Discover our unique range of birthday gifts, prints , t-shirts and phone cases
Eilean Donan Castle is the most photographed castle in the world .
Discover our unique range of Eilean Donan Castle gifts, prints , t-shirts and phone cases
Scotland has hundreds of castles old and new , some in ruins , some refurbished and inhabited . I have compiled a list of my top ten castles , now available as free ecards . I have been taking pictures of castles for over 10 years and each one offers a unique challenge . I have published a new set of castle wallpapers which can be downloaded to your mobile . These castles are in no particular order
1 Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan is an old favourite . It in a spectacular setting in the middle of 3 lochs and surrounded by mountains . Eilean Donan Castle is one
of the most photographed castles in Scotland , if not the
world . It is on a small island in the middle of 3 lochs .
On a clear day you can see the Isle of Skye in the distance
. The original castle was built in 1220 . It was destroyed
by 3 English frigates in the 18th century and totally
rebuilt in the 1920s by the Macraes . Send a free Eilean Donan Castle ecard
2 Stirling Castle
Stirling is on a rocky crag overlooking the town with great views to the Wallace Monument and Ben Lomond . Stirling was a vital crossing point during the Wars of Independence . William Wallace , Braveheart , won the battle of Stirling Bridge at the foot of the castle.
Send a free Stirlng Castle ecard
3 Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle is perched on a spectacular rocky crag on the east coast of Scotland 4 miles from Stonehaven . In olden days the castle was impregnable because of the sheer cliffs on each side . Send a free Dunnotar Castle ecard
4 Urquhart Castle
Urquhart is on the shore of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland . The Grant Tower is the only part of the castle which is not completely in ruins . If you’re lucky you might see the Loch Ness monster as she swims up the loch for a snack around lunch time . Send a free Urquhart Castle ecard
5 Linlithgow Palace
Birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots . The fountain has been totally refurbished
6 Blackness Castle
Blackness Castle is long and narrow because of the shape of the rock on which it is situated and it is sometimes called ‘ the ship that never sailed ‘ . It guards the bay at Blackness and is only a few miles from Linlithgow Palace . Send a freeBlackness Castle ecard
7 Blair Castle
Blair Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Atholl and his own private army
8 Caerlaverock Castle
Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfriess is an unusual triangular shape
9 Castle Campbell
Castle Campbell is high on the hillside near Dollar and it has spectacular views over the Forth Valley
The castle wallpapers can be downloaded to your mobile
- SONY A77 II M2 DSLR Camera Body ILCA-77M2 Multi (Black)
Battery Charger Rechargable Battery Shoulder Strap
- AF Illuminator
- Built-into flash, Range: approx. 3.3′ to 16.4′ (1m-5m)
- AF Modes
- Single-shot AF(AF-S), Continuous AF(AF-C), Automatic AF(AF-A) selectable, Direct Manual Focus (DMF), Manual Focus
- Anti Dust
- Charge protection coating on image sensor and image sensor shift mechanism
- Auto Exposure Lock
- Yes with AE Lock buttonAE is also locked when focus is locked in multi-segment metering mode. (AEL w/ shutter(Auto/On/Off) is supported)
- Auto High Dynamic Range
- Yes, ((Auto/Level(1-5), Auto High Dynamic Range(Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1-6EV, 1.0EV step)), off)
- Burst Buffer
- Continuous Advance Priority AE mode:- Extra fine: 53 images- Fine: 60 images- Standard: 64 images- RAW & JPEG: 25 images- RAW: 26 imagesContinuous shooting- Extra fine: 56 images- Fine: 75 images- Standard: 93 images- RAW & JPEG: 26 images- RAW: 28 images
