Douglas Gathering Newsletter No. 5
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Douglas Clan Gathering
30th June - 6th July 2014

Where to stay?

We have organised favourable rates at two of Edinburgh's hotels, but these may not be suitable for all.

We will be holding some of our events at the Edinburgh Marriott and the former home of the earls of Morton, Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club, but we understand may not suit everyone and so we have been looking around for alternative accommodation nearby.

A number of Bread and Breakfast (B&B) establishments are within walking distance of the Marriott Hotel.

Please note that none of these B&Bs have been visited, but the websites give a good indication of what to expect.

These hotels are nearby and on good transport routes.
* The 4-star Novotel is 200 metres from Edinburgh Park Rail Station and a 12-minute train ride from the city centre. It has modern rooms and a heated indoor swimming pool
Corstorphine Lodge Hotel is a charming stone-built Victorian villa dating back to the 1880s offering 3-star accommodation 
* The Holiday Inn is next to Edinburgh Zoo (home of the pandas), close to Murrayfield Stadium and 4 miles from Edinburgh International Airport. It offers a pool, gym, free parking and an Asian restaurant. 
* The Premier Inn is located opposite Edinburgh Park Rail Station,  is just 10 minutes’ drive from Edinburgh Airport and a 13 minute walk from the Marriott.

There is of course, a wide range of city centre hotels in Edinburgh.

Mary Queens of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots is arguably one of the most enigmatic figures in Scottish history. Her story arouses strong emotions: was she betrayed by those she trusted, condemned to die a Catholic martyr or was she a murdering adulteress with her husband’s blood on her hands? And what part did the Douglas family play in all of this?

We will be visiting Lochleven Castle on Monday 30th June, making the crossing in a small ferry boat, much as Mary would have done when she was imprisoned there in 1567.  
On 2 May 1568, Mary escaped from Loch Leven with the aid of George Douglas, brother of Sir William Douglas, the castle's owner.
On Wednesday 2nd July, we will be visitng both Tantallon Castle and Lennoxlove House. Tantallon Castle is a a formidable stronghold and was the seat of the Douglas Earls of Angus. Mary Queen of Scots stayed at Tantallon in 1566.
Lennoxlove House is home to the Duke of Hamilton. Amongst the Lennoxlove collection includes a silver casket and sapphire ring belonging to Mary, Queen of Scots, as well as her death mask. Unveiled in 2007, was a 16th century bed, reputedly slept in by the Queen herself.  
Mary was born, as was her father, in Linlithgow Palace. An opportunity to visit here will be available on Friday 4th July. It is just a short train ride from Edinburgh Park railway station.  On this day, we can visit some of the key places in Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh.  Mary married both her first husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley (James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton was implicated in his murder) and her second, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell at Holyrood, in Edinburgh.
She gave birth to her only child, James (later King James VI of Scotland and I of England) in Edinburgh Castle. The rooms have recently been refurbished and are open to view.
Edinburgh's museums hold many portraits and artifacts that are well worth a visit.

For those wishing to explore further Douglas connections, the is a Mary Queens of Scots trail to follow.

Gathering Programme

We are now fairly firm on how the programme will look for daytime events. 

Monday  30th June:    Visit Aberdour and Lochleven Castles
Tuesday 1st July:       Visit Bothwell and Douglas Castles, the Douglas Heritage Museum and St Bride's Church
Wednesday 2nd July: Visit Dirleton and Tantallon Castles and Lennoxlove House
Thursday 3rd July:      Visit Lincluden Abbey, Threave Castle and the Douglas Mausoleum
Friday 4th July:            Tour Edinburgh, or a location of your choice
Saturday 5th July:        Clan Muster at Drumlanrig Castle, with an opportunity to visit Morton Castle and the Queensberry Tomb.

On Sunday 6th July, we will be in Stirling, where a Kirkin o' the Tartan church service is planned. We will march with banners flying from the Castle to the Kirk.  You will then have the opportunity to visit Stirling Castle, The Wallace Monument and the site of the Battle of Bannockburn.

Further details of the daily programme are available on the Clan Gathering website.
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