54’ J.

From Clencoe to The lecht, Scotland’s five ski centres offer an extraordinary range of skiing, without even having to step on a plane. And the recent weather bodes particularly well for a season packed with powder, red runs and off-piste experiences. Contact your fellow enthusiasts at the Glasgow Ski Club (041 424 1893) or the Edinburgh Ski club (031 220 3121). Resort information from: Glencoe Chairlift: 08552 303; llevis flange Chairlift: 0397 705825; Cairngorm Chairlift: 0497 861261; Clenshee Chairlift: 03397 41320; lecht Ski Co: 09756 51440.

This section gives details of selected attractions and events taking place in and around the Central Belt of Scotland over the next four weeks. Events are listed by area and then alphabetically. Most attractions offer a discount for families, phone for details. All submissions should be accompanied by a contact phone number for our giforimation. Days out compiled by Thom ibd n.

I TEDDY MELROSE Daily. 10am--5pm (2—5pm Sun and from Mon 27). Closed Sat25. Sun 26. Closed from Sat l—Mon 10. The High Street. Melrose. ()89682

free). Everything you could want on the teddy front in the teddy shop. from Paddington to Pooh with bear-related paraphernalia in between. The museum features bears of international reknown with interesting exhibits about their habitats and tnakers.


I DISCOVERY POINT Daily. 10—4pm (Sttn: 11am—4pm). Closed Christmas Day. New Year's Day and 2 Jan. Discovery Point. Discovery Quay. Dundee. ()382 201245. £3.85 (£2.80). Exhibition and special effects recreate the historic voyages of Captain Scott's Antarctic ship. RRS Disr‘m'eljt'. Across the quayside. you can visit the Discovery herself. tnade in Dundee and reputed to be the strongest wooden ship ever built.

I CLENTURRET DISTILLERY TOUR Daily. 9.30am—4.30pm until Fri 31. then weekdays l 1.30am—2.30pm. Closed Sat 25. Sun 26. Sat 1. Sun 2. Glenturret Distillery. The Hosh. C rieff. 0764 65 2424. £2.30 (£1.20) 1993. £2.70 (£1.70) 1994. Take A85 Crieff to Comrie road for one mile. then turn right at crossroads. Scotland‘s oldest distillery with a guided tour of the working distillery. visitors' centre with audio-visual show. free dram and extensive whisky and souvenir shop. I MILLS OBSERVATORY Mon—Fri: 3-10pm. Sat: 2—5pm. Closed Sat 25—Mon 27. Sat 1—Tue 4. Mills Observatory. Balgay Park. Dundee. 0382 67138. Free.


2464. Museum: £1 (accompanied children I


, 1896. Motorcycles from 1902 and bikes

Most of the observatory is open to the public. with slide shows and exhibitions. ()n a clear night you can use the ten-inch telescope. Over the festive period the moon will be up all evening. while Saturn with her rings will be visible in the early evening sky.


9.30am—-4. 15pm. Closed Sat 25. Sun 26

and Sat l—Mon 3. Central Stirling. ()786 L 50000. £2.50 (£1.30/£l ). The grandest in

Scotland. Stirling Castle has been rebuilt many times. Artillery fortifications date from the 16th to 18th centuries. Visitor

centre with audio-visual display.


midnight. Comrie Main Street. Perthsliire. See photo caption.

I ALMOND VALLEY HERITAGE CENTRE Daily. 10am- 5pm. Closed Sat 25. Sun 26 and Sat 1. Sun 2. Almond Valley Ileritage Centre. Livinsgston Mill. 0506 414957. SMT bus 27 from central Edinburgh. Loads of family orientated activities on offer. Fine collection of old machinery in a sixteen-acre site which is said to ‘bring East Lothian's past to life.‘ No voodoo, we hope!

I DEEP SEA WORLD Daily. 9aiti--6pm (Mon 20—-Fri 24 and weekdays after Sun 9: 10am- 4pm). Closed Christmas Day and I New Year's Day. Deep Sea World. North Queensferry. Fife. 0383 411411. £4.50

(£3.50). Children under four free. Majorly

big equarium with a capacity of over a million gallons. A moving walkway takes you through a transparent underwater viewing tunnel. giving a clear view of the vast schools of fish -- which is about as close to diving as you can get without donning a rubber suit. Fascinating. Functional teasho i.

I EDINBURGH’S HOGMANAY Thurs 30-Sat I. Three days of events in Edinburgh to celebrate the New Year. from drive-in movies to fire-eating. See feature for details.

I MYRTON MOTOR MUSEUM Daily mam—4.30pm. Closed Christmas Day. Off the A918 between Aberlady and Gullane. 08757 870288. £2 (50p). Motor cars from

from 1880. Commercial vehicles and

i WW2 British Military vehicles. Large

collection of advertising signs. No

teasho .

