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17th March 2016

Celebrate Heritage – Central Walks Scotland

Central Scotland walks and walking holidays let you find out about your clan heritage!

celebrate with central scotland walks

This day is celebrated the world over and especially in areas with strong Irish and Celtic backgrounds but, did you know, according to some versions of Saint Patrick’s legend, he was actually originally from Scotland?  It’s believed that he was born in Kilpatrick, a small village just outside of Dumbarton, in 387 AD. Central Scotland walks are a great way of finding out about your heritage!

Saint Patrick of course wasn’t the only young man to have left Scotland – in recent centuries, both Scottish and Irish people have immigrated in large numbers, notably to USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. At EasyWays, we’ve met many people who come back from these countries to trace their family heritage.

While here, why not combine your family history research with a walking holiday along the trails walked by your ancestors?

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Find your family clan on one of our Central Scotland Walks

West Highland Way

Across the East Coast of Loch Lomond, you can find the home of the Buchanan Clan and then move onto the lands of McGregor, Campbells and the MacDonald clan.

The West Highland Way is one of our most popular walks not only due to how challenging it is (96 miles!) but also due to the wonderful views that can be seen along the way.

Great Glen Way

Along the Great Glen Way, you can discover the original birthplace of the Cameron, Grant and Fraser clans. The ancestors of the Grants were in Strathspey during the reign of Malcolm III, where their main task was to ensure that the beacon atop Craig Elachie (now “Craigellachie” by Aviemore) was lit to warn the King if danger threatened from the North

Isle of Skye

The idyllic Isle of Skye is home to MacDonalds, MacKinnons, MacLeods clans.

North Highland Way

The North Highland Way features the original homes of the Sinclair and MacKay clans. Even though this is not one of our central Scotland walks, it is another way to find our about your clan heritage.

A Shared National Drink

Whether you spell it Scottish whisky, Irish whiskey, or opt for the Gaelic ‘uisge beatha (translated as ‘water of life’), there can be no doubt that this drink is culturally and economically important for both Scotland and Ireland. Along a few of our walking routes, you can take time out to visit a distillery!

Distilleries along our walking routes

Many of our hikers take breaks along the way so that they can truly experience the villages and towns they’re passing through. This includes distilleries which are the perfect way to round off a long day of walking!

Glengoyne – West Highland Way
Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, MacAllan – Speyside Way
Scotland’s smallest distillery in Pitlochry: Edradour – Rob Roy Way

Sport

Scotland’s shinty and Ireland’s hurling are team games, played with sticks and a ball. Although they have been compared to hockey, the games have some significant differences. For more information on shinty, check out yesterday’s post!

In recognition of their shared roots, an annual international match between Scotland’s shinty team and Ireland’s hurling team is played on a home and away basis using composite rules. This usually takes place at the end of October and will be held in Inverness this year.

If you would like an autumn walk along the Great Glen Way or the South Loch Ness Trail, arriving in Inverness in time for this unique event on the sporting calendar, get in touch today! Walking holidays in Scotland are always great fun, made even better with EasyWays. Central Scotland walks are a great source of information about heritage as well as a lovely way for people from all over the world to see Scotland!

Learn more

This day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and celebrates the heritage and culture of Ireland in general.

However, in recent years it’s been more about the sociable aspects of the holiday, including, yes, drinking. As well as this though, there are parades, festivals and of course the tradition of wearing green clothes and shamrocks.

Christians also visit church and the tradition of Lent is paused for the day.

Fun Facts

  1. The first recorded Parade was actually in Boston, Massachusetts.
  2. The original colour associated with this day was blue!
  3. The first time the Chicago river was turned green for this day, 100lbs of vegetable dye was put into the water. It stayed there for a week! These days, Chicago sticks to a much lighter 25lbs of vegetable dye.
  4. Saint Patrick was said to banish the snakes from Ireland.
  5. George Washington ordered that Saint Patrick be the response to the password ‘Boston’ on Evacuation Day.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about other important celebrations, look at our last post!

If you’d like to combine one of our walking holidays with tracing you Celtic heritage or visiting a distillery or watching a shinty match, get in touch today! We’d love to hear from you.