- Camera Type
- Sony A-mount interchangeable lens digital camera
- Color Filter System
- RGB primary color filters
- Color Temperature
- 2500 to 9900K & Color Filter (G7 to M7: 15-steps, A7 to B7: 15-steps)
- Continuous Shooting Speed
- Continuous Priority AE (12fps),Continuous (Hi: up to 8fps,Low: up to 3fps)
- Creative Style
- Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait , Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia (Contrast (-3 to +3steps), Saturation(-3 to +3steps), Sharpness(-3 to +3steps))
- D-Range Optimizer
- Off, Dynamic Range Optimizer (Auto/Level (1-5)), Auto High Dynamic Range (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure Difference Level (1-6 EV, 1.0 EV step))
- Drive Mode
- Single Shot, Continuous shooting (Hi or Lo selectable), Self-timer (10 or 2 sec delay selectable), Self-timer (Cont.) (with 10 sec delay 3 or 5 exposures selectable), Bracket: Cont. Bracket: Single, White Balance bracket, DRO bracket
- Effective Picture Resolution
- Approx. 24.3 megapixels
- Exposure Bracketing
- Bracket: Cont./Bracket: Single, 3/5 frames selectable
- Exposure Compensation
- +/-5.0 EV (1/3EV,1/2EV steps selectable)
- Exposure Settings
- iAUTO, Superior Auto, Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter priority (S), Manual (M), Memory Recall (MR1/2/3)), Sweep Panorama, Scene Selection, Movie (P/A/S/M), Continuous Advanced Priority (AE)
- Face Detection
- On/On (Regist. Faces)/Off
- Flash Bracketing
- 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 EV steps, 3/5 frames selectable
- Flash Compensation
- ±3.0 EV (switchable between 1/3 and 1/2 EV steps)
- Flash Coverage
- 16mm (focal length printed on lens body)
- Flash Metering System
- ADI flash / Pre-flash TTL / Manual flash
- Flash Modes
- Flash off, Auto flash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync, Wireless, Hi-speed sync, Red-eye reduction (On/Off)
- Flash Sync Speed
- 1/250 sec.
- Flash Type
- Built-in, Pop-up Auto
- Focal Length Conversion Factor
- Focus Area
- Wide/ Zone/ Center/ Flexible Spot/ Expanded Flexible Spot,Lock-On AF: Wide/ Zone/ Center/ Flexible Spot/ Expanded Flexible Spot)
- Focus Features
- Eye-start AF, Lock-on AF, Eye Focus, Predictive control (AF-A, AF-C), Focus lock, AF On, Eye-start AF
- Focus Points
- 79 points (15 points cross type, with center F2.8 sensor)
- Focus Sensitivity
- EV -2 to 18 (at ISO100 equivalent)
- Focus System
- TTL phase detection AF (CCD line sensors)
- Guide Number
- 12 (in meters at ISO100)
- Image Stabilization
- SteadyShot INSIDE™ in-body image stabilization
- Imaging Sensor
- Exmor™ APS-C HD CMOS sensor (23.5 X 15.6mm)
- Stills: ISO 100-25,600 selectable in 1/3 EV steps, Still Auto: ISO 100-25,600 selectable upper and lower limit,Movies: ISO 100-12,800 selectable in 1/3 EV steps, Movie Auto: ISO 100-12,800 selectable upper and lower limit
- Lens Compatibility
- Sony A-mount lens
- Advanced 1200-zone evaluative metering
- Metering Modes
- Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
- Metering Sensitivity
- -2EV to 17EV (at ISO 100 equivalent w/ f/1.4 lens)
- Yes (NFC Forum Type 3 Tag compatible, One-touch remote, One-touch sharing)
- Noise Reduction
- Long Exposure NR: (On/Off, available at shutter speeds longer than 1 second) High ISO NR: (High/Normal/Low/Off selectable)
- Operating System Compatibility
- Windows XP SP3 (32-bit), Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1; Mac OS X (v10.3-ｖ10.6), PMB is not compatible with Mac OS. Camera (via USB), Image Data Converter, and Image Data Lightbox software are compatible with Mac OS.
- Picture Effect(s)
- 13 modes: Posterization (Color, B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R, G, B, Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, Illustration
- Pixel Gross
- Approx. 24.7 megapixels
- BIONZ® X image processor
- Recycling Time
- Approx. 3 sec.