I SCOTTISH FISHERIES MUSEUM Mon—Sat: l()am—~l.30pm. Sun: 2—4.30pm. Closes 2pm Fri 24. Fri 31. Closed Sat 25. Sun 26. Sat 1. Sun 2. Scottish Fisheries Museum. Harbourhead. Anstruther. Fife. 0333 310628. £2 (£1). Enhance a tour of Fife with a trip to this interesting museum overlooking the ancient harbour. home of the East Neuk fishing fleet. The museum

A covers virtually every aspect of the fishing industry from whaling and industrial , salmon fishing to the various ancillary

trades. I TANTALON CASTLE Mow-Wed 9.30am--~l.30pm. Sun 2- 4.30pm. Closed

3 Sat 25. Sun 26 and Sat l~Mon 3. Tantalon

Castle. three miles East of North Berwick on the A198. 0620 2727. £1.70 (90p). Remarkable cliff-top fortification. ideal for that windswept day-after tour of East Lothian. before popping into North Berwick for a pork-out at one of the many tea shops.


10am—-5pm. Closed noon. Fri 24—Tue 4. Vane Farm Nature Reserve. South Shore. Loch Leven. 0577 862355. On the B9097. one mile east ofjunctiort 5 of the M90. £2 (£1/50p). Binocular hire: 80p. Thousands

. of geese spend the winter on Loch Leven.

The best time to see thetn is at dawn or at dusk as they return to roost.


(Fri: I--9pm) Closed Christmas Day.

Blackford Hill. Edinburgh. 668 8405. £1.50 (75p); Evening star-gazing £1.50. Excellent exhibition: ‘The Universe‘ uses models. videos. computer games and

photographs of space to explain the

workings of the firmament. Star shop for those astronomical paraphernalia at ‘earthly' prices. The observatory‘s PopularTelescopes are open every clear week night from 7 —9pm fora visual tour of the night sky with an experienced astronomer. Phone after 4pm on the day to book.


I STONENAVEN FIREBALL CEREMONY Fri 31. from midnight. Stonehaven High Street and Old Town. Kincardineshire. See photo caption.


I BICCAR NE’ERDAY RONFIRE Fri 3 I. from 9pm. Bigger Main Street. See photo caphon.

I ROTHWELL CASTLE Mon—Wed. 9.30am—4.30pm. Sun 2—4.30pm. Bothwell Castle. Uddingston. 0698 816894. £1.50 (80p). Approach along the A74 from Uddingston. Largest and finest 13th century stone castle in Scotland. reconstructed in the 15th century. Picturesque setting above the Clyde

valle .


1 1.30am—4pm. Closed Christmas Day and New Years Day. Calderglen Country Park. Strathhaven Road. East Kilbride. 03552 36644. Nature trails. kids adventure area across the river and visitors centre. Small tea room serving tea. coffee and biscuits. I CARNIVAL Fri l7-Sun 16. 1.45—10.45pm (opens 6.30pm. Fri 17). Closed Christmas Day. Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. Glasgow. 041 248 3000. 80p. It's Carnival time again at the SECC with the ‘thrills and spills‘ of all those usual rides. The Waltzers. the Carousel. the Voyager and the Terminator will be there. with plenty of smaller rides for the children. Also featured will be Europe's biggest travelling Ferris Wheel. the ‘l.iberty Wheel'. and a brand new ride from Holland on an Amercian theme: the ‘Superbowl'.

I LOCNVIINNOCH NATURE RESERVE Daily. 10am—5pm. Closed 4pm. Fri 24—Wed 5 Jan. Lochwinnoch RSPB Nature Centre. Largs Road. Lochwinnoch. 0505 842663. £2 (50p). RSPB members free. Binocular hire available. Discover a wealth of wildlife in the Strathclyde countryside. RSPB shop and weekend tearoom. nature trails and birdwatching hides.

I MUCDOCK COUNTRY PARK Daily. dawn to dusk. Visitors‘ centre and shop 14.30pm daily (closed Sat 25. Sun 26. Sat 1. Sun 2). Tearoom Ham—5.30pm. not Wed. closed Christmas Day. M ugdoch Country Park. Craigallian Road. Milngavie. 041 956 6100. Free. Excellent venue for those wintry perambulations. with loads to see around the park. including Mugdock Castle and its Echo Stone. Cycling and orienteering facilities. I NEW LANARK Daily. 1 lam—5pm. Closed Sat 25. Sun 26. Sat 1. Sun 2. New Lanark

Visitor Centre. New Lanark Mills. Lanark. i

0555 661345. £2.60 (£1.60). Pan of the


Forget the days of Christmas, the really pagan opt for one of the tradltlonal fire

ceremonies around the country. Bonfires were being bullt before history began, to

encourage the sun to start rising in the heavens again after reaching its lowest ebb. The biggest around is at Biggar (above) where the fire has been known to rage right

, into the first week of the flew Year. Up North, at Stonehaven, anyone can enter the

fireball swinging ceremony. All you need is a fireball: tar and woodshavlngs

enclosed in a wire netting on the end of a wire. The winner is the person who

travels farthest with their fireball still alight.

72 The List 17 December l‘)‘)3—l3 January I994