We sometimes overlook the wealth of history and beauty on our doorstep, but the National Trust for Scotland’s podcast hopes to put that right.
The charity looks after some of the most significant places in the country, not only preserving and protecting them for future generations, but educating both Scots and visitors alike about the areas of significance.
Each episode hears from an expert in their chosen field, providing background to what they do as well as shining a light on a National Trust Scotland site.
In the presenting chair is Jackie Bird. Already she has spoken with the likes of the country’s head of archaeology, Derek Alexander, and Raoul Curtis-Machin, who is operations manager at Culloden.
One of the most popular, picturesque and famous spots in Scotland is Glenfinnan. In fact, the site is now the conservation charity’s most popular with almost 500,000 visitors recorded last year and a 165% increase in visitor numbers since 2015.
Much of that is down to its place in the world of Harry Potter, as the Hogwarts Express travels along the Glenfinnan Viaduct, but the site is also the location of the final Jacobite uprising of 1745, which took place 275 years ago.
In a recent episode, Jackie talked to Professor Murray Pittock, history advisor to the Trust, who looked back to when Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the Royal Standard at the start of what was the Stuarts’ final attempt to regain the British throne. The prince’s rallying cry was answered by 1,500 Jacobites, who marched as far as Derby before returning to Scotland and suffering the decisive defeat at Culloden.
Prof Pittock said: “Without the Jacobite rising of 1745, Great Britain would not have developed as it did and the British Empire would not have developed as it did.”
For The Love Of Scotland, Spotify, Apple
The Sandman (Audible)
Neil Gaiman might have made the news for the wrong reasons during lockdown after travelling from New Zealand to Skye, but this adaptation of his classic comic book is sure to get him back in fans’ good graces.
A who’s who cast has been assembled, including James McAvoy, Samantha Morton, Kat Dennings, Miriam Margolyes, Taron Egerton, Andy Serkis, Michael Sheen, Joanna Lumley and Gaiman himself as the narrator.
The Town That Didn’t Stare (Apple)
Journalist Nick Hilton digs into the history of the seemingly average town of East Grinstead in West Sussex, described as England’s Twin Peaks for its links to alternative religions and general weirdness.
It’s a history that features hauntings, Scientology’s L Ron Hubbard, Mormons, Opus Dei and Pagans. Locals refer to it as “the town that didn’t stare”, a place where you’re not judged by what you look like or how you live your life.
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