- Scene Mode(s)
- Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports action, Sunset, Night portrait, Night Scene, Handheld Twilight
- 2-sec. or 10-sec. delay (3-5exposure selectable)
- Shutter Speeds
- Still images: 1/8000 to 30 seconds, bulb; Movies: 1/8000 to 1/4 (1/3 step), up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto slow shutter mode)
- Shutter Type
- Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter
- Smile Shutter technology
- Smile shutter (selectable from 3 steps)
- Supplied Software
- PMB (Picture Motion Browser) v5.2; Image Data Converter SR v3.2; Image Data Lightbox SR v2.2
- Sweep Panorama
- Horizontal (Wide/Standard), Vertical, and 3D Panorama
- White Balance Mode
- Auto WB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White, Cool White, Day White, Daylight), Flash, Color Temperature (2500 to 9900K), Color Temp. Filter (G7 to M7, A7 to B7), Custom (1/2/3), Custom SetAWB micro adjustment; G7 to M7 (15-steps), A7 to B7 (15-steps)Bracketing; 3 frames, H/L selectable
Baby , Bye Bye is a new Jack Vettriano signed , limited edition print
Limited edition prints
300gsm Museum Etching paper Signed and numbered by the artist
Edition size: 250 + 25 Artist’s Proofs
Limited Edition Giclee Print, published 2015.
Overall Size 41.0 x 49.0 cm (16.1 x 19.3 in)
Frame option 62.5 x 72.5 cm (24.6 x 28.5 in)
Jack Vettriano video of the 5 new giclee prints
Pixar’s new blockbuster Brave film is set in Scotland and has been inspired by a number of Scottish castles, mainly Eilean Donan Castle and Dunnottar Castle. The film has made $66.7m (£42.8m) in its opening weekend, knocking Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted off the top spot. Brave is the first Disney Pixar animation with a female protagonist. Brave, which will close the Edinburgh International Film Festival later this week, is the the 13th consecutive Pixar release to open at number one. “Their track record is just unbelievable,” said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
“The Pixar brand just carries so much weight with the audience. It doesn’t matter almost what the story is about if it has the Pixar name.”
Brave’s heroine, who rebels against her family’s plans for her to marry, is voiced by Kelly Macdonald, of Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire fame.She was born and bred in Scotland , as were most of the cast, which includes Robbie Coltrane, comedian and now chat show host Craig Ferguson and Macdonald’s Trainspotting co-star Kevin McKidd, better known to American audiences for his role in Grey’s Anatomy.
Send ecards of Eilean Donan Castle .
Eilean Donan Castle inspiration
Eilean Donan has inspired many artists and photographers down the years. Images of the castle have featured in countless calendars and postcards. It is one of my favourite castles in Scotland because of the huge potential it offers throughout most of the year.
VisitScotland marketing campaign
VisitScotland found out that Mel Gibson’s film Braveheart in 1995 brought a whole flood of visitors to Scotland , mainly from America.They have decided to try and capitalise on Brave to promote Scotland and bring a whole new generation of visitors to Scotland.
VisitScotland has launched its biggest ever global marketing campaign, working alongside Disney Pixar to reach millions of potential visitors across the world. The campaign will showcase every corner of Scotland through a new TV and cinema advert, a new website and extensive marketing and events activity in countries ranging from the US and UK to France and Germany. The TV and cinema campaign will reach around 80 million people in the UK and abroad and is expected to boost the Scottish economy by around £140m.
The campaign will see the airing of VisitScotland’s first TV advert in North America for ten years – thanks to a major funding boost by the Scottish Government. The timing of the campaign is crucial, with this market showing encouraging signs of recovery. The number of American visitors increased by 15% last year and it is Scotland’s biggest overseas market, with more than 400,000 visitors spending £311m every year.
UK audiences will also be treated to the new advert in cinemas and TV in a special UK version which will launch when the film opens in August.
The new 30-second advert, which is voiced by the BBC’s historian and presenter Neil Oliver, will be broadcast on some of the world’s largest networks and in cinemas before the film, taking creative inspiration from the theme “Scotland. Where legends come to life.”
First Minister Alex Salmond attends Brave premiere
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has done his bit to promote VisitScotland’s marketing campaign with his attendance at the film premiere and a raft of press interviews.
