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Scottish Communication Pioneers

In today's modern world of endless communication options, it's difficult to imagine a time when a basic landline telephone was considered to be futuristic. When Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first US patent for the telephone in 1876, he considered the instrument to be an unwelcome intrusion when he was working, and reportedly refused to have one in his study. One wonders what he may have thought of the 21st century where being separated from their cellular phones for even just a short while is unthinkable for many people, and experiences and opinions are communicated in 140 characters or less.

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Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve

The Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve is located on the north coast of the Isle of Islay, the most southerly of Scotland's Western Isles, known for its rugged beauty. The loch after which the reserve is named extends up to four miles inland toward, but two miles short of, Loch Indaal. Cared for by the RSPB since 1984, the shallow waters, stunning white beaches, mudflats, saltmarsh, grasslands, peat bog and moorland of Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and is the perfect destination to be at one with nature.

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Hand-Crafted Treasures from Craft Town Scotland

Located in the coastal town of West Kilbride, overlooking the Isle of Arran, Craft Town Scotland offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy an unspoiled Scottish village, and purchase a wide variety of hand-crafted items directly from the skilled crafters who made them. Visitors can spend some time watching the creative process in the eight open studios – an interesting feature of this increasingly popular attraction – before making their purchase.

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Lennoxlove House - A Wealth of History and Culture

Set in ancient woodlands just south of Haddington in East Lothian, Lennoxlove House has been the family home of the Dukes of Hamilton since 1946. Visitors to this beautifully preserved historic building can arrange for guided tours between Easter and the end of September each year, where an experienced tour guide will reveal the history of the building and its previous occupants, as well as detailing interesting information relating to the various artifacts on display.

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Features

History, Culture and Genealogy at Grantown Museum

Located alongside the River Spey on the northern edge of the majestic Cairngorm Mountains, Grantown-on-Spey was established in 1765 to populate this picturesque and fertile region of the Scottish Highlands. As a planned settlement, Grantown was different in a number of ways from the many settlements which sprang up in an informal fashion at that time. One of the differences being that land was allocated, avoiding squabbling over land rights among the citizens of the new town and promoting cooperation. To gain insight into the history and culture of this charming town and its surroundings, visitors should make a point of spending some time at the fascinating Grantown Museum, which is also the traditional home of the Clan Grant and hosts meetings of the Grantown Society.

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Skye Serpentarium – A Sanctuary for Reptiles

Initially established by Catherine and Alex Shearer as an exhibition and education centre in 1991, the Skye Serpentarium has become a sanctuary for unwanted pets and illegally imported reptiles. With an experienced staff member in attendance to answer any questions, visitors to the centre can view more than fifty animals, ranging from small White’s Tree Frogs through to large Green Iguanas. The centre also does regular handling sessions where visitors can learn interesting facts relating to these often misunderstood creatures.

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Features

Enjoy the Tranquility of St Andrews Botanic Garden

The St Andrews Botanic Garden, located at the west end of South Street in St Andrews, Fife, has been created as a peaceful haven for visitors to enjoy, as well as providing a venue for education and research. The garden has been designed with boundary vegetation, a coniferous wind-break and shrub borders to create micro-climatic conditions similar to those found in the wild, allowing plants to thrive in their natural habitat.

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Features

Scotland Goes Creative in 2012

Travelers will find a host of good reasons to make Scotland their destination of choice next year as the Year of Creative Scotland 2012 program of events, activities and festivals focuses on promoting Scottish culture. With a reported £6.5 million in lottery cash supporting the initiative, it will be a collaborative effort between the creative, events and tourism sectors and include a number of smaller selected communities. As London hosts the Olympic Games in 2012, it is anticipated that the Year of Creative Scotland will encourage international tourists attending the Olympics to include Scotland in their itineraries.

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