Lodestars Anthology…

magazine review, lodestars issue 2, littlegreenshed

Lodestars Anthology is the newish kid on the block in lifestyle / travel / adventure magazines.  It has recently published Issue two, a stunning collection dedicated to Scotland.  As someone who has never been further North than Leeds, reading this was like discovering something new.

Scotland has always been a mystery, steeped in legend, soaring mountains and beautiful beaches.  Cities of great heritage and culture, yet I haven’t even been!  Lodestars Anthology has confirmed that I MUST go, take my tribe and head over the border to discover the beauties that await.

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Lodestars Anthology have kindly shared images and excerpts from Issue two, I’ll hand you over to Lodestars editor Liz Schaffer to share why Scotland for this issue…

Scotland has long been on my travel wish list. Growing up in another hemisphere it seemed like a far off place where water spirits swam wild, warriors roamed and the day was frequently saved by a sword-wielding lass. Whisky flowed freely, mist was common and there was magic in the land. Visiting Scotland was inevitable and shortly after trading Australia for the United Kingdom I found myself in Edinburgh, the country’s regal capital. Even in the midst of this major European city I still felt that my whimsical image of Scotland, conjured up with the aid of distance and fairytales, wasn’t far off the mark. The terrain is timeless, the sea is all-powerful and entire communities, particularly those found on the country’s 130 inhabited islands, remind you what remote really means. For a small nation, Scotland feels immense – and all too easy to love.

Dedicating an entire issue to Scotland was a joy. Not only could I gush about a destination I adore, but other fervent and unapologetic Scotophiles emerged from the weathered woodwork, equally keen to share and explore this ancient land. There were illustrators with a passion for castles, poets transfixed by dark and stormy roads, archaeologists who wouldn’t trade island life for the world, distillers and ghillies, chefs and adventurers. No one was alone in their affection for Scotland.

In all fairness, we may be viewing Scotland through rose-tinted glasses. While many of our contributors are locals inspired by childhood memories of scrambling over ruins and reciting Burns for the first time, others, like myself, are travellers. People blessed with the ability to see Scotland with fresh eyes, unhindered by the prejudice of the everyday.

We gaze upon Munros, lochs, brooding beaches, pine forests and the endless ocean – and there’s not a water bill or parking fine in sight. We view the perfect and the pristine – magnificent moments that are far removed from our ‘real worlds’. As a result, what we see is pretty damn good.

Then again, perhaps such positivity is apt. Scotland is a Neverland (fittingly for the spiritual home of J. M. Barrie). Merging the wild and untamed with the delightfully civilized, it has inspired generations of writers, artists, gourmands, inventors and explorers. You’ll just have to visit to understand why.

Lodestars anthology mountains

An excerpt ‘Celebrating It’ The Glasgow Boy

Born and bred in Glasgow, Charles Rennie Mackintosh – known as much for his moustache as his artistic genius – worked tirelessly as a designer, architect and artist, emerging as the father of Scottish Arts & Crafts. He met Margaret at the Glasgow School of Art, where all pioneering creative minds should meet. Together, inspired by modernism and Japanese art, the duo filled Glasgow’s Victorian and Gothic structures with ornate details and ethereal flourishes while bestowing the streets with a few Art Nouveau architectural wonders of their own. Their buildings are functional artworks that tell an unconventional story while reflecting an acute awareness of the natural world.

Although Mackintosh passed away in relative obscurity, he still had a loyal local following who were aware of the power of his works and frequently commissioned him. Chief among these was Kate Cranston, for whom he created Oriental-meets-European tearooms complete with signature wooden furnishings, geometric lighting and leaded mirror friezes. The Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street (a fantastic spot for afternoon tea) pays homage to Mackintosh’s 1911 original, playing with masculine and feminine shapes while boasting silver chairs and an elaborate, newly-discovered fireplace. If only the pagoda-topped lampshades had similarly survived the test of time.  

Mackintosh pilgrims should also visit House For An Art Lover, opened in 1996 from a series of sketches he created back in 1901. The original drawings were made for a Germanbased architectural competition, but like a true artist Mackintosh didn’t read the guidelines properly, forgot to submit enough sketches and was promptly disqualified. Hence the decades-long delay in building. The structure that stands today still has a Mackintosh soul and is a complete blend of art and architecture – nothing is without purpose and everything strives to astound. Take for example the Music Room. This cream and pastel space is a celebration of light that makes you forget yourself, at least for a moment, and imagine you’re lost in sun-bathed woodlands. This probably has something to do with the painted leaves framing the windows.

excerpt 1

An excerpt from ‘ 5 5 ° to 6 1 ° North’

Orkney now appears remote to the world it was a hubbub of population, trade and ritual observance. This is celebrated in the region’s World Heritage status, embracing the stone circles of Brodgar and Stenness and surrounding chambered tombs and galvanised even further by major excavations at the Ness of Brodgar, which are unearthing an extensive complex of Stone Age ceremonial buildings.

These monuments have cast long shadows over the low treeless landscape for four to five thousand years, but what of the people that created them? Many secrets lie buried beneath the windblown sand and as you walk across the shores and fields you know that below your feet much still lies hidden. But sometimes a storm or plough brings them to light. This is how Skara Brae, the most famous of the archipelago’s prehistoric settlements, and home to Orcadian farmers between 3100 BC and 2500 BC, was discovered in 1850.

Standing on the wall tops of this astoundingly intact village and looking down into the houses, you can almost hear the echo of voices, see where a woman sat by the fire stirring the pot, where the grains of hard-won wheat and barley were ground and where the family slept in two heaps within stonebuilt beds under warm furs.

Lodestars Anthology Littlegreenshed

What wonderful stories, it certainly makes me want to read on.  Lodestars Anthology are kindly giving away to one lucky Littlegreenshed reader a copy of Issue 2.

All you need to do is complete the rafflecopter widget below.  Giveaway closes on Friday 24th April.  Winner will be announced within two days after.  Good Luck!
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  • Goa – The food, the people and just feeling rejuvenated when I have visited!

  • Germany. There’s so much to do there. Amazing cities, beautiful countryside and great food.

  • Tokyo. I love the contrast between the busy electronic world of Akihabara and the serene nature of the inner city parks and shrines.

  • I’d love to go to the Isle of Skye, to visit an old friend and university tutor who has moved there in his retirement. He’s the smartest and nicest person I’ve ever met, and really helped me get better when I was suffering heavy depression after my father died suddenly. He saved my life. I’d like to go up and visit the landscape, and catch up with him about things. It feels like the landscape there would be a fitting setting for that.

  • I’m off for my first trip to Scotland after years of talking about it. my father just said “There’s no reason why you shouldn’t, so just go” that afternoon I set a date and driving from West Wales this August. This would be great for helping map my visit

  • I love Scotland and have been a few times since moving to London. But, shamefully as New Zealander, I’ve never been to Australia…

  • Many amazing childhood holidays were spent in scotland I really need to return there very soon.

  • I haven’t been, but have read lots of reviews, an would love to travel to Australia! It is on my bucket list of places to visit before i die. There is so much to see down under – the landscapes an wildlife – I will go one ay!

  • Well being Scottish living in Yorkshire, my favourite destination is Scotland! I’m desperate to do some island hopping as I’ve shamefully never been yet. x

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