The UK has hundreds of ruined castles. But some castles are more spooky than others. Here’s a list of the spookiest , most haunted castles in the UK , ideal for a visit at Halloween . If you’re brave enough to visit one of these castles , why not send a free Halloween greeting card
Edinburgh Castle commands the whole of the city centre , sitting on a volcanic rock . The castle is perhaps the spookiest in Britain because it has many ghosts. There is a drummer who only appears when the castle is
about to be attacked. A piper who disappeared in the
tunnels between the castle and the High Street comes back to haunt the dungeons. The castle is Scotland’s biggest visitor attraction with thousands of visitors each year.
Castle screensaver £3.95
Send a free Edinburgh Castle Halloween e-card.
Eilean Donan Castle
This is one of the most picturesque and most photographed castles in
the world . Robert the Bruce took refuge here in 1306 . The
original castle was destroyed in 1719 when 3 English
frigates attacked the Spanish troops garrisoned there
. The castle was rebuilt in the 20th century . This castle is spooky because the spirit of
a Spanish troop is said to haunt the castle.
Send a free Halloween e-card
. More pictures of Eilean
The Blue Bedroom is the haunt of one of the Gordon clan members, who
fell from a window. He had been pushed to his death by “Red”
Sir John Forbes, a noble. Several people heard the step of
the unfortunate Gordon climbing the stairs to the Blue
Bedroom, as if he was living the moment before his death
again and again.One of the
other ghosts is one of a musician, who is very selective (he
shows himself just to people with the name of Forbes). He
fell in the moat of the castle and drowned. Send free Halloween e-cards
This was the castle of the Stewart kings of Scotland from the 15th
century . In 1512Mary , Queen of Scots was born here .
Queen Margaret’s Tower at the top of the stair towers
, is said to be haunted by the Queen’s mother , Mary of Guise , waiting for the
return of her husband , James V .
More pictures of Linlithgow Palace
In the oldest part of the castle, the double tower, there is a room
known as the Green Lady’s Room, because of the several
apparitions of this unknown woman with a baby. It is said
that she’s a member of the Burnett family, proprietor of the
apparitions began after the discover of two skeletons,
during renovation work : one of a woman and one of a baby.
The baby is said to be the child of a man who preferred to
kill the baby and the mother to hide their
that the apparitions continue, even after the discover of
the bodies means than the two poor beings will never be able
to rest in peace.
The castle stands on volcanic rock overlooking the town of Stirling and
the countryside . Mary , Queen of Scots was crowned in the
old chapel in 1533 . The Pink Lady , a beautiful woman in a
pink silk gown , has been seen many times at the castle . It
may be Mary , Queen of Scots. Others say it is the ghost of
a woman searching for her husband who had been killed when
Edward I captured the castle .
Free Stirling Castle e-cards
Loch Lomond private tours
Loch Lomond is world renowned as a beauty spot .
Normal pickup point is Edinburgh city centre or the airport . Other pickup points can be arranged , subject to an additional fee .
- 6 hour private tour group day trip to Loch Lomond
- Explore the Loch and visit the village of Luss
- Take in unique views of Ben Lomond
- Travel by luxury car
- Small private group tour with a maximum of 4 people
Our tour of Loch Lomond features a visit to the world famous Kelpies , the Falkirk Wheel and Callendar House.
We stop for an hour at each location .
Tour cost –
£300 for 2 people
£320 for 3 people
£340 for 4 people
Transfers from Edinburgh to Glasgow Airport by Glentana Transfers
Linlithgow Palace private tours.
Private tours of the Highlands including a visit to Glencoe can be arranged . Your guide will take you to the best spots for taking pictures of the beautiful scenery of Glencoe .
This photo tour is ideal for beginners/ intermediate photographers . Your photo guide will offer assistance as required with taking pictures .
Buachaille Etive Mor 223 print. Paper size 19 by 13 inches , image size 16 by 12 inches. Photograph by David Rankin. Printed on Velvet Fine art paper , 100% cotton rag.
View more David Rankin prints on the Saatchi Art Gallery