This section gives details of selected events taking place in and around the Central Belt of Scotland this fortnight. Events are listed by area and then alphabetically. All submissions should be 3 accompanied by a contact phone number ' for our information. Days out compiled by Thom Dibdin.


I DOUBLE DYKES ORGANISED WALK Wed 28. l()am---lpm. Meet at the Mercat cross in Melrose Square. Return transport provided. Free. No dogs. A nine-mile hill walk organised by the Borders Regional Council Ranger Service. following the path of the ancient drove road from Melrose to Lauder. It should offer a chance to see a variety of wildlife and views of the Border uplands in its winter cloak. Packed lunch. broken-in walking boots and warm clothing essential.

I SANTA SPECIAL Sat 17/Sun 18. Fri 23. 1.30pm. Heatherslaw Light Railway. Ford Forge. Heatherslaw. Cornhill-on-Tweed. £5.50. 0890 820 244. Just over the Border from Coldstream. the Heatherslaw railway offers steam train rides with party games in the village hall. carols by candlelight. refreshments and a special visit from old Santa Claus himself.

I DISCOVERY POINT Daily. except Sun 25. Sun l/Mon 2. 10am—4pm (Sun:

1 1am—4pm). Discovery Point. Discovery Quay. Dundee. £4 (£2.90). Excellent exhibition around Scott‘s ship RRS Disi'm-en'. built in Dundee in 1901 to withstand the Antarctic ice. lncludes plenty of interesting reconstructions and explanations of Scott's explorations.

I MILLS OBSERVATORY Tue—Fri (not Tue 27. Tue 3/Wed 4): 3—10pm'. Sat: 2—5pm. Mills Observatory. Balgay Park. Dundee. 0382 667138. Free. Plenty of displays about astronomy and space exploration. with a chance to look through the ten-inch reflecting telescope. weather permitting. I RECORD AND CD FAIR Tue 27. 10am—4pm. The Albert Hall. Stirling. 60p (40p). A Christmas special frotn Allander record fairs. Got Ultravox. not Ultra- Sonic from Uncle Gordon for Christmas? Well get down to the Albert Hall to buy. sell and exchange music on CD. vinyl and cassette.


I CRAFT FAIR Sat l7—Fri 23. 10.30am—5pm. Assembly Rooms. George Street. Edinburgh. 60p (30p). Everything crafty from spirtles to silk scarves.

I DEEP-SEA WORLD Daily. not Sun 25. 9.30am—4pm weekdays; 9.30am—6pm weedends. Deep-sea world. North Queensferry. Fife. £4.50 (£3.25). ()383 41141 1. Scotland‘s biggest walk-through aquarium with other hands—on exhibits. Cafe.

I ELVIS BOXING DAY BASH Mon 26. 7.30pm—lam. Minto Hotel. Minto Street. Edinburgh. £4 on the door. Members of Scotland's only official Elvis Fanclub. the Memphis Mafia. invite you to an evening of Elvis related memories with competitions. games. karaoke and. of course. records from The King himself. ELVIS BIRTHDAY PARTY Sat 7. 8pm-lam. Marco’s Leisure Centre. Grove Street. Edinburgh. £5 on the door. To celebrate


CENTRAL & rnvsrors 9

| Elvis' 60th birthday with a birthday cake

; on the stroke of midnight.

1 I LASER OUEST Daily. not Sun 25. Sun 1.

i llam—l lpm (Sun: Ham—8pm). 28 Bread

1 Street. Edinburgh. £2.50 before 6pm. £3

9 after 6pm. ()31 221 0000. Work off the

l festive excess with a game in the

l laserdrome. You don special back-packs

E and stalk the other players through the

dark corridors of a derelict starship trying

‘1 to zap them with your rays. For kids of all

ares! I PHOTOGRAPHING HOPETOUN Thurs 29. from 11am. Hopetoun House car park. South Queensferry. £2 (£1). A chance to try out all those photographic gizmos you got for Christmas. both video and still. with Hopetoun House‘s ranger. Dogs will be welcomed. but only if on a lead.


