the image of the Callanish Stones and messaging, encouraging New Yorkers to book their tickets to the land that inspired Outlander.
The series is filmed throughout Scotland, and already after the first series, premier locations featured in the series have seen an increase in visitors.
Locations include Doune Castle, Culloden, Falkland and Culross, all of which have enjoyed a dramatic rise in visitor numbers.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland Week is an opportunity for members of the Scottish tourism industry to meet with prospective visitors from the hugely important North American market, with events such as our Diaspora Breakfast always proving popular. Outlander has taken the world by storm and it is important that we capitalise on the continued success of a series in which Scotland really is the star.
“With its stunning imagery of the Callanish Stones, which are just like the ones that play such a pivotal role in the series, our bus is sure to be a big hit during the hugely popular Tartan Day Parade, which regularly attracts thousands of spectators. Hopefully it will encourage event more people to look into booking a trip to Scotland and explore the land that inspired Outlander.”
Outlander fans in New York during Scotland Week also enjoyed a special event taking place at NYC Beer Authority on the evening of April 8th. The Belhaven Brewery-sponsored gathering saw a number of Scottish businesses showcasing their Outlander-inspired wares, including jewellery makers Hamilton & Young, Walkers Shortbread, tour operator Mary’s Meanders and “Outlander Herbalist” Claire MacKay.
Outlander is based on the best selling series of books by Diana Gabaldon.
For more information on Outlander and Scotland, go to www.visitscotland.com/
Scottish sisters Jennifer and Julie-Anne share a real passion for quilting.
In November 2015 they opened their own quilting business, Cabar Crafts.
Prior to opening the business, they would often visit family in the Highlands. There the sisters would spend many hours looking around local woollen mills and admiring the handy work of the weavers in the Outer Hebrides.
After falling in love with the warm, durable fabric at the woollen mills, the sisters decided to put their own passion for sewing to use. At first they made quilts for their own young babies using locally sourced materials from Harris.
These gorgeous quilts are handmade in Scotland with love- order one of your own here.
To find out more about Cabar Crafts visit their Facebook page.
ASF Members and Friends can enjoy special ticket pricing for the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts’ upcoming production of “Samuel Beckett Trilogy: Not I, Footfalls, Rockaby” on April 13-17.
In Walter Asmus’ critically-acclaimed staging of three one-woman plays by Samuel Beckett, Irish actor Lisa Dwan masterfully triangulates the existential void.
In Not I, a woman—reduced to a mere mouth, suspended in total darkness—seeks solace in a blisteringly paced stream of her own broken speech. In Footfalls, a tattered soul, drained of life, paces relentlessly outside her dying mother’s bedroom. And in Rockaby, a woman slowly withdraws from the world, rocked to eternal sleep in her mother’s chair.
This production drew ecstatic reviews at BAM in 2014, Royal Court Theatre and in the West End.
The astonishing actress Lisa Dwan doesn’t just uncover layers; she digs all the way to the void beneath them. – Ben Brantley, The New York Times
Friends and members of the American-Scottish Foundation have an exclusive offer for discounted tickets of all levels. There are only six performances on April 13-17, so don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity.
Wednesday April 13 and Thursday, April 14 at 8PM | Saturday, April 16 at 2PM | Sunday, April 17 at 3PM:
- Level 1 – $44 (Reg. $55)
- Level 2 – $36 (Reg. $45)
- Level 3 – $28 (Reg. $35)
- Level 4 – $20 (Reg. $25)
Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 at 8PM:
- Level 1 – $52 (Reg. $65)
- Level 2 – $44 (Reg. $55)
- Level 3 – $36 (Reg. $45)
- Level 4 – $28 (Reg. $35)
To purchase discounted tickets use the official code: Beckett3
Order tickets by going online and entering the code, or by calling 888.611.8183 and mentioning the code. You can also bring a printout of this offer to the NYU Skirball Center Shagan Box Office – 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square.
For more information, visit the NYU Skirball Center website.
Service fees apply to online/phone orders. Schedule is subject to change. All sales are final. Offer subject to availability. Offer may be revoked at any time.
It is not often that one comes across exceptional craftsmanship together with contemporary yet classic design – but earlier this year the American-Scottish Foundation was introduced to Strathberry of Scotland. The brand is taking the fashion industry by a storm, and with such beautiful craftsmanship and high-quality design, it is no wonder why.
Strathberry of Scotland is a leading, modern Scottish brand which prides itself on making luxurious, high-end bags that match other designer bags in quality, but with more reasonable price tags.
Besides their collection of handmade bags, Strathberry also designs accessories with iconic Scottish textiles like tweed, lace, and cashmere from the Hawick Cashmere mill in the Scottish Borders. Non-endangered salmon skin is also used in the production of some bags and accessories, adding even more Scottish flair to the sustainable fashion brand.
Strathberry boasts the highest standards of quality and design. Not only does the brand support local producers, but every item in the collection is handmade in Europe. Taking inspiration from traditional means of artistry, Strathberry craftsmen take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours to create a single bag.
Strathberry founders, Guy and Leeanne Hundleby, officially launched their collection in 2013. Just three years later, the brand is really taking off. Celebrities like Emma Watson, Lily Allen and Paloma Faith are Strathberry wearers, and Strathberry bags appear in countless fashion-blogs and magazines.
Visit the Strathberry website to learn more about the luxury Scottish brand that is winning over the fashion world.