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Stories of Scotland

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Stories of Scotland is an award-winning Scottish history podcast. Join hosts Jenny and Annie as they unravel the rich tapestry of Scotland’s culture, nature and heritage. Prepared to climb into caves, cairns and chaos, Jenny and Annie travel around Scotland and investigate how stories of the past can help us make sense of modern life. Stories of Scotland celebrates Scottish history through traditional storytelling, archival research, museum objects and wandering in nature. It is recorded in ...
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Love Scotland is a podcast series from the National Trust for Scotland. Hosted by TV star, expert broadcaster and National Trust for Scotland president Jackie Bird, Love Scotland features big names, experts and enthusiasts from all walks of life. Each episode delves deep into the detail of Scotland’s history, its wildlife and its landscapes. This season, listen out for episodes on Mary Queen of Scots, Robert the Bruce and a dive into the world of the Georgian Tea Room.
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In the second part of a two-episode biography of Robert the Bruce’s life, Jackie returns to the studio with Professor Dauvit Broun of the University of Glasgow. Last week, we looked at the early life of Robert and how his canny abilities, not to mention his tendency to switch allegiance at opportune moments, helped him to secure power. But what cam…
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From the Fortress of Shadows just off the Isle of Skye, to the Palace of Dreams in Arthurian legends, Jenny and Annie visit the homes of warrior women. Jenny begins with folklore and mythology of Sgàthach, sometimes called the Shadow, or the Striker of Fear, and we learn how she was the greatest teacher of warriors in all the world. Next, Annie tak…
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Welcome to a new series of Love Scotland. In this week’s episode, Jackie is joined by Professor Dauvit Broun of the University of Glasgow to discuss the life of Robert the Bruce. Robert, King of Scots from 1306-1329, led a fascinating life full of changing allegiances, shifting power and military victories. How much of our common understanding of t…
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Jackie gives a brief introduction to brand-new season of the Love Scotland podcast. We're going across the centuries to delve into the stories of Mary Queen of Scots and Robert the Bruce, then skipping ahead to the tales of the Georgian Tea Room. Jackie also hears from the Trust's archaeology team about wartime relics beind unearthed across the cou…
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We finish our pick of episodes from the archives with this conversation between Jackie and actor Sam Heughan, first released in 2022. The Dumfries and Galloway-born Outlander star, who has also launched his own whisky brand and became a New York Times bestselling author in 2020, joined Jackie to discuss his on-screen adventures at some of Scotland’…
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We’re rolling out the red carpet for this episode from the archives, first released in 2022. With Hollywood’s eyes on this weekend’s Academy Awards, take a dive into this cinematic history of Scotland’s relationship with the silver screen. What was the first film to earn Scotland a place on the movie-making map? Which horror cult classic was shot i…
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This episode is brought to you by Dundreggan Rewilding Centre. Annie and Jenny learn about the importance of rewilding, not just from the perspective of the environment, but also for communities. We meet dedicated staff Cait and Caoimhe at Dundreggan, and learn some beautiful folklore that’s woven into the landscape. From stealthy red squirrels to …
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This week, we’re going all the way back to Roman times – an an episode first released in 2023 – to find out about the Antonine wall and why Scotland was ‘Rome’s Afghanistan’. What led to the speedy evacuation of the Antonine wall, which was once garrisoned by thousands of Roman soldiers? What was Rome’s relationship with the lands beyond the wall r…
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This week, we’re returning to one of our most popular episodes, which was first released in May 2022. Jackie was joined by Dr Ciaran Jones, the lead researcher and author of a report on the links between NTS properties and the witch trials of the 16th-18th centuries. Why did Scotland try to execute five times as many so-called witches as the rest o…
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Production is underway on the next full series of Love Scotland, but in the meantime, we’re diving into the archives to highlight five of the top episodes of all time. This week, we’re returning to two episodes that – when combined – offer a full look at the Massacre of Glencoe. Some 332 years ago this week, around 30 members of Clan MacDonald were…
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Jenny and Annie bring another daring Fireside Folklore episode exploring folklore relating to the noble rowan tree. Jenny kicks off with an intriguing tale of a witch who lives in the woods. The wicked witch is particularly fond of her precious dishes but has minimal desire to clean them herself. This story reveals how the Rowan Tree gained its pow…
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Annie and Jenny churn through the rich history of butter in Scottish and Irish cultures. We slip into a buttery journey from the ancient practice of making bog butter to the evolution of dairy farming in the chilly northern lands. Learn about the fascinating genetics behind lactose tolerance and how aurochs, the wild ancestors of cows, shaped our d…
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A fresh New Year’s Eve tradition at Stories of Scotland is the telling of spooky stories about Hogmanay. Jenny and Annie return with terrifying tales to haunt you all Hogmanay. First, Jenny welcomes us to travel to a smoky bar on the Isle of Mull for "The Queer Visit of Calum the Skipper," a chilling tale of a New Year's ghost with a twist. As the …
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In this enchanting episode of Stories of Scotland, your hosts Annie and Jenny embark on a mystical journey through the life and legends of Michael Scot, a medieval figure shrouded in the allure of wizardry. Unlike the American sitcom character, this Michael Scot stands out as a figure of Scottish folklore, known for his reputed magical powers and s…
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As another series of Love Scotland draws to a close, Jackie gathers two companions to discuss the “song that everybody sings”: Auld Lang Syne. With lyrics penned by Robert Burns in 1788, but origins dating back further, it is now a global anthem of friendship, celebration, yearning and nostalgia. Mairi Campbell, a Scottish musician whose version of…
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Join Annie and Jenny on an oinking odyssey as they explore the role of the humble swine in Scottish folklore. We dive snout-first into discovering the folklore of the first boar in Scotland, some curious stories of how communities may or may not divide up their pigs, and some baffling bank robberies. We find some of the strangest stories featuring …
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Seals and other winter wildlife at St Abb’s Head This week, Jackie makes a return to St Abb’s Head in the Scottish Borders, just months after she last visited to investigate the summer’s avian flu outbreak. In the winter, many of the seabirds may have disappeared – but there are still a lot to be found. Joined once again by Head Ranger Ciaran Hatse…
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While Charles Rennie Mackintosh has become a singular icon in Scottish art, his legacy is so almighty that in many accounts, the achievements and contributions of his wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, are often overlooked. Described by Charles as being “more than half – she is three quarters – of all I’ve done”, Margaret’s artwork, and her place…
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Jenny and Annie take listeners on an enlightening journey through Scotland's rich astronomical history and its contemporary role in space exploration. The episode begins with a reflection on the timeless human fascination with the night sky, highlighting how stars have guided people through history. We delve into Scottish contributions to astronomy…
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The National Trust for Scotland cares for a dozen Scottish castles, all of which have unique histories and origins. In this week’s episode, Jackie sits down with author Janet Brennan-Inglis, who also chairs the Trust’s Galloway group, to discuss some of these buildings and their influence on Scotland’s story. Janet also guides Jackie through the ta…
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The Case of Osgood Mackenzie This week, Jackie’s turning her attention to Inverewe Garden in the northwest highlands. A tropical oasis bolstered by the nearby gulfstream, it is a true jewel for lovers of all things floral. However, its creator Osgood Mackenzie, the author of A Hundred Years in the Highlands, was left in the shade by a family court …
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Riding upon their noble steeds, Deirdre and Tickles, Jenny and Annie explore some monster-slaying stories set in medieval Scotland. First, we travel to the glens of Cassley in Sutherland, where a toxic beast has wormed its way into the landscape. Beware, if you are driving the North Coast 500 as you’ll be entering the dangerous territory of the wor…
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This week, Jackie is at Kellie Castle and Garden to find out about the Lorimers – a family of artists and creatives who once called the castle home. Led by James Lorimer, who first rented Kellie Castle in 1878, the family also included Sir Robert Lorimer, the architect behind many iconic structures including the Scottish National War Memorial, pain…
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Tragedy at Hill of Tarvit Surrounded by the beauty of Edwardian Britain, a family was devastated by tragedy. In this week’s episode, Jackie steps into the gilded surrounds of Hill of Tarvit to discover the story of the Sharp family, who once called the mansion home. Set just outside Cupar and designed by Robert Lorimer, the house is a true 20th-cen…
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being buried alive, from the founding of St Columba’s Iona Abbey to the spooky sinister Lady with the Ring lore. We consider whether horses in the attic are truly the best possible way to tell if you are being haunted. This episode ties Scottish legends of being buried alive to European traditions and even goes all the way to America. Is Taphophobi…
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Stories and songs of Scottish battles Earlier this year, to launch a new series of Love Scotland, Jackie recorded an episode in front of a live audience of National Trust for Scotland members in Aberdeen. Two of the nation’s foremost experts on battles joined Jackie on stage to discuss some of the most significant historic conflicts as well as the …
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Embark on a bone-chilling journey with Jenny and Annie as they explore Duntulm Castle. Perched on a cliff edge in north Skye, Duntulm Castle’s story is woven with tales of ancestral battles, clan feuds, tragic fates, and paranormal disturbances. Each crumbling wall and hidden corner of this ancient, majestic castle has a chilling story, echoing the…
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October means Annie and Jenny have their turnips to carve and some spooky stories to share. In this spine-tingling episode, we delve deep into the ominous shadows of Galloway's history, unraveling two of its most gruesome and enigmatic folklore tales - the malevolent legacy of Sawney Bean and the sinister mystery of the Murder Hole. As we venture b…
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Are you concerned about your cow companions? Do you want to protect your bovine besties from evil enchantments?Welcome to Fireside Folklore, a fun wee episode, where Annie and Jenny try to understand the mysterious phenomenon of cow cursing. After noticing cursed cows turn up in multiple episodes, Annie and Jenny try to understand why cursed cows a…
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Annie and Jenny journey to the Far North of Scotland to trace the intricate tale of this once-feared predator: the wolf. These enigmatic creatures, deeply woven into Scotland's culture and environment, have long been subjects of awe, reverence, and lament.Jenny tells the haunting tale of the Last Wolf of Sutherland. A poignant reflection on the ext…
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Welcome to Fireside Folklore, an enchanting wee episode, where Annie and Jenny take us deep into the heart of the Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands. We unearthing tales of the mystical fairy dogs that roam the majestic mountainous landscapes. Ensure your sheep are safe and secure, cuddle your four-legged companions, and hold a wee piece of metal…
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Unravel the secrets of the Galloway landscape in this deep dive into the geology of the marvellous mountain, the Merrick. Ever wondered how nature sculpted its majestic peaks and craggy contours? This episode journeys back millions of years, retracing the earth's steps in moulding this iconic landmark, and a funny wee boulder atop it. Jenny and Ann…
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In 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic began, many people looked back to the influenza epidemic of 1918 for historical context. However, going further back in time reveals centuries of viral diseases – and a bizarre list of supposed medical concoctions that would protect you from them. Scotland’s “plague man” Richard Oram, a professor of history at Stir…
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Jenny and Annie return with Fireside Folklore to visit the enchanting world of the mystical tales of selkies, the mythical creatures that live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. Dive into two enthralling traditional stories that weave the magic and mystery of Scotland's coastal legends, rich with romance, betrayal, and…
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