' 10am—4pm. The Roxburgh Hotel.

3. Charlotte Square. Edinburgh. 60p (40p).

A Christmas special from Allander record

fairs. Looking for that ellusive Elvis platter that auntie failed to get you for Christmas? Well get down to the Roxburgh to buy. sell and exchange music on CD. vinyl and cassette.

1” . .Qo '1” g ‘C& ’3 A"

I SEA LIFE CENTRE Daily. not Sun 25/Sun l. 10am—5pm. St Andrews Sea Life Centre. The Scores. St Andrews. £4.25 (£2.95). 0334 474786. Promising a ‘different adventure' on every visit. the Sea Life Centre is a hands-on orientated aquarium with indoor and outdoor exhibits. Cafe.

I SANTA CRUISES Sat l7—Sat 24. first cruise at 10.30am. last cruise at 4.30pm. Edinburgh Canal Centre. The Bridge Inn. 27 Baird Road. Ratho. £4.50. Booking

essential on 031 333 1320. More ‘Ho. ho. l ho‘ than you can shake a cotton-wool beard at. at the Bridge Inn with one-hour cruises along the canal to Santa’s secret island. where he will come on board to distribute stockings to the kids and coffee and mince pics to the grown ups.

I SANTA SLEIGH RIDES Sat l7/Sun l8 and Sat 24. 10am—5pm. Almond Valley Heritage Centre. Livingston Mill. £2 Booking essential on 0506 414957. Open daily (no Santa). not Sun 25/Mon 26. Sun l/Mon 2. £1.50 (75p). Still crying ‘ho ho ho‘ and other such festive mutterings.

. Santa gets behind the reins of his traditional sleigh for horse-drawn rides. Santa‘s farmland grotto and other seasona fun. The Centre is open daily with a

permanant collection of old working farm machinary. a mill and coffee shop.

I SANTA STEAM TRAINS Sat l7/Sun l8. Ham—3pm. Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway. Bo'ness Station. Bo'ness. £4.50 (£4).

1 Booking essential on 0506 822298. And

TO The List 16 December 1994—12 January 1995

before you can say The Nightmare Before Christmas. even more ho. ho. ho’s at Bo'ness from busy Santa as he hops on the not so conventional North Pole Express steam train. The kids get a free gift from Santa while the parents get a cuppa and a mince pie.

I ROYAL OBSERVATORY Daily. not Sun 25. Sun 1. 1-5pm (Fri: l—9pm). Royal Observatory. Blackford Hill. Edinburgh. £1.50 (75p). ()31 668 8405. Public telescopes open 7—9pm. on clear weekday nights. phone after 4pm on the day to book. £2. Excellent exhibition. ‘The Universe‘ uses models. videos. computer games and photographs of space to explain the workings of firmament. Star shop for that astronomical paraphernalia at ‘earthly‘ prices. On Fri 16 at 7.30pm there will be a talk on the Night Sky in January given by Russell Eberst (£2/£1.50).


I STONEHAVEN FIREBALL CEREMONY Sat 31. from midnight. Stonehaven High Street and Old Town. Kincardineshire. Anyone can enter the fireball swinging paganism. All you need is a fireball-tar and woodshavings enclosed in wire netting on the end of a wire. The winner is the person who travels furthest with their fireball still alight.


I ARCTIC PENGUIN Daily. to Sat 24. Wed 28fl‘hurs 29. daily from Tue 3. 10am-4pm. SV Arctic Penguin. lnverary Harbour. £2.85 (£2). Originally built as a light ship in Dublin. Arctic Penguin is now a static ‘maritime experience' offering lots of hands-on experiences. Well worth including in a day trip up the west coast.

I BIGGARE NE’ERDAY BONFIRE Fri 31 from 9pm. Biggar Main Street. Bonfires have been built around this time of year since before history began. to encourage the sun to start rising in the heavens again after reaching its lowest ebb. The biggest around is reckoned to be at Biggar where the fire has been known to rage right into the first week of the new year.

