The new music guide book, Rock Atlas, has landed. Rock Atlas journeys around many of the most significant rock and roll locations to discover Scotland's greatest musical secrets.
This exciting assortment of anecdotes, unseen photos and amusing insights celebrates over fifty years of rock history, exploring iconic Scottish settings which have inspired numerous unforgettable rock events, legends and stories.
Rock Atlas is an invitation to become immersed in Scotland's rich musical heritage, beautifully rugged landscape and vibrant culture.
For those who want to experience a piece of the rock and roll legacy for themselves, VisitScotland is offering invaluable tips and surprising suggestions.
Listed below are just a few examples. For more information on enjoying these legendary locations and for discounts on attractions, accommodation and travel visit www.visitscotland.com/surprise.
The Highlands: Madonna's Dornoch Celebrity Wedding
"Dripping in atmosphere" and "so beautiful" is how Madonna described Scotland. She chose the remote Skibo Castle in the northerly Highlands to host her secret, all star wedding to movie director Guy Ritchie. Guests included Jon Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and Sting.
Where to Stay
Visitors can enjoy their own luxurious experience at the magnificent Dornoch Castle. The Castle commands extensive views along the coast, seawards, and across the Dornoch Firth to the purple hills of Ross and Cromarty beyond. Throughout its extensive history it withstood a siege and has been used as a garrison, courthouse, jail and schoolhouse. It is now a beautifully restored family run hotel. Prices range from £96 to £197 per night for a double room.
What to See
As well as breath taking scenery and untamed landscapes, visitors can experience the cathedral where Madonna and Guy Ritchie's son, Rocco, was christened. The cathedral is rich in history and opened from the early morning. The cathedral is free to enter. www.dornoch-cathedral.com
Close by is the Scottish Wildlife Trust managed Loch Fleet. This stunning coastal reserve offers spectacular views and has regular visits from common seals. The flowered heath combines with the ancient pinewoods to provide a range of beautiful coastal and woodland walks.
Dundee: The Rock Legends and Caird Hall
Caird Hall has hosted some of the biggest names in Rock and Roll. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Frank Sinatra and Queen have all graced this magnificent venue.
Caird Hall is still welcoming hundreds of music fans through its hallowed doors for a range of concerts and shows. The RSNO will be performing a Christmas Concert on the 16th of December with tickets being £12.50 for adults and £5 for children. Highlights for the 2012 include The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra in February, the Chinese State Circus later in February and a host of celebrity comedians throughout the summer including Frankie Boyle, Kevin Bridges and Jimmy Carr. www.cairdhall.co.uk
Where to Stay
Situated only eight minutes walk from the concert hall, the Apex City Quay Hotel and Spa offers stunning views over the river Tay. With a brassiere and bar, spa, swimming pool, steam room and gym, this hotel is an ideal place to relax before going out to enjoy everything that Dundee has to offer. Rooms are priced from £68 to £170 per night, depending on availability.
What to See
The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum is a magnificent Victorian, Gothic building where art, history and the environment combine to offer a fascinating insight into Dundee. After a multi-million pound refurbishment in early 2011, this 143 year old building has been brought in to the 21st century with state of the art displays and interactive exhibitions. The museum is free to visit. www.mcmanus.co.uk
The Sensation Science Centre is a unique four star attraction devoted to the five senses. With over 60 hands-on exhibits depicting the senses, all visitors can experience the magic of science. Live science shows, workshops and talks take place regularly covering a spectrum of topics such as creepy crawlies, forensics and the environment. Entrance costs £7.25 for adults and £5.25 for children. www.sensation.org.uk
Edinburgh: Kurt Cobain's Unexpected Acoustic Gig
On the 1st of December 1991, in a tiny bar in the South of Edinburgh, a small group of fans watched on in amazement as two of the biggest grunge rockers in the world, Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl, took to the stage and played a surprise acoustic gig to just 20 people.
The Southern bar is located on South Clerk Street, amongst a range of local restaurants and delicatessens, in the vibrant south of the city.
Where to Stay
A ten minute stroll from the Southern Bar will take you to the Southside Guest House. This Victorian Terrace is both elegant and stylish, offering its guests a peaceful retreat with top class service, only moments away from the city centre. The rate ranges from £65 to £145 per night depending on season and availability. www.southsideguesthouse.co.uk
What to See
Edinburgh Castle is Scotland's most popular tourist attraction. It is also the centrepiece of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site, and a world-famous icon and a magnificent music venue, with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds scheduled to perform there in July 2012.
Perched high above the capital, this is Scotland's most famous castle. Steeped in history, there has been a castle on that site since the 11th century and each century has seen changes and additions resulting in today's mix of military barracks, palace, fortress and war memorial. www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk
The National Museum of Scotland takes visitors on an inspiring journey through cultures across the world, the wonders of nature, and the excitement of science and discovery. Opening in July 2011 after a £47 million redevelopment, the spectacular Victorian galleries exhibits 8,000 newly selected objects from its extensive collections. Visitors are able to explore everything from Egyptian mummies to a life-sized cast of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The centerpiece is a Window on the World, a four-storey installation of 800 fascinating objects handpicked from National Museums' collections, the largest display of its kind in the United Kingdom. The museum is free to enter. www.nms.ac.uk
Glasgow: Tea with Belle and Sebastian and King Tuts
The famous album cover for Belle and Sebastian's Dear Catastrophe Waitress was photographed at the extraordinary Tchai-Ovna tea house, deep in the Glasgow's exquisite West End. This gem of a tea house takes its inspiration from the Czech Republic and has counted Franz Ferdinand as one of its many customers.
Glasgow continues to impress with "quite possibly the finest small venue in world", according to NME. King Tut's has etched its name in rock history by attracting bands like Travis, Texas, Biffy Clyro and Franz Ferdinand. Despite its intimate size, this venue helped launch Oasis as their performance in 1993 proved to be the turning point for then unsigned band. The venues still hosts many of Scotland's most exciting up and coming bands with a constantly packed roster. More details can be found here www.kingtuts.co.uk
Where to Stay
The beautiful 15 Glasgow Boutique Bed and Breakfast Hotel is only 10 minutes down the road from King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. Nestled mid-terrace, this A listed Victorian townhouse in the city's Park area has been lovingly restored. With original fireplaces, intricate cornicing and working wooden shutters, each of the five guest suites ooze sophistication and pared down opulence. www.15glasgow.com
What to See
Opened in the spring of 2011 after a £74 million building project, Glasgow's Riverside Museum is a fitting home for the city's world-class transport collection and a place that inspires, educates and entertains. The great glass doorway of Riverside leads to a vast free-flowing space, split over two floors and showcasing more than 3,000 objects, from locomotives and trams to cars and motorbikes, from ship models and children's toys to uniforms and paintings. The dramatic design of the building, coupled with the engineering skill, has resulted in an interior that has no internal supports - the museum's complex zig-zag roof is literally held up by its own weight. Entrance is free.
Glasgow's showcase attraction, Kelvingrove is a magnificent building housing 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries showcasing an astonishing 8,000 objects. The internationally significant collection is both extensive and wide ranging; covering natural history, arms and armour, art from a variety of artistic movements and periods of history, and much, much more ... there is even a real Spitfire! Entrance is free. www.glasgowmuseums.com/kelvingrove
To find out more about Rock Atlas visit your nearest book store or go to www.ovolobooks.co.uk/products/Rock-Atlas.html
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