Saturday, 31 May 2014

This week I have mainly been in...

Scotland, the noo!

A leisurely week in Scotland visiting our relatives gave us an opportunity to catch up on a few visitor attractions.

Haig: Bronzed off perhaps in the rain
We did the Edinburgh Dungeons (too scary for some of us), the Britannia (very beige) and last, but not least, Edinburgh Castle. I haven't been to the castle since I was a kid so it was pretty much a fresh start for me. Highlights were the Scottish National War Memorial right at the top of the hill, the crown jewels (does Mr Salmond's head fit?) and the National War Museum. The latter was very well done if a little dark (under lit) in places. The whole thing impressed me with a genuine sense of Scottish nationhood, a very large step up from the petty nationalism that is featuring in the independence debate.

I found the statue of Haig rather touching. It is directly outside the museum but its subject does not seem to be overtly discussed in the museum's material. Perhaps an opportunity missed to debate this complex figure. 

The Bruce
Having read about the Bannockburn battlefield centre in Wargames Illustrated 319 we went along without having pre-booked anything. All I can say is that it is the best battlefield centre I have visited. The 3D experience is stunning, the children found this absolutely magic and so did I. The battlefield briefing using the wargame model was good and the game itself was highly entertaining. No need to go into detail as the WI article gave a good run through. Every one who played (around 30) was engaged throughout, the children made good decisions and the lady standing next to showed great insight, for someone I did not take to be a wargamer. Game management by Amy was excellent. As mentioned in WI, there was great enthusiasm for killing the enemy royalty so wargamery tactics went out the window.

Big flagpole, small English King and damsel, sorry that would be Queen!
If you get the opportunity, do go along. We enjoyed this so much we will make the trip to Culloden next time we are up the way. It makes me wonder why we can't have something like this for Naseby or Marston Moor?

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