I CHRISTMAS EVENTS FOR GLASGOW Sun 18. 6—7.30pm. George Square and Custom House Quay. Glasgow. The grand finale of of the Christmas events put on by U2 is a parade from George Square. along St Vincent Street. down Buchanan Street. through St Enoch Square. Dixon Street and Clyde Street to Custom House Quay at 7pm. At the quay there will be massed choirs. a barge with a Christmas tree and pyrotechnics. The barge moves from Victoria Bridge to the Pedestrian bridge at 7.15pm for a fireworks display and lire sculpture.

I CRAFT FAIR Sun 18. 11am—5pm. Langside Hall. Glasgow. 60p (30p). All you need for Crimbo from the Northern Craft Fair bunch. from tea pots to Pin Puttrri.

I LAZER OUEST 2000 Daily. not Sun 25. Sun 1. 10.30am—llpm. 177 Trongate. Glasgow. 041 552 7667. £3.50 (double game £5.95). Work off the festive excess with a game in the laserdrome. You don special back-packs and stalk the other players through the dark corridoors of a derilict starship trying to zap them with your rays. For kids of all ages!

I NEW LANARK Daily. not Sun 25/Mon 26. Sun l/Mon 2. Ham—5pm. New Lanark Village. by Lanark. £2.75 (£1.75). 0555 661345. Until the end ofthe festive period. the ‘Spirit of Christmas' ride takes you through an exhibition which tells of the changing traditions from the time when 25 December was just another working day. through the Victorian era. right up to the present day. The passport ticket also includes entrance to several of the other attractions in Robert Owen’s ‘model' village including the village store. Separate concessions include a model railway layout.

I RECORD AND CO FAIR Thurs 29. 10am—4pm. The Arches. Midland Street. Glasgow. 60p (40p). A Christmas special from Allander record fairs. ‘Wow. thanks Maggie. l‘ve always wanted Bananarama's greatest hits to complement my Rotterdam hardcore collection.‘ Get down to the Arches to buy. sell and exchange music on CD. vinyl and cassette.

I SECC CARNIVAL Sat 17 Dec—Sun 15 Jan (not Sun 25). l.45—10.45pm. SECC. Finnistoun Quay. Glasgow. £1. All the fun of the fair. both inside and outside the SECC. with loads of scary rides and dramatic attractions.

With the warmest November since 1659. this winter has not offered the unprecedented skiing of last year. However. as we went to press. the snow had begun to fall at all of Scotland‘s resorts and all were crossing their fingers for a white Christmas and New Year on the slopes. I Skl Clubs For the social life and post- piste piss-ups. your local ski-club can‘t be beat. They also organise mini-buses to slopes on most weekends and can put you in touch with other people who might want to car share. Glasgow Ski Club meet every Thursday at 9pm in The Scaramouche. Elderslie Street. Details from ()41 424 1893 or 041 883 6665. Edinburgh Ski Club meet every Tuesday from 9.30pm at the Royal Circus Hotel. 19—21 Royal Circus. For an information pack phone 031 220 3121. I GLENCOE Chairlift company: 0855 811 303. Closed Tue/Wed. The closest resort to Glasgow and Scotland's first commercial resort. The first tow opened in 1956. I NEVIS RANGE Chairlift company: 0397 705825. Scotland’s newest and hence most modern ski resort boasts the UK‘s only gondola system. The highest pistes in Scotland are at the top of Aonach Mor (4006 feet). Creche facility: three-seven ears. I CAIRNGORM Chairlift company: 0479 861 261. Scotland’s most famous ski area. close to the skiing town of Aviemore so there are lots of things to do off-piste. The resort is reckoned to be Scotland's largest. boasting 28 runs. I GLENSHEE Chairlift company: 03397 41320/41343. Edinburgh’s closest resort. The three valleys of Glenshee offer 38 pistes on 40km of runs and a massive uplift capacity of 18.500 skiers an hour. Creche facility: over two years. I THE LECHT Chairlift company: 09756 51440. Scotland's best resort for absolute beginners. with easy green and nursery slopes right next to the car park. Creche facility